Venus at Dusk- Block Five of `Dreamcatcher 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 ” Dreamcatcher 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

Instructions

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!

Assembly

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
Incorrect!

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
Pretty!

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 are available on my online store Madspatch 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.

BUY PATTERN HERE

Instructions file – Venus, Block 5 of the Dreamcatcher 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 Dreamcatcher Round the Year Quilt

Please note that the downloadable patterns 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.

About Eye Candy, Mental Blocks and Blocks Round the Year

Please note that the downloadable patterns 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 see to have hit some kind of a mental block trying to do calculations for the Layout Option 3 for the Dreamcatcher Round the Year Quilt. So I decided to share the real blocks that people have been making, using the free Block of the Month patterns on this blog!  Links to the patterns for these blocks are given towards the end of this post.

A few of the Dahlia blocks had been shared earlier, on  this post. Here comes some more magic…

Block 1 Dahlia

Cindy Ellerbe's Ribbon Dahlia
Cindy Ellerbe’s Ribbon Dahlia
Vicky Trerotola
Vicky Trerotola’s Purple Dahlia
Revathi Sampath
Revathi Sampath’s Blue Ribbon Dahlia
Jaya Parker's  Colour Wheel
Jaya Parker’s Colour Wheel

Block  2 Evening at the Pond

Anuradha Ramesh
Anuradha Ramesh’s Rainbow lights up the Evening at the Pond
Devi Nair
Devi Nair’s Peaceful Evening
Diptee Raut
Diptee Raut’s geese circle a green-blue algae infested pond against the pink sunset!
Jaya Parker
Jaya Parker’s gorgeous colour wheel!
Vicki Trerotola EveatPond
Vicki Trerotola’s purple evening…

Here are blocks 3 and 4 by Vicki…

Vicki Trerotola
Vicki Trerotola’s Card Trick
Vicki's Sapphire Fire - actually, her Amethyst block!
Vicki’s Sapphire Fire – actually, her Amethyst block!

This is the test block that Anuradha Ramesh did for me , Block 4, Sapphire Fire.

Anuradha Ramesh's Block 4
Anuradha Ramesh’s Block 4

After Anuradha finished this block, I came across a picture of a gemstone that is uncannily similar to her block – the Ametrine.

The Ametrine - a gemstone
The Ametrine – a gemstone

Isn’t that amazing?

Please note that the downloadable patterns 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.

Before I sign off to do more calculations on the third layout option for the quilt, I will let you have a peek at what I am designing…

Layout Option 3 - inspired by the Chopsticks Quilt by oneworldfabrics.com
Layout Option 3 – inspired by the Chopsticks Quilt by oneworldfabrics.com

Wish me luck! And happy quilting to you 🙂

Of Clouds and Shadows! Round the Year Quilt – Layout Option One

 

I have been trying out various options for the Block of the Month Quilt, Round the Year! I will show you one option in each of the next few posts and include patterns for sashings and borders. The next block, Block # 5, will be posted only on 15th October. In the first two weeks of October, you can catch up with pending blocks, set your circles in squares, ready the borders, sashing, binding etc! Or, if you want to `quilt as you go’ the first four blocks, perhaps you can start on that!

I shall be posting these so that you can decide which one you want to do. Of course, each of the 16 blocks will be different, but you get the general idea! In case you want the patterns for the blocks featured in this quilt picture above (or below), they are available for free, right here, on this blog! Just type “Round the Year’ in the searchbox, and the posts will pop up. I am trying to create a page where all the links will be available in one place, as soon as I can figure out how!

This is one option I really like. In this layout, the interplay of dark and light grey in the background brings alive the theme of dusk falling. The blocks are simply joined together and a thin 1.5″ dark grey border and binding frames the blocks, making it up to a comfortable 75″ square size. What would you call this layout? I am undecided between `Shadows’ and `Clouds’!

Here is how the Rainbow Quilt will look, in the same layout… A white and black combination ( instead of blue and grey) for the background would look stunning, but I would prefer that for a wall quilt rather than a bed quilt! I’ll give you a dekko at that in my next post!

 

If you come up with some options, we’d all love to see those, too! Meanwhile. I’ll get back to my design desk(top) for a few more layouts!

Assemble the Card Trick Quilt Block – Step by Step

The pattern and piecing instructions for the Card Trick , the third of the blocks in my BOM quilt Round the Year were posted by me a few days ago.

Incidentally, there are 26 templates and  14o pieces in this block…just so that you can boast about it!

