Tag Archive | Free pattern

Feathered Star , Block Thirteen of the 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 Code





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.


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


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


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 🙂

You can download the patterns for all the blocks of this quilt from the Round the Year Quilt Page on this blog.

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


Block Twelve Dozens Squared, Round the Year Quilt

This is a block that has given me much heartache , and that story deserves its very own blogpost! Meanwhile, here it is, Dozens Squared, the twelfth block of the Round the Year Block of the Month Quilt.

Block Twelve Dozens Squared, Round the Year Quilt BOM (Rainbow)


The block finishes at 18.5″ square (including seam allowance), with a 15″ inset circle. It is partly paper foundation pieced; the templates and instructions  can be downloaded in PDF format from the links at the end of this post.

What’s in a name?

This Block 12 of the Round the Year BOM Quilt is inspired by the beautiful Jack’s Chain block. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to call it. I thought of something to do with 9-patches and then Jill’s Chain! But then I counted the number of pieces in the circle – 144. It could not be chance that Block Twelve should contain twelve twelves, could it? The name would have to to have some reference to this, I thought. No way I was going to call it ` Gross’, which is the correct nomenclature for a dozen dozens! Dozens Squared sounded better, also as the dozens would in any case be inset in a square!


Fabric Requirement

The fabric requirement for the block is given for the Dusk colourway. I have scrapped the block that I made in the Dusk colours (not this) – I thought it looked quite ugly (gross?)!

Block Twelve Dozens Squared, Round the Year Quilt – Dusk – Fabric Code


Fabric Colour

Fabric Code


Nine patches


Spiked wedges

Circle edge wedges

Lightest blue


19″ square OR
10.5″ x 25″
Two 6″ squares 2.25″ x 8″
Medium Blue


Two 6″ squares 2.25″ x 8″   Two 2″ x 8″
Medium-dark blue


Two 6″ squares 2.25″ x 8″   Two 2″ x 8″
Deep blue


  2.25″ x 20″ 2.5″ x 36
2.0″ x 36″
Two 2″ x 8″


2.25″ x 6″


2.5″ x 12″
2″ x 12″
Light Orange


2.5″ x 12″
2″ x 12″


2.5″ x 12″
2″ x 12″


Please refer to the downloadable Instructions File, if you want detailed cutting instructions!

Printing Instructions

Please remember to print the Templates file with your printer
setting at 100% or Actual size in portrait mode. Cut out the paper piecing Templates.

I recommend printing also the Instructions file and keeping the Master Template (provided in the Instructions File) at hand when assembling the block. A line drawing version of the Master Template is also included in the file (also a mirror image ). You can use colour pencils to experiment with your own colour combinations!


Piecing Instructions

The Nine-Patches Quick Method

Piece the six 9-patches A, B, C, D, E and F using the quick 9-patch method. The pictures I am showing here are for the rainbow block. You will start with 3 pairs of 6 inch squares.



For the Dusk version, team upthe squares in 3 pairs.

For the Dusk version, team up the squares in 3 pairs.

Note that we do not measure 2" from edge, but 1.75" from seamline!

Note that we do not measure 2″ from edge, but 1.75″ from seamline!

Similarly from the other seam!

Similarly from the other seam!

Quick NIne Patch Square

Sew to get two strip sets. Press to darker side – I chose blue here.

Quick Nine Patch Square

If you are doing the Dusk version, you would already be working with 6″ squares. This would be irrelevant!


Quick 9 patch squares

Pair up the strip sets. Careful! Check you have the right pairing!

Sew on the shorter sides.

Sew on the shorter sides.

Quick 9 patch squares

Cut 1.75″ from both the seams…

Quick 9-patche squares

…and sew the centre strip to the double strip sets from the sides

For the block we need 9-patches which finish at 3.5″, so we will need to trim these to 4″,  with centre square remaining at 1.5″.

Quick 9-patch

Mark the centre ( of the centre square!) and trim to 2″ from it on all sides.

You could also use the template A to match and trim the 9-patches to size.

Quick 9 -patch squares


Piecing the Centre

I would suggest cutting the strips into triangles before you start piecing. Lay the 60 degree line in alternating directions as you cut the triangles – remember to leave 1/4″ on the top before you cut in the opposite direction.

