Chakra – Block Ten, Dreamcatcher Round the Year Quilt

Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt

This block has to be my absolute favourite. For one, it is a tribute to my country, India, on our Republic Day falling on 26th January. Secondly, it is designed by me, not based on any other quilt block that I have seen.

The Ashok Chakra, which is the inspiration for this block, is at the centre of India’s national flag. It is taken from the edicts of the great emperor Ashok, who ruled over almost the entire sub- continent, in the third century  B.C.  I quote from Wikipedia : The “Ashoka Chakra” … is the wheel of the law of dharma. Truth or satya, dharma or virtue ought to be the controlling principle of those who work under this flag. Again, the wheel denotes motion. There is death in stagnation. There is life in movement. India should no more resist change, it must move and go forward. The wheel represents the dynamism of a peaceful change.

 I tried to be true to the proportions of the Ashok Chakra on our flag. The block, a 15″ square set in an 18″ circle, is the tenth block in the Round the Year BOM quilt. It is surprisingly easy to piece the foundation paper piecing way, and assembly is also simple enough. (Except that you have to be really fond of hand appliqué to add those half circles using the method I employed!)

The links for Instructions and Templates for this pattern are given at the end of this post. For the other block patterns, please go here.

Fabric Code DesignThe Chakra (Wheel)

As mentioned above, the block finishes at 18″ square with a 15″ inset circle.

I have used four shades of blue (coded 1, 6, 5, 4 from light to dark) and four contrasting colours ranging from yellow to orange ( coded 2, 8, 7 and 3 ) for the block in the Dusk colourway.

For this block, I have assembled the full circle and plan to appliqué it to the background. A background template is, therefore, not provided. The block is mainly paper pieced with some appliqué for the half circles. (You could fuse these if you have access to Heat ‘n Bond Red or equivalent; which case, do not cut fabric** for the half circles at this stage.)

Fabric Requirement

Fbric Colour

Fabric code

Outer Ring

(3″ x 1.5″)

Middle Ring

Inner Ring

Inner Circle


Count your pieces

Lightest Blue


2.5″ x 30″

(Cut 6 rectangles 2.5″x 5″)

6 rectangles 1″ x 2.5″

19″ square


Light-Medium Blue


2.5″ x 30″

(Cut 6 rectangles 2.5″x 5″)

6 rectangles 1″ x 2.5″


Medium-Dark Blue


2.5″ x 30″

(Cut 6 rectangles 2.5″x 5″)

6 rectangles 1″ x 2.5″


Deep Blue


2.5″ x 30″

(Cut 6 rectangles 2.5″x 5″)

6 rectangles 1″ x 2.5″




3″ x 9″

(cut into 6 rectangles)

1.25″ x 55″ ( Cut into 11 rect 1.25″x 5″)

**Rectangle 4″x 6″ for six circles 1.5″ diam.

3.5″ diameter circle




3″ x 9″

(cut into 6 rectangles)

**Rectangle 4″x 6″ for six circles 1.5″ diam.

1.5″x 27.5″

( Cut into 11 rectangles 1.5″x 2.5″)


Light Orange


3″ x 9″

(cut into 6 rectangles)

**Rectangle 4″x 6″ for six circles 1.5″ diam.

1.5″x 33″

( Cut into 13 rectangles 1.5″x 2.5″)


Deep Orange


3″ x 9″

(cut into 6 rectangles)

1.25″ x 65″ ( Cut into 13 rect 1.25″x 5″)

**Rectangle 4″x 6″ for six circles 1.5″ diam.


Printing Instructions

Please note that I revised the pattern template `naming’ after piecing my block. Don’t let the piece numbering on the pictures confuse you.

Print first two pages of the Instructions File for ready reference.

Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt
Cutting the fabric strips

Print Paper piecing templates file at 100% (or actual size ) in portrait mode and cut out the templates.

You can decide if you wish to use  the **circle templates and print the file as and when you need it. .
I printed the 1″ circle templates on freezer paper.

If you are interested in English paper piecing or regular piecing for this block, I have also provided the option of individual templates in a separate file.

