The Aster Quilt Block

An original quilt block inspired by the lovely Aster flower…

Quilted Blue Aster2

The Aster is another original 18″ Quilt block with an inset 15″ circle flower, designed by me for the Dreamcatcher Quilt.

I have always loved the Aster-such a pretty flower, which is also the Birth Flower for September! Did you know it gets its name from Greek, meaning ‘star’, because the flowers resemble stars?  In Greek mythology, it became a symbol of love when it was placed on the altars for the Gods. I included it as the eleventh block in the   Dreamcatcher Round the Year quilt…to coincide with Valentine’s Day in my Block of the Month Quilt. Asters also symbolize  wisdom, faith, colour, besides patience, daintiness and  charm. 

My Aster comes in blue-the blue blooms are not only rare but also extremely lovely-the colour ranging from a light through deep blue to purples. The block is really easy to piece and comes up very quickly. To make it more challenging, I added y-seams to the centre. Of course, you could applique a simple circle as the centre, or try out any of these options! 

Centre Variations Aster

The printable PDF files instructions and templates for the block are now available on my MadsPatch store on Ecwid.

BUY PATTERN HERE

Four shades of the main colour (blue) totalling about 1/3 yard and small scraps of yellow, gold, light and deep orange – are used here. My Aster is blue to go with Dreamcatcher Quilt, but you could make yours in any of these colours -pink, purple, red or yellow.

Colour Variations Aster

BUY PATTERN HERE

Instructions & How It Works

Please note that this in a digital pattern, you will receive only a link to download the .PDF files on your computer/device. A paper pattern WILL NOT be snail-mailed to you. The links expire in 72 hours, so you would be well-advised to download the files on a permanent location on your PC/ Mac / Notepad asap.

You need Adobe Acrobat Reader Software, downloadable for free at the Adobe site, to read the files.  Print from the saved files; do not print directly from the mail/ link.  The patterns are designed for printing on A4 size paper, but letter size 8.5″ x 11.5″ will be fine. Set your printer to ‘Actual Size’ or 100% setting before printing. 

All patterns are for your personal use only. Please do not share with others or use for teaching/ workshops etc without my prior permission! The 4 files will include:

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

FPP Templates File containing foundation paper piecing templates. 

Master Template that will help you in assembling the block – remember this is is a mirror image. You can also try out your own colours on the outline block.

Bonus: I also include a bonus file with the pattern, these are tips for paper-piecing you can print and keep with you always!

So what do you plan to make your Aster Block into? A round Christmas table runner?

Christmas Runner

This gorgeous  58″ x 20″ runner?

Runner

Or a  Lap Quilt  60″ x  60″?

Pink Quilt

Buy ASTER QUILT BLOCK PATTERN Here

Acknowledgement: The quilt block was drafted on Quilt Assistant free software and I used Primo PDF to make the pdf templates.

Southward Bound: The Off-Centre Mariner’s Compass Pattern

A Skewed Perspective on the Mariner’s Compass.

My Southward Bound
The Mariner’s Compass with a difference…

Like every other quilter, I also always  had Mariner’s Compass on my bucket list!

So, when I was designing the  Dreamcatcher Round the Year , I included it as the seventh block in the quilt, albeit a little different.

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 are now available on my MadsPatch store on Ecwid.

BUY PATTERN HERE

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

Mariners Compass

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 , receding 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 in my pattern are quite generous (according to me!), but you may want to cut fabric as you go along.

BUY PATTERN HERE

HOW IT WORKS

Please note that this in a digital purchase of a pattern, you will receive only a link to download the .PDF files on your computer/device. A paper pattern WILL NOT be mailed to you.

2. On purchase, you will immediately receive a mail confirming receipt of the order, followed by a second mail with download links. If you do not see the mails in your inbox, please check your Spam folder. Please do not click the links repeatedly as each click is treated as a download and number of downloads is limited.

3. It is advisable to access the files on your laptop or notepad where you can save them, rather than on your smartphone.