Block Twelve Dozens Squared, Round the Year Quilt

I used strips left over from previous blocks;  in paper piecing, one need not be accurate in cutting! The next set of triangles will be cut by changing the ruler direction.


If doing the Rainbow block, I may mention that a 6″ x 2.25″ yields 3 traingles quite comfortably. I used 8 different colours for the centre.

The pieced centre triangle templates from the Dusk block

The pieced centre triangle templates from the Dusk block

In no time, you would have the templates S, T, U, V, W and Xpieced. Put these aside.

Spiked Wedges

Now we come to the 12 spiked wedges G, H, I…Q, R.

Each of these wedges has 5 pieces. Before you start the actual piecing, I suggest you pin pieces # 1  (2.5″ x  1.5″) and #2 (HST 2.5″) on all the templates. This helps save time in sorting colours and sizes of the upcoming pieces!


Block 12 Dozens Squared

Chain piecing must be the greatest innovation in sewing, don’t you think? In no time we are ready for piece#3, (which is the largest piece, at 2″ x 4″)

Align the corner of the rectangle to the busiest corner on the template!

Align the corner of the rectangle to the busiest corner on the template!

Note the angle and placement of  the piece.

Note the angle and placement of the rectangular piece. It should completely cover the area under Section #3 when opened out.

Trim the excess seam allowance.

Step 2 continued... trim to seam allowance!

Step 2 continued… I like to trim to upcoming seam allowance – 1/4″ beyond the seamline!

Press open. Piece #4 is easy! Just align the long edges of the two pieces and sew!

I like to trim the just stitched piece to just 1/4" beyond the upcoming seam line!

Add piece #4

Chain piecing, as usual!

Piece#4 chained in place

Piece#4 chained in place

Block 12 Dozens Squared

We are ready for the last step – sewing piece #5 – a rectangle 2″ x 2.5″ ( I used 1.5″ x 2.5″ rectangles, but they made a tight fit, so I have changed the width to 2″.) Again, please check the rectangle placement before sewing to ensure you have the paper section fully covered.



All our piecing is done, all that remains is the assembly!


Assembly Instructions

Assemble the block, using the Master Template as a guide. Remember, the Master Template is a mirror image and shows the block as it would look from the printed paper (reverse) side. As seen here, what is on left appears on right and vice versa.


1. Sew the spiked wedge (halves) to either side of the respective 9-patches.

Sew G and J to opposite sides of A; M and P to opposite sides of C; H and K to opposite sides of E;

Sew N and Q to opposite sides of B; I and L to opposite sides of D; O and R to opposite sides of F.

2. Sew the centre pieced triangles to the 9-patch template sets.

Sew S to GAJ; V to MCP; T to HEK; W to NBQ; U to IDL and X to OFR.

3. Sew the respective circle edge wedges to the just assembled template sets. Here is some auditioning of fabric for the circle edges…

Block 12 Dozzens Squared Round the Year Block 12 Dozzens Squared Round the Year Block 12 Dozzens Squared Round the Year Block 12 Dozzens Squared Round the Year

…before I settle on this!

Block 12 Dozzens Squared Round the Year

4. Final Assembly

Option 1

Join background pieces AE1/ AH1 to wedge set containing A and B;

Join the background pieces  AF1/AI1 to wedge set containing F and E;

Join background pieces  AG1/AJ1 to wedge set containing D and C.

Join in threes – pieced set AE1, AF1 and AG1 to form one half; and the other 3 pieced sets to form the other half

Join the two halves to form the full block.

Option 2

Join the pieced sets to form the full circle and appliqué it to the background square using your favourite method.

Trim to 18.5″ square.

I am giving the Fabric Requirements for the Rainbow block in a separate blogpost.

Meanwhile, here are the links to the downloadable PDF Instrcutions and Tempalte Files for the block.

1.BLOCK 12 DOZENS SQUARED 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


2.25″ x 7.5″ ( 8 pieces)
Medium Light Blue


2.25″x 6.5″ ( 8 pieces)
Medium Dark Blue


2.5″x 7.5″ ( 4 pieces)
Deep Blue


2.5″x 6.5″ ( 4 pieces)
Deep Orange


1.75″ x 5″ 1.75″ x 2.5″ ( 8 pieces)
Light Orange


1.75″ x 5″ 1.75″ x 2.5″ ( 8 pieces)


1.75″ x 5″ 1.75″ x 2.5″ ( 8 pieces)


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.


