Saturday 16 April 2016

Hazel & Little Hazel: Part 4

OK, let's have some serious piecing fun! I decided to tackle the swirler block immediately after creating the centre star because it's one of those blocks that, once made, will make you feel like you can do anything! Your confidence will soar and who knows, you might even make a few extra just for the sake of it.

I am in love with the swirler block. It looks so complicated (if you let it) but it can be tamed with patience and know-how. This is post is all about how I went about making this block. Please read through the pattern (several times) and really understand what you are doing before you make a start.

An important aspect of how I made my blocks is understanding the technique I used. This technique works from the back of the block and it's the most successful method for creating neat, even centres that allow the swirl to look perfect. If you've never created a block in this way, I suggest you make a sample first to get the hang of things. Yes, it's achieveable, so don't let any worries about a new technique slow you down. Heres how I made mine, step by step.

The block consists of TEMPLATES A- B- C
 This is the RIGHT SIDE UP pattern sheet. I've outlined all the lines in the block and names them according to their TEMPLATES. As you can see here: the pattern is segmented into A -B- C
 Take a good look at this picture. This is TEMPLATE A and as you can see, I've cut my fabric WITH seam allowance, then I cropped one curved edge. That means, I removed one seam allowance from the PAPER TEMPLATE. Why would I do that? In order to starch the edge of my fabric and crease the line when I turn the edge of my fabric.
This image is of my pattern sheet above REVERSED. On the reverse pattern, there is a straight line and a dash line. The straight line indicates where the TURN EDGE of your fabric piece will sit and the dash line indicates where the 'no seam allowance' edge sits.
 Take a look at both lines
It will make sense soon
 I've turned the edge of my fabric over over my paper template with starch and pressed dry
Remember that my PAPER TEMPLATE is being used in the REVERSE
 When the TEMPLATE has been removed, this is what the fabric looks like. The edge here is very important to this technique. My seam allowance is a 1/4 " but you can use 3/8 or 1/2 " max.
Now we are looking at the REVERSE pattern sheet and my fabric piece positioned in location. The fabric piece is sitting on straight lines. The dash line above indicates that the NEXT template piece will overlap my turn edge
 Like so
 close up
 I've pinned my fabric to the pattern sheet so it won't move as accuracy is key to this block. Now, along the turned edge, I've applied a scant line of glue.
The next fabric piece is positioned right into the dotted glue line of the turn edge seam of the previous piece. See how the raw edge of my second piece is glued down to the glued line of the turn edge of the piece before? The raw edge is always a glue edge. Take a good look. 

Now, take a hot iron and 'stamp' the fabric over the seam lines so the glue dries. Don't move the iron up and down, you are simply drying the glue.
This is another view of the same block. Notice that the glue has gone down all the way into the centre start point. This is important.
 And looking at this image, you can see the fabric pieces actually go over the cenre point. The whole way must be glued and dried for accuracy.
Now it's time to add the next fabric piece and again, the raw edge is always the glue edge and remember that the pattern sheet is reversed, my paper templates are reversed AND my fabric is cut accordingly. So I am actually creating this block in reverse.
Notice this thin scant line from the very beginning to end of the seam line. I'm using Elmer's washable school glue which is actually just a starch. It's the only glue I recommend for quilting. Here I have popped it into an old basting glue container for ease of use.
 Now positioning new fabric into place
 it must line up neatly and within the lines
 hot stamping the glue seam
 This is A -B -C in position, working from the back because my block is reversed
 and continue, paying attention to your pieces and joining them accurately on your glue lines
 hot stamping the glue dry
 and more continuing
 until it's time to add the final segment
One left. In order to position the last piece, you will have to gently lift the bottom fabric and slot in the last piece
 lift the previous piece
 and position the last piece
 I've open up so I can get the last one accurately on the line
 slot it in, apply glue and press it dry
 Now, gently lift the seam allowances, I did this with my fingers. Now you take a marker and you run the marker along the seam lines. Can you see the blue line below? I've marked my seams on the crease line.
 This is a crease line, marked in
 Just running my pen along
Now, turn the block over and check the front 
the centre points should be accurate, like this
See how the swirls create a flat surface right in the centre? In this image, my block is NOT yet stitched, it is only glued. See how neat and tight it is?
When you're happy with your block, go back and stitch your seams on the line you indicated with pen. You start stitching on the last piece your slotted in and you stitch from the outside of the block sewing into the centre, always sewing on your crease lines and stop  1/4 inch before you hit the centre swirl. You don't stitch over the swirl. You worked clockwise on the reverse. You start sewing down starting at your last piece and you sew the crease lines, working anti clockwise. 
This is the glue I used.

Hazel & Little Hazel are my current Free BOMs  
You can join my BOM Group my clicking here now. It's full of fabulous, talented women sharing their work, ideas and inspirations as they make my quilt patterns. Join us and our friendly, supportive community today. 
Wait until the 15th of each month and download the available pattern right here directly on my blog. The choice is yours. My old Yahoo Group has closed due to limitations on the platform. If you haven't come over to the new group, now is a good time.


  1. The technic looks fun to try. The block is wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for this wonderful tutorial.

  3. wonderful tutorial - I'm making sure I save this.

  4. merci Hazel pour ce tutoriel. je ne connaissais pas, je vais donc essayer, mais je suis en France et comment se procurer cette colle. encore Merci et gros baisers.

  5. Спасибо, очень подробно и понятно.

  6. Thank you for the tutorial!

  7. Muchas gracias Esther de corazón , fuerza y amor de todas

  8. Muchas gracias Esther de corazón , fuerza y amor de todas

  9. bonjour Esther. je pense qu'il y a une erreur dans le PDF reverse. le template C et B sont inversés. il faudrait peut-être le signaler. Merci pour ce tuto. j'ai bien aimé faire le bloc de cette façon.
    a bientôt -
    baisers de France

  10. This looks like a fun block to make. Your technique is the same as what I learned in my appliqué class. Thanks so much!


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