Piecing Instructions

Piece the inner ring templates A,B, C and D.

Make piles of the rectangles for the inner ring – all four shades of blue and two shades of the contrast fabric (light orange and gold) are used here. Reduce the stitch length on your sewing machine, so that the paper can be torn off easily once you are done.

Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt
Pile the strips for easy access

The strips in the inner ring are ready at less than a ¼”. Fold the paper on the incoming seam and trim the seam allowance to slightly less than ¼”, before you join the next strip.

Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt
Fold the paper template away on next seamline and trim the seam allowance to 1/4″ before sewing the next piece.

Piece the middle ring templates E, G. I. K. M. and O. Here, we will use the other two shades of the contrast fabric (deep orange and yellow) with the four shades of blue.

Again, trim the seams before you join the next rectangle.

Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt
The outer spokes of the wheel under construction

Piece the outer ring templates F, H, J, L, N and P. It is possible to chain strip piece these, which is what I did.

Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt
I used strips to chain piece the outer ring. It is as easy to use rectangles.

Prepare the twenty four 1″ circles for appliqué. I must be a glutton for punishment, as I prepared the circles using the pulled thread method and appliquéd them by hand!

Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt
Cutting 6 circles at one go using freezer paper templates.
Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt
Cutting twenty four 1″ freezer paper circles using the Circle templates… the most tedious part of this bock!
Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt
Iron the paper circles at centre of the fabric circles.
Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt
The ‘pulled thread” method for preparing the circles for applique. Note the long ‘tail’ on both ends of the running stitch.

Applique the circles to outer edge of pieced wedges F, H, J, L, N and P referring to the colour design.

Note only half the circle is visible in the finished piece. Tack the circle to the edge of the corresponding template piece, such that the midpoint of the circle falls on the centre of the seam line at the outer edge of the piece. About ¼’ of the circle will stick out and beyond the template. Applique it in place using an invisible stitch.

Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt
Tack the circles on the middle ring (in correct order!) matching the centre of circle to seam line.

I love to hand appliqué so I really enjoyed my afternoon doing this step!

You could possibly machine appliqué the circles, if you are confident about getting such a small circle right by machine. You could also fuse one inch fabric circles in place if you have access to double sided fusing like Heat ‘n Bond (Red) or equivalent.

Or you could even omit the half circles altogether!

Arrange everything in order of assembly and gloat!!!

Assembly Instructions

Chakra Round the Year Quilt Master Template
Chakra Round the Year Quilt Master Template

Refer to the Master Template given here to assemble the block. Note it is a mirror image, and shows the block as it would look from the printed paper side.

Join E to F; G to H, I to J, K to L, M to N and O to P. ( The half circle should match the colour of the adjoining outer ring piece). I experimented with several methods to see what works best. The last method was the easiest and worked best!

First, I trimmed the seam allowance on the paper templates F, H, J, L N and P. I left the half circle on corresponding untrimmed and pinned the first pair at every possible point! (Do not attempt this, it added no value).

Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt
That paper is not necessary – remove it!

The paper kept getting in the way, so I removed it for the next pair. The pinning was the same and the circles were left intact. The circles got in the way of aligning the edges of the pieced templates – not recommended.

Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt
Those circle bits sticking out – trim them, BEFORE you join the two templates.

I trimmed the circles to the template edge…

Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt
Trim the circles like this!

…pinned and sewed another pair together.

Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt
Even so much pinning is not necessary. Keep only the pins to match the corners and one each at the seams.

Finally, I used just 5 pins, one each on the corners and three to match the seams. The seams abut against each other and join beautifully, without any additional pins. That is the one I did not take a picture of :-p. This gave me the smoothest curve! And this is what I recommend – trim the circles to the template edge, remove paper from outer ring templates and pin minimally.

The next step is to join the outer six wedges in threes.

Join EF to GH to IJ

Join KL to MN to OP

Before you do that, remove the extra paper on the seam allowance and press the seam outward. Pin at corners and at centre.

Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt
Three pins to have everything aligned. Note the paper removed from the seam at the `skirting’?