Southward Bound – Block Seven of the Round the Year BOM Quilt


Southward Bound Quilt Block

Cindy Ellerbe’s Test Block – Southward Bound

Which quilter does not have the Mariner’s Compass on her bucket list?

I have been in love with the block for ages; I had to include it as the seventh block in the Round the Year Quilt!

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 can be downloaded from the links at the end of this post.

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

Mariners Compass

…in this book

Quilt Skills


The blocks were drafted on Quilt Assistant free software and I used Primo PDF to make the pdf templates.


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 , recding 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 here are quite generous (according to me!), but you may want to cut fabric as you go along.

Fabric Code For templates A to H For templates I to P Wedges Q to X Centre YZ
Fabric #1
Deep blue
6″ x 42″Cut more as you need it.
6″ squares for the two large wedges at D4 and E2.6″ HSTs and QSTs can be used for the other wedges.
Cut QSTs from two 6″ squares. Alternatively, you can use scraps.
Fabric # 4 Blue 5″ x 35″ Cut strip 5″x 25″ lengthwise to get 2 strips 2.5″ x 25″ Use (freezer) paper templates to cut the wedge pieces
Fabric # 5 Light to medium blue 5″ x 35″ Cut strip 5″x 25″ lengthwise to get 2 strips 2.5″ x25″ Use ( freezer) paper templates to cut the wedge pieces
Fabric #6 Pale blue
2.5″x 18″3″ square
18″ x2.5″ Cut circle using template Z
Fabric #7, 8, 9 and 10 2.5″ x 17.5″ strips each 2.5′ x 15″ 2.5″ squares of each
Fabric # 1 and 2 For background cut 10″ x 19.5″ of each. Join along 19.5″ length to get a square 19.5″x 19.5″


Printing and Templates

Download the three files from the link at the end of this post, as follows:

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.

For printing on freezer paper, 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 feezer 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.


You also need to cut a 2″ radius/ 4″ diameter circle on freezer paper/ stiff paper/ card ( for template Y).

Note : The background template AA and AB are not given for this block, as the circle is appliquéd on to the square.


Southward Bound Mariner's Compass Round the Year Quilt

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 shows you how your block will look from the printed paper side, not the fabric side, when assembled. It is included in the Instructions File.


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!

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?

Now to begin with the piecing!

  1. For best use of fabric, piece templates in the following order:

    D. E, F, G, H, I, A, B, C.

    Beginning with the bigger templates, you will be able to use the trimmed off scraps of fabric #1 (deep blue here).

  2. Piece templates I, J, K… to P.
  3. Attach the wedges Q to A, R to B, S to C…. X to H using the Master Template below as guide.
  4. Piecing the inner circle YZ: Use the 2.5″ squares of fabric 7, 8, 9 and 10 to make a 4-patch
    Southward Bound Mariners Compass - Round the Year Quilt

    Make a four patch. Dont worry about accurately matched centre.

    Fold the fabric circle Z twice to find the centre. Match centres and applique it to the centre of the 4-patch, using your favourite method.

    Southward Bound Mariners Compass - Round the Year Quilt

    Applique inner circle on centre

    Place card template / iron freezer template on wrong side of the fabric. Trim to size – remember to add the seam allowance! This makes the inner circle YZ.

    Place card template, add 1/4″ seam allowance



Assembly Instructions

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!

For this particular block, assemble the outer circle A to X and then attach it to the background square AA-AB. Applique the inner circle YZ last.

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.

Assemble as follows:

AQ to I; BR to J; CS to K…and so on, till HX to P.

Join the adjoining wedges, anticlockwise when looking from the wrong/ printed paper side as follows:




On flipping over to right (fabric) side, this is how your partly assembled templates should appear.

Complete the assembly to form a ring…

Applique to the background square. Finally, appliqué the centre circle YZ and trim excess fabric from behind the appliqued circle if you like.

And we are done – the Mariner mastered!

Before I sign off, here is a look at the Rainbow version of the block. Remember, the templates and instructions can be downloaded from the links at end of this post.

Download the files from these links in .pdf format. You would need Adobe Reader, available free online to read these files on your computer.

