Pirouette is a modern English Paper Pieced mini quilt inspired by the La Passacaglia quilt (from the book, Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein) and Clare @selfsewn’s One Cog Wonder (see the Instagram hashtag #selfsewnlapassacaglia for some fabulous photos!)
FINISHED QUILT SIZE: 39" across, 41 ½” top to bottom, each edge is 13”
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
ENGLISH PAPER PIECES
This quilt uses fussy cutting which makes yardage requirements tricky to measure because the fabric needed depends on the size of the repeat and how many repeats of the pattern you need. Small geometric prints will hold the same section of the pattern in a small strip, and can be used in other blocks. Large prints like florals or spread out novelty prints will need more fabric, perhaps up to 1 yard, depending on which round you are making. Usually I double check before I start cutting. However, then the uncut parts of the fabric can be used multiple times for different parts of the design. (For more information about fussy cutting and fabric repeats, click here!)
For this quilt, I used 1 fat quarter for each round, except for the cream pineapple pentagons (round 10), which I fussy cut and needed ½ yard.
1 ¼ yards for backing (if you’re OK with less overhang) or 2 ½ yards if prefer to play it safe and have 4” overhang on each edge (before quilting)
⅓ yard for binding
47" x 52" batting
Hand-sewing needles (Bohin Milliners, size 9)
Fabric glue and/or Clover Wonder Clips for basting*
Sewing machine, Pressing tools
**Using the paper pieces as a template, cut the required number of shapes from the fabric for each round, making sure you leave a 3/8” seam allowance on each edge.**
- For Round 1 cut (5) 1 ¾” 5pt Diamonds
- For Round 2 cut (5) 1 ¾” 10pt Diamonds
- For Round 3 cut (10) 1 ¾” Pentagons
- For Round 4 cut (50) 1 ¾” Isosceles Triangles, (10) 1.08” Pentagons, (10) 1 ¾” 5pt Diamonds
- For Round 5 cut (20) 1 ¾” Pentagons
- For Round 6 cut (10) 1 ¾” Pentagons, (10) 1 ¾” 10pt Diamonds
- For Round 7 cut (30) 1 ¾” Pentagons
- For Round 8 cut (100) 1 ¾” Isosceles Triangles, (20) 1.08” Pentagons, (10) 1 ¾” 5pt Diamonds
- For Round 9 cut (50) 1 ¾” Isosceles Triangles, (10) 1.08” Pentagons, (20) 1 ¾” 5pt Diamonds, (20) 1 ¾” Pentagons, (10) 1 ¾” 10pt Diamonds
- For Round 10 cut (40) 1 ¾” Pentagons, (10) 1 ¾” 5pt Diamonds
- For Round 11 cut (30) 1 ¾” 10pt Diamonds, (20) Edge Triangles
- For binding: cut (4) 2 ½” wide WOF strips
STITCHING THE WHOLE BLOCKS:
Please take special notice of the diagrams to ensure your pieces are being attached in the correct order.
1. Prepare all the pieces for the quilt by basting the fabric to the paper templates. Arrange them into groups for each round - they can be stored in ziplock bags. Or you can work one round at a time!
2. Round 1: Arrange the 5 Diamonds together to make a star. Take two of the Diamonds, place them right sides together, and starting at the wide angle, sew 3 stitches and then thread the needle through the final loop to anchor the thread. Whip stitch along the Diamonds until you get to the point. Open the shapes out, add the third Diamond over the Diamond on the left, right sides together, and stitch from the point to the wide angle. Break the thread. Sew another 2 Diamonds together (as before) and break the thread. Place the two partial blocks together and stitch them together to complete your centre star.(fig. 1)
3. Round 2: Next add the 10pt Diamonds. I find it easier if I start in a corner of the star rather than on a point - the pieces are stiffer there. Stitch the Diamonds around the star, anchoring the thread as you begin and end a length of thread.(fig. 2)
4. Round 3: Sew together 5 of the 1 ¾” Pentagons to make a semicircle, and repeat to make two semicircles in total. Sew one semicircle of Pentagons to one half of the centre block and break the thread. Sew the other semicircle to the other half of the centre block. Finish by sewing the ends of the semicircles to each other. (fig. 3)
5. Round 4: Make (10) 5pt stars by sewing an Isosceles Triangle to each side of a 1.08” Pentagon. (fig. 4) Sew 5 stars together by sewing a 5pt Diamond between each one, and adding an extra Diamond to the left hand edge of the first Diamond. In the same way, make another star semicircle. (fig. 5) Sew one star semicircle to the centre block, anchoring the thread as you begin and end each a length of thread. Sew the other star semicircle to the other half of the centre block. Finish by sewing the two semicircles to each other.