The links expire in 72 hours, so you would be well-advised to download the files on a permanent location on your PC/ Mac / Notepad asap.

4. You will need to download the software Adobe Acrobat Reader (free)at Adobe site to be able read the files.

5. Download the files on your device/ computer; do not print directly from the mail/ link. The patterns are designed for printing on A4 size paper, but letter size 8.5″ x 11.5″ will be fine. Set your printer to ‘Actual Size’ or 100 % setting before printing.

All patterns are for your, the buyer’s personal use only. Please do not share with others or use for teaching/ workshops etc without my prior permission! The files will include:

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.

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 is also included with the files. You can also try out your own colours on it.

Printing and Templates

I printed the templates on Freezer Paper.

If you don’t have freezer paper printer sheets, what do you do? 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 freezer 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.

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! I also include a bonus with the pattern, these tips in a file you can print and keep with you always!

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?

Once done with the piecing, and before you start assembly, you may like to refer to this checklist!

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

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.

Before I sign off, here is a look at the Rainbow version of the block. The templates and instructions  are available my Ecwid online store, Madspatch.

Buy SOUTHWARD BOUND PATTERN Here

Ring in the New Year with the Wedding Ring! Block Nine, Dreamcatcher Dusk Round the Year Quilt

Round the Year Quilt Block Nine Wedding Ring

 Wishing you a Very Happy New Year!

Have you not always wanted to make a double wedding ring block? A whole quilt would be too much, but just one block?  We have a comparatively complicated block lined up for the next fortnight and many of us have a few pending blocks to catch up with.  Plus, I celebrate my 33rd wedding anniversary this January – that clinched it for me! A wedding ring block it is, to start 2015!

You may like to see how I used this block to make a wedding anniversary gift for my sister-in-law a couple of years ago.

This 18″ block, with a 15″ paper pieced wedding ring, is the ninth of the Dreamcatcher Round the Year Block of the Month quilt, which began mid July 2014.

INSTRUCTIONS

Click the link at the end of this post for templates and instructions (including fabric requirements) in downloadable .pdf format.

Fabric Requirements

I have used 5 shades in the blue- violet spectrum and 3 shades in the yellow-orange range to piece this block. The background is in two shades of grey.

Fabric Requirement
Fabric Requirement

Printing and Cutting Instructions

  1. Take print outs of the 3 files Instructions, Templates1 and Templates2 with printer settings at 100% or actual size in portrait mode. I printed Templates.2 file on freezer paper for ease and accuracy in cutting fabric.
  2. You have the following templates:

Templates.1     Twelve paper piecing templates for ring – A to L

Templates.2

Templates R1 and R2 for background. You need to glue at edge as indicated in template – cut 2 each from fabrics #1 and #2. I am not joining the pieced circles to background right now; I shall do them all together. For this particular block, I recommend assembling the entire circle and the attaching it to the background.

Template M for melon – Cut two from each of the Fabric#4 (deep blue) and Fabric #3 (lightest blue)

Template Q in two parts – glue at edge indicated to make into one template.

Piecing and Assembly Instructions

Please refer to this Master Template as a guide for piecing and assembly. Remember, it is a mirror image, and shows the block from the reverse, printed paper side!

Master Template - Wedding Ring Block. This is a mirror image!
Master Template – Wedding Ring Block. This is a mirror image!

Step by Step Instructions

Melons

It is easy to chain strip piece the ring templates A, B, C, D. Detailed instructions for this technique of foundation paper piecing are given with the Block One, Dahlia pattern!

Chain strip piecing. Have you reduced the stitch length?
Chain strip piecing. Have you reduced the stitch length?

Remember

  • Strip for A1, B1, C1, D1 ( Fabric #9 here) will be placed, wrong side touching paper on unprinted side.
  • Incoming strip, for A2, B2, C2, D2 ( Fabric #7 here) will be placed right sides together with previous strip.
  • Keep sufficient space between templates when chain piecing.
  • Cut apart the templates before attaching next strip.
  • Press open the strip before you cut apart the templates!

