Archive | February 2015

Feathered Star , Block Thirteen of the 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

Block Twelve Dozens Squared, 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

 

Blue Aster – Block Eleven of the 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.