Round the Year Blocks – Setting Circles on to Squares

I had promised you a guest blogpost from Sobana Sundar, who has squared up all the circles for her BOM blocks! If you have not seen her beautiful blocks, you must!

Without much ado, I hand this over to Sobana Sundar :

Any jewel is defined by its setting – so too your blocks need that final touch of being set into squares before they can become a quilt top or wall hanging. The Round the Year block circles measure 15.5 inches and are to be set into squares that are 18.5 sq.inches.

The following blocks can be set using the ‘squircle’ templates provided by Madhu along with each block. They are all not identically set as some finish up with six pieces, some four but they join up easily as long as you patiently pin them and sew slowly using 1/4″ seam. (I copied out the template to freezer paper to avoid repeated tracing on the fabric.)

Block 2- An Evening at the Pond,

Block 4 -Sapphire Fire,

Block 5- Venus,

Block 12- Dozens Squared,

Block 13- Feathered Star and

Block 14- Fractal Mandala

The rest are circles and have to be appliqued to the square, if you have a lot of patience and time to do that. Personally I can never be happy with my stitches when I applique, be it button hole or a hem and I definitely do not have the inclination to spend long hours hand appliqueing the circles to the squares.

So I chose a method that I have used before using Freezer paper, a method where there is very minimal sewing and still one gets a lovely block. I learnt it from this tute here – and did this whole quilt with it .


Another bonus about using the freezer paper method is that one can square up all the blocks using the square template if one does not have a 18.5″ square ruler. I have only a 12.5″ square ruler and hate making the bigger size blocks for fear of ruining them while squaring with a smaller ruler. And here I just pressed the freezer paper template and trimmed away the extra fabric on the blocks I finished using Madhu’s templates.

There are some adaptations to be made to use it – for simplicity sake I will call it the port hole method (as named by Desi Quilter Tina Katwal)  – for our finished circles. This method is normally used to make Drunkard’s Path quadrants and once the background circle is prepped, one attaches a piece of fabric that is generously bigger than the circle. However, here we have already finished circles so some attention is required to properly attach the square and the circle.

And here is a photo trail to explain the how-to…

Start by cutting a 18.5″ square from your freezer paper. The paper rolls available in the market are usually 18 inches broad so you will have to cut out another piece of freezer paper that is 18.5 x 1 inch and iron/ glue it to get it to the size we require. Fold it in four find the centre and then draw a circle with a diameter of 15″ – not 15.5″ – on the paper side (as opposed to the shiny side). I used a quadrant template (that you can download from the link at the end of this post ) to mark my 15″ diameter circle and cut it out.

Cut 15
Cut 15″ circle from centre of 18.5″ freezer paper square.

The ready template…


Iron the freezer paper to your background fabric and cut the18.5″ square.

Cut a 18.5″ square from your background fabric and iron the freezer paper on it.

 Draw a circle on the fabric. This should be about 3/4″ away from the circle on the paper. See the next photo for clarity. I just followed the circle on the paper to draw this. But you could use a big plate from your kitchen. It does not need to be perfect and you will see why soon.

Draw a circle on the background fabric, approximately 3/4″ inside the `porthole’.
 The next step is to cut out the fabric along the lines we drew in the last step. You are going to have a lot of circles in the background fabric which you can use for another project.

Cut out the circle on the drawn line…
 Make little snips on the fabric as in the photo below. Do not cut till the edge of the paper. Stop when you are about 1/8 of an inch from the paper.

Snip the fabric upto 1/8″ from paper edge
 Apply a thin layer of glue using your glue stick along the edge of the paper and fold back the snipped fabric so that it is flush with the paper edge. Use your iron and press to keep it in place.

Apply washable glue stick on snipped edge and fold it back  on to the paper.


Centre your finished circle on the freezer paper again on the wrong side, making sure it is evenly placed.  Apply glue again along the edge of the folded back fabric snips and press your circle in place with your iron. I missed taking a photo of this stage. Remember to keep your finished circle right side down.

Centre the finished circle thus,.using glue stick to attach the edges to the snipped edge of background.
Turn it over and ensure your placement is correct and the glue holds the two pieces of fabric together. Now at last we get to use the sewing machine. Remove the freezer paper gently pulling it away. You may have some problems if the glue has adhered too firmly but a tug will release it.

Remove freezer paper
 Change to zipper foot and with needle position at extreme left stitch along the crease. Make sure you cross over your starting point to secure your circle totally.

Sew on fold …
 This is how it looks once you are done.

Done!
 And after a press on both sides you have your finished block. And you can start work on the next block with the same freezer paper. I did about four blocks a day. If I had hand sewn it would have taken me two days to do a block.

Easy and perfect!

The beauty of the freezer paper is that you can reuse it. I did all my blocks with that one freezer paper and also trimmed the other blocks not made this way to size. And I think I will preserve it for the next 18″ block I make! Here are some of the finished blocks made with freezer paper.

Some of the blocks finished using freezer paper method.

Sobana

These are gorgeous, Sobana! 

Thank you so much, Sobana!  That sounds simple enough! You can view more of Sobana’s work on her blog, The Quilt Bug

I have still not got my background fabric, so am doing other stuff these days…And, as promised, here is the template for a 7.5″ radius circle! Happy Quilting. 

Template 7.5 inch Radius circle

Mariner24 – Block Sixteen, Dreamcatcher Round the Year Quilt

Mariner24! The Sixteenth Block...
Mariner24! The Sixteenth Block…

Am I excited and relieved at the same time, or what, to present the sixteenth and final block of the Round the Year Quilt !?! This 24-spoke Mariner’s Compass is foundation paper pieced and is, like the other blocks of this Block of the Month quilt, drafted as a 15″ (finished) circle set in an 18″ (finished) square. I learnt to draft this block from a workshop by Adina Sullivan, “Mastering the Maddening Mariner” in “Quiltskills – Workshops from The Quilters’ Guild Australia” (published by The Patchwork Place, 1998). Adina has the most fabulous quilts based on the Mariner’s Compass and I had been gathering the courage to attempt these since the last six years or so, when I bought this book. You may recall that Southward Bound was also drafted using the method taught by Adina. She uses the English paper piecing method to construct her blocks, mine is completely machine pieced!

I used Quilt Assistant, a great free quilt design software for designing the block. The pattern instructions and paper piecing templates can be downloaded in PDF format from the links at the end of this post.

Fabric Requirement

Fabric Code for Mariner24

This block uses 2 shades of blue and 4 contrasting colours in the yellow-gold-light orange spectrum for the Compass, set in a third shade of blue for the background.

Trivia – This block contains 269 pieces! But don’t worry, we will be working with strips, so that you need not worry about cutting dozens of pieces.

Fabric Code Colour Fabric Required Cutting Instructions
1 Pale Blue

19″ square*

2 Medium Blue

6″ WOF

Cut 3 strips WOF 2″ wide

2 squares 4.5″

Cut along both diagonals to get 8 QSTs

3 Deep Blue

6″ WOF

Cut 3 strips WOF 2″ wide

4 Deep Orange

3″ x 30″

5 Gold

3″ x 30″

6 Yellow

3.25″ x 30″

Cut into strips 2″ x 30″

1.25″ x 30″

7 Light Orange

3″ x 24″

*I have given a template for joining the background by piecing, but for this block I suggest appliqueing the compass on a square.

Do remember to spray starch and press your fabric before cutting it. I do not have access to spray starch, so I make my own by adding two capfuls of the locally available liquid fabric stiffener (sold by the name of Revive) to 100ml of water in a spray bottle.

Your best friend when piecing - spray starch!
Your best friend when piecing – spray starch!

Printing Instructions

Print the Templates File at 100% / actual size in portrait mode. Cut out the templates. I suggest you ignore the background template AG( in two parts), as we will be appliqueing the compass on a background square. It may prove useful for marking the circle on the background fabric.

Print the Instructions File, which includes the Fabric Requirement chart and Master Template, and keep at hand for piecing and assembly.

Step by Step Piecing Instructions

If you are attempting a block from this quilt for the first time, or even if you have not foundation paper pieced for a while, you may like to see this blogpost for decoding the paper piecing patterns for this BOM and this one, which reminds you of certain do’s and don’ts for paper piecing these blocks. If you are new to paper piecing itself, there are several great tutes online on the subject!

Outer Ring

First we piece the spokes of the outer ring (Templates A to X), using (majorly) the chain strip piecing method, that we have used for several earlier blocks. To avoid confusion and efficient use of fabric, the following order of piecing is suggested. We start with templates A to F and fabric strips which will come at piece#1 and piece#2 ( Fabric Codes#4 and #3 respectively). The following photos will explain how we chain piece the templates to the strip pair.

Align the edges of strips for A1 (Fabric#4 and Fabric #2) and place the template A ready for the first seam.
Align the edges of strips for A1 (Fabric#4 and Fabric #3) and place the template A ready for the first seam.
Template B is aligned just below template A, leaving some space in between the two.
Template B will be aligned just below template A, leaving some space in between the two.
This shows Templates A to F ... first set of seams done!
This shows Templates A to F … first set of seams done and strip for piece#2 pressed open.
Cut to separate the templates...
Cut to separate the templates…
Trim the excess fabric up to paper template. Preserve the trimmings!
Trim the excess fabric up to paper template. Preserve the trimmings!
Fold back the paper template on seam line and trim the seam to 1/4
Fold back the paper template on seam line and trim the seam to 1/4″
Now fold the paper template at seam line between piece#2 and piece#3. Trim the fabric (Strip#2) 1/4
Now fold the paper template at seam line between piece#2 and piece#3. Trim the fabric (Strip#2) 1/4″ beyond this seam line.
How templates A to F will look after the first two pieces are in place...
How templates A to F will look after the first two pieces are in place…
...All these trimmings will be used...
…All these trimmings will be used…

We are now ready to add the strip which will come in at Piece#3 (Fabric Code#2).

Chain piece the templates to strip for piece #3
Chain piece the templates to strip for piece #3 and press open before cutting apart.
Trim the seam allowance to 1/4
Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″ and the fabric on piece#3  to 1/4″ beyond seam line between piece#3 and piece#4

We are ready to add piece #4, for which we can use the trimmings from before! Similarly, piece templates G to L up to piece#4, i.e G1 to G4, H1 to H4…L1 to L4. Piece templates M to R up to piece#4, i.e M1 to M4, N1 to N4…R1 to R4. Piece templates S and T up to piece#4 Piece templates U and V up to piece#4 Piece templates W and X up to piece#4 Now, all our templates for the outer ring our pieced up to Piece#4.