Instructions File Block07 Southward Bound containing the fabric requirement, piecing and assembly instructions.

Template File.1  Block07 Southward Bound containing paper piecing templates A to P .

Template File.2 Block07 Southward Bound containing templates Q to Z .

(You can access the patterns for the previous blocks here.) 

Venus at Dusk- Block Five of `Round the Year’ Block of the Month Quilt

Goddess on the mountain top
Burning like a silver flame
The summit of beauty and love
And Venus was her name…

( Lyrics from a popular song from the 70s, when I was a teenager!)

I find the folded star so very pretty and you see it everywhere these days! The reason that I could never get around to making it is that … as much as I may hate to admit it… I am a fabric miser! Therefore, I designed this paper pieced block, inspired by the folded star and named it Evening Star. There is already a quilt block with that name, so I thought of calling it `Morning Star’, but in Hindu mythology the Morning Star is the North Star, not to forget that this quilt is called “Dusk’!

I also wanted to dedicate this October Star, Venus, to my husband and son, whose birthdays fall this month. And then, Indian scientists decided it for me by sending a mission to Mars; if  men now have a place to head to, we women need our very own Venus!

Venus - Block Five of the round the Year Quilt

Venus ( at Dusk) – Block Five of the round the Year Quilt

So…introducing Venus, Block 5 of the Block of the Month quilt ” Round the Year”, designed in two colourways, Dusk and Rainbow. I used Quilt Assistant free software to design this block. This colour design shows the ‘Dusk’ Colourway in four shades of the main colour (blue here) and four shades ranging from yellow to deep orange in the contrast colour. My contrast colours are not symmetrical, because I liked the idea of a twinkling star, please make necessary adjustments in the fabric requirement if you want a `steadier’ star.

Fabric Requirement – Venus at Dusk

Venus - Block Five of the round the Year Quilt

Fabric Requirement


Print all templates in portrait mode at actual size. Also print the first two pages of the Instructions file and keep at hand. If you want to refer to the step by step piecing and assembly instructions, print the whole file! The links are at the end of this post.

Number and label each fabric colour. You can use the master template given below for trying out colour combinations.

I like to cut out all the pieces of one colour and pin them to the respective templates before I move to the next colour fabric. This helps me avoid a lot of confusion and heartburn later!

I suggest you piece the 8 templates A to H like log cabins. Align the straight edge of the strip with the printed seam line at each stage. It saves time if you work on all the templates at the same time. Complete the piecing at each step, trim the seams and press, before moving to the next step.

For more tips on paper piecing the blocks of this quilt, refer to this blogpost!


Join the 8 wedges A to H to respective background pieces using the colour design and the Master template on Page 1 as a guide. Join in pairs to make the ¼ squares. Assemble these to make up the full block.

Here is the Master template – this is a mirror image of the colour design and shows the block from the printed paper side.

Venus - Block Five of the Round the Year Quilt

Master Template -Venus – Block Five of the Round the Year Quilt

Step by Step Piecing and Assembly Instructions

Anuradha Bahuguna of anumrinal.wordpress.com was sweet enough to test the block for me! All these pictures were taken by her. Would you believe this was her first attempt at paper piecing?

Like I said, the block templates A to H are pieced like individual log cabins, beginning from the centre ( yellow to oranges here).

1.I would recommend you sort out all the pieces template-wise and pin them to the far end of your template ( near the piece # 10-11) in the order of stitching – the longest piece at the bottom of the pile and the shortest on top.

For convenience, I am giving the piece number, size of the piece and fabric number here.

Venus - Block Five of the round the Year Quilt

Paper piecing sizes

2. So we start with the 1.5″x2.75″ piece and pin it on the unprinted side of A1. The wrong side of the fabric should touch the paper at all times.

Note that the fabric extends at least ¼” beyond both seam lines, adjoining A2 as well as A3. Align the long edge of the fabric to the seam to be stitched – in this case between A1 and A2. Do this for all pieces to come.
(Note –
In the picture below, one can afford to move the fabric piece a bit upward, toward A3, so that the corner between A1 and A2-A3 is better covered.)

Venus - Block Five of the round the Year Quilt

Hold against the light to see if your fabric placement is correct

What I am going to show you now is incorrect, because the ¼” margin is not available toward A2.

