Carpenter’s Wheel

Carpenter's Wheel drawing
Carpenter’s Wheel drawing

The other day I watched a Fons & Porter episode that had been saved on my Tivo. Deb Tucker was the guest and she was making the Carpenter’s Wheel block (quilt project is called Country Fair). She has updated the pattern to make quicker work of the piecing. I stopped the recording and gathered up pen and paper, drawing out the design as the show went on. I do that sometimes as much for the opportunity to draw as to remember a pattern I might want to make. I think the stars and lots of pieces made this block catch my attention.

The top drawing has a lot of mistakes, so I made the bottom drawing as the final, even though it is much smaller.

I really like Deb Tucker. She is smart, sensible, confident, excited about quiltmaking and doesn’t simper. I have her Flying Geese ruler and like the way it works. I haven’t watched any, but she has a lot of videos on her website. I may have to go watch a few. TQS has a recent episode with her that I’ll have to watch as well.

On the show, they use a ruler called the Square2 ruler, which Deb Tucker designed. They use it to make the Diamond Square units. I didn’t really want to buy the ruler before I could make the block*. I really just wanted to see what the block was about, thus the drawings.

Deb Tucker's Carpenter's Wheel on Fons & Porter
Deb Tucker’s Carpenter’s Wheel on Fons & Porter

I also took a photo of the block off of the TV. I didn’t think it would come out as well as it did. It is a good reference and they don’t have a good photo on the F&P website.

I am not a really big fan of the fabrics used, The look of the piecing offered enough interest for me to soldier on and fabrics are easy to change.

If you look at the block and break it down, it is not that difficult. There are squares, HSTs and Flying Geese. Change that Diamond square unit into two Flying Geese and there is absolutely no scariness.

It occurred to me that I could make one block and have it be part of the low volume challenge at BAMQG. I could make the one block into a cushion cover or something. I decided to try out one block. Not sure what, but something grabbed me and I wanted to make this block. Not a quilt. One block.

By my estimation it had 82 pieces and, once sewed, turned into about a 16″ block when finished. I decided to use the low volume mini-charm packs I bought at Quiltwork Patches in Corvallis, Oregon. I got a pang of fear and that fearful voice in my head started whispering “what if you need them for something else??” I ignored the voice, opened the packet and began to lay out the block.

There is JOY is using something right away or nearly right away. I am not sure there is joy in saving things for later. I’ll have to think about that and report back later.

My "Carpenter's Wheel"
My “Carpenter’s Wheel”

On Saturday, I made it. I reveled in the the piecing. I ended up making a version of what I saw and drew. I forgot some HSTs.

As I said, there are a lot of pieces in this block and, thus, there was a lot of cutting I had to do. I used some of the 2.5″ squares I have been cutting for the Goodnight, Irene pattern I plan on making, but haven’t started. There is always more fabric to cut, right? I used the opportunity of using the Flying Geese units instead of Diamond Square units to mix up the fabrics even further.

So, it is a version. I like it, but I forgot those HSTs. I am not bothered by my mistake as I like what came out. I like the cheerfulness and the scrappiness. I just want to see the block as Deb Tucker made it, but in my fabrics with the low volume background. That means I am making another. Just one more block. Perhaps another cushion cover?

A couple of worries: do I have the low volume concept down? Is it ok to have a low volume background and a bright and cheerful foreground?


The mini-charms aren’t washed. I didn’t smell anything when I pressed the parts as I made the block, which was good. I don’t have a rash, which was also good.




*It looks like Deb Tucker will have a booth at PIQF, so I’ll have a chance to check out the ruler sometime at the show.