Once we have reached this stage, order of piecing is not important. We are ready to add Piece#5 to all these templates, for which we can use the trimmings from Piece#2. Similarly, trimmings from piece#3 can be used for piece#6. This upcoming pic shows the spoke templates pieced till piece#6.

Templates A to X pieced up to Piece#4 ...
Templates A to X pieced up to Piece#6…

Here comes the strip which will occupy space at piece#7.

Piece#7 coming up.
Piece#7 coming up.

You will see that the broader portion of the templates are overlapping. The important thing is to maintain about 1/2″ distance between the seam you are sewing on one template and the next. Round the Year Quilt Block 16 Mariner24 Time for a break and a little bit of fun! Round the Year Quilt Block 16 Mariner24 ALWAYS, remember to press open the strip you have sewn before cutting apart the templates. Also trim the seams, and the fabric just sewn to 1/4″ inch or so, beyond the upcoming seam line. I used scraps for pieces #8, 9 and 10, where I could.  When I ran out of scraps, I used strips. Here is the final strip coming up!

Round the Year Quilt Block 16 Mariner24
Final strip sewn and pressed open, ready to be trimmed!

Trim and put them aside, ready for assembly.

Inner Circle Compass

To piece the inner circle compass, piece as follows: Piece Y, Z, AA and AB. Piece AC, AD, AE and AF Use QSTs from Fabric#2 at piece#1 in all these templates.

The inner circle templates pieced. ( I have added an additional 1/4
The inner circle templates pieced. ( I have added an additional 1/4″ beyond the outer trim line, as I am going to try out something new for joining this to the ring.)

Assembly Instructions

Use the Master Template given in the Instructions File as a guide for assembly.

Outer Ring

I suggest you make piles of the templates as follows: A-B-C ; D-E-F;  G-H-I; J-K-L; M-N-O and P-Q-R. Put aside S-T-U-V-W-X

Templates in piles...
Templates in piles…

To join the templates, pin them first at the outer, broader edge. I like to insert vertical pins, matching the seams, before pinning on the seam line.

Round the Year Quilt Block 16 Mariner24
Vertical pins where seams will meet.
Horizontal pins on seam line. the vertical pins are now removed
Horizontal pins on seam line; the vertical pins are now being removed.

This results in perfectly matched seams and corners!

Perfecto!
Perfecto!

And so we sew the piles as follows ABC, DEF, GHI, JKL, MNO, PQR. Now bring on the pile S-T..X and add these, following the master template.

Work with the Master Template! Do not let the mirror image confuse you.
Work with the Master Template! Do not let the mirror image confuse you.

So you have 6 sets of partly assembled templates as follows: ABCS, DEFT, GHIU, JKLV, MNOX and PQRW. Remove the paper from the seams. You may like to press the seams open; I like to press them in one direction; all of them then must be pressed either clockwise or anti-clockwise. I also removed the paper from the inner templates, leaving it intact only at the circumference and inner edge. Round the Year Quilt Block 16 Mariner24 Now sew these together.

The 'ring' from the back...
The ‘ring’ from the back…
Round the Year Quilt Block 16 Mariner24
… and from the front!

 Inner Circle Assembly

Assemble the inner circle in quarters … Round the Year Quilt Block 16 Mariner24 then in halves. Again, I like to press the seams in one direction. Round the Year Quilt Block 16 Mariner24 and finally the full circle. I stitch first from one edge to the centre and reverse. Break thread, and stitch from the other edge to the centre.  I then rip open a bit of the crossover seam at the centre to give the seams a ‘twirl’. Round the Year Quilt Block 16 Mariner24

Final Assembly

I have not assembled the final block as of now. But this is how I suggest it be done: Join the ring to the square using your favourite method. Finally, appliqué the centre circle. Another look at the block and what inspired it.

Round the Year Quilt, Block 16, Mariner24
The Inspiration and the Block!

I hope you will love making this block! I assure you the result is well worth the effort. Take it easy, enjoy every seam and then savour all the oohs and aahs your work receives! I have also, more or less, finalised the layout I am going to use for these blocks. I shall share it with you soon.

This is where you download the instructions and templates for the block. You would need Adobe Reader ( download for free online) to be able to read these PDF files.

1.BLOCK16 MARINER24 Instructions

2.BLOCK16 MARINER24 Paper Piecing Templates

While all my Dreamcatcher patterns are free and will continue to remain so, may I request you to visit the webpage of my favourite not-for-profit organization Samarpan Foundation and donate whatever you deem fit towards the wonderful work they are doing to spread joy, peace and happiness through the world? 

Winding Ways Wheel – Block Fifteen Dreamcatcher Round the Year Quilt

Block15 Winding Ways Wheel, Round the Year Quilt
The Winding Ways Wheel , Block 15 of the Round the Year Quilt

Can you believe this is the last but one block the Round 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!

Fabric Requirement

Winding Ways Wheel – Fabric Code and Colour Pattern

This block will be appliquéd to the background square. You will need a 19″ square in Fabric#1 .


Printing Instructions

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.

Prepare the freezer paper for printing by pressing the edges lightly on regular printing paper.

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.

Piecing and assembly diagram


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!

Do not pin like this! The pin should face the other way, stick out!

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.

You need only two pins…

Once you are past the centre notch, use a pair of small forceps/ tweezers to gently align the fabric and finish the curve.

Use a pair of tweezers to ease fabric and match corners neatly

Piece all A-B sets. Press seam towards B.

Press seams 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.

Two pins – one at narrow end and other at centre notch.

Press seam towards A.

Do not skip on the pressing after each stage, if you want a pretty block.

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!

I adjusted my needle position, so that the 1/4″ seam is on the left and the fabric on the right! On my Husqvarna VIking Topaz 20, this position is -1.8

Again, press the seam towards A.

Getting there! Note the seams…


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.

Use a smaller stitch length, fix the thread ends. Finger press open.

Join the corner B pieces to Sections#6 and #7 and press seam open.

Sections #6 and # 7 – press the seam open after joining corner pieces

All our sections are pieced!

Assembly Instructions

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.

Do not be in a hurry here!


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.

Not perfect . I ripped a few cms and re-did it!


Ready for final assembly…


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!

Those seams are nasty!

Sew. Press seams open.

I like that!


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.

Neat?


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 pretty, pretty Winding Ways Wheel Block!


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!

So here are the files in PDF format. To be able to view these, you need Acrobat Reader which you can download for free.

1. BLOCK 15 WINDING WAYS WHEEL Templates

2. BLOCK 15 WINDING WAYS WHEEL Instructions

While all my Dreamcatcher patterns are free and will continue to remain so, may I request you to visit the webpage of my favourite not-for-profit organization Samarpan Foundation and donate whatever you deem fit towards the wonderful work they are doing to spread joy, peace and happiness through the world? 

The (Almost) Fractal Mandala – Block Fourteen, Dreamcatcher Round the Year Quilt

I started designing Block Fourteen as a tribute to the  Dear Jane quilt. I experimented with a number of the Dear Jane triangular blocks, placing them revolving around a centre point to make a circle. This design came about when I was playing (on the free Quilt Assistant software ) with the block where flying geese fly outwards. I immediately fell in love with it! It does have a hypnotic quality to it, like a Mandala you can meditate upon. Also, if you take each of those wedges and subtract the outer level, the design remains the same. So, I have been trying ( in vain) to convince the few mathematicians whom I know, that this pattern a fractal! As a concession to them, I call this the (Almost) Fractal Mandala.

And so, I present to you, Block 14 of the Round the Year Block of the Month Quilt, the (Almost) Fractal Mandala!

Much to my chagrin, I discovered after I had made the block, that a similar block ( I do not know the name) already exists! I am still very proud of it, because I discovered my Mount Everest on my own, and climbed it too! So there!

Block 14 ( Almost) Fractal Mandala, Round the Year Quilt
Block 14 ( Almost) Fractal Mandala, Round the Year Quilt

The block, like all other blocks of the BOM quilt, is designed as a 15″ circle inset in an 18.5″ ( unfinished) square. It is a deceptively easy block to piece, hence not too many photos accompany this post.

The templates and instructions can be downloaded from the links at the end of this post. You can find the links to patterns for all the other blocks of this quilt on the Round the Year Quilt Page ( click on the link above).

The brilliant Tina Katwal, one of the pioneer quilters from India, took out time from her busy schedule to test this block and you have to thank her, that you do not struggle with stingy fabric requirements!

Fabric Requirement

The Dusk colourway uses 4 shades of blue and 4 fabrics in a contrasting yellow to orange range. I suggest you use use solids or very small prints combined with solids to best highlight the design element of the block. I have used Fossil Fern by Benartex for mine.

Fabric Code Block 14 Almost Fractal Mandala
Fabric Code Block 14 Almost Fractal Mandala

This is a great block for using any scraps/ strips of various sizes and shapes left over from the previous blocks. Nevertheless, I have tried to give some kind of estimate of the fabric requirement.

Please spray starch and press all your fabric before cutting!

Fabric Colour

Code

Fabric needed
 

Orange

4

2.5″ x 32″
 

Gold

5

4″ x 19″
 

Light Orange

6

3.5″ x 14″
 

Yellow

7

3.5″ x18″
 

Light Blue

1

4.5″ square
20″ x 12.5″ strip
 

Medium Blue

2

3″ WOF strip +
strips 8″ -10″of various widths 1.75 to 2.5″
 

Deepest Blue

3

3″ WOF strip
strips 8-10″ of various widths 1.75 to 2.5″
 

Medium-Deep Blue

8

4.5″ square

 Cutting Instructions

I suggest you label your fabric so that you do not get confused as you cut so many strips. An easy way to do this is sticking a piece of freezer paper with the code on it on the strip!