Assembly

1. First, lay out all the pieced templates using the master template as a guide.

Lay out the pieced templates using the master template as guide
Pieced templates arranged using the master template as a  guide

2. Assembling the Inner Circle

– Pin together each triangular ‘card’ to the corresponding wedge . If one makes a mistake and  joins wrong pieces together at this stage, the ‘trick’ will not work, so follow the master template strictly!

For accurate piecing, I find  the alignment markers and crosses on the printed templates very helpful.

'Vertical' pin pushed through marker before securing the templates
‘Vertical’ pin pushed through marker before securing the templates
All inner templates ready for pinning together
All inner templates ready for pinning together in pairs
Secured with pins...
Secured with pins…

3. Sew to join together, removing pins as you are a stitch or two away.

Fix the thread as you begin
Fix the thread as you begin
...pulling out the pins as you approach them
…pulling out the pins as you approach them
Chain piecing saves time and thread!
Chain piecing saves time and thread!

Remove extraneous paper – from the seams and pieces without alignment markers. When the seams are pressed flat,  some paper at the corners will go under the upcoming seam, and will be near impossible to remove later. Take care of that. Tweezers help, as well as the ripper.

Remove paper from seam ...
Remove paper from seam …
Paper torn off from seam corners, leaving alignment markers intact
Paper torn off from seam corners, leaving alignment markers intact

4. Referring to the master template, join  the segments in pairs, aligning on the markers with vertical pins pushed through. When securing with pins, I ensure that the head of the pin is either on my right ( since I am right handed) or towards me as the fabric goes under the needle. This makes it easy for me to pull out the pin slowly , without any fear of getting poked!

Refer to the master template ...
Refer to the master template …

5. Join segment AI to CK to form a quarter circle.

6. Join segment  EM to GO to form a quarter circle.

This is as good a time as any to flip over to the fabric side to check if  you have got everything in order!  The little coloured piece on the wedge should be the same colour as the adjoining segment on its left.

7. Join the 2 quarters  at edges C and E to make the top half circle.

Top half of circle is ready!
Top half of circle is ready!

8. Join segment BJ to DL to form a quarter circle, and finally

9. Join FN to HP to form the last of the quarter circles.

10. Join these two quarter circles along edges D and F and the other half of the circle is done!

11. Now to assemble the arcs. There are only 6 arcs, so they will be joined in threes for the top and bottom halves.

QRS makes one half of the ring, and TUV makes the other, moving anti clockwise as you look at the printed  side.

Joining the arcs
Joining the arcs

12. Finally, the final step for assembling the circle! Joining the ring half to the circle half. Do not spare the pins at this stage! I put pins on every seam joint and on some alignment markers too!

Pin copiously!
Pin copiously!
Ready to stitch
Ready  to stitch

13. I find it cumbersome to stitch a curved seam with the paper attached !

It is cumbersome to stitch a curved seam with the paper attached
It is cumbersome to stitch a curved seam with the paper attached

Knowing my arc is securely pinned and correctly aligned to the circle, I can afford to tear away  bits of paper on the seam. I also have a 1/4″ stitch on my Hasina, my HQV machine so I am assured of an accurate seam!

You will notice I do not remove all the paper, as I will need the alignment markers on the outer edge of the arc when I join this to the background.

Paper removed from under the seam area eases sewing
Paper removed from under the seam area eases sewing

Here is one half of my circle assembled, the other half awaits its turn!

Time to gloat!
Time to gloat!

14.  Once both the half circles are ready, we can move to the background. Using the template W ( made of 2 paper  pieces glued together) we had cut 4 fabric pieces a bit larger on the long straight edges .  We join these in pairs, W to X and Y to Z.

15. Join one half of the circle to WX and the other to YZ.

16. Join the two block halves together to form the full square block, and trim it down to 1

An alternative method for joining the circle to the background is to join the two halves of the circle and appliqué the circle on to a background square, using your favourite method. If using this method, cut your square about an inch larger and trim to size after appliqueing.

There is also a freezer paper method for joining a circle to a background square, for which  several free tutorials are available online.

I hope you will enjoy making this block which comes up so magically!  Do share a picture of your completed block on my facebook page, the like button is on the side bar to the right!

You can BUY THE PATTERN HERE! Dusk Version Card Trick Block

Happy quilting, till I post the rainbow version of this block some time next week.

You can buy the pattern for the Rainbow Version of the Card-Trick Block here.

Rainbow Evening at the Pond – Block Two, Dreamcatcher 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 ‘Dreamcatcher 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.

Instructions

 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″.

INSTRUCTIONS

  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

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

BUY PATTERN NOW!

 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

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Lori Kennedy Quilts

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Where Trendy meets Traditional Quilting, by Designer Heather Mulder Peterson of Anka's Treasures

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