Next, join the innermost pieced rings in pairs.

Join A to B

Join C to D

Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt
The inner ring templates are joined in pairs while the outer in threes. Remove as much of the paper as you can – on at least alternate pieces.


Join CD to KLMNOP.

This was surprisingly quick and did not need any pinning, as the seams worked as alignment markers.

Join the two circle halves.

Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt
Just one more seam and the circle is done, barring the centre piece.


Chakra, Block Ten Round the Year Quilt
Pretty, pretty!!!

Yes, I can see a couple of unmatched seams and plan to re-do those when I do the last steps, that is, firstly appliqueing the circle to the background and then finally to applique the centre circle Q1 (3″ diameter ready).

You can download the Instructions and the Template files from here. You would need Adobe Reader ( free online download available) on your computer to be able to open these files.

1. Block10 Chakra Instructions Round the Year Quilt

2. Templates for Foundation paper piecing Chakra Block 10 Round the Year Quilt

3. Circle Templates (1″)

4. Optional Templates for EPP/ regular piecing.

 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.

Southward Bound – Almost There on Day Four!

Just the final assembly remains now!

It took longer than I thought! Now to tackle Two Dots and Candy Crush 🙂

Catching-Up Day One – of Spikes and Pixels

I am quite satisfied with what I achieved yesterday, which was Day One of finishing up my pending blocks of my free BOM Quilt, Round the Year! I probably could do a bit more, but am being careful with my back.
The blades, spikes and wedges of Block 8 Spiked Dresden are joined together!

The Dresden ring is pieced! Now for the centre...
The Dresden ring is pieced! Now for the centre…

Pixellated Centre – Post 1

I have also started working on the centre, which I plan to piece like this!

I am employing a method which uses one sided fusible webbing – this is slightly modified from what I learnt from a tute by Elizabeth Hartmann. It is a great technique for doing any pixelated quilt/ block!
Just in case you decide to piece your centre like mine, I am showing you how I did mine!
I have to piece a 7″ diameter block with 1/2″ ready squares. If I add a seam allowance of 1/2″ ( a larger seam allowance is always good when appliqueing circles) – I need an 8″ circle… Okay, I know not everyone loves the Maths like I do, so, without getting into too many calculations – let me show you what I did!

I started with:

4 shades of blue fabric – 6″ x 10″ each. I did need a few 2″ x 1″ strips more. You can add those as you need them.

Sheet of one-sided lightweight fusible webbing about 19″ square.

Fine permanent marker pen
18″x24″ cutting mat
6″x24″ ruler ( you can take any ruler 18″ or more in length)
Paper tape

Step 1. Draw a grid

The first step, is drawing an inch grid on the stabilizer sheet, and this is what I did a bit differently. I had planned to print the grid on the sheet, but my sheet had wrinkles. As I decided to draw lines manually, a brain wave struck! Why not use the inch grid on the mat as a guide to draw the grid ? then I don’t have to worry about getting the squares truly square!

Here is the story in pictures.

I placed the stabilizer sheet on the cutting mat. You can see how wrinkled it looks, and you can’t iron away those creases either. The sticky side is down.

Tape the fusible stabilazer sheet to the cutting mat.
I placed the fusible stabilizer sheet on the cutting mat…the inch grid is visible through the sheet.

Tape the sheet to the mat at the edges – smoothen as much as you can. The paper tears when you remove the tape, so I was glad I had the foresight to take a margin of an inch plus all around.

Tape the edges to the mat.
I taped the edges to the mat.

I used my long ruler to draw grid lines on the sheet, using the inch grid visible below the sheet as a guide. I drew lines on either side of the ruler before moving it to the next inch mark. you could use a lead pencil instead of a perma-ink pen, anything that is visible from the other side and does not smudge is fine.

Using the inch grid as a guide, start drawing lines on the sheet with a perma-pen.
Using the inch grid as a guide,I drew lines on the sheet with a perma-pen.

That was quick! Now the other side…

Draw perpendicular lines to get your inch grid.
Draw perpendicular lines to get your inch grid.