For ease in piecing, you can cut and sort your fabric template wise as follows:

Fabric Code ABCD EFGH IJKL MNOP QRST UVWX
4 Orange   For diamonds 2 strips 2.5″ x 16″        
5 Gold   4 HSTs 3.5″ For diamonds 2 strips 2″ x 12″      
6 Light Orange 4 HSTs 3.5″ 4 HSTs 3.5″        
7 Yellow 4 HSTs 3.5″     2 strips 1.75″ x 11″ for diamonds    
1 Light blue         4QSTs from 4.5″ square 20″ x 12.5″
2 Medium blue 3″ x 19″ 4HSTs 3″ 4HSTs 3″ 4HSTs 2.5″ 4HSTs 2.0″    4HSTs 1.75″ 4QSTs 3″  
3 Deepest blue 3″ x 19″ 4 HSTs 3″ 4HSTs 3″ 4HSTs 2.5″ 4HSTs 2.0″ 4HSTs 1.75″ 4QSTs 3″  
8 Medium to deep blue         4QSTs from 4.5″ square  

While I pieced with strips, I thought it would have made life much simpler had I cut the diamonds earlier. Note that the two sets of diamonds on each template face opposite directions, hence the 2 strips in the cutting instructions for the diamonds. Here is my fabric for the block, all cut and sorted.

Fabric cut and sorted out
Fabric cut and sorted out

  Templates

1. Print the templates with your printer settings at 100% (or actual size).

2. Templates A to H are given in two parts each, with instructions to glue them. You could also piece these separately and then join at the centre seams. I have done that for the first two sets of templates, ABCD and EFGH.

3. Glue together the two parts of background Template U on the edge indicated. Use this to cut 4 identical pieces for U, V, W and X and put aside.

Piecing Instructions

I suggest piecing alphabetically,that is first on the larger templates at circle edge. You can use scraps from the larger pieces on the smaller templates inside! Piece in the following order:

– A, B, C and D

– E, F, G and H

– I, J, K and L

– M, N, O and P

– Q, R, S and T

Templates A, B, C and D had been printed on freezer paper, without gluing on the centre line as indicated In the templates. Cutting the wedges became as simple as this…

You could also use ordinary paper printed templates...
You could also use ordinary paper printed templates…

All I had to do was to add the triangles on the wedges. (If you have glued your templates A,B, C and D between pieces #3 and #4, plese do not get confused by these photos!)

You can glue the two halves of the templates togeteher and piece them in one go!
You can glue the two halves of the templates togeteher and piece them in one go!

E, F, G and H were (each) also pieced in halves without gluing in the centre, and sewn together on the centre later, just before assembly.

E, F, G and H pieced in halves...
E, F, G and H pieced in halves…you can glue the templates at centre between piece# 3 and #4 and piece these as  single units!


For the rest of the templates, I pieced with strips, like I said, placing the strips perpendicular to each other as I went along.

Place the strip for the diiamond at right angles to the previous strip and sew on seam line
Place the strip for the diiamond at right angles to the previous strip and sew on seam line
Covering the diamond...
Covering the diamond…

Block 14 Almost Fractal Mandala, Round the Year QuiltBlock 14 Almost Fractal Mandala, Round the Year Quilt

A triangular piece comes in next, note, in the upcoming photo, that the blue strip was placed straight along the template for this seam between piece #3 and #4. This is followed by another diamond strip at right angles to the template. Use the other diamond strip for this!

Note the  blue strip for piece#4 is placed straight along template. The diamond yellow is again at right angles
Note the blue strip for piece#4 is placed straight along template. The diamond yellow is again at right angles

After that diamond, there is only one more blue triangle to add and we are done!

Similarly, piece all the templates, I to P. Once you get the hang of it, it comes up really fast!

I did not take too many pics, but here are a couple of photos of the centre templates Q, R, S and T being pieced!

Templates Q, R, S and T ready for piecing...
Templates Q, R, S and T ready for chain piecing…
and done except for the corners ... fast work!
…and done, except for the corners! Fast work!

The scraps from the previous templates come in useful for the corners of the centre templates!

Assembly Instructions

Use the Master Template (mirror image) as a guide to assembly. The Instructions file also contains a coloured mirror image guide.

I removed the paper before assembly.

The Master Template is a mirror image! Left is right and right is left!
The Master Template is a mirror image! Left is right and right is left!

Assemble the block in quadrants. But before you begin, lay them all together to see if all is in order, and of course, to admire!

I love this! Piecing finished in one evening!
I love this! Piecing finished in one evening!

( First, I sewed the respective template halves A to H. If you glued your templates before piecing you will not need to do this. )

I am ready for assembly now! I joined the outermost two templates A to E; B to F; C to G and D to H, and put them aside. (as I did not want to risk the wedges on the A, B, C and D templates getting misshapen.)

The rest of the templates, I joined from centre outwards. ( All templates at each ‘level’ are similar so it really does not matter whether you pick up M or N to join to Q, R, S or T!)

Here is the finished circle, from the back. Note that seams on adjoining quadrants are pressed in opposite directions, so that they interlock.

As far as possible, press adjoining seams in opposite directions to interlock them when sewing ... ensures sharper corners!
As far as possible, press adjoining seams in opposite directions to interlock them when sewing … ensures sharper corners!

5. Done ! Now join the background. You can join the individual quadrants to the background pieces U, V, W and X and then join the 4 squares together to form the 18.5″ square.

I am not joining any of the circles to the background till all of them are done.

We begin putting the quilt top together in May, after the final sixteenth block comes up on 1st May.

Block 15 will be posted only on 16th April 2015 as I am travelling and am otherwise busy, so you have plenty of time to catch up, if you began late or are straggling behind on the blocks.

Meanwhile, do put in a comment if you like this block and are doing this quilt… and make my day! Please write in if you have a problem with the instructions, or if you discover a better way of piecing my blocks.

I would also love to see your blocks posted on my Facebook page Patchwork of My Life.

Okay, so we are all done here, except for one important thing, the block pattern and instructions! You need Adobe Acrobat on your computer ( available for free download) to be able to view these files.

1.Block 14 Fractal Mandala Instructions

2.Block 14 Fractal Mandala Templates

While all my Dreamcatcher patterns are free and will continue to remain so, may I request you to visit the webpage of my favourite not-for-profit organization Samarpan Foundation and donate whatever you deem fit towards the wonderful work they are doing to spread joy, peace and happiness through the world? 

Feathered Star , Block Thirteen of the Dreamcatcher Round the Year Quilt

Block 13 Feathered Star

The Feathered Star

is one of the prettiest traditional star blocks. It looks deceptively difficult to piece, but comes together beautifully, everything falling in place just so! While drafting it for Block 13 in the Round the Year Quilt, I could avoid the ‘y’ seam altogether by a small change in the paper piecing pattern, making it easier still! Like all other blocks of this block of the month quilt, this also is drafted as a 15″ paper pieced circle and set in an 18″ (finished) square.

The templates and the Instructions for the Blocks can be downloaded from the links at the end of this post. You can access the patterns for the other blocks of this quilt from links on this page.

There are two template files, one containing the paper piecing templates. You may also wish to download individual templates for the background and other pieces , I worked with strips and rectangles.

Print the Templates Files with your printer settings on 100% or actual size, in portrait mode. One way to check if your templates are printing correctly is to check if the ¼” seam allowance is correct! Check that on a straight edge, not on a corner or a curve! 

Cut out the templates.

Print the Instructions File and keep at hand; you can refer to this blogpost for step by step instructions with pictures.

 Fabric Requirement

For the block in the Dusk Colourway, I have used 3 shades of blue ( other than the background) and 4 contrasting colours in the yellow-to- orange range.

I suggest you pin a slip of paper with the fabric code on your chosen fabrics. You could also press a small scrap of freezer paper with the code on the fabric. I also recommend starching your fabric crisply before cutting it.

Fabric Coding for the Feathered Star

 

Fabric

Fabric Code

Background*

Star

Feathers

Wedges*

Total pieces in block
Light blue 3 3 rectangles 10″ x 6″ 3
Light-medium blue 2 2.5″ x 10″ 2″ x 20″ (2 strips) 3.5″ x 20″ 27
Medium blue 4 2″ x 20″ (2 strips) 3.5″ x 20″ 30
Deep blue 1 3 rectangles 10″ x 6″ 2.5″ x 10″ 6
Yellow 8 1.75″ x 14″ 6
Gold 5 2″ x 20″ (4 strips) 42
Light orange 7 3″ x 15″ 6
Deep orange 6 3″ x 15″ 6

* Cutting Instructions

NOTE: I have italicized the names of the templates after `Z’, to avoid confusion. 

Background (Optional)

Use Templates AK, AL and AM (from the Individual templates File) to cut background in fabric#3. Label and keep aside.

Now use same Templates to cut Fabric#1 background rectangles, labeling them AN, AO and AP respectively.

You may want to appliqué the completed circle on the square. In this case, the option is to join the longer sides of two rectangles measuring 9.75″ x 19″ in fabrics #3 and #1 to make a square 19″ and put away till your circle is pieced.

Wedges

Cut as follows –

From the strip 3.5″ x 20″ of Fabric#2 cut and label as follows

3 pieces using Template AI for AI, Y and AA

3 pieces using Template AJ for AJ, Z and AB

From the strip 3.5″ x 20″ of Fabric#4 cut and label as follows

3 pieces using Template AI for AG, AC, AE ( Note – AI is identical to AG)

3 pieces using Template AJ for AH, AD, AF ( Note – AJ is identical to AH)

This is how I cut the wedges. I traced my templates AI and AJ on freezer paper.

I layered the two 3.5″ x 20″ strips of fabric #2 and #4, both wrong sides up. I pressed the freezer paper templates on the wrong side and cut the strips as shown in the pic below. If you do not have freezer paper, simply pin plain paper templates on the strips!

Cutting the wedges. Remember to keep the wrong side of the fabric UP when using printed templates which are mirror images!

Piecing Instructions

I like to sort the templates according to the shape and then colour coding ( if possible) for maximum efficiency and least confusion, before I start my piecing. This makes chain piecing simpler too, as the fabric can be stacked in piles in the correct order, accordingly.

General tips on paper piecing for these blocks have been given in this blogpost.

Piecing the Star

Strip chain piece the inner star in 4 lots .:

A, I and Q

E, M and U

B, J and R

F, N and V



Piecing the feathers

Sort the templates in 4 lots as follows.

C, G and W

D, H and X

K, O and S

L, P and T.

Note – I have provided an individual template for the diamond at the corner of the feathers. You may like to cut 6 diamonds and keep them aside before you start piecing the feathers.

