Tag Archive | BOM Quilt

Final Countdown! Round the Year Quilt

I still do not have enough background fabric for all my Round the Year quilt block circles, but I  have started working on them in any case. The first block that I finished is Block Thirteen, the “Feathered Star”.

One done, fifteen to go!

Those of you who are making the block may have noticed that I have reversed the background of the square, so that light part of the circle is highlighted against the dark background and vice versa.  The first pic below shows the way it was planned and the second shows how it was finally joined.

Decided to go with Option 2 as it would show up better in the final layout of the quilt!

This is the only block circle that was made in sixths of a circle, so the background squircle ( being equal to square minus circle) was cut in 6 pieces. Each was joined to a wedge. The wedges ( including respective background) were joined in threes to make one half of the square and then the other.

I pressed the seams in a whorl, clockwise, to reduce the bulk in the centre!

The seams are pressed all in one direction to reduce the bulk at the centre.

You must be wondering which layout I am finally using for the quilt?  Here it is! Layout Option 3, which finishes at 100″x 100″.

The background will use three shades of blue, the deepest at the edges of the quilt and the lightest in the centre. (Shouldn’t it be the other way at dusk? Light at the edges and dark in the centre? Artistic licence – the blocks show up much better against a light background!) I have enough of the deep blue; it is the lighter blues that I ran out of,  as I used them up to make my “Seasons in the Sun” quilt. I will calculate exactly how much fabric to order after using up what I have at hand.

Please admire the almost perfect centre of my feathered star, while I go off to cut fabric for the Venus and Sapphire blocks! They are the only ones joined to the backgrounds in eighths, if I remember correctly!

Centre of attention!

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Mariner24 – Block Sixteen, 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

Winding Ways Wheel – Block Fifteen 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

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.

 

Ring in the New Year with the Wedding Ring! Block Nine, 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 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!

Caught Up with Dusk on Day Seventeen!

The last pending block, Lollipop Candy, is done! So here, finally, are all the eight blocks of the Dusk version, in one place…

The first eight blocks of the Dusk Round the Year Quilt

The first eight blocks of the Dusk Round the Year Quilt

…as seen from the other end of the table.

Eight more blocks to come!

Eight more blocks to come!

Here is a closer look at Block 6, Lollipop Candy, that I finished today. The original design had a deep blue centre. I am thinking now of a yellow.

What colour should the centre be?

What colour should the centre be?

I don’t know why I thought I had made four blocks from the Rainbow version – it seems only three are done!

 

Only three blocks done - the rest will have to wait for next year!

Only three blocks done – the rest will have to wait for next year!

Would you like to make your own Round the Year Quilt? You can access all the free patterns on this page. Why don’t you join us from January 1st? You can finish this BOM in 2015!

Today I have started working on Block Nine and will get back to you in the new year with a new block! Happy holidays to you all!

Southward Bound on a Rainbow on Day Three

This is where I stopped today…

The needles are done- now to decide on the fabric for the wedges!

The needles are done- now to decide on the fabric for the wedges!

I realized that the orange and red wedges have been interchanged! But we’ll call my friend Jack tomorrow to set those right!
I will also decide tomorrow what fabric I will use for the wedges.

Now to watch some television 🙂