Venus - Block Five of the Round the Year Quilt


Now place the 3″ x1.25″ fabric #3 on the just pinned piece, right sides together, and long edges aligned at seam A1-A2.

Venus - Block Five of the Round the Year Quilt

Piece #2 pinned along seam line to check placement

Venus - Block Five of the Round the Year Quilt

That seems fine – all margins covered!

Anuradha has pinned it on the seam allowance to check that fabric for area A2 completely covers it when opened. In the next picture she shows us how it looks from the flip side.

Venus - Block Five of the Round the Year Quilt

From the right side, Pieces # 1 and 2

That looks good.

Set the sewing machine to a stitch length between 1 and 1.5 so that it is easy to tear away the paper. Sew on the seam line A1-A2, extending the stitching line about ¼” on to A3.

Similarly stitch the first two pieces on all the templates, before heading to your ironing table and pressing the seams to set them. Then trim the seams to ¼” and open the piece #2 on all templates.

3. Pin piece#3,
which is fabric#3 and 3.5″ long, right side down, aligning the long edge to ¼” beyond the printed seam line between A1 –A2 and A3, the way you would in a log cabin. Do this for all the templates and then do the stitching of piece #3 to pieces #1 and #2.

Press seam to set. Fold away the paper template after stitching the seam and trim the seam to ¼” before pressing open piece #3.

This is how your templates should look after this stage…

Venus - Block Five of the Round the Year Quilt

Pieces # 1, 2 and 3

4. Similarly attach pieces 4 and 5…

Round the Year Quilt - Venus Block

Checking if pieces # 4 and 5 in place?


5. Sew pieces # 6 and 7 to each of the templates.

Venus Block - Round the Year Quilt


Aren’t they pretty?

6. Here comes Piece#8. It will be followed by piece #9.

Venus Block - Round the Year Block

Piece 8 coming up

…the final blue pieces# 8 and 9 attached!

Venus Block - Round the Year Block

The star takes shape

7. Turn of the golds! Anuradha was a bit confused here, so she coloured the pieces 9 and 10 with pencils! Remember – the master template is a mirror inage?

Venus Block - Round the Year Block

Coloured pencils ensure you don’t get confused!

Not for long though! She attached the yellow to orange pieces at Areas # 10 and 11.

7. Here are her eight wedges, that will make up the 15″ circle, all pieced!


Venus Block - Round the Year Block

Ooh! That looks good!

The pattern suggests that you join each of these eight large pieced wedges to a corresponding background piece.

While I suggest a diagonal kind of dark/ bright background, Anuradha wanted to experiment with other `looks’. Time then, for some more confusion, while Anuradha tried out various settings for her circle! This..hmmm…I quite like this..

Venus Block - Round the Year Block

Light against dark and dark against light!

…this(which is also delicious)…

Venus Block - Round the Year Block

Light against light and dark against dark!

…and this! I am not so sure about this one…

Venus Block - Round the Year Block

Alternating the darks and lights…

Anuradha, I think, liked this! She joined the wedges to the backgrounds…

Wedges joined to the backgrounds

Wedges joined to the backgrounds

but changed her mind! She joined these wedges into pairs to make four squares. The squares were joined ( like a four patch) to make up the final block. Here it is from the wrong side, withe paper removed!

The paper removed!

The paper removed!

Anuradha does not care much for the centre of her block from the back. It refuses to lie flat.

The centre needs some work!

The centre needs some work!

I  promised to show her how to make those seams meet in a swirl and lie perfectly flat. For that she needs firstly to ensure that her seams are pressed in one  direction. I tried looking for a good tutorial that teaches you how to do it , in vain. It is very similar to the what you would do in a pinwheel block.  She has not got back to me on this, so perhaps she has found a solution?

When I make my block, I will share with you (and Anuradha)  how to make the wrong side of your block look like this.

Eight point star - swirl centre seam

A star on th wrong side of an eight point star – tute coming up, soon!


The front is perfect, all points matched, just so. Here it is, Anuradha’s gorgeous Venus Block, flipped over, from the right side.

Venus Block - Round the Year Block

The Venus, shining brightest, amongst all the twinkling stars!

Now is that not absolutely gorgeous?