After experimenting with strip chain piecing and rectangles, I tried the following method, which I found to be most efficient way to piece the feather row.

Trim the previous piece ¼” beyond seam line. Line up incoming strip parallel to the template. Sew on the seam line.

For sewing triangles facing opposite diections, line up the incoming strip so…


… as viewed from the printed paper side. Sew on seamline.

Open the strip. It will lie at an angle to the template.

The opened up strip covers the entire equal-sided triangle.

( This does not work with any triangles other than those where all three sides are equal, as in this case.)

Now trim the strip at the edge of the template. The triangular piece is fully covered …and a seam allowance is also available!

Trim along the paper edge! Simple!

As viewed from the right side:

Once you get the hang of it, the piecing is quick!

Add the next strip as before.

It is better to work simultaneously on templates from each of the lots, as the direction of the ‘slant'( after cutting ) will alternate with each seam. The strips can be switched around accordingly.

Caution: When you reach the diamond ( piece #7) towards the end of templates D, H, L, P…etc, trim the strip after only covering the full diamond piece. As mentioned earlier, I have also provided an individual template for cutting the diamond pieces. You can use these ( instead of strips) when you reach this step.

Once the feathered rows are done, we are ready to assemble the block.

After the problems I had with Block Twelve, I `mock assemble’ the block at every stage to ensure all is proceeding well.

Assembly Instructions

This Master Template is used as a guide to assembly. Remember, it is a mirror image of the final block, which means it shows the block from the back (printed paper) side.


Step 1: Assembling the inner star ‘points’

Join A to B; I to J; Q to R;

Sew E to F; M to N and U to V.

Removing the paper makes this step easier, as the seams can be ‘locked’.


End of Step 1:

You end up with 6 pieced diamonds which will make up the inner star.

The inner unfeathered star

Step 2: Feathering the wedges

Sort the templates shapewise and then colourwise and sew the feather rows to the respective wedges. Just remember, the colour on the feathers and the wedges should be the same!

First the shorter feathered rows to the `blunt-edged’ wedges!

Sew W to AI ; C to Y; G to AA.

Sew K to AC; O to AE and S to AG

First join the feathers to the outer wedges.,,here are the blunt wedges joined to the ‘short’ feathers
Block 13 Feathered Star Assembly
The ‘blunt’ wedges with the ‘short’ feathers

Now the ‘pointy’ wedges to the longer feathered rows (with the diamonds)

Sew D to Z ; H to AB; X to AJ

Sew L to AD; P to AF and T to AH.

Block 13 Feathered Star Assembly
The ‘pointy’ wedges get their feathers ( with a diamond)…

Here they are, all done! Did I tell you it is very important to press after each step?

Almost done!


..as is to arrange them again as per the final design to ensure there is no mix up anywhere!?

Step 3 : Joining the feathered wedges to the inner star ‘diamond shapes’

We are almost there, ready to give the inner star its feathers.

Sew AB to CY; EF to G.AA ; UV to W.AI

Sew IJ to K.AC; MN to O.AE and QR to S.AG

Block 13 Feathered Star

These look a mess! But just one more step and…


Step 4

I again arrange the templates assembled so far to ensure all is going well.

I am down to the last step that I will be doing for now!


Join ABCY to DZ; EFG.AA to H.AB; UVW.AI to X.AJ

IJK.AC to L.AD; MNO.AE to P.AF; QRS.AG to T.AH


And I am done!!

Twinkle , twinkle feathered star!


Our 6 star wedges are ready.

Final Assembly

This is a step I am skipping for now.

You could join the 6 wedges to complete your circle and appliqué it to 19″ square. Trim to 18.5″ after the appliqué.

Block 13 Feathered Star Assembly
Assemble the six wedges to complete your feathered star in a circle and applique to piced square

OR

Join to background pieces as follows, (referring to the star centre) before finally joining them:

Wedge with U to AK; wedge with A to AL; wedge with E to AM; wedge with I to AN; wedge with M to AO; wedge with Q to AP.

Block 13 Feathered Star Assembly

Block 13 Feathered Star Assembly
Join individual wedges to background pieces …

Join these along the straight lines follwing the Master Template to obtain your feathered star!

Some people have asked for the Master Template in colour.

Block 13 Feathered Star
This is a mirror image, what is on the right (in the block front )appears on the left and vice versa. The number in brackets stands for the Fabric Code.

Don’t forget to share your Feathered Star on my Facebook Page Patchwork of My Life! Click on the link on the right to like my page and gain access to it.

I must not forget to mention Prabha Mathew who tested the block for me and pointed out some errors in the original pattern, which I have tried to take care of! Thank you so much, Prabha 🙂

You can download the patterns for all the blocks of this quilt from the Round the Year Quilt Page on this blog.

Have fun!

1. Block 13 Feathered Star Instructions including Fabric Requirement and Master Template

2, Block 13 Feathered star Paper piecing Templates Revised

3. Block 13 Feathered star Individual templates

While all my Dreamcatcher patterns are free and will continue to remain so, may I request you to visit the webpage of my favourite not-for-profit organization Samarpan Foundation and donate whatever you deem fit towards the wonderful work they are doing to spread joy, peace and happiness through the world? 

Block Twelve Dozens Squared, Dreamcatcher Round the Year Quilt

This is a block that has given me much heartache , and that story deserves its very own blogpost! Meanwhile, here it is, Dozens Squared, the twelfth block of the Round the Year Block of the Month Quilt.

Block Twelve Dozens Squared, Round the Year Quilt BOM (Rainbow)

 

The block finishes at 18.5″ square (including seam allowance), with a 15″ inset circle. It is partly paper foundation pieced; the templates and instructions  can be downloaded in PDF format from the links at the end of this post.

What’s in a name?

This Block 12 of the Round the Year BOM Quilt is inspired by the beautiful Jack’s Chain block. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to call it. I thought of something to do with 9-patches and then Jill’s Chain! But then I counted the number of pieces in the circle – 144. It could not be chance that Block Twelve should contain twelve twelves, could it? The name would have to to have some reference to this, I thought. No way I was going to call it ` Gross’, which is the correct nomenclature for a dozen dozens! Dozens Squared sounded better, also as the dozens would in any case be inset in a square!

 

Fabric Requirement

The fabric requirement for the block is given for the Dusk colourway. I have scrapped the block that I made in the Dusk colours (not this) – I thought it looked quite ugly (gross?)!

Block Twelve Dozens Squared, Round the Year Quilt – Dusk – Fabric Code

 

Fabric Colour

Fabric Code

Background

Nine patches

Centre

Spiked wedges

Circle edge wedges

Lightest blue

1

19″ square OR
10.5″ x 25″
Two 6″ squares 2.25″ x 8″
Medium Blue

4

Two 6″ squares 2.25″ x 8″   Two 2″ x 8″
Medium-dark blue

3

Two 6″ squares 2.25″ x 8″   Two 2″ x 8″
Deep blue

2

  2.25″ x 20″ 2.5″ x 36
2.0″ x 36″
Two 2″ x 8″
Yellow

8

2.25″ x 6″
Gold

6

2.5″ x 12″
2″ x 12″
Light Orange

7

2.5″ x 12″
2″ x 12″
Orange

5

2.5″ x 12″
2″ x 12″

 

Please refer to the downloadable Instructions File, if you want detailed cutting instructions!

Printing Instructions

Please remember to print the Templates file with your printer
setting at 100% or Actual size in portrait mode. Cut out the paper piecing Templates.

I recommend printing also the Instructions file and keeping the Master Template (provided in the Instructions File) at hand when assembling the block. A line drawing version of the Master Template is also included in the file (also a mirror image ). You can use colour pencils to experiment with your own colour combinations!

 

Piecing Instructions

The Nine-Patches Quick Method

Piece the six 9-patches A, B, C, D, E and F using the quick 9-patch method. The pictures I am showing here are for the rainbow block. You will start with 3 pairs of 6 inch squares.

 

 

For the Dusk version, team upthe squares in 3 pairs.
For the Dusk version, team up the squares in 3 pairs.
Note that we do not measure 2" from edge, but 1.75" from seamline!
Note that we do not measure 2″ from edge, but 1.75″ from seamline!
Similarly from the other seam!
Similarly from the other seam!
Quick NIne Patch Square
Sew to get two strip sets. Press to darker side – I chose blue here.
Quick Nine Patch Square
If you are doing the Dusk version, you would already be working with 6″ squares. This would be irrelevant!

 

Quick 9 patch squares
Pair up the strip sets. Careful! Check you have the right pairing!
Sew on the shorter sides.
Sew on the shorter sides.
Quick 9 patch squares
Cut 1.75″ from both the seams…
Quick 9-patche squares
…and sew the centre strip to the double strip sets from the sides

For the block we need 9-patches which finish at 3.5″, so we will need to trim these to 4″,  with centre square remaining at 1.5″.

Quick 9-patch
Mark the centre ( of the centre square!) and trim to 2″ from it on all sides.

You could also use the template A to match and trim the 9-patches to size.

Quick 9 -patch squares
Done!

Piecing the Centre

I would suggest cutting the strips into triangles before you start piecing. Lay the 60 degree line in alternating directions as you cut the triangles – remember to leave 1/4″ on the top before you cut in the opposite direction.

Block Twelve Dozens Squared, Round the Year Quilt
I used strips left over from previous blocks;  in paper piecing, one need not be accurate in cutting! The next set of triangles will be cut by changing the ruler direction.

 

If doing the Rainbow block, I may mention that a 6″ x 2.25″ yields 3 traingles quite comfortably. I used 8 different colours for the centre.

The pieced centre triangle templates from the Dusk block
The pieced centre triangle templates from the Dusk block

In no time, you would have the templates S, T, U, V, W and Xpieced. Put these aside.

Spiked Wedges

Now we come to the 12 spiked wedges G, H, I…Q, R.

Each of these wedges has 5 pieces. Before you start the actual piecing, I suggest you pin pieces # 1  (2.5″ x  1.5″) and #2 (HST 2.5″) on all the templates. This helps save time in sorting colours and sizes of the upcoming pieces!

IMG_1648

Block 12 Dozens Squared

Chain piecing must be the greatest innovation in sewing, don’t you think? In no time we are ready for piece#3, (which is the largest piece, at 2″ x 4″)

Align the corner of the rectangle to the busiest corner on the template!
Align the corner of the rectangle to the busiest corner on the template!
Note the angle and placement of  the piece.
Note the angle and placement of the rectangular piece. It should completely cover the area under Section #3 when opened out.

