Random Sampler QAL – Wagon Wheel

February 18, 2013 § 6 Comments

Thank you for all the well wishes on the last couple of posts. I hope that this will be the end of the health issues for awhile!  I’m sorry this month’s block is so late.  Between the kitchen construction and being sick it has been a one-task-a-day kind of month.

After looking at the blocks that we have made so far it felt like we needed something a little different. I hope you don’t mind a little foundation paper piecing. It’s not my favorite method of construction. But it gives the best results with blocks that have pieces with unusual shapes.

I decided to make this block finish at 8 inches.  8 1/2″ with seam allowances.  If I were going to make a whole quilt of these I would probably make the block bigger and use a different construction method.  I only made one block today. But I do want to make a few more for the finished quilt.  One of these days I need to have a block sewing party and make a few more things to go along with these planned blocks for the quilt-along.

A couple of tips for foundation paper piecing…

1) Reduce the stitch length on your sewing machine.  This will make it easier to tear the paper away from the fabric.

2) And if you enjoy this process, it might be wise to invest in a package of foundation paper piecing paper.  There are several different brands.  The advantage of this paper is that it tears easier than regular copy paper.

3) Or… if you prefer the freezer paper method, you may use that.

I hope you enjoy this block!


1.  Select 8 medium prints for the center. Mine are green… 8 dark prints for the contrasting band.  Mine are pinks and reds… and a light for the background.  Mine is a grey dot.

Download and print out 2 copies of the Wagon Wheel PAPER PIECING PATTERN for each block that you want to make.

Be sure to print the “actual size” and not the “fit to paper” size.  There are four units on one page and you will need eight units to make a complete block.


2.  Fold a crease at each the the sewing lines.  Be sure to follow the numbers starting with 1 and ending with 3.  Each triangle unit alternates which end you will start with.  This is so that the seams will end up pointing in opposite directions and they should nest nicely when putting the units together.

Start with the unit labeled A and line up the straight edge of your fabric with the edge that is folded over next to section 1.  Pin it in place.  And trim 1/4″ away from the fold line.

Be sure that your scrap piece of fabric will cover the entire section.  This is often where things go awry for me. I try to skimp & save too much on the fabric and then there is an edge that is to short.


3. Select your next piece of fabric for section 2 and line it up with the straight edge of section 1. Pin it in place.


4. Take the unit to your sewing machine and sew on the marked seam line. Be sure to sew entirely through the dotted cutting line on one edge to the dotted cutting line on the other edge.


5. Press the fabric open.


6. Fold over the unit on the stitching line for the next section and trim the excess fabric leaving 1/4″ seam allowance from the folded edge.


7. Select the fabric for section 3 and line it up with the cut edge of section 2 and pin it in place.   Sew it down in the marked solid line and press it open.


8. Trim the excess around each edge of the unit to complete 1/8 of the entire block.


9. Repeat the above steps with unit B.

Pair up a unit A & unit B to make 1/4 of the block.  Pair up unit C & unit D to make another section of the block. Repeat units A-D again to make the second half of the block.


10. Sew two units together and press to one side.


11. When all four units are ready to go, tear off the paper on the back side of each unit. Be careful on the edges to make sure that you are not pulling out your stitches as well.  Sew together the two sections in each row and then the rows together to complete the block.


12. Press all the seams going in the same direction.  You can loosen a couple of the stitches on each side of the center point to make the seams fan around the center and reduce some of the bulk.

Be sure to share your progress in the Flickr group. And as always, if you have questions or suggestions please let me know!  Also, if you have any block suggestions let me know and I might be able to work it in.  I’m just picking what ever interests me at the moment.

§ 6 Responses to Random Sampler QAL – Wagon Wheel

  • Lettyb says:

    I’m not good friends with paper piecing, but this block is so charming. Thank you!

  • Michele says:

    So pretty! Love the fabrics you chose.

  • roccagal says:

    luv it thanks for the PP templates!!!!

  • Love this block, Anita, especially in your pretty fabrics! Good opportunity for some fussy cuts….love the bird 🙂

  • liz huntoon says:

    A very good looking block. Thanks especially for the photograph of the reverse side and pressing tips for center. I wish more people included a photo like this.

  • Blue.Ridge.Girl says:

    Hi Anita! Just wanted to stop by and say that I’ll be making my wagon wheel soon. I’m almost done with the quilting for the November (gosh has it been that long!!) Faith Circle quilt. As soon as I get it done I’ll catch up on current projects 🙂

    As always, your tutorial is wonderful…I do think you are gifted with an ability to teach. I frequently refer back to tutorials for the various blocks on the medallion QAL…so helpful! I’m glad they are there for reference.

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