6. Round 5: Sew each of the 20 Pentagons into pairs. Then sew each pair onto the centre block, between the star points of the previous round (fig. 6) I find it easier if I start in a corner rather than on a point - the pieces are stiffer there.
7. Round 6: Sew a 1 ¾” Pentagon to the V between two of the Pentagons from Round 5 where they join the point of the star (fig. 7) When you get to the point of the Pentagon, continue around by sewing a 10pt Diamond to the shallow V between the two Pentagons attached together from Round 5. Continue sewing around the centre block, alternating a 1 ¾” Pentagon with a 10pt Diamond.
8. Round 7: Sew 20 of the Pentagons together into pairs. Starting in one of the ditches in the centre block, sew a pair of Pentagons. Without breaking the thread, continue around the centre block by adding a single Pentagon between each pair. (fig. 8)
9. Round 8: Make (20) 5pt stars by sewing an Isosceles Triangle to each side of a 1.08” Pentagon. (fig. 4) Join 2 stars together by sewing a 5pt Diamond between each them. Make 10 of these. (fig. 9) Sew each pair of stars into the ditches in the centre block. (fig. 10)
10. Round 9: Make (10) 5pt stars by sewing an Isosceles Triangle to each side of a 1.08” Pentagon. (fig. 4) Then sew a 5pt Diamond shape to each side of the bottom point. (fig. 11) Sew (20) 1 ¾” Pentagons together into pairs, and then add a 10pt Diamond to the top V of each pair. (fig. 11) Sew the stars and the Pentagon pairs alternately around the centre block. (fig. 12)
11. Round 10: Make (10) semicircles by sewing together (4) 1 ¾” Pentagons next to each other. (fig. 13) Sew these Pentagon semicircles around the outside of the centre block alternating them with a 5pt Diamond.
12. Round 11: Make (10) units by sewing a 10pt Diamond to the right hand edge of an Edge Triangle. Then make (10) units by sewing a 10pt Diamond to the left hand edge of an Edge Triangle. (fig. 14)
13. Sew these units to the centre block, alternating with the single 10pt Diamonds. Take special care when sewing these to the centre block. Remember, the Edge Triangles are sewn next to each other and the 10pt Diamonds are sewn next to each other. Double check the diagram if you are unsure of the order. (fig. 15)
14. Remove all the papers and press the quilt top. Open out the turn-under of the outside edge pieces as you press.
15. Layer the backing (wrong side up), batting, and quilt top (right side up). Baste the layers together and quilt as desired. The pictured quilt was machine quilted with double rows of quilting through the centre, and with some echo quilting around some of the rounds.
16. Trim the excess quilt top, batting, and backing 1/4” beyond the seam line where the papers have been.
17. Sew the binding strips together end to end using diagonal seams. Press the binding in half wrong sides together.
18. Leaving an 8" tail of binding, sew the binding to the quilt through all layers, matching all raw edges. Miter corners. Stop approximately 12" from where you started. Lay both loose ends of binding flat along quilt edge. Where these two loose ends meet, fold them back on themselves and press to form a crease. Using this crease as your stitching line, sew the two open ends of the binding together right sides together. Trim seam to 1/4" and press open. Finish sewing binding to quilt.
19. Turn the binding to the back of quilt and stitch in place.