Monday, October 17, 2011

Big Wheel Tute

Here is a quick tute to get you started on a big wheel of your own....

How to make a wheel....

Decide how big you want the finished block to be.  Mine will be 16 inches finished.

Cut a piece of paper that measurement.....16 X 16

Now my large outside circle will be 15 inches in diameter.  So that means the radius is 7.5 inches.  I take a piece of string and tie it to a pencil...cut so the string from end to pencil measures 7.5 inches.....

Find the center of my 16 inch square.....
And hold the end of the string in the center while drawing a 15 inch circle with my pencil....


I did the middle circle and the very center circle in the same manner.  The width of the larger circle is about 2.5 finished.  The same for the middle circle - 2.5 finished.  And the smaller center circle is about 2.5 finished.  For each of these I have not added my seam allowance yet.

I cut the square into four equal quadrants.  
Next I will cut my quadrants and arcs apart.  So now I will have 4 pieces for each quadrant.  The center circle, the middle circle, the larger circle and the outside corner piece {this makes your circle a square }  Each piece is treated the same.  Add 1/4 inch seam allowance to each side of each piece.

So for the center, I added a quarter inch seam allowance and now this is my template.  I like to add my seam allowance to my template so I don't have to remember to cut a quarter inch beyond my sewn piece at the very end.  I can just cut along the edge of my paper....


I copy the template onto freezer paper and then add my lines for each of the pieces of the wheel.  I wanted my wheel to look scrappy, so my lines are not evenly spaced....just random.  But they do need to be more than 1/2 inch wide at any point so the segment does  not disappear in the seam.

With freezer paper I can simply score my lines, iron the waxy side to the wrong side of my fabric, fold back on the line, sew, press and cut my 1/4 inch seam allowance.  I like to use freezer paper because it can be used several times before you need a new piece.  

I would be happy to do a tutorial for freezer paper piecing using this method if any of you would be interested....

Hope this helps if you decide to make a wheel of your own!


  1. yes, please do the tut for freezer paper piecing. This helps to see how you make the pattern/template.

  2. oooooooh I really want to make one of these

  3. thanks for putting this together! you rock!

  4. Thanks Mary, I think I may construct my Christmas runner using this method! Less angst, I'm sure! Although drawing circles with pencil and string always has me in knots! And of course you would have needed 3 hands to take a photo of that!

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  6. i would love love love a tutorial on this block Mary! thanks for getting my wheels turning!

  7. i would love love love a tutorial on this block Mary! thanks for getting my wheels turning!

  8. Yup want to have a go but my list is getting so long it may be a while yet - unless I start with a little one??

  9. I like to paper piece but I have never done so with freezer paper so, yes...a tutorial please!
    Love this by the way! :)

  10. Hi Mary, what a fabulous tutorial!! Thank you for sharing all your tricks and tips. Ill put it on my list!!

  11. I'd love to have a play with it sometime, thanks for showing your tips and tricks.

  12. One day, I might get out of chicken mode and try my hand at this. Great tut!!