Saturday, August 3, 2019

Daredevils Block #1: Amelia's Circle

Daredevils #1 Amelia's Circle
Scroll down to see the two-page pattern for a 15" finished block.

The Daredevils Quilt Along starts here today.

I asked Dorry Emmer (ColvinKiwi) to make some model blocks.
I always love her color ideas and her way of telling stories with fabrics.
Blue sky, puffy clouds and flying creatures.

Every Saturday into October we'll be doing a Daredevils Quilt Along,
Piecing---not for the faint of heart.

Becky Brown's block altered a bit.
See below for Becky's real block. I love her ways with fabric too.

The first block, named for Amelia Earhart, is adapted from Friendship Circle, a pattern designed for the 1930s newspaper quilt column appearing under the name Laura Wheeler. Their anonymous designers drew some very modern patterns emphasizing secondary corner designs, an inspiration for Daredevils, which substitutes a circle for the corner square here.

Laura Wheeler pattern for Friendship Circle with triangles in the corners.
I eliminated the ring of triangles too.

Here's an old quilt in a similar pattern from about 1950.

Same pattern. I liked the repeating squares in the corners
where the blocks meet. Dots would be better.

12 blocks

#1 Amelia's Circle
 Denniele Bohannon's Block 
Denniele's a daredevil to use so much pattern and tame it in her blocks.

She machine-appliqued the curves in the corners as one circle
after seaming all the blocks. 

Mark Lauer is following the same plan. You do have to
alter the pattern for the appliqued circles idea, but all
you need is a ruler and a straight line into the corner.

Becky Brown's actual block. She couldn't resist adding a few
seams to that empty center.

Each week I'll feature a photo of a woman daredevil. We start
with the most famous---Amelia Earhart. Dorry's blue background
fabric is named Amelia (from Moda). The perfect color for a Daredevil.
No stories about daredevil pilots though....sometimes they end too sadly.

Laura Wheeler logo from the 1930s.

The Laura Wheeler art department (like much of the U.S. in the 1930s) was fascinated by two conflicting trends: Colonial Revival and Modernism. Here we have a Colonial seamstress in mobcap stitching a thoroughly modern quilt.
The Block

Daredevils pattern for a 15" block.
Cut paper templates. Add seams to the fabric.
Below the center template F.

Create a word file or a new empty JPG file that is 8-1/2" x 11".
Click on the image above.
Right click on it and save it to your file.
Print that file out 8-1/2" x 11". The small square should measure 1"
Adjust the printed page size if necessary.

You can buy the whole pattern (12 blocks & border) as a set in my Etsy shop for $12.
See a PDF you can print yourself:

If you'd rather not worry about printing these out I will print the set in black and white and mail it to you for $16. Order through Etsy.


  1. Thanks for another great and challenging quilt along! I love seeing all the different styles of the maker's blocks!

  2. What a treat to see all those vintage versions. Looks like this will be a great chance to develop our stitching skills as well as enjoy the variety that comes when we all start with the same block pattern. Thanks Barbara!

  3. This is going to be fun! Just their names …

  4. Jeanne. I will provide one link to each woman's story over the weeks. Everybody knows what happened to Amelia Earhart---well nobody actually knows.

  5. Oh thanks Barbara -- I didn't mean to sound contrary! Links are excellent. All the work you do for us is always very much appreciated!! Smiling wryly at "nobody actually knows."

  6. Thank you, Barbara! I loved seeing all the versions and the history of the pattern. I was at the Smoky Mountain Quilters Show yesterday and did a double take when I saw your name! It was on Merikay Waldvogel's quilt, Japan Boro on My Mind, which you quilted. I have a picture, if you would like it, but I expect you have your own, and this does have light shining through the black curtains.

  7. Thanks Susan but we took lots of pix we liked it so much

  8. This looks like great fun. Amelia Earhart was a professor at Purdue University, and there is a dormitory named for her. She flew out of the University Airport here, and Purdue Research Foundation provided some funding for some of her excursions. Glad to launch my quilt with a tribute to a local heroine.