Trim the excess seam allowance.

Step 2 continued... trim to seam allowance!
Step 2 continued… I like to trim to upcoming seam allowance – 1/4″ beyond the seamline!

Press open. Piece #4 is easy! Just align the long edges of the two pieces and sew!

I like to trim the just stitched piece to just 1/4" beyond the upcoming seam line!
Add piece #4

Chain piecing, as usual!

Piece#4 chained in place
Piece#4 chained in place

Block 12 Dozens Squared

We are ready for the last step – sewing piece #5 – a rectangle 2″ x 2.5″ ( I used 1.5″ x 2.5″ rectangles, but they made a tight fit, so I have changed the width to 2″.) Again, please check the rectangle placement before sewing to ensure you have the paper section fully covered.

IMG_1698

 

All our piecing is done, all that remains is the assembly!

 

Assembly Instructions

Assemble the block, using the Master Template as a guide. Remember, the Master Template is a mirror image and shows the block as it would look from the printed paper (reverse) side. As seen here, what is on left appears on right and vice versa.

 

1. Sew the spiked wedge (halves) to either side of the respective 9-patches.

Sew G and J to opposite sides of A; M and P to opposite sides of C; H and K to opposite sides of E;

Sew N and Q to opposite sides of B; I and L to opposite sides of D; O and R to opposite sides of F.

2. Sew the centre pieced triangles to the 9-patch template sets.

Sew S to GAJ; V to MCP; T to HEK; W to NBQ; U to IDL and X to OFR.

3. Sew the respective circle edge wedges to the just assembled template sets. Here is some auditioning of fabric for the circle edges…

Block 12 Dozzens Squared Round the Year Block 12 Dozzens Squared Round the Year Block 12 Dozzens Squared Round the Year Block 12 Dozzens Squared Round the Year

…before I settle on this!

Block 12 Dozzens Squared Round the Year

4. Final Assembly

Option 1


Join background pieces AE1/ AH1 to wedge set containing A and B;

Join the background pieces  AF1/AI1 to wedge set containing F and E;

Join background pieces  AG1/AJ1 to wedge set containing D and C.

Join in threes – pieced set AE1, AF1 and AG1 to form one half; and the other 3 pieced sets to form the other half

Join the two halves to form the full block.

Option 2

Join the pieced sets to form the full circle and appliqué it to the background square using your favourite method.

Trim to 18.5″ square.

I am giving the Fabric Requirements for the Rainbow block in a separate blogpost.

Meanwhile, here are the links to the downloadable PDF Instrcutions and Tempalte Files for the block.

1.BLOCK 12 DOZENS SQUARED Instructions

2. BLOCK 12 Dozens Squared Dusk PAPER PIECING TEMPLATES

While all my Dreamcatcher patterns are free and will continue to remain so, may I request you to visit the webpage of my favourite not-for-profit organization Samarpan Foundation and donate whatever you deem fit towards the wonderful work they are doing to spread joy, peace and happiness through the world? 

Blue Aster – Block Eleven of the Dreamcatcher Round the Year Quilt

Blue Aster Quilt Block Round the Year Quilt Block 11The Blue Aster is Block 11 of the Round the Year Quilt. The 15″ pieced circle is inset in an 18″ ( finished) square.

The foundation paper pieced block is very quick to piece. The centre introduces inset or y seams for the first time in this BOM.  The block was tested for me by the lovely Anuradha Ramesh, who also tested the Sapphire Fire block!

If you want the patterns of the previous ten blocks of this quilt, you can find all the links on the Round the Year Quilt page. The Templates and Instructions for this block can be downloaded in printable pdf format from the links  at the end of this post.

Fabric Requirement

In the Dusk colourway, the block uses 4 shades of blue for the petals besides some small scraps of yellows and oranges.

Fabric Coding for Blue Aster

 

Fabric For Petals For Centre ( pieces# 3 & 4on I to L) For Edges
Light Blue

1

2.25″ x 7.5″ ( 8 pieces)
Medium Light Blue

2

2.25″x 6.5″ ( 8 pieces)
Medium Dark Blue

3

2.5″x 7.5″ ( 4 pieces)
Deep Blue

4

2.5″x 6.5″ ( 4 pieces)
Deep Orange

5

1.75″ x 5″ 1.75″ x 2.5″ ( 8 pieces)
Light Orange

7

1.75″ x 5″ 1.75″ x 2.5″ ( 8 pieces)
Gold

8

1.75″ x 5″ 1.75″ x 2.5″ ( 8 pieces)
Yellow

6

1.75″ x 5″ 1.75″ x 2.5″ ( 8 pieces)

 

 Printing Instructions

  1. Print the Templates File with your printer settings at 100% or actual size in portrait mode.
  2. Print and keep a copy of the Instructions File for ready reference.
  3. Cut out the paper piecing templates.

Piecing and Assembly Instructions

1. Follow the step by step Instructions for best utilization of your fabric to piece templates A to H.

2. Piece templates I to L

The Master Template is a mirror image – the paper pieced block from the printed paper side!

 

3. Follow the Master template to join the templates as follows:

Join A to B; Join C to D; Join E to F; Join G to H. You can press seams open to reduce bulk. (I originally did, but then sewed a couple of them to one side with the next seam. I think I  will never be able to sew with seams pressed open!)

We now encounter inset ot `y’ seams at the next step. You may refer to the step by step instructions if you are uncertain how to proceed.

Begin at the pointed end of the wedges, leaving ¼” for insetting seam to join AB to I at A1 ; join CD to J At C1, join EF to K at E1 and join GH to L at G1.

Now match the seams at the centre and join IAB to JCD.

Similarly, join KEF to LGH.

Finally join the two halves to make your full flower.

Applique the circle to an 18.5″ background square to complete your full block 11, Blue Aster. I recommend taking a larger square and trimming it to size.

 Step by Step Instructions

For general tips on paper piecing for the blocks in this BOM, you can look at this post I published some time back.

It is a good idea to pin when handling large or unwieldy fabric pieces!

Pin the Fabric#1 strips on the templates I, J, K and L and keep aside.

You may have noticed that we cut only 4 pieces  of the medium and dark blue fabric, whereas they are used in 8 places each! One thing I hate about paper piecing is the amount of fabric one wastes. So, this is how I found a way out, without complicating the cutting instructions!

We `prepare’ templates A to H for piecing.

Pin the rectangular piece of Fabric#3 on piece A1, C1, E1 and G1, aligning one long edge of the fabric ¼” beyond seamline between piece#1 and #3 on the template(s).

Pin for 1/4″ seam, letting the excess fabric hang out

Trim the excess fabric piece.

The excess fabric is trimmed away …

Pin the excess pieces of fabric at piece#1 on templates B, D, F and H.

… and used on the other 4 templates!

Fold the template at seam line between pieces # 1 and #2 on all the templates A to H and trim the fabric beyond the seam line towards circular edge (adding ¼” seam allowance).

I have discovered that trimming to the seam allowance BEFORE piecing makes life easier!

We are ready to start piecing templates A to H. Remember the wrong side of the fabric should touch the paper. Also, travel ¼” beyond the seam line when piecing.

Initially, I used strips of the yellow- orange fabrics to piece the small wedge to the `petals’, but later concluded that piecing with the 1.75″ x 2.5″ rectangles was more efficient and facilitated chain piecing. I am not giving a picture so that I can avoid confusion!

Chain piece all templates A to H up to piece #4.

Add the fifth piece only to templates A , C, E and G, aligning one edge of the fabric as we did for piece #1.

Now fold back the paper on the incoming seam line like in the picture below. Do not worry about the paper getting torn at the seam.

Using one rectangle to piece two long triangles!

Trim, allowing for a ¼” seam.

Don’t throw away that trimming!

This excess fabric piece will be used for piece#5 on templates B,D, F and H.

Use it here!

Add piece#6 on all the templates A to H. With this, templates B, D, F and H are pieced and can be kept aside. Proceed to finish piecing templates A, C , E and G; and I to J.

When piecing I to J templates: first sew the respective 1.75″ x 5″ strip at piece #3 on each of the templates. Trim off and keep the excess fabric piece for sewing at place#4 on the other templates as required. 

TThis block is perhaps the quickest to cut and piece!

 Assembly Instructions

Flip the pieced templates to the printed side and arrange the templates using the Master Template as a guide.

Pin templates A to B; C to D; E to F and G to H, taking care to ensure you have the right edges together…

Ensure you have the correct edges together!

 

…and sew. I pressed open the seams ( temporarily, as the final picture will confirm!), but you could also press them downwards, towards the edge.

Remove the excess paper from the seams.

It has been easy so far. Now comes some not-so-simple sewing!

We are ready to join AB to I, CD to J, Ef to K and GH to L.

Pin the edges on the alignment markers. Begin the seam, sewing from centre to edge, on the seam line, leaving the ¼” seam allowance at the top unstitched.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is how it looks from the other side…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of this, you will have 4 joined templates, IAB, JCD, KEF and LGH. We are ready to join these in pairs.

Again we begin sewing at the centre. If your centre looks good, the rest of the block looks good too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start sewing from the corner of the centre and stop short of the end by ¼” , just where the `petals’ begin.

Now align the `petals’ and sew  down the straight edges out to the circumference.

 

You can start this seam from the corner, including the 1/4″ shown left unstitched in this picture. I went back and sewed that bit afterwards.

 

One half is ready!

There actually no points to match, so everything falls in place neatly!

Similarly join the other pair KEF to LGH.

 

Now to join the two halves…again we begin at the centre, matching the centre seams, and leaving ¼” at both ends.

Again, begin at the centre…this is the only time you have to match points!

 

We are down the last two seams!

… the final seams are down the petals to the circle edge.

 

Turn it around!

Press the seams.

Flip over and admire your Blue Aster.

Applique your circle to a 19″ square. Trim to 18.5″ square.

You can click on the links below to download the pdf pattern for this simple block  designed by me ( if anyone else has also had the same idea, my apologies for claiming it  – as far as I know, it is an original!) .

