September 13, 2016

Porthole Quilt Block

Welcome to my stop on the Cloud9 New Block blog hop! If this is your first time here, I hope you like what you see :)

I want to say a huge thank you to Cloud9 Fabric for so generously donating the fabric for everyone participating in this hop. Aren't the colours beautiful?
Cloud9 New Block fabrics | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Another huge thank you goes to our hosts Yvonne, Cheryl and Stephanie. I can only imagine all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into organizing a blog hop with so many participants. Great job, ladies!

And now...Let me introduce Porthole!
Porthole Quilt Block | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

I set out to design a block that would create a secondary pattern with my earlier block, Stained Glass Star, so I knew I wanted a strip going across the corners. But what could I put in the middle? I don't remember what made me think of the circle (porthole!), but I really love it. The funny thing is, the strips going across the corners in this block don't match up with the corner strips in Stained Glass Star, so the two blocks don't really work together after all. I guess that's a project for another day ;)

Here is what Porthole would look like when made into a quilt. I love the secondary patterns created by the strips across the corners of the block! Those framed hourglass blocks would be fun to quilt...maybe with some dot-to-dot designs or by filling each of the triangles with feathers...lots of possibilities there.
Porthole quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Those circles are not applique. They're inset circles, but before you click over to someone else's blog because there's no way you're ever going to even attempt inset circles, let me assure you they're easy!

Really! In fact, I had never sewn inset circles before I designed this block, so I had to learn it myself. I seem to like to just jump into stuff I've never done before :) You can read about Noodles if you'd like to see a previous example.

Want to see my first-ever inset circles? Here they are, as proof that even a first attempt can look good because these are waaaaaay easier than their reputation would suggest. This was my practice block, before I cut into the Cloud9 fabrics.
Inset circles | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Let's get to the tutorial. Let me warn you, though, there are a lot of pictures with this one :)


Materials


*3 fat quarters in coordinating colours
*Freezer paper
*Washable glue stick
*Some method of drawing 6" and 9" circle templates. If you have a compass in the house, then this will be fairly easy. If not, then you can do like I did and raid the cupboard. I found plates that were almost exactly 6" and 9", so I traced around those.

 

Cut


From pink #1 - 2 squares 7 1/2" x 7 1/2"

From pink #2 - 2 squares 7 1/2" x 7 1/2"

From blue - 1 square 10 1/2" x 10 1/2"
                    4 strips 1 1/2" x 9"
Porthole quilt block cutting instructions | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

 

Sewing the First Inset Circle


To start off, join the 4 pink squares as shown to make a 4 patch unit. Press these seams open. That will make the seams less bulky to work with when you're sewing the circles.

Porthole quilt block 4 patch | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Trace your 9" circle onto the non-waxy side of the freezer paper. Cut out the center, leaving a wide border around the circle. Fold the circle in half, matching up the edges of the circle, not the border, and crease. Open it up and fold it in half the other way and crease again. Make little pencil marks at the edge of the circle where the creases are, to make them easier to see.

Line up your freezer paper circle on the BACK of your 4 patch unit, with the waxy side down. Match each of those little pencil marks with a seam line to ensure that your circle is centered. Iron with a dry iron to stick the freezer paper to your fabric.
Inset circle tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Inset circle tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Cut out the circle of fabric, leaving about 1/2" inside the freezer paper. ***Don't cut the middle of the fabric*** We'll be putting that back in later, so just snip into the fabric about 1/2" from the freezer paper and carefully cut around.
Inset circle tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Porthole Quilt Block tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
See, here's my middle piece, perfectly intact!
Make little snips into that 1/2" of fabric you left inside the freezer paper, stopping about 1/8" away from the edge.
Inset circle tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Iron all those tabs back over the freezer paper. I thought this step would be really tedious, but it wasn't at all.
Inset circle tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
 Put a little glue on each of those tabs.
Inset circle tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Position the blue 10" square over the tabs, right side down if you're not working with solids. I found some of those tabs would sometimes get flipped over, so make sure you check from the front to make sure they're all flipped back out of sight. Press with a dry iron to set the glue.
Inset circle tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
 See how they're nicely attached to the blue fabric? Now peel away the freezer paper.
Inset circle tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Turn the unit over, so the blue fabric is on the bottom. Pull back gently on the pink fabric to reveal the crease made when you ironed the tabs back over the freezer paper. That is now your stitching line. Stitch all the way around the circle, right on the line. I found it helpful to reduce my stitch length slightly and to stitch somewhat slowly.
Inset circle tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
 Inset circle tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Check to make sure you're happy with everything. If you are, then trim the seam allowance to 1/4" (I just eyeballed it) and then give the unit a good pressing.
Inset circle tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
You've just sewn an inset circle! Told you it was easy! Now we're going to do it again :)

