hello, and thanks for stopping by! 

at the moment, i’m unable to take orders to the UK and EU through the cozybluehandmade.com system. but all hope isn’t lost! 

if you’re a UK/EU customer, please contact me to process your order directly.

March 05, 2024

stitch club :: 3/2024 :: quilted wheel

ever since my barn quilt design, i've wanted to make another quilt block pattern, and now it's here! i'm calling this new pattern 'quilted wheel' and it is based on this vintage (handsewn!) quilt piece that i was given many years ago:

i'm not a very experienced quilter, but from what i've learned online, this quilt block is called a carpenter's wheel. the origin and historical use of this block is really fascinating too. (it was used as a signal to ensalved people who were traveling the underground railroad!)

ok - so, before we start our stitching, let's do some easy prep work.

first, iron your fabric and hoop it up tight! i like to dampen the fabric with water before ironing, so that there are absolutely no creases or wrinkles.

next up, let's get some needles threaded and ready. snip the floss from the card (above) and then pre-thread some needles and have them ready to go:

i'm using 3 strands for my stitching, so i've got 3 strands in each needle. remember that floss comes 6-stranded, so you need to separate the individual strands and only use 3 of them at a time.


and now here we go... time to start stitching!

i am using satin stitch for this pattern. i love the bold, velvety texture that satin stitch has, and i think it'll look great for this piece.

if you would like to follow my lead here, notice that i'm orienting the stitches diagonally across the diamond shapes. also, notice that i'm not stitching diagonally for all the shapes -- that's just for these outer, pointy pieces.

(does that make sense? when i look at these shapes, some look extra pointy and diamond-shaped. the others are paired up, so they appear less pointy to me.)

⚡if you are not a satin stitch fan, this next part is for you.⚡

i know that many of you aren't huge satin stitch fans, and i get it, i really do. it takes a lot of practice to get consistently good results, and there's really no shortcut. the best way to improve your satin stitch is to keep practicing and trust that your work will just keep getting better and better.

however, there are SO MANY ways to fill a shape if you don't want to use satin stitch.

here are a few ideas i'd love to share with you:

seed stitch - just make a bunch of scattered small straight stitches. make them big or tiny, pack them in tight to completely cover the area, or space them out as a lighter fill.

running stitch - stitch rows of running stitch. make the stitches the same length, or make them all different lengths. stitch rows close together and uniform, or stitch them wonky. i've shown three different running stitch ideas here.

chain - rows of chain stitch make a great fill, and gives nice texture.

colonial knots - scatter them or keep them aligned, fill the area loosely or dense.

☁ cross - i like my cross stitches wonky, but you could make yours more orderly if you prefer. make them big or small, or mix them up.

star - i've shown two examples here. one is big and fills the entire shape. the other one is filled with a bunch of tiny stars (you could easily make these into flowers by adding a knot in the center).

brick - brick stitch has a really nice texture, and i love it here. it fills the space really well, and its uniformity goes will with these geometric shapes. you could orient your stitches diagonally, horizontally, or vertically.

☁ satin - i know i said no satin, but i wanted to show you another idea for satin. instead of covering the entire shape with one solid section of satin, divide it up and stitch each section separately. the entire shape is still filled, but the sections give it a little more depth, and you could play around with patterning your sections in various ways. my example here shows 3 sections (i just drew a couple of lines to follow).

just a few ideas! hope this is helpful.


so now i'm working on the remaining pieces of the outer ring. for these shapes, i'm still using satin, but my stitches are oriented horizontally along the short sides.

i see these shapes as being more parallelogram and less diamond-shaped. so if they're parallelograms, the satin stitches are running horizontally, along the shorter sides.

somebody please help me if you can think of an easier way to explain this! 😂

i'll continue this pattern with all the shapes in the outer ring. 

for the areas in the center of this design, the stitches could be oriented diagonally, like the other super pointy diamond shapes, or horizontally, like the paralellogram shapes.

i decided to go diagonal with the stitches in the center:

and one last step, now that the satin is all done.
i'm outlining everything with the dark brown floss, using 2 strands and back stitch.
(i tried 3 strands for the outline and it was too bulky.)

 and here we are, all done:

my quilted wheel is finished and framed, and i'm really happy with how it all turned out.

this week, i'm ordering supplies for the kits + preprints (available in june) and creating the PDF pattern (available on april 1).


1 comment

  • Your Carpenter’s Wheel is lovely. I would not have thought to outline the sections, but that is a great idea! I can’t wait to order.

    Joan grove on

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

CozyBlue Blog

Asset 1

i believe small, simple acts of creativity can make the world a calmer, happier place. cozyblue helps you start one stitch at a time.