An Idle Time…

It is almost two and a half months since I last posted! I have been laid up with sciatica again, which means no quilting.  Just as I thought I was getting better last week, yesterday I had a relapse. Not good. I do want to finish the Dreamcatcher! 

I spent today afternoon removing foundation paper from my Just Takes 2 quilt. Now to trim the thread and iron the seams. It will be my next quilting project, so I am getting it ready! 

 

The offending threads yet to be clipped…
 
Meanwhile, my quilting friend Sobana Sundar of thequiltbug.blogspot.in held a workshop at the Tsala Studio, Bangalore to teach paper foundation piecing, using the pattern for the Evening at the Pond block from the Dreamcatcher quilt . Vatsala Kamat, who runs the Tsala Studio, is an awesome quilter! She does the most gorgeous English paper piecing and hand applique. Do pay her a visit if you happen to be in Bengluru! 

Here are some pics of the workshop. Sobana’s version of the Dreamcatcher quilt can be seen in the background! 

 

The workshop at Tsala Studio
 
 
…proud and happy!
 

Here is Sobana’s Evening at the Pond round table runner and the Round the Year Dreamcatcher quilt! She has used the Layout Option 2. Most of the fabric used by her was dyed by her!  Stunner, isn’t it? 

  
You can find the patterns for all the sixteen blocks with detailed instructions linked here!

You could start with this block, it is the simplest. Happy quilting to you. I can only browse the net and dream up new quilts to make. 

Spinning The Wheel! 

I finished quilting the Chakra Block, Block Ten of the Dreamcatcher Round the Year quilt today! 

  

The Chakra – Block Ten of the Dreamcatcher Round the Year quilt
  

I quite love the way it has turned out! A close-up of the quilting…

 

The ‘Dharma Chakra’…
 
You can follow this link to find the free pattern for this block inspired by the ‘Ashok Chakra’,  or the Dharma Chakra ( Wheel of Righteousness), which finds the pride of place at the centre of  the Indian national flag and is taken from the edicts of the great emperor Ashok, who ruled over almost the entire sub-continent, in the third century B.C.

Just three more blocks to do, then I move to the outer dark blue fabric panels! Do share your quilt blocks on my facebook page ‘Patchwork of My Life’. Have a great weekend! 

Winding Ways Wheel – Block Fifteen Dreamcatcher 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 DreamcatcherRound 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

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.

Assembling the Evening at the Pond Block

I had posted the instructions for piecing the second block of my block of the month quilt, Round the Year, here
When I left you, this is where we were, 16 templates pieced and ready for assembly, using the master template as a guide.

Evening at the Pond templates ready to be assembled
Evening at the Pond templates ready to be assembled

 

Actually, with this picture, gasping in admiration at what you had put together!

Paper piecing done!
Paper piecing done!

So after you’ve finished admiring your templates, head back to the sewing machine. This will come up really fast, and before you know, your block will be ready!
The order of piecing will be
1. Template A to template I; B to J; C to K….H to P!
Place templates A and I right sides together and push pins to align them. Secure with pins along the seam line and remove the hanging pins.

Pond and flying geese template pinned together
Pond and flying geese template pinned together
Hanging pins removed
Hanging pins removed

Sew all the pairs, AI, BJ, CK…HP. Remove the paper from the seams and the paper pieces that do not have alignment markers.

Press seam line in alternate directions  – as in the corresponding pond template.

And then there were eight!
And then there were eight!

Join these eight segments in pairs to make quarter circles. AI to BJ, CK to DL, EM to FN and GO to HP. If you want you can remove the paper pieces on the pond templates now.

Align the two adjoining segments with pins. I need to be very careful at this stage, as I always end up joining the pairs along the wrong edges – pinning helps prevent that.

Two segments being aligned together with pins
Two segments being aligned together with pins

 

...the hanging pins on the other side
…the hanging pins on the other side

Secure the two sub blocks together with pins and remove the hanging pins. Ready to sew!

Ready to go under the needle
Ready to go under the needle

The quarters are finally ready to be joined to the respective background pieces.

Rainbow against a blue sky!
Rainbow against a blue sky!
The rainbow against a cloudy sky…

The next block is ready to be revealed on the first of the next month! While you get your second block ready, I’ll get my blogpost ready!  Do post pictures of your block on my facebook page Patchwork of My Life!

 

Rainbow Dahlia – Block One of “Dreamcatcher Round the Year” Block of the Month Quilt

This traditional “DAHLIA” block is the first in the Dreamcatcher Round the Year Quilt. We use bright/ neon solids and a contemporary black and white print to give it a ‘modern’ twist!

 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.company.site and will not be available for download for free from 15th November 2020 onwards.

Block size: 18″ square with 15″ inset circle.  This block is paper foundation pieced before being assembled. We are chain piecing strips to construct the block.


Fabric Requirementgiven for strip piecing technique. You need more fabric if you wish to piece the block in the regular way.

Colour Code Quantity
Light Grey 1 2 strips 2.5” x 20”
Sky Blue/ Cobalt blue
2
2 strips 3.5” x 20”
2 strips 2.5” x 20”
Black and white  print (Shown dark grey in templates) 3 2 strips 2.5” x 20”
Black 4 1 strip 2” x 20”
White 5 1 strip 2” x 20”
8  bright colours across spectrum 6 to 13  Cut 3.5″ square diagonally. Retain 1 HST ( triangle) , putting aside other for use later.
Light Grey (for background square) 1 18.5” square or 10” x 25” strip*

            (* depending on method being used. See piecing instruction no. 8)

  1. Take print outs of the Template.pdf file at 100% size; also ensure printer settings are on portrait mode. You have the following templates:
  • 16 arc templates numbered A to P for piecing the outer circle (ring).
  • 2 templates Q and R for the inner circle
  • Template S in 2 pieces S1 and S2 for one quarter of the outside square ( not needed if you are using the 18.5″ square for the background.
  1. The Master template below shows how the paper pieced sub-blocks shall be assembled. I suggest you print this file for ready reference.

Piecing Instructions

Step by step Instructions for strip piecing, with photos can be accessed here.

  1. Piece arc templates A to H
  2. Piece arc templates I to P
  3. Piece the centre halves Q and R.
  4. Moving anti-clockwise from 3 o’clock, join the arcs in adjoining pairs as follows-
  5. H to P, A to I, B to J and so on
    Join HP to AI and BJ to CK. Next join HPAI to BJCK to get the top half of the flower
  6. Similarly, join adjoining pairs to get the bottom half of the flower DLEMFNGO
  7. Join the centre top Q to HPAIBJCK and similarly construct the lower half of the Dahlia.
  8. * For setting the circle in the square (I am skipping this step in my quilt for now, for I plan to set the circles on to the background fabric only once all of them are ready. )
  • If you prefer to appliqué the whole circle or prefer to join it as a whole by any other method, use the 18.5″ square kept aside for the background.
  • If you prefer piecing, use the following method
    • Glue together the two parts of template S along the marked edge.
    • Use the diagram below to cut 4 of these – S, T, U and V from the 10″ x 25″ background fabric.


  • Join S and T to make the top half and U and V to make the bottom half
  • Set the circle halves into the background fabric, aligning the markers (crosses and small lines) on the templates.
  • Join the halves to make the square block!

 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.

You can buy the PATTERN (TEMPLATES and INSTRUCTIONS) from here – DAHLIA- Rainbow Dreamcatcher Round the Year