Can you believe this is the last but one block the DreamcatcherRound the Year Block of the Month Quilt? I was in two minds whether to include this beautiful traditional pieced block in this quilt, where all the other blocks are majorly paper pieced. You decided it for me and I couldn’t be happier!
I first made up this block almost 4 years ago, when I was quite new to quilting, using the winding ways block. I drafted it using this great tutorial by Kathy Somers. Partly pieced by hand and partly by machine, it finished at 4.5″ including the seams! I plan to include it in the next major project I embark on, a quilt made with miniature 4″ blocks including, perhaps, a few Dear Jane and Nearly Insane quilt blocks and some of my very own.
To get back to Block Fifteen, it finishes at 18.5″ square with the seam allowances. The inset circle is 15″ plus 1/2″ seam allowance. I have drafted this on free quilt design software Quilt Assistant, which I have used to draft all the blocks of this quilt!
The block looks difficult, but the curves are really gentle and if you cut accurately, and pin carefully, it is a breeze to piece!
This block will be appliquéd to the background square. You will need a 19″ square in Fabric#1 .
1. Print the Instructions File and Templates File on A4 size paper with your printer settings on 100% or Actual Size in portrait mode. I used freezer paper to print the templates. I just press it on the fabric and cut around it!
To print on freezer paper, cut A4 size freezer paper and lightly iron the edges on to regular printer paper. Print as usual on freezer paper side . Use a paper knife to separate.
2. Cut the templates A, B and C . I cut 2 sets of the templates to make the fabric cutting faster. You could also print them on ordinary paper, paste on stiff card and cut out to make reusable templates.
Cutting and Piecing Instructions
Please starch your fabric before cutting, to ensure accuracy and crispness in your block.
As you cut the fabric, use the alignment markers on the templates to mark the centre of each side of the fabric pieces. I have made notches as markers. I also marked the corners with a pencil on each of the pieces. I learnt the hard way that you save a lot of heartburn by taking time at this stage.
Follow the colour diagram and arrange all the fabric pieces where you do not need to disturb them.
The block will be pieced in different sections, numbered 1 to 7 here, as shown here and then assembled. Please follow pressing instructions, they are very important in this block! Trust me, I have made a whole quilt with these blocks.
Referring to the colour pattern, align the curved side of B on top of concave side of A, for all sets of A and B. Pin at the centre notch. I pinned them with the pin on the fabric and had to repin with the pin sticking out before sewing!
When piecing, you need only two pins. Match the blunt ends of the two pieces one at the corner where you begin, pin. The other pin is at the centre notch.
Once you are past the centre notch, use a pair of small forceps/ tweezers to gently align the fabric and finish the curve.
Piece all A-B sets. Press seam towards B.
Add piece C to one set of A-B in each of the sections # 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Place C on top, match notches, pin. The other pin aligns the corner points at the narrow end, where we begin the seam.
Press seam towards A.
Sew other set of AB from the section to corresponding ABC just sewn. Again, begin with narrow end of C on top. You will have to change your machine needle settings; in my machine, ¼” seam is at needle setting 1.8, so I shift it to -1.8 when doing this step. The seam will be on the left and fabric on the right as you face the machine!
Again, press the seam towards A.
Section#3 has just two C pieces. Reduce seam length, fix the seam at both ends. Join them at the narrow end and
finger press open the seam.
Join the corner B pieces to Sections#6 and #7 and press seam open.
All our sections are pieced!
First we assemble the centre square. (This is the basic winding ways block!) This is the crucial step which will determine the beauty of the block.
Carefully pin Section 3 centre seam to centre of Section 1.
Next, match the notch on the long side of C to notch on A and pin. Start sewing from centre outwards on one side, then the other. This way you can check if your centre points are matched or not!
Press seams toward A, away from the narrow section 3.
Similarly pin Section#2 to just assembled Section#1-3 and sew. Again press seam away from Section#3.
Now we sew Section#4 and #5 to centre square 123. Match notches and corresponding seams and pin.
The seams are REALLY bulky and you may need to use a lot of maneuvering to get them right!
Sew. Press seams open.
We are on the last step already! AS usual, match all intersecting seams and notches and join sections#6 and #7 to 12345. Press seams open.
I am quite happy with my block!
All that remains is to appliqué it to the 19″ background square and trim it to 18.5″. I am planning to use the freezer paper method to do so. What is your favourite method to appliqué a circle to a square?
I would love to see the blocks you come up with – on my Facebook page.
The sixteenth and last block will be up on May 1st! Like I told you, my mind is already on a fast forward mode, planning what is coming up next – perhaps, to a quilt with miniature blocks?! I do hope I will have the patience to finish this Round the Year quilt before that!
Please note that the downloadable patterns with paper piecing templates and instruction files for the Dreamcatcher Round the Year quilt blocks are being migrated to my store MadsPatch and will not be available for download for free from 15th November 2020 onwards.