1. BLOCK 11 BLUE ASTER Paper Piecing Templates  Round the Year Quilt

2. Block 11 Blue Aster Instructions Round the Year Quilt.

While all my Dreamcatcher patterns are free and will continue to remain so, may I request you to visit the webpage of my favourite not-for-profit organization Samarpan Foundation and donate whatever you deem fit towards the wonderful work they are doing to spread joy, peace and happiness through the world? 

Spiked Dresden – Block Eight, Round the Year Quilt

Round the Year Quilt Block08 Spiked Dresden

We are already halfway through in this Block of the Month quilt!?! This Spiked Dresden is the eighth of the sixteen blocks that will make up the Round the Year Quilt. The block is 18″ square with a 15″ inset circle, like the other blocks of this quilt,

When I was designing this quilt, I wanted to include all the blocks that I loved, but was too lazy to make a whole quilt with. One on that list was this Spiked Dresden that I encountered on pinterest. When drafting the block for the quilt, I modified it a bit, including the wedges on which the blade points rest. I also thought this was a great block to introduce you to foundation paper piecing with freezer paper. You can also piece it with regular foundation paper and even without a foundation paper piecing template. Complicated as it looks, this particular Dresden  needs only as many seams as a regular Dresden! The blade, the spike and the wedge are all attached in one go. Those of you who are still apprehensive of attempting these blocks – this really is a piece of cake! This block was tested by fellow Desi Quilter Caroline Nagar and she had a lot of useful suggestions, which I have tried to incorporate here! Thanks, Caroline!

The downloadable Template files ( two this time) and the Instructions File can be found at the end of this post. So here we go!

Fabric requirement ( For Orange petalled Dresden)

Fabric  Blades Spikes  Outer Ring Centre Background**
#1 Dark grey 11” x 13”
#2 Light Grey 11” x 13”
#4,5,6,7 Blues 4” x 10” each 2” X 17” each 8” square
#8,9,10,11 Yellow, gold, light orange, deep orange 5” x 18” each
**For background – Use 11” x 25” if using single fabric.
You could also use a 19.5” square ( will be trimmed to 18.5″ after appliquéing circle).

Cut all fabric strips from width of fabric.

Step by Step Instructions

Round the Year Quilt Block 8 Spiked Dresden.1

Templates and Printing

  1. Print the Instructions file.
  2. Print the two templates files at 100% or actual size in portrait mode on A4 size freezer paper.

For printing on freezer paper, refer to this link.

  1. Template File 1 :

For the Template A Circle, please add an additional ¼” seam allowance to make total of ½” seam allowance.

For the Template B (Pieced Dresden quadrant), cut exactly to size. Use a scale and score lines on the printed lines on the semi circular template with a paper knife or any sharp edged object, to get sharp creases at each seam. I used my trusted friend Jack (the Ripper) for this. Take care so that you do not tear the paper. Sobana of thequiltbug.blogspot.com recently used the freezer paper method for piecing the Dresdens in her quilt. She recommends needle punching the seam lines – I am quite happy with creases!

Round the Year Quilt Block 8 Spiked Dresden.8

Important! We piece this Dresden using the freezer paper technique. If freezer paper is not available, regular foundation paper piecing may be done, in which case, you would need to print/trace the Template B to get 4 copies of it.

Template C (background) glue the two parts of the template on edge as indicated. You need four fabric pieces using this template.

Template File 2

Contains the templates D ( blade/ petal), E (spike) and F (outer ring piece).

 Cutting Instructions

We cut:

6 petals/ blades from each of 4 fabric strips (5”x 18”) using Template D= Total 24
6 spikes from each of 4 fabric strips (4”x 10”) using Template E = Total 24
6 outer ring pieces (wedges at base of petal point ) from each of 4 fabric strips ( 2” x 17” ) using Template F= Total 24

Placing the freezer paper template to cut fabric...
Placing the freezer paper template to cut fabric…

I cut 4 layers of fabric using the rotary cutter. I pressed the freezer paper template to the top layer and cut the fabric so…

Round the Year Quilt Block 8 Spiked Dresden.2
Cutting through four layers of fabric – 6 times to get 24 spikes

You could iron the freezer paper templates D, E, F  (for the petal/ blade, spike and outer ring piece) on card / stiff  paper and cut it out to make  sturdier, reusable templates.

Glue or iron the template to thisk card paper.
Glue or iron the template to thisk card paper.
Cut out the template accurately.
Cut out the template accurately.

Or you could use template plastic to trace and make stencils!

For the Spikes

Use  template E and cut like you did the petals. Press the pieces into half lengthwise, right side outside.

For the inner circle

A reminder! Cut a circle from the 8” square – use template A, add an additional ¼” allowance all around – the template gives only ¼” allowance and cut circle.

Template A - remember you need a 1/2" seam allowance
Template A – remember you need a 1/2″ seam allowance instead of the 1/4″ given here!

 Background.

11” x 25” if using single fabric.

You could also use a 19.5” square ( will be trimmed to 18.5after appliquéing circle).

Piecing and Assembly

Preparing the Blades/ Petals

Here is a great tutorial I referred to – http://www.vanessachristenson.com/2013/02/v-and-co-how-to-make-dresden-plate.html. So if anything is unclear here, that is where I suggest you head!

  1. Fold the petals lengthwise, right side inside and sew ¼” seam along the top edge.
Round the Year Quilt Block 8 Spiked Dresden.11
Fold into halfway and sew 1/4″ seam to form the pointed blade.

Remember to lock your stitch when you begin and end each seam, if your machine gives you the option, or you may end up with what happened here.

Round the Year Quilt Block 8 Spiked Dresden.14
Unlocking equals unravelling!

If your machine does not have the locking option, reduce the stitch length. I do not recommend a back-stitch, as it adds bulk.

Reduce stitch length to prevent unravelling.
Reduce stitch length to prevent unravelling.

2. You can chain stitch all the petals at one go!

Chain stitch the blades/ petals...
I chain stitched the blades/ petals…
...and garlanded my old Singer (circa 1935) with it!
…and garlanded my old Singer (circa 1935) with it!
  1. Clip apart the blades. Trim the seam to about 1/6” and clip the `pointy’ corner.

    Clip seam and point to reduce bulk and turn inside out
    Clip seam and point to reduce bulk and turn inside out
  2. Turn inside out. Use a toothpick or even your embroidery scissors to get a nice point.
Use a toothpick to get a nice, neat `point'!
Use a toothpick to get a nice, neat `point’!

5. Now comes the last step in getting the blades ready for piecing. Press them to ‘centre the point’. Lightly crease the blade on the vertical centre line as shown and align the centre seam line with it. Press ( not iron). A bit of spray starch does great here.

Round the Year Quilt Block 8 Spiked Dresden.19
Align the `point’ with the centre line.

Preparing the Spikes

Fold the spikes along the central vertical `spine’, right side outside, aligning the longer edges.  I do not recommend using your iron, you do not want a crease down the centre.

Piecing with Freezer Paper Template B

  1. Arrange all the petals, spikes and wedges in a circle for an auditioning. I am sorry I forgot to take a picture of this stage!
Mirror Image of the block to aid in freezer paper piecing.
Mirror Image of the block to aid in freezer paper piecing.

Any kind of foundation paper piecing can be confusing, as the final picture is a mirror image of what you began piecing with! I had this mirror image of my block to help me along the way!

Decide on a starting point, label the Blade#1, and start piecing anti-clockwise, if you are looking at the mirror image.

2. Now use the freezer paper template ( also used earlier) to piece the Dresden quarters. I find that using a template takes out the guesswork from piecing a Dresden – I needed sometimes 21 and at other times only 18 petals for a 20-petal Dresden, when I did not use paper piecing. The block lies flat and neat with this technique!

Remember we have to include the folded spike fabric at each seam, matching at the edge at the inner ( smaller) circle of the paper template. I used this turorial http://laren.blogspot.in/2012/04/tutorial-tuesday-spike-dresden-plate.html for adding the spikes.

3. Place the fabric pieces in this order on B1 section of the piecing template.
First –      Template E #1 right side up at outer edge of template. Press down to freezer paper.

Round the Year Quilt Block 8 Spiked Dresden.
Press wedge piece #1 on outer edge of B1. I have used a rectangle – you will be using Template F to get the pieces

Second – Blade #1 right side up, aligned at inner edge of template. The blade point should be about ¼” inside the edge of paper, at the final seam line.
Press on to freezer paper.

Press Blade#1 on place on B1
Press Blade#1 on place on B1

Third–        Spike#1.  Aligned at inner edge of template. The spike will stick out beyond the paper edge by about a ¼”. Pin to hold in place temporarily.

Round the Year Quilt Block 8 Spiked Dresden.
Spike #1 in place on B1. The upper edge of the spike `sticks out’ beyond the paper edge about 1/4″

Fourth –     Blade #2 face down, aligned over blade#1.  Repin as shown.

Round the Year Quilt Block 8 Spiked Dresden.
Blade #2 comes next, wrong side up. You can see the blue spike sticking out from under the blade on the top.

Fifth –         Wedge #2 comes face down, aligned over wedge #1.

Wedge #2 , wrong side up, aligned on Wedge#1 makes the fifth piece to line up on B1.
Wedge #2 , wrong side up, aligned on Wedge#1 makes the fifth piece to line up on B1.

Pin to hold everything in place. Fold away the freezer paper at crease ( seam line beteen B1 and B2) line, turn over.

Repin from this side, if you like. You will have ¼” seam allowance visible beyond the paper.

sew in 1/4" seam allowance visible beyond folded freezer paper template.
Sew in 1/4″ seam allowance visible beyond folded freezer paper template.

Sew just along the edge of the paper, taking care not to stitch over the paper. Trim the seam to ¼”.

Trim the seam to 1/4" (No, the fabric did not change colour - it is a different piece!)
Trim the seam to 1/4″ (No, the fabric did not change colour – it is a different piece!)

.Peel away the freezer paper and press open the seam.

You would not be able to press open the seam if piecing with regular foundation paper; this is one of the advantages of freezer paper piecing that I love!

Round the Year Quilt Block 8 Spiked Dresden.
Peel away freezer paper and press open seam.

Now press the pieced portion back on to the freezer paper. Press the spike open, so that it is centred between the two blades as below.

Round the Year Quilt Block 8 Spiked Dresden.

We are now ready to add the next pieces.

