Nine-pointed Compass Rose Block
This is the twelfth block in a series of Circles Blocks. Why circles? Mainly because I had done some English Paper-Pieced projects and I was sick of straight lines. And hexies, although I quite enjoy them both. The other eleven blocks are available above, under the tab Circles-English Paper Piecing.
Sometimes the inspiration in this series has come from other sources, but this one came out of my head. And a creative mistake I made when designing another circle, yielding a circle has NINE points, whereas most any other circle you find in the world is divided up into an even number of points. I liked it and went with it.
I have been giving away these patterns for free, as I want to share my designs for anyone else who wants an interesting pattern to sew up on those days. But Please: do attribute the source of this to Elizabeth at OccasionalPiece-Quilt (or OPQuilt.com) and do not print off copies for your mother or your friends. Please direct them here to get their free copies. Many thanks. Here’s the pattern in a PDF file for you to download: EPP Circles #12 from OPQuilt
Print off three copies, making sure your printer settings are set to 100% scale. Cut the pieces apart, but cut only one circle. This is an easy block to sew, I think.
Fabric auditioning. This one was pretty straight forward, without any substitutions along the line.
I cut out all the pieces, glue-basted them on (see earlier Circles Blocks for tip and tricks for this series).
I like to print out a picture of my circle, gather the threads I’ll use, and collect everything into a ziploc baggie for easy toting.
When hand sewing the curves, it’s okay to let the pieces curve in your hand.
Step one: Sew the smaller “sky” piece (light blue) to the larger “sky” piece (dark blue).
Step two: Stitch the points and wedges together in groups of two (and one three) each, as shown above.
Step Three: Sew the bright orange triangle points to the smaller green triangle points, in groups of two or three.
Step Four: Attach these to a corresponding yellow triangle/sky combo.
Step Five: Start stitching the units together, however, not like I did above. Keep track of where the orange/yellow units go, so they all mesh together. It might be helpful if you lay out half of the circle when you start putting the units together, just to keep track.
Remember: I make the mistakes so you don’t have to. (Although you can make new ones if you want.)
Since EPPing center circles and I don’t get along, I appliqué them all now. Fluff out the seam allowances on the green so you can appliqué on the large center circle. (I should have thought this one ahead. Okay. A new mistake.)
Remove all the papers except those at the outer edge in the dark blue (you’ll need them in the next part when you put the circle onto its background).
This time, I pinned on the center circle first, then auditioned it on the background, a square cut to 14 1/2.” Yes, this will give you a little extra room around the edges, handy for when you decide to finish this thing. Fold the background in fourths, iron a bit of a crease, then align the circle with those creases. Usually this is easy, but since this is a nine-point star, you may want to measure in from each edge to get it evenly spaced on your background..
Do you want point up on the upper edge (above), or. . . valley up (below)?
Yeah, okay. You know I already went point up.
Stitch down the circle to the background, folding in the point areas as you come to them to make a smooth line. Trim away the background, one-fourth inch away from the appliqué stitching line. Then appliqué on that center circle. I also like to trim away fly-away seam allowances, especially on those points, getting rid of unnecessary bulk.
Press lightly (face down on a padded ironing board is probably the best–use a light hand as they are hand-stitched and you don’t want to iron them into oblivion. Any puckering that you see will be gone after quilting this thing, so no fretting unless you have pleats. . .
Here’s the drawing of the block in case you want to print it out for a guide.
Here are all twelve circles. You can finish your quilt now!
I hope you have enjoyed this series of circles as much as I’ve enjoyed creating and sewing them. Please drop me a note as you make yours, sharing a photo or two.
Karen (@karelaorange) tagged me the other day on Instagram, and I about flipped over with happiness that someone had found these useful. I love her colors and combos–so fun to see!
And here’s another from Mary who blogs at Needled Mom. I love her colors, too–the pop of that lime in the red star points is terrific against the blues.
But here’s the catch. After I finished the twelvth circle, I arranged them and rearranged them, and then decided that I didn’t really want an oblong quilt, and that I needed four more circles to make it the shape I wanted. I’m working on them now, and will present the next one to you in one month’s time. I’m already sketching in sashing and border ideas, and if possible, will try to present those to you soon, as well.
Until then, enjoy this last block!