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

Mariner24 – Block Sixteen, Dreamcatcher Round the Year Quilt

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

Am I excited and relieved at the same time, or what, to present the sixteenth and final block of the DreamcatcherRound 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!

 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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fabric Requirement

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

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

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

Please spray starch and press all your fabric before cutting!

Fabric Colour

Code

Fabric needed
 

Orange

4

2.5″ x 32″
 

Gold

5

4″ x 19″
 

Light Orange

6

3.5″ x 14″
 

Yellow

7

3.5″ x18″
 

Light Blue

1

4.5″ square
20″ x 12.5″ strip
 

Medium Blue

2

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

Deepest Blue

3

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

Medium-Deep Blue

8

4.5″ square

 Cutting Instructions

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

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

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

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

Fabric cut and sorted out
Fabric cut and sorted out

  Templates

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

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

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

Piecing Instructions

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

– A, B, C and D

– E, F, G and H

– I, J, K and L

– M, N, O and P

– Q, R, S and T

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Place the strip for the diiamond at right angles to the previous strip and sew on seam line
Place the strip for the diiamond at right angles to the previous strip and sew on seam line

Covering the diamond...
Covering the diamond…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Templates Q, R, S and T ready for piecing...
Templates Q, R, S and T ready for chain piecing…

and done except for the corners ... fast work!
…and done, except for the corners! Fast work!

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

Assembly Instructions

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

I removed the paper before assembly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.Block 14 Fractal Mandala Instructions

2.Block 14 Fractal Mandala Templates

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.

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

Block 13 Feathered Star

The Feathered Star

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

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

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

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

Cut out the templates.

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

 Fabric Requirement

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

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

Fabric Coding for the Feathered Star

 

Fabric

Fabric Code

Background*

Star

Feathers

Wedges*

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

* Cutting Instructions

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

Background (Optional)

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

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

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

Wedges

Cut as follows –

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

3 pieces using Template AI for AI, Y and AA

3 pieces using Template AJ for AJ, Z and AB

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

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

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

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

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

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

Piecing Instructions

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

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

Piecing the Star

Strip chain piece the inner star in 4 lots .:

A, I and Q

E, M and U

B, J and R

F, N and V



Piecing the feathers

Sort the templates in 4 lots as follows.

C, G and W

D, H and X

K, O and S

L, P and T.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Trim along the paper edge! Simple!

As viewed from the right side:

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

Add the next strip as before.

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

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

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

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

Assembly Instructions

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


Step 1: Assembling the inner star ‘points’

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

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

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


End of Step 1:

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

The inner unfeathered star

Step 2: Feathering the wedges

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

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

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

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

First join the feathers to the outer wedges.,,here are the blunt wedges joined to the ‘short’ feathers

Block 13 Feathered Star Assembly
The ‘blunt’ wedges with the ‘short’ feathers

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

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

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

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

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

Almost done!

 

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

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

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

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

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

Block 13 Feathered Star

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

 

Step 4

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

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


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

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


And I am done!!

Twinkle , twinkle feathered star!

 

Our 6 star wedges are ready.

Final Assembly

This is a step I am skipping for now.

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

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

OR

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

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

Block 13 Feathered Star Assembly

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

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

Some people have asked for the Master Template in colour.

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

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

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

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

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.

GRO Jaipur

Natural, Fresh, Direct.

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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

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