Note: If not using freezer paper, just sew on seam line on printed side of paper, as usual (without creasing, folding away the template.)

4. Place Spike #2 in place –  it has to stick out beyond edge of paper!

Pin spike#2 in place on Blade#2
Pin spike#2 in place on Blade#2

… Follow with blade #3 aligned with blade #2. Pin in place…

Blade #3 aligned on top of Blade #2, right sides together.
Blade #3 aligned on top of Blade #2, right sides together.

…and finally wedge #3. Flip around and sew.

Sew along paper edge as for the first two blades.
Sew along paper edge as for the first two blades.

Again trim and press open seam. Press down on freezer paper.

5. Join the next three pieces – Spike #3, Blade#4 and wedge #4.

6. Join 2 more sets, till Spike #5, Blade#6 and wedge #6.

Round the Year Quilt Block 8 Spiked Dresden.
Blades# 1 to 6 pieced and ready. Note there are only 5 spikes. Label nd put aside Spike#6.

7. Press and trim all sides to size, before you remove the freezer paper Template B totally.

8. Pin a post it note on Spike #6 with its name, and set it aside!

So one quadrant is pieced!

9. Now , we are ready to piece the 2nd quadrant. Proceed as for Quadrant 1. Before removing the freezer paper, sew Spike #6 in place between Quadrant 1 and Quadrant2, to get a semi circular ring.  Put aside Spike #12

The freezer paper template is reusable. But if you are piecing with regular printer paper, you need fresh templates for each of the other three quadrants.

Halfway stage in piecing the Dresden. Note the two spikes set aside ( in centre). They will join quadrants 3-4 and 4-1 respectively.
Halfway stage in piecing the Dresden. Note the two spikes set aside ( in centre). They will join quadrants 3-4 and 4-1 respectively.

10. Similarly piece Quadrants 3 and attach Spike# 12 between Seme-circle1-2 and Quadrant 3..

11. Finally piece Quadrant #4 and add spike #24 between the last blade (#24) and Blade#1 from the first quadrant to complete your ring!

Assembly

Applique the ring to your background.

Finally add the centre circle in place. The simplest way to do this is:  Machine tack ( largest stitch setting) about 1/8 to 1/6”  inside edge of the fabric circle, leaving a long length of thread on either side. Trim your template B to the seam line and iron it to the centre of the fabric. Now pull the thread to gather the fabric nicely over the paper circle. You have a perfect 7” circle. Pin in place over the centre of your block and appliqué by hand or machine. Trim away the background fabric behind the centre, and remove the freezer paper.

Here are the downloadable .pdf files with the instructions and templates. You need Adobe Reader (available for free online) on your computer, to be able to view these files.

1. Instructions Spiked Dresden Block08 of the Round the Year Quilt

2. Template File 1 Spiked Dresden Block08 of the Round the Year Quilt

3. Template File 2 Spiked Dresden Block08 of the Round the Year Quilt

You can access the links to the other blocks from this quilt here.

While all my Dreamcatcher patterns are free and will continue to remain so, may I request you to visit the webpage of my favourite not-for-profit organization Samarpan Foundation and donate whatever you deem fit towards the wonderful work they are doing to spread joy, peace and happiness through the world? 

Southward Bound – Block Seven of the Round the Year BOM Quilt

 

Southward Bound Quilt Block
Cindy Ellerbe’s Test Block – Southward Bound

Which quilter does not have the Mariner’s Compass on her bucket list?

I have been in love with the block for ages; I had to include it as the seventh block in the Round the Year Quilt!

This off-centre Mariner’s Compass is a variation of the block, which is traditionally hand pieced or English paper pieced. However, this pattern employs a number of techniques, including foundation paper piecing, machine piecing and appliqué. It finishes at 18″ square, with a 15″ pieced circle. The printable pdf files instructions and templates for the block can be downloaded from the links at the end of this post.

The learning and inspiration for this block cane from this workshop…

Mariners Compass

…in this book

Quilt Skills

 

The blocks were drafted on Quilt Assistant free software and I used Primo PDF to make the pdf templates.

 Instructions

This is the Dusk colourway, the rays of the setting sun lighting up the needles on the right, as the darkness gathers from the East on the left. The name of the block came about as the pattern originally had a circle of geese , recding in size, flying upwards from both sides – I dropped them to simplify the design.

Fabric Requirement

Southward Bound Mariner's Compass Round the Year Quilt
Fabric Colour Code – Block Seven Southward Bound

 

Four shades of the main colour (blue) and four in a contrast colour way – yellow, gold, light and deep orange – are used here.

The fabric requirements given here are quite generous (according to me!), but you may want to cut fabric as you go along.

Fabric Code For templates A to H For templates I to P Wedges Q to X Centre YZ
Fabric #1
Deep blue
6″ x 42″Cut more as you need it.
6″ squares for the two large wedges at D4 and E2.6″ HSTs and QSTs can be used for the other wedges.
Cut QSTs from two 6″ squares. Alternatively, you can use scraps.
Fabric # 4 Blue 5″ x 35″ Cut strip 5″x 25″ lengthwise to get 2 strips 2.5″ x 25″ Use (freezer) paper templates to cut the wedge pieces
Fabric # 5 Light to medium blue 5″ x 35″ Cut strip 5″x 25″ lengthwise to get 2 strips 2.5″ x25″ Use ( freezer) paper templates to cut the wedge pieces
Fabric #6 Pale blue
2.5″x 18″3″ square
18″ x2.5″ Cut circle using template Z
Fabric #7, 8, 9 and 10 2.5″ x 17.5″ strips each 2.5′ x 15″ 2.5″ squares of each
Fabric # 1 and 2 For background cut 10″ x 19.5″ of each. Join along 19.5″ length to get a square 19.5″x 19.5″

 

Printing and Templates

Download the three files from the link at the end of this post, as follows:

Instructions Filecontains these instructions including the fabric requirement, piecing order and Master Template to be used as a guide for assembling the block.

Template File.1 containing paper piecing templates A to P . Print at actual size or 100% in portrait mode

Template File.2 containing templates Q to X and Z I suggest you print these on freezer paper, if available, at 100% or actual size. These are odd shaped pieces with circular edges, and I personally like to use freezer paper for accuracy for cutting these.

For printing on freezer paper, cut the freezer paper to your regular printer paper size (A4 or letter – approximately 8.5″ x 11″). Iron just the edges of the freezer paper (about ¼”) to a regular printer sheet, so that they are joined evenly, without any creases. Print as usual, taking care to insert the joined sheets in the printer so that the printing is on the freezer paper.

Printing on Freezer Paper
Place feezer paper, sticky side down on regular printer sheet. Iron about a 1/4″ on all edges.
Print the double sheet as usual.
Print the double sheet as usual.

 

You also need to cut a 2″ radius/ 4″ diameter circle on freezer paper/ stiff paper/ card ( for template Y).

Note : The background template AA and AB are not given for this block, as the circle is appliquéd on to the square.

 

Southward Bound Mariner's Compass Round the Year Quilt
Master Template – Southward Bound Mariner’s Compass Round the Year Quilt

 

This  diagram is the Master Template that will help you in assembling the block – remember this is is a mirror image. It shows you how your block will look from the printed paper side, not the fabric side, when assembled. It is included in the Instructions File.

Piecing

The block is partly foundation paper pieced. I have blogged about the paper piecing patterns for this quilt earlier, and also given a few paper piecing tips here. In case you are too lazy to go through those ( I would be, I know!) here is a quick checklist before you begin!

Paper Piecing Checklist

  • Have the fabrics been colour coded?
  • Has the machine stitch length been reduced?
  • Are the templates in order specified in the instructions?
  • Have you picked up the correct fabric pieces or strip/s? The fabric code number is printed on each piece position. It is a good idea to check that once in a while.
  • When you start, is your piece #1 placed on position #1 on the templates?
  • Is the wrong side of the fabric piece touching the paper?
  • Is the incoming piece placed right sides touching the previous one?
  • If strip chain piecing the templates, have you sufficient space between one template and the next?

Now to begin with the piecing!

  1. For best use of fabric, piece templates in the following order:

    D. E, F, G, H, I, A, B, C.

    Beginning with the bigger templates, you will be able to use the trimmed off scraps of fabric #1 (deep blue here).

  2. Piece templates I, J, K… to P.
  3. Attach the wedges Q to A, R to B, S to C…. X to H using the Master Template below as guide.
  4. Piecing the inner circle YZ: Use the 2.5″ squares of fabric 7, 8, 9 and 10 to make a 4-patch
    Southward Bound Mariners Compass - Round the Year Quilt
    Make a four patch. Dont worry about accurately matched centre.

    Fold the fabric circle Z twice to find the centre. Match centres and applique it to the centre of the 4-patch, using your favourite method.

    Southward Bound Mariners Compass - Round the Year Quilt
    Applique inner circle on centre

    Place card template / iron freezer template on wrong side of the fabric. Trim to size – remember to add the seam allowance! This makes the inner circle YZ.

    Place card template, add 1/4″ seam allowance
    Trim.

     

Assembly Instructions

Template Assembly Checklist

  • Have you a print out of the Master Template in front of you?
  • Avoid removing paper pieces before your template is ready to actually go under the machine! Arrange the templates, printed side up, using the Master Template as a guide.
  • If you do remove the paper, ensure you have the template (alphabet) name pinned to wrong side of the pieced template, to guide you during assembly.
  • At all times, keep the printed/ wrong side up, pick up the templates to be assembled, (remove the paper, if you wish to) sew them together. Put back in place, wrong side up. Go on to the next. At all times, remember to keep track of template names!

For this particular block, assemble the outer circle A to X and then attach it to the background square AA-AB. Applique the inner circle YZ last.

Refer to the Master template at all times during assembly to ensure all is in order! Reminder: If you take off the paper before assembly, remember to stick a post-it note or pin a piece of paper with the template name on the pieced template.

Assemble as follows:

AQ to I; BR to J; CS to K…and so on, till HX to P.

Join the adjoining wedges, anticlockwise when looking from the wrong/ printed paper side as follows:

AQI to BRJ to CSK

DTL to EUM

FVN to GWO to HXP

On flipping over to right (fabric) side, this is how your partly assembled templates should appear.

Complete the assembly to form a ring…

Applique to the background square. Finally, appliqué the centre circle YZ and trim excess fabric from behind the appliqued circle if you like.