Anuradha’s block is ready, waiting to see yours ! Meanwhile, the Venus song is stuck in my head.

She’s got it 
Yeah, baby, she’s got it
I’m your Venus, I’m your fire
At your desire
Well, I’m your Venus, I’m your fire
At your desire

(Do go listen to the full song, it is `awesome’!)

Before I log off, here is a look at the Rainbow Venus, in its original avatar.


And finally the Instructions and templates in pdf format. Remember, print at actual size! You need  Adobe Reader to be able to read these files, Adobe Reader is downloadable for free.

Instructions file – Venus, Block 5 of the Round the Year Quilt. The step by step piecing instructions and pics are included in this file, page 3 onwards. If you do not want them, print only the first 2 pages.

Paper Piecing Templates File – Venus, Block 5 of the Round the Year Quilt

Sapphire Fire – Block Four of the Round the Year BOM Quilt and some Paper Piecing Tips

Sapphire Fire Quilt Block - Round the Year Quilt

Sapphire Fire Quilt Block

Sapphire Fire
is the fourth block in the Dusk colourway in the Block of the Month Quilt, Round the Year. The templates and instructions for the other colourway “Rainbow” have already been posted last week.

Like the previous three blocks, this one is also paper foundation pieced and finishes at 18″ square with a 15″ inset circle. The pattern, fabric requirement and piecing instructions can be downloaded from the links at the end of this post.

I am yet to make this block in this colourway. I plan to use 4 shades of blue fabric from deep to light in this block, contrasted with 4 fabrics ranging from deep orange through light orange and gold to yellow. The background is planned in 2 shades of grey. Here is a look at some of the fabric I have been auditioning for the block! It is Fossil Fern by Benartex – I just love that fabric!

Sapphire Fire Quilt Block

Fabric for the Sapphire Fire Block


Meanwhile, I am utilising this post to list out of a few do’s and don’t’s to keep in mind when paper piecing the blocks from this quilt!


  1. Reminder – the templates for the Round the Year quilt blocks are printed mirror images.
  2. Check to see if the templates are to be printed in portrait or landscape mode – adjust the printer setting accordingly.
  3. Take print outs of the Template file with printer settings at 100% or actual size.

I often have people ask me if they can increase the printer settings to, say, 120% if a larger block is needed. It does not work that way, if you have the ¼” seam allowance added on to the template ( as is the case with the Round the Year block templates). You will end up increasing the seam allowance also to 120%!

4.    I hate all the paper wastage involved when printing the templates – often one template occupies one whole page! Where possible, I like to use my unthreaded sewing machine to needle punch up to 7-8 templates at a time from waste paper stapled to a printed template. Tissue paper works great!

5.  I like to cut the templates a bit larger on all sides and trim them after piecing. It may be just superstition, I don’t know! I just like the thought of some margin in case things go wrong somewhere!

Cutting Fabric

6.  This can never be stressed enough – starch and press your fabric! It makes all the difference between a block that looks like it has been pieced by an experienced quilter versus a beginner! Every minute spent on this stage will be well worth it!

7.   What I love about paper piecing is that you don’t have to be very accurate when cutting the fabric. All my fabric requirement charts give you plenty of margin. Personally, I like to keep a boxful of all the scraps from the quilt blocks to look into before I start cutting fresh fabric.

8.   After cutting the fabric pieces, I can save a lot of heartburn if I remember to pin the pieces to the respective templates! At this stage, I also get a chance to check if I have missed out on a piece or two.


9.   I like to sort out the templates shape wise unless specifically asked not to. There is a possibility you can chain piece them and why miss the opportunity?

10.  Set your machine stitch length to 1.5 (or about 15-20 stitches per inch). You want to be able to tear away the paper, without getting the stitches all loosened up.

11.   It may sound obvious, but please remember to begin with piece #1 and #2 when you start piecing a template!

Now to the piecing itself:

  • Place fabric piece #1 with the wrong side touching the paper on the unprinted side. Hold it against the light to see that the entire area of piece #1 is covered plus a ¼” seam allowance.
  • Place piece#2 on top of piece #1, right sides together. ALWAYS – right sides touching each other. Align the edges of the two pieces at seam between #1 and #2 – overlapping ¼” beyond the seam line.