Press open incoming strip before cutting templates apart.
Press open incoming strip before cutting templates apart.

And remember, what not to do!

Two templates stitched as one!
Two templates stitched as one!

Jack (the Ripper) had to intervene!

Next step – to piece Templates E, F, G, H and I, J, K, L…

… and arrange them all together and admire them!

The rings are pieced, Stand back and admire!
The rings are pieced, Stand back and admire!

But not for long! The outer ring templates are to be joined – E to I, F to J, G to K and H to L as shown in the Master template. ( Theoretically, these could be glued and pieced as one – EI, FJ, GK and KL respectively. Since the templates are printed on A4 size paper, they are broken into two parts!)

Sew together the outer ring templates in pairs.
Sew together the outer ring templates in pairs.

That was quick!

Now to attach the melons M, N, O and P to the pieced inner rings A, B, C and D respectively.

First, I  trimmed the pieced templates carefully on the dotted line for an accurate ¼” seam allowance!

I used a couple of pins to align the melon to the ring. I folded the melons into half to find the centre and pinned  them, seam to seam at centre of piece #4 on the templates – A4, B4, C4 and D4.

Pin the melon to the inner ring on seam line at centre
Pin the melon to the inner ring on seam line at centre

I then matched the blunt edges at the corner where I would begin my seam line, and secured them with another pin.

Secure the start corner. The end corner remains free.
Secure the start corner. The end corner remains free.

I chose  the 1/4″ stitch option on my Hasina Husqavarna Viking machine, reduced the speed to a minimum and gently eased the melon curve to sew it to the template, moving 2-3 stitches at a time.

Melon attached to inner ring. Press down seam.
Melon attached to inner ring. Press down seam.

I pressed the seam towards the melon. My seam is a little uneven, but this does not bother me. The best thing I like about curves is that they just fall into place if you press them down gently!

Perfect!
Perfect!

The next step involves attaching the inner ring to the melon. Is this going to get a bit more challenging?  Referring to the Master Template, I attached EI to AM; FJ to BN, GK to CO and HL to DP.

Attaching melon to outer ring : Align and pin on seam line.
Attaching melon to outer ring : Align and pin on seam line.

After aligning the two pieces at the centre – melon to outer ring template, I used vertical pins to align the corners at the edge of the rings ( A7 to I4 in this instance). I then secured them with a pin in the centre.

You will notice that I pinned only at the corner at which I started the seam, not at the end. I find that a pair of tweezers helps in keeping everything in place.

Tweezers, ripper and scissors on call. Not visble - pin cushion!
Tweezers, ripper and scissors on call. Not visble – pin cushion!

Fix thread and needle down. Speed minimum
Fix thread and needle down. Speed minimum, stitch length 1.5.

I `fixed’ the thread as I started, kept the needle in the ‘down’ mode and move very slowly. And yet…

Oops! Something moved - needs re-doing!
Oops! Something moved – needs re-doing!

Perhaps it would be better to keep the ring template on top, to get a perfect seam?

I finished the four melons and pressed seams inwards, towards the melon. This was surprisingly easy and done in less than 15 minutes, pinning and all!

Centre

To move to the centre now – I first made a pinwheel using the two 5.5″ squares each of Fabric # 3 and Fabric #4.  I used the easiest way of making the pinwheel. I paired the light squares with the dark and drew a line on one diagonal on each top light square.

Diagonal on paired squares.
Diagonal on paired squares.

 

Sew 1/4' seam on either side of line and cut on line
Sew 1/4′ seam on either side of line and cut on line

I sewed a ¼” seam on either side of the diagonal and then cut along the centre pencil line. I now had four HST (half square triangle) squares. I usually press the seams to the darker side, but here I chose to press them open.

I then joined the four squares to make a pinwheel; pressed open the seams again, to reduce bulk.

