This is the Sixteenth and Final Block for my project Shine: The Circles Quilt. It’s kind of a bittersweet moment, as I spent more than a year designing and sewing these blocks, and have sent them out into the world with a wish and a hope that others may enjoy them, too. And I hope you have!
The first twelve blocks are free on this website (do not distribute them or print them off for anyone else. Please send them here to get them for themselves).
(Note from the 2020 Elizabeth: A new, revised pattern is coming soon, so I’ve removed the old ones. Many thanks.)
The patterns for the last set of four (this one included) can be purchased on PayHip, but I have left the tutorials here, as they are photo-heavy. The Finishing Instructions pattern for Shine: The Circles Quilt is also listed on Payhip.
As I did for the fifteenth circle block, I based my design on the fancy compass/North designator of old maps, throwing my ideas into EQ7, and having fun. There are elements of other blocks in this one, with the undulating narrow blades and the small points.
For this final block, I liked that this design had echoes of Circles Block Four, and that you can see a dimensionality to it.
Count your pieces (I have too many outer points and outer arcs by accident–you only need sixteen, not thirty-two), and gather your fabrics (below) and jump in.
To get the blades going the same way as shown in the illustration, lay the printed side DOWN. I include lots of tips and tricks for these circles in each pattern, so if you found this one first, head to the tab up above marked Shine: The Circles Quilt EPP to find the others. The outer points have no direction, so you can place them printing up. . . or down.
First round all sewn.
Second round all sewn.
Join the blades of the rays together. Because I have such strong color shifts in these pieces, I opted to use different colored threads in each section. Here I’m sewing the teal pieces together, then I’ll switch to other thread and join the next band. . . and the next.
Start joining the units into pairs.
I just thought this was a fun photo of the project tucked into my Sew Together Bag. There’s a mini version tutorial of this on my blog (with pattern on Craftsy), but you do have to have the original pattern to figure it out.
Okay, back to the sewing. To place the points on accurately, pinch to find the center of the curved edge.
Align that as shown. I use one pin to keep it in place, but start sewing from the point’s outer corner, as shown in the next photo.
Repeat the pinch-to-find-center-action and sew on the next point. I always take a stitch at the point corners to join them to each other.
Here’s how they look when finished. Keep going until you’ve gotten the points on all your ray-pairs.
Join a ray pair together.
Then stitch down the loose yellow point. Repeat with the other two pairs.
Time to add in the dark blue outer arcs in between the points. Again, I take one stitch at the outer points to join the arcs together too.
This is what you have so far.
Join the two units, sew down the yellow points, then fill in with the arcs.
Nice work! Here it is from the back with all the papers still in.
Remove all but the outer arc papers. You’ll need those to appliqué the circle onto the background.
Don’t put it on the background just yet. First appliqué the center circle, as in Circle Block #1.
Lay your center circle over the center hole, measuring to get it on evenly, then appliqué with tiny stitches (above). Changing the size of the center circle is just fine; I decided to make it a little bigger than I’d planned.
I trim out the excess.
And then trim more excess–this time the appliqué center, leaving about 1/4″ seam allowance.
Cut a background square 14 1/2″, and as in the other circles, decide the placement of your circle and pin it down. When you come to a place with the seam allowances. . .
. . . first fold in one side. . .
. . . then the other, and keep stitching it to the background.
When finished, cut away the background.
I also trim off some of the more wild ends of seam allowances, as you don’t need all that bulk.
Now you can finish your quilt. I wrote the finishing instructions in a pattern and put it up on PayHip so you can finish yours too.
I hope you have enjoyed this series. It all started when I wanted something to sew by hand at night to relax, but was tired of all the straight edges of hexagons and such. Just after I started, we visited an ornately painted church in Slovenia, which inspired many of the circle blocks. If you are sewing them, please send me a note by way of comment, or share a photo with me by way of email. I can’t wait to see your creations!