  • Pin the two pieces together before flipping to printed side of paper and stitching on seam line.
  • Trim the seam allowance to ¼”.
  • Press open fabric piece #2 and hold the template against light to check that it covers the printed area #2 plus ¼” seam allowance on all sides.
  • We are now ready to stitch piece #3…repeat as for pieces #1 and #2!
  • Repeat for all the numbered pieces – in the correct order, till the whole template is pieced.

12.  When all the templates are pieced and ready to be assembled, trim the templates to the right size – to the outer dotted line in the case of my block templates.


13.  Each of the block patterns includes a Master Template, which is a guide to how the templates are to be assembled.
REMEMBER – The Master Template is also a mirror image and shows the printed side of the paper templates.

( You can also use the Master Template to try out your own colour schemes; use colour pencils! )

14. Unlike in the case of the templates, numbering or alphabetical order does not work here! So that it is not necessary that A is joined to B is joined to C etc…Follow the assembly instructions given in the pattern (Instructions File). In case of confusion – yes – refer to the Master template.

15. There are several alignment markers in the form of crosses and tiny lines cutting across the seam line. Use these to pin the templates together.

16. You can tear away much of the paper before you start assembling the templates, especially if it does not have any alignment markers!

17. What you need to be careful at this stage is which edges you join and which template is on top when it goes under the needle. How do I know? Guess!

I think I have listed all the things to be taken care of when paper piecing these blocks! In no time you should have a perfectly pieced and assembled block. If you can think of anything else, do share it here!


Before I forget, here are the promised pattern downloads for the Sapphire Fire Block! The files are huge, and may take time to download. You need Adobe Reader on your system(downloadable free online) to be able to view/ download these files. Happy piecing and quilting!

Instructions – for Sapphire Fire, Block Four of Dusk Round the Year Quilt.

Paper piecing templates – for Sapphire Fire, Block Four of Dusk Round the Year Quilt.


Rainbow Evening at the Pond – Block Two, Round the Year, Block of the Month Quilt

Evening at the Pond

This, EVENING AT THE POND, the second block in my Block of the Month quilt ‘Round the Year’ , is a favourite of mine! For those of you who came in late, this quilt is being made in two colourways. The first, Dusk is in blues, oranges and yellows of a  brilliant sunset, while the second, Rainbow is a more modern version with rainbow colours set against grey and sky blue.

This particular block went through several reincarnations before acquiring its present form, but that deserves its vey own blogpost!  It was tested for me by Nikhat Syeda Arshia and by Sobana Sundar, who has shared her adventure of testing an earlier version of the block on her blog.


 These are instructions for the “Rainbow ” colourway,  including the paper piecing templates, fabric requirement and cutting instructions. These instructions can also be downloaded in a printable .pdf format from the link at the end of this post.

The fabric requirement for the Dusk colourway was posted a few days ago.

The block is paper foundation pieced before being assembled. The finished block size is 18″ square with an inset circle of 15″ diameter.

Fabric Requirement and Cutting Instructions


Cut the 2″ X50″ grey strip for the pond into 12 rectangles – 4 strips each of 5″, 4.5″ and 3.5″.


  1. Take a print out of the template.pdf file at with printer setting at 100% or actual size. You  have the following templates:
  • 8 arc templates numbered I to P for the outer ring of flying geese
  • 8 templates A to H for the inner ‘pond’
  • Template S in 2 pieces S1 and S2 for one quarter of the outside square.

2. Piecing

  • Piece the templates A to H
  • Piece the flying geese templates I to P

3. Assembly

  • Join A to I, B to J, C to K …H to P
  • Join AI to BJ to get quarter circle AIBJ; similarly assemble CKDL, EMFN and GOHP
  • Join the quarter circles to Q, R, S and T respectively to get four quarters of your final block.
  • Assemble the 4 squares; square up the block to 18.5″ – we are done!

Refer to the Master template below as a guide when assembling the paper pieced templates.

You can also use it to try out your own colour schemes; use colour pencils!

I would love to see  pictures of your completed blocks on my facebook page “Patchwork of My Life”  –  a link is on the sidebar!

Downloadable files:

1. Paper piecing template – Rainbow Evening at the Pond , Block Two of  Round the Year Quilt

Instructions -Rainbow Evening at the Pond , Block Two of  Round the Year Quilt