Seams pressed open; the 4 squares joined together WRONG! The dark patches should be where the light ones are!
Seams pressed open; the 4 squares joined together. The patch in this picture is pieced WRONG! The dark patches should be where the light ones are!

Perfect? No! As it turns out, I joined this wrong; the dark patches should be where the light ones are and vice versa. You may think this does not matter, but it does, in my colour scheme! You will soon know why!

I printed only one half of the Template Q and used this to trim the centre. I pressed the freezer paper template to the pinwheel, matching the seams to the lines on the template…

Press freezer paper template Q in place.( I have only one half of the template)
Press freezer paper template Q in place.( I have only one half of the template)

…trimmed one side…

Trim along dotted line
Trim along dotted line

…and the other. The centre was fast work too!

Alternatively you can cut HSTs from the squares and paper piece the centre.

I now trimmed the freezer paper template to the seam line and pressed it in place, on the right side of the pieced centre. The markings on the template helped me align the centre to the melons.

Centre done! Trim template to seam line to help pinning on alignment markers.
Centre done! Trim template to seam line to help pinning on alignment markers.

 

Ready for final assembly!

Final Assembly

I first joined the melons on opposite sides of centre Q.

Now is the time to bring on the pins! I inserted vertical pins through the two patches at corners, and on alignment markers about an inch to inch and a half apart

Pin
Pin.

I then attached horizontal pins on the seam as shown, removing the vertical pins as I went along. Pins stuck in this way are easy to pull out and unlikely to prick your hands.

Pin, pin!
Pin, pin!

I removed the template before I sewed the two patches together. I then pinned the template on the opposite side.

Pin, pin, pin!
Pin, pin, pin!

Upto this step, everything went off unexpectedly quickly, other than that small encounter with the ripper!

Now things started getting a bit tricky .

Worth all the pinning? Opposite melons attached.
Worth all the pinning? Opposite melons attached.

 I had read on a blog somewhere, that you should not press your block at this stage, but I don’t think that works for me! I suggest you DO iron the seams towards the centre pinwheel, before you move to melons #3 and #4.

And don’t spare those pins! Especially at the corner, where the centre meets the melon. Join the melon in one smooth curve. My corners did not match on Lemon #3 and I had to do a bit of ripping at this stage, because I had not pressed the patch and I had not pinned enough. I could appreciate why this block is traditionally hand pieced; I was sorely tempted to do this step by hand to set those offending corners just right!

These few hiccups apart, this was a simple block to make – I could finish it in an afternoon.

One last thing – the seams! Press the seams on Lemon#3 and Lemon#4 outward – towards the edge of the circle!

Press last two seams towards edge.
Press last two seams towards edge.

Voila! We are done with Block Nine!

Yippeee!!!
Yippeee!!!

Now to come back to the little matter of the clockwise pinwheel. Can you see that the dark triangle on the pinwheel is touching the dark (blue) side of the inner ring? Would it not have been prettier to have the yellow-orange contrast against the dark blue, like in the original design?

Before I upload the Instructions and Template Files, one more thing! Many of you have asked me for a mirror image of the block in colour to help in assembling the block – I do not know how useful that can be – but here it is!

Coloured Master Template (Mirror Image) with fabric code
Coloured Master Template (Mirror Image) with fabric code

You can download the free pattern and instructions from these links. You would need Adobe Reader (software available online for free download) on your computer to be able to view these files.

  1. Instructions Block 9 Wedding Ring, Round the Year Quilt.
  2. Templates.1 Block 9 Wedding Ring Round the Year Quilt.
  3. Templates.2 Block 9 Wedding Ring Round the Year Quilt

Have a wonderful year ahead! Happy quilting!

BUY  NOW!

Please note that the downloadable patterns with paper piecing templates and instruction files for the Dreamcatcher Round the Year quilt blocks are being migrated to my store MadsPatch and will not be available for download for free from 15th November 2020 onwards.