And we are done – the Mariner mastered!

Before I sign off, here is a look at the Rainbow version of the block. Remember, the templates and instructions can be downloaded from the links at end of this post.

Download the files from these links in .pdf format. You would need Adobe Reader, available free online to read these files on your computer.

Instructions File Block07 Southward Bound containing the fabric requirement, piecing and assembly instructions.

Template File.1  Block07 Southward Bound containing paper piecing templates A to P .

Template File.2 Block07 Southward Bound containing templates Q to Z .

(You can access the patterns for the previous blocks here.) 

While all my Dreamcatcher patterns are free and will continue to remain so, may I request you to visit the webpage of my favourite not-for-profit organization Samarpan Foundation and donate whatever you deem fit towards the wonderful work they are doing to spread joy, peace and happiness through the world? 

Lollipop Candy – Block Six of the `Round the Year’ Quilt

Lollipop Candy, Block Six Round the Year BOM 2014
Jaya Parker’s Test Block

Lollipop Candy is the sixth of the Blocks of the Month of the ‘Round the Year’ Quilt.

If you downloaded the templates for this block on 24/12/2014 or earlier, you need to make a change in Template F.  The revised templates have been uploaded on 24th December 2014
– Please start piecing from piece F2, that is, treat section F2 as F1, F3 as F2…till F12, which is treated as F11. 
– F1 is pieced as F12, F13 and F14 remain as heretofore.
The Master Template has been corrected in the Instructions File.

Like the previous blocks, this is also foundation paper and finishes at 18″ square with an inset circle of diameter 15″.

This block can be constructed, if you have the patience, by cutting and piecing over 350 rectangular pieces! But there are less tedious ways to make the block. There is the much simpler Bargello method; however, that involves a lot of fabric wastage and I have not yet tested it. So we will go with chain strip piecing for this block. Those of you who have pieced the Dahlia, Block One of this quilt, are familiar with the method.

This is designed in two colourways, here is the Dusk colourway, which uses 4 shades of blue fabric contrasted with orange and gold, with a touch of yellow to brighten up the proceedings, against a grey background.

 

Lollipop Candy, Block Six Round the Year BOM 2014
My fabric choice for the block…

I am using Fossil Fern by Bernatex as my fabric of choice.

Before you start cutting and piecing your fabrics, please read through the entire instructions – there are a few tips which may save you more than a little heartburn!

Printing Instructions & Templates

  1. These Instructions are downloadable in .pdf format from link at the end of this post. Please print the instructions file and keep at hand. I suggest you print at least pages 1 to 5 of the file for ready reference.
  2. Print paper piecing templates (link at end of this post) at 100% or actual size in portrait mode.
  3. Cut out the templates and place them in alphabetical order, in 4 sets:

    A to F;

    G to L;

    M to R; and

    S to X.

  4. Note that there are the following pairs of identical templates, A-B; C-D; E-F; G-H; IJ and so on till W-X.
  5. Y is the centre circle template.
  6. Z is one of the four background templates, in 2 pieces. Glue together on line indicated. AA, AB and AC are identical to Z, hence templates for these are not provided. Use Z to cut 4 ‘squircle’ pieces from the background fabric.

Fabric Requirement and Cutting Instructions

Lollipop Candy, Block Six Round the Year BOM 2014
Fabric Colour Code for the Candy Block

 

Tip – Pin a scrap of your fabric of your choice in Column 2 below, for ready reference.

Starch and press fabric before cutting.


You may also need to cut a few strips or need some scraps besides the above. Cut as you go, would be my suggestion.

Lollipop Candy, Block Six Round the Year BOM 2014
The Master Template – this is a mirror image! There is also an error in this diagram –  piece #F1 is  #F12; picees #F2 to #F12 are  #F1 to #F11! The downloadable Instructions File has the revised diagram.

The above Master Template is a mirror image, used to assemble the paper pieced block templates. 

Step by Step Piecing Instructions.

The piecing is chain strip piecing like we did for the Dahlia.

We begin with a reminder from the previous section; arrange the templates in 4 sets, in alphabetical order; as follows , A to F; G to L; M to R; and S to X.

Lollipop Candy, Block Six Round the Year BOM 2014
Sort the templates as instructed.

Arrange the fabric strips in the following order and pin them. Keep aside with each template set, using the table here as a guide:

Template Set Templates Fabric Strip Set. (The number refers to the fabric colour code)
Set 1 A to F 8,6,4,2,5,3,7,6,4,2,5
Set 2 G to L 6,4,2,5,3,7,6, 4,2,5,3
Set 3 M to R 2,5,3,7,6, 4,2,5,3,7,6
Set 4 S to X 5,3,7,6, 4,2,5,3,7,6,4

 

You may have noted that there are only 11 fabric strips in these sets, these will be used for Pieces# 1 to #11 in the templates. Pieces #12, 13 1nd 14 will be added after finishing this first lot of piecing on all 24 templates.

The piecing is chain strip piecing like we did for the Dahlia. I suggest we work with two sets at a time, to cut down trips to the ironing table and cutting mat. Piece the templates in alphabetical order.

Reduce the machine stitch length to between 1 and 1.5.

Chain piece the first two strips ( Fabric #8 and fabric #6) in Set1. And remember, right sides together, always!!!

Lollipop Candy, Block Six Round the Year BOM 2014
Chain piecing the templates saves time. Note the `staggering’ of Pieces #1 to right on the 3rd and 5th template from top.

This picture above shows your template set as it will look going under the needle. The pins are placed on the seam line for illustrative purpose only. Try to keep the seam consistent at about ¼”, move the template to adjust to the seam.

In the above picture you can see that A and B are identical. But, on template C, Piece#1 is staggered by one position away from outer curved edge (on your right) as compared to A and B. So when strip piecing, we stagger the template, and begin one step away from the outside edge! D is the same as C.

Again the position of Piece#1 on template E is further away from the outside edge when compared to Templates D and C, and you again need a change in position. F is identical to E.

Check Again!

  • Has the machine stitch length been reduced?
  • Are the templates in alphabetical order?
  • Have you picked up the correct fabric strip/s? Each piece position on the template carries the fabric code number. It is a good idea to check that once in a while.
  • Is your strip #1 placed on position #1 on the templates? Is the wrong side of the strip touching the paper?
  • Is the incoming strip placed right sides touching of previous one?
  • Have you sufficient space between one template and the next?

Once you have ticked this checklist, it is unlikely that you will need the services of The Ripper.

 

Chain piece the first two strips in Set2, again in alphabetical order, G,H, I, J, K and L. Here the first two strips are in fabric #6 and Fabric #4.

Take to your ironing table. Press on the seams to set.

Fold back the paper to expose the seam, and trim the seam to ¼” . Press open fabric strip.

Lollipop Candy, Block Six Round the Year BOM 2014
Trim seam to 1/4″ before pressing open the strip to Piece #2
Lollipop Candy, Block Six Round the Year BOM 2014
Cut apart the templates after every pair of strips, BUT ONLY AFTER you have pressed open the just joined strip!

Now, we cut apart the templates. Preserve all the scraps, they may be useful for piecing near the centre.

Don’t let the upcoming pictures confuse you, I had instructed my tester, Sobana,who has taken these photographs, to piece the templates from centre outwards. I changed the instructions here, because changing the piecing order ensures that there is sufficient space between templates. Your pieced block will be different from the pics below, as I have revised the design somewhat. But that is a story that deserves its very own blogpost.

Here you will see there is insufficient space between templates.

Lollipop Candy, Block Six Round the Year BOM 2014
Ouch! Not enough space between templates!

Another thing to remember, do not cut apart the templates without pressing open the strip!

Presuming you have everything in order, finish piecing the first two sets up to Piece/Position #11. Now it is the turn of sets 3 and 4. Piece these also for positions # 1 to 11.

Now judge what fabric scraps are left over. You may or may not need more strips. Cut as required and add piece #12 on all templates, working alphabetically. Refer to the colour guide, or the colour code on the template itself.

Position/ Piece#13 on all templates is the innermost piece, near the centre. Use the 2″ strip of Fabric #8 for Position12 on templates C,D, G, H, K, L, O, P, S, T, W AND X.Scraps of Fabric#2 (Deep blue here) can be used for Templates A,B,E ,F, I, J, M, N,Q R, U, and V. Sew on piece #14 and our templates are done!

Lollipop Candy, Block Six Round the Year BOM 2014
24 templates with 13-14 pieces apiece! How many pieces to boast of?

Assembly Instructions

Do not remove paper pieces before your template is ready to actually go under the machine! Arrange the 24 templates, printed side up, using the Master Template as a guide.

Lollipop Candy, Block Six Round the Year BOM 2014
Arrange the templates using the Master template as guide.

If you want to see if all is on order, pin each template to the adjacent one on the seam line and flip over as a whole. Flipping a template at a time can be confusing, as the Master template is a mirror image! My block tester friend tried it and was really upset, as this what she came up with!

 

Lollipop Candy, Block Six Round the Year BOM 2014
Oops! Be very, very careful when jassembling the templates. Which edges go together? Refer to the Master template!

 

So, at all times, keep the printed side up, pick up a pair of adjacent templates, remove the paper, sew them together. Put back in place, with the template name pinned on a piece of paper on each! Go on to the next pair. At all times, remember to keep track of template numbers!

I would suggest you finish the assembly in quadrants. Join quarter circles to the background squircles ( Square minus circle = squircle). Applique the centre circle the last thing!

Lollipop Candy, Block Six Round the Year BOM 2014
Feeling dizzy? It is easier than it reads! Sobana’s gorgeous block!

Unless of course, you want to piece the whole circle, and appliqué the small circle in the centre. And then, appliqué the whole Lollipop Candy to a background square.

Here are the links to the (revised) templates and instructions. You need Adobe Reader to be able to download these.

1. Paper Piecing Templates, Lollipop Candy – Block Six of Round the Year Quilt.

2. Instructions  (Fabric Requirememt, Cutting, Piecing & Assembly ) -Lollipop Candy – Block Six of Round the Year Quilt.

While all my Dreamcatcher patterns are free and will continue to remain so, may I request you to visit the webpage of my favourite not-for-profit organization Samarpan Foundation and donate whatever you deem fit towards the wonderful work they are doing to spread joy, peace and happiness through the world?