Sewing the Second Inset Circle


Trace your 6" circle onto the non-waxy side of the freezer paper and cut it out, leaving a wide margin around the circle. Like before, fold the circle in half and crease, then open it and fold the other way and crease again. This time, mark the outside border of the creases. This will help with centering the circle.

Position the freezer paper on the BACK of your unit with the waxy side down, matching the creases with the seam lines. Iron with a dry iron to stick it to the fabric.
Inset circle tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
 Inset circle tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Cut out the middle of the circle, leaving 1/2" inside the freezer paper. Clip the seam allowance, stopping about 1/8" from the freezer paper.
Inset circle tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
 Press those tabs back over the freezer paper. Apply glue to all of the tabs.
Inset circle tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Use the piece you cut out when making the first inset circle. Position it over the tabs, rotating it so the colours alternate (ie. the dark pink in the center is paired with the light pink on the outside). I used a small ruler to check that the seam lines were aligned.

Check from the front to make none of the tabs are flipped out of place. Press with a dry iron to set the glue.
Remove the freezer paper and stitch on the crease just as you did for the first inset circle. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4" and the press the block.

Now you have two inset circles under your belt!
Porthole quilt block tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Adding the Corner Strips


Trim the block to 13". I found the easiest way to do this was to line up the center seams with lines on my cutting mat and then count 6 1/2" to each side and trim off the excess.

Now line up one corner with lines on the mat. Measure 5 1/2" from the corner on the top and side. Line up your ruler with the marks and cut off the corner. Set it aside for later. Repeat for the remaining three corners.
Porthole quilt block tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
 Porthole quilt block tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Position the blue 1 1/2" x 9" strip along the cut edge. Some will extend past both sides. Stitch in place. Repeat for the remaining corners. Press open.
Porthole quilt block tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
 Porthole quilt block tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Now it's time to sew the corners back on. Press the block in half and crease lightly. Open and fold it in half the other way and crease again.

Alternating colours once again (so the triangle you sew on each corner should match the fabric in the middle circle), position the long edge of one triangle on the blue strip, matching the point of the triangle with the crease mark. Pin and stitch in place. Repeat for the remaining corners. Press open.
Porthole quilt block tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
 Porthole quilt block tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
 This is what it should look like now.
Porthole quilt block tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Trim your block to 12 1/2" square and you're done!
Porthole quilt block | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com



If you make a porthole block (or quilt!), I'd love to see it! Tag me on Instagram (@devotedquilter), leave a link to a blog post in the comments below or even just email a picture to devotedquilter at gmail dot com.

There are a lot more beautiful new blocks being shared during this hop, so be sure to visit today's other hoppers.

Host: Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs



Thanks for stopping by! If you liked this block, sign up for my monthly newsletter, The Bulletin. On the 16th of each month I share news from here along with a round-up of great things to make.

49 comments:

  1. Wow! What an intricate design! Love the thorough tutorial with lots of detail photos.

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  2. Love your block and the detailed instructions, this one is for me for sure.

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  3. Good on you for trying something you had never tried before! I really like the porthole.

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  4. Great instructions for a insetting circles! Well done!

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  5. How could you not love this block. So well done.

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  6. What a creative block! Very well done and worth noting the great construction advice for circles. =)

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  7. This is a really great block. Very complex to put together. The result is beautiful.

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  8. Well done! This is really cool and you make that inset circle look so achievable.

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  9. Great instructions! I may try this inset method, yours looks amazing! I love this block!

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  10. I absolutely love your block!! Great job!!

