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 Free Pattern : A Merry Go Round Block

Merry Go Round is a larger block, and works well for quilting pillows or cushions, in addition to bed coverings.

A great choice for making use of scraps and leftovers, each block is typically constructed from two fabrics. Finished projects, however, may feature blocks of many fabrics and colors.

Merry Go Round block

Merry Go Round has the greatest impact when worked up with a distinct light and dark fabric. The contrast between the two is the key to how bold a statement this block makes. A block consisting of white and a primary color, for example, creates a more dramatic effect than a block made from white and a soft pastel.

What size is it?

  • Merry Go Round is a 20 inch block.

    Construction instructions

    Although it looks like a time consuming block to piece, Merry Go Round is actually fairly straight-forward to construct. Rather than piecing by rows, this block works up as a four patch. Each section is exactly alike, only positioned differently by 90°. For this reason, the key to accurate piecing is to check each section's orientation before stitching.

    Cutting - Merry Go Round is constructed from quarter triangles, squares and rectangles in two fabrics. Rotary cutting directions below include a seam allowance for all pieces.

    • Cut four squares from a 2 1/2-inch strip of fabric A.
    • Cut thirty-six quarter triangles from a 4 1/2-inch strip of fabric A.
    • Cut thirty-six quarter triangles from a 4 1/2-inch strip of fabric B.
    • Cut four 8-inch long rectangles from a 4 3/4-inch strip of fabric A.
    • Cutting graphic

    Assembling triangle-pair units - Before assembling the four main patches of this block, all triangles must be paired. Use a quarter-inch seam allowance for all stitching.

    • Gather all fabric A and fabric B triangles.
    • Place one fabric A triangle over a fabric B triangle, right sides together and stitch.
    • Repeat to create thirty-six triangle-pair units.
    • Press all seams.
    • Triangle-pair unit

    Four-Patch Assembly - With the triangle-pair units complete, the next step is to piece the four sections which comprise the finished block. Not all triangle-pairs are positioned in the same manner, so it is important to compare your layout against this pattern before sewing.

    • Gather one fabric A rectangle, one fabric A square and nine triangle-pair units.
    • Place one triangle-pair over another, right sides together, and stitch
    • Place the resulting oblong over the fabric A rectangle and stitch.
    • Place one triangle-pair over another, right sides together, and stitch
    • Repeat to form a row of four triangle-pair assemblies.
    • Place one triangle-pair unit over a fabric A square, right sides together and stitch.
    • Repeat with a second triangle-pair unit, stitching to the square's opposite side. NOTE - Consult the pattern for correct positioning.
    • Place another triangle-pair unit over the last one pieced and stitch in place. NOTE - Consult the pattern for correct positioning.
    • Take the two rows created, and place one over the other with right sides together.
    • Stitch the two rows together.
    • Place this assembly over the assembly containing the fabric A rectangle, right sides together and stitch.
    • Repeat this entire procedure to form four assemblies.
    • Press all seams.
    • Four-patch unit

    Block Assembly

    • Gather the four assemblies created in the last step.
    • Lay out the assemblies following this pattern's graphics.
    • Place one assembly from the top row over the other and stitch.
    • Place one assembly from the bottom row over the other and stitch.
    • Place the top row over the bottom, lining up seams, and stitch.
    • Press all seams in your finished block.
    • Block assembly

    Now that I have it, what can I do with it?

    Pieced next to each other, blocks of Merry Go Round form a rambling feather design across the quilt face. With so much activity, a simple border, as used in this sample layout, works best.

    Merry Go Round quilt

    Sashing works well with Merry Go Round blocks, and is probably the best layout choice for blocks worked up from different fabrics. In this example design, however, the blocks are uniform in color. Deep purple sashing provides a balancing contrast to the lighter purple fabrics in the blocks and border.

    Blocks surrounded by sashing

    More options to think about!

    The numerous angles of a Merry Go Round block provide an interesting contrast to more flowing quilting motifs, such as the feather wreath motif used in this example. In this layout, the blocks are primarily clustered in the center and move off diagonally toward the edges of the quilt, drawing the eye as it moves.

    Merry Go Round and solid blocks quilt

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