How to Paper Piece a Mariner's Compass Quilt Pattern

    by Misty Barton

    About the Author

    Misty Barton has been working in the fields of composition and journalism for over 10 years. She has a Bachelor of Science in English education and a Master of Arts in English and composition. She has written for various online publications including a blog that specifically addresses the concerns of work-at-home mothers.


    The Mariner's Compass is a quilt design based on the nautical compass. It is a multi-pointed star, arranged around a circular center. The basic design has four larger points, facing the main compass directions. Four smaller points, which point diagonally from the center, between the larger points, and then at least eight smaller points, which subdivide the segments created by the other eight points. A personalized form of this design can first be pieced with paper, also called foundation piecing, to create a pattern, and then cut from materials to finalize the quilt pieces.

    Things You'll Need

    • Mariner's compass quilt pattern
    • Butcher paper
    • 1/2-yard each of eight different cotton fabrics
    • Straight pins
    • Sewing machine
    • Thread
    • Material

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    Trace each piece of the mariner's compass quilt pattern on butcher paper.

    Lay the paper patterns on different cotton fabrics and pin them in place, using straight pins. Cut around the pattern pieces with scissors. Leave the paper pinned to the cloth.

    Stitch the pieces of the mariner's compass square together, sewing through both the paper and the cloth. The paper will act as a reinforcement and prevent the square from stretching and becoming misshapen as it is stitched.

    Repeat this process for all of the squares, until all of the quilt squares are assembled. Sew the squares together to create the top of the quilt.

    Tear away all the paper sections form the quilt, leaving only the cloth. When assembled, the cloth of the quilt top will hold its own shape when attached to batting and quilted either by hand or by machine.

    • Choose fabrics for the mariner's compass quilt that will contrast with each other.