Block Parade on Day Fourteen

I have lots to share with you today…blocks made by other quilters,  members of my virtual quilting group, Desi Quilters. So without much ado, here we go! Here are the blocks Sobana made in the last two weeks; she now has only two more blocks to make to catch up with all her pending blocks!

Sobana Sundar's Card Trick
Sobana Sundar’s Card Trick

Sobana's Sapphire
Sobana’s Sapphire,,,

...and this is Sobana's Venus
…and this is Sobana’s Venus

The stunning Southward Bound by Sobana
The stunning Southward Bound by Sobana

Other Desi Quilters have also been catching up! Here is a look at their blocks.

Diptee's `gemstone' block
Diptee’s `gemstone’ block

Smita Prabhu's  Dahlia Round the Year Quilt
Smita Prabhu’s peach of a Dahlia

Tina Katwal Dahlia Round the Year Quilt
Tina Katwal’s transparent Ribbon Dahlia with a pixellated centre

Alka Goel Venus Round the Year Quilt
Alka Goel used solids to make her Venus shine!

Have you made any blocks during catch-up December? Why don’t you share your work on my facebook page Patchwork of my Life? The blocks are majorly foundation paper pieced and much easier to construct than what you may believe looking at them. So, if you have still not started on your blocks from the  Block of the Month Quilt `Dreamcatcher Round the Year’, you can head here to my MadsPatch  Store on Ecwid!

Catch-Up December!

Patterns for half of the sixteen blocks for the Block of the Month Round the Year quilt have been posted…
…and as I counted yesterday, I have made only three and a half of the Dusk colourway and two of the Rainbow version.
I know many of you are probably in the same boat; I had a few requests for not posting a block on December 15th, so that everyone could catch up! I do think this is not such a bad idea after all. That means that Block Nine will now be posted next year, on January 1st!
So I have designated December as Catch- Up month! I have to make 11 odd blocks in 22 days beginning from today 😦
I shall post an update everyday, here as well as on my facebook page “Patchwork of My Life”. I hope you will also share your progress with the rest of us!
So this is where I was this morning on the Spiked Dresden block, which I plan to complete today!

Half pieced Spiked Dresden
Half pieced Spiked Dresden

Do watch this space tomorrow to check what I manage to accomplish today!

Happy Quilting!

GRO Jaipur

Natural, Fresh, Direct.

betukbandi

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

twin hobbies

living with twin daughters

Lori Kennedy Quilts my m

From Doodle to Design

Trends and Traditions

Where Trendy meets Traditional Quilting, by Designer Heather Mulder Peterson of Anka's Treasures

Lorelle on WordPress

utorials about WordPress, blogging, social media, and having your say on the web.

Sew Frou Frou Quilter

Spreading warm wishes one quilt at a time...

DESI QUILTERS

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

IMQG Block Party

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

Art Crafts and more........

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

Happy Turtle

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

Quilting in India

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

QuiltsnQUILLS

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

Pans and Needles

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

Moments of Quiet: Embroidering My Tale

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

Mistress of Quilts

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

Smurfing Time

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

CHEZVIES

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

GRO Jaipur

Natural, Fresh, Direct.

betukbandi

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

twin hobbies

living with twin daughters

Lori Kennedy Quilts my m

From Doodle to Design

Trends and Traditions

Where Trendy meets Traditional Quilting, by Designer Heather Mulder Peterson of Anka's Treasures

Lorelle on WordPress

utorials about WordPress, blogging, social media, and having your say on the web.

Sew Frou Frou Quilter

Spreading warm wishes one quilt at a time...

DESI QUILTERS

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

IMQG Block Party

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

Art Crafts and more........

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

Happy Turtle

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

Quilting in India

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

QuiltsnQUILLS

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

Pans and Needles

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

Moments of Quiet: Embroidering My Tale

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

Mistress of Quilts

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

Smurfing Time

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

CHEZVIES

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

Made To Treasure

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

my stitches

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

13 Woodhouse Road

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

Holy Scrap!

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

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