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  11. Great block Leanne. You really put a lot of thought and work into creating it and the beauty of it shines through. Your tutorial is excellent. Many thanks.

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  12. Great block Leanne. You really put a lot of thought and work into creating it and the beauty of it shines through. Your tutorial is excellent. Many thanks.

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  13. My favorite method to make circles! Your block is amazing and seeing it in a quilt design is so cool! I love the secondary design....great job with this block!!

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  14. Great block - I love how the whole quilt looks. I'll have to give this one a try - I love circles.

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    1. Thanks, Ann! If you do make it, I'd love to see your version :)

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  15. This is really stunning, Leanne! I love that you show how to do a new technique and I think the secondary design that your block makes is really fun. Thanks so much for being part of the hop!

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  16. Lovely block, I really like how you used the colours too. I've been looking at inset circles recently and your is a great explanation, thank you.
    Smiles
    Kate

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  17. Love this block design. It's got a really graphic feel to it. And I love making circles...great job!

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  18. Wow - what a block!! I have never made inset circles before but your tutorial seems really clear and easy to follow. The mock up of a full quilt is gorgeous!

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  19. This is an awesome tutorial and block! I love the circles with the diamonds created by using the block in a quilt top.

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  20. Another one of my favorite from the blog hop! This is a super unique block, i love it!

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad you like it :)

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  21. Wow, I have been afraid to do inset circles but you make it seem so easy! This block is going on my list to do.

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  22. Wow! Those inset circles definitely look intimidating but you make it look easy! Great block!

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  23. I too am a little scared of inset circles... your tutorial and photos really shows how to do it well. Nice job. this is a great block and the quilt it creates is stunning!

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad my tutorial makes the inset circles seem doable!

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  24. Wow.Your tutorial is fabulous and the quilt and eye catching.Great job!!

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  25. I love this block Leanne: It's perfect for someone from the east coast.

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  26. Very different block. Can't wait to see the quilt with all these great blocks.

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    1. I know! The charity quilts will be so fun, won't they?

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  27. Your design is unique and striking!

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  28. Your block design is really fun, and I like the secondary pattern that forms when the blocks are put together. Good job of describing an intricate process.

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  29. I can honestly say, I've never even heard of inset circles! Thanks for introducing me to a new technique and for explaining it so well! Great block!

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  30. Wow. Love it. Too bad it doesn't match up with your previous block. I've been meaning to try circles.

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  31. Thhis is a really great tutorial for an interesting method to set in a circle -- very specific, nearly no chance to mess it up if one is paying attention. Now you can work on the next step, setting the circles in without so much work -- just cutting a hole and then cutting a circle with a 1/2" bigger radius (1" larger diameter). Then, jusst keeping the circle on the bottom, matching up quarters similar to the way you did, and easing the hole on top onto the circle on the bottom, using your basic 1/4" seam allowance. Congratulations for being courageous enough to tackle your first inset circle for a blog hop. I like the block.

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  32. I love blocks with secondary patterns. This is awesome.

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  33. Oooh, really like this block and the secondary layout you created!! Thanks so much for the inset circles tutorial - I'm excited to give that a try! :)

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  34. I absolutely adore this block! I've had this technique on my list of things to try for ages. I'm definitely doing it SOON!

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  35. This is a really cool block and this technique for inset circles seems really doable. Thanks!

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  36. This block is blowing my mind. I've never seen inset circles explained before. I will definitely be giving it a try.

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  37. I have never thought of inset circles - what a great idea and your tutorial makes it look easy! Thank you for posting, Denise @ craftraditions.com

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  38. One block all done,I love it and am emailing a pic to you.

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  39. Great block and neat way of insetting the circles. (any way to get this as a PDF so I can take it to the sewing machine with me?)

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  40. Very pretty block! When I first looked at your block, I thought I knew how you assembled it. But after reading your directions, I see you have a new way. Proving once again--there is always more than one way to solve a problem or achieve an end to the situation. Thanks for the pattern. Karen

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  41. Great design! And although I'd never imagine I'd want to make so many inset circles I've changed my mind because wow you've made it so doable! Great tutorial.

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  42. I like you circle piecing method. I can't wait to give it a try! It's an awesome design. The tutorial is has good details shots. Thanks!

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