Note to self – I could have drawn a grid any size with this method, only skipping the inch lines appropriately.

I marked the centre with a cross. This will help me in placing the fabric squares.

Mark the centre with a cross. (Use a pencil instead of the pen I used here)
Mark the centre with a cross. (Use a pencil instead of the pen I used here)

Step One is done!

Step 2. Cutting the fabric

Here are my four rectangles of fabric 6′ x 10″ nicely starched and pressed. Do not spare the starch, the success of this method depends on it!

My four shades of blue - 6" x 10" each - starched, pressed and ready to cut!
My four shades of blue – 6″ x 10″ each – starched, pressed and ready to cut!

I cut 42 squares from each of the fabrics – using 6″x 7″ of the fabric. I kept aside the 3″ x 6″ strips

I cut 1" squares from the fabric, except a 3" x 6" strip.
I cut 1″ squares from the fabric, except a 3″ x 6″ strip.

Step 3 Pixellating

As I started off, I realized that an 18″ square was going to be difficult to handle, so I cut it into twoalong a grid line just above the centre row.

I now arranged my inch fabric squares on the grid. This will be a circle, so I did not bother to add any fabric on the corners, where it will be cut away in any case. The centre line of the proposed circle ( top row here) has 13 squares and the middle column has 7 squares.  At the edges, I placed 2″ x 1″ rectangles. ( I cut these from the 3″ x 6″ fabric I had put aside earlier)

I want a bigger seam than the 1/4″ we use for our quilt piecing, so I have placed 2″ rectangles at the edges! This will mean one less seam line at the edge. We will know tomorrow if this worked or not!

Arrange the fabric squares  on the sticky side of grid
Arrange the fabric squares on the sticky side of grid

Once the squares were arranged to my satisfaction, I pressed them down. This is the trickiest part, because squares as small as these like to move around and even fly off!

I similarly `pixellated’ the other cut of the stabilizer and pressed the squares in place. Here is how the two halves look!

Ready for the Hasina!
Ready for the Hasina!

The centre piece is now ready to head to the sewing machine. And this is where I called it a day!

I hope you will be back tomorrow to see how this goes!

What You Can Do With A Single Quilt Block…

…and why you are going to enjoy this Block of the Month!

I am one of those people who jump headlong into a project and the enthusiasm peters out in no time. I often don’t start a great looking new quilt, because I don’t know if I’ll finish it. Who doesn’t hate the thought of adding to those sad orphan blocks calling out to them to do something, anything with them!? Besides, what a waste of money and effort, which most of us cannot readily spare. I don’t want that to happen to any of you lovely people out there who embark on “Round the Year”, my Block of the Month Quilt! So I decided to pattern all my blocks to be versatile, stand alone blocks. At any stage, you can say, “Okay, that’s enough, I am not going to make any more of these!” (Though I do hope you won’t!). There are lots of ways you can use them, just as many as you end up with. I was playing around with my laptop and here are the options I came up with. (One of the advantages is that we have fairly big blocks which finish at 18″ with a 15″ inset circle.)

So what if you decide to make only one block?

Quilt it and make into a small table topper 18″ square. Incidentally, this is a test block made by my online quilter friend Nikhat Syeda– hasn’t she done a marvellous job? Reduce the size of the square to 15″, which is a great size for cushion cover. You could make a set of cushion covers depending on how many blocks you end up with. Add a border, quilt it to make a stunner of a wall hanging! Another quilter friend Sobana tested the same block. (She has even blogged about it here – you must see the other wonderful work she has done!). She is going to use it as the centre of a quilt she is planning! I am waiting to see what she comes up with – but this does give you an idea of what you can do with a single block! I almost forgot to remind you of what I did with a single block – in fact , with a little less than a single block… I skipped the outer square and quilted the pieced circle into a pretty, round table top.   This is my friend Aliya Mir’s test block , which I have photoshopped to show you the look. Well, tomorrow evening I give the fabric requirements for the full quilt, do tune in! But before that, tomorrow morning I am experimenting with various quilt layouts here on this blog!