October 2017
« Nov    
Mariner’s Compass
Filed under: General, Creativity, Design, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 9:33 am

Mariner’s compass designs have always intrigued me. The compass rose or wind rose, found on a nautical chart, radiates out from the center and is used in sea navigation. If you google images for “compass rose” you will find some beautiful images. Mariner’s Compass Quilts by Judy Mathieson is one of my favorite quilting books with inspiration about this design, mariner’s compass patterns, and information on how to draft your own pattern.

Recently I created a paper foundation pieced (see Carol Doak for info on this method) pattern for a mariner’s compass block that goes together in 8 sections. For coloration I used light, medium, and dark blues. It is very important to have value changes (light to dark contrast) so that the design pops out and you can also vary the colors in this design. Here is the 12 inch block that I made to see how my pattern would go together. Three more of these blocks and I will have a striking table runner.

Bookmark and Share

~~~ Comments are moderated ~~~

7 Responses to “Mariner’s Compass”

  1. Kelly Says:
    What a gorgeous design! Very Zen!
  2. nancy t Says:
    This is stunning and you executed it perfectly! Every point is just right and the joining of the parts is perfect. Well done! (I’ve made a few quilts, but never dared to try one of these.) nancy
  3. Mary Says:
    Thank you so much for the comments! I have made this design the traditional way and that means using accurate templates and an accurate 1/4″ seam allowance and a lot of pins so that it doesn’t shift. This block was made using the paper foundation paper piecing method and Carol Doak has a website and many books on the subject. Basically the sewing lines are on top of the paper and the fabric goes underneath the paper and then you sew on the line, hence the perfect points. When you are all done sewing the block, you remove the paper.
  4. Anne (cornucopia) Says:
    This is stunning Mary! I love this! The shades of blue are well matched, and the outer area looks like blue sky with clouds. I especially love the magical stars. This is perfect!
  5. Marcie Says:
    Is it possible for me to purchase the paper pieced pattern that you used for this Mariner’s Compass?
  6. Mary Says:
    Carol Doak has a wonderful book called Mariner’s Compass Stars which has beautiful paper pieced Mariner’s Compass patterns. Check out the books on her website with free patterns at
  7. janet zzetzl Says:
    Hoe can I purchase this pattern and directions? I’m hoping to make a queen size wedding quilt for my grandson with an adult silboat centerpiece and other nautical themes. This seems perefct for corner pieces. I’m also looking for nautical flag material to use as stripping. I’m a novice-my minds eye and abilities don’t always match but I’d like to try. Thanks for any help you can give.