2020 QAL by the Sea: Block 8

Framed Mariners Compas Electric Quilt 8 Rendering

Welcome to Block 8 of the QAL by the Sea! This month, I am the designer and I am so pleased with the Mariner’s Compass block I designed for you.

Mariners Compas Electric Quilt 8 Rendering

My quilting style is an amalgam of so many techniques, but I love an accurate block. This block is traditional, in origin, but a little less detailed than many compass blocks. You really only need 4 points, but 8 makes for a more interesting block. Just in case your setting style required the block to be offset by a border, there is a version designed with a frame. Also, I purposely did not bring the points to the end of the block, hoping to help all of us from having to worry about losing our compass points.

Paper Piecing Papers trimmed and ready for next step

Yes, this block requires paper piecing. Why? It makes it easier to get those accurate points. I do have links to tutorials on paper piecing in my pattern in case you have not done it before.

Hint 1: Printing:
Be sure you are printing at 100%. The 1″ block should measure 1″ square and the solid lines that form the 90º on the triangle should measure 6″.

Folding Paper Piecing papers

Hint 2. Fold Your Paper Up
This is always a bit counter intuitive, but I use a bookmaker and fold.

HINT 3: Pinning
I pin through the paper on right at the intersections. Then, when you sew keep that pin in as it goes under the foot, pull until it the tip is nearly out, and keep in until the last minute. This helps on some of these tough intersections.

Remove paper, but keep what you need for aligning pieces.

Hint 4: Removing Paper
I remove some paper once I have sewn a seam but you can see I sometimes keep some paper to help for pinning intersections and aligning seams.

Hint 5: Watch the Video
You Tube Video

Framed Mariner’s Compass

And, now for the download. When you download, please consider joining my email list. My only emails are when there is a new blog entry post.

Mariner’s Compass Block and Mariner’s Parallel Ruler

Thee is another tool that mariner’s use when finding their way on the see. It is a parallel ruler and you can find out more information about them here. This was my father in laws and he used it when he served in the navy in the Pacific during WWII.

Framed Mariner’s Compass Block

Remember, please visit the hosts, too, as they will have tips and tricks for you to help you be successful with the block. Our hosts are listed below.

Full Time Hosts:
Abbie @ Sparkle On!
Becca @ Pretty Piney
Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter
Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts
Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts
Sandy @ Sandy Star Designs
Sherry @ Powered by Quilting

There are also Segment 2 Summaries by each of the hosts – so yes, there are 2 blog posts today! Yes, we are 2/3 of the way through this block of the month! After that, we get a 2 week break so everyone can catch up and then winners are chosen on October 13 (see guidelines below).

Full Time Hosts:
Abbie @ Sparkle On!
Becca @ Pretty Piney
Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter
Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts
Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts
Sandy @ Sandy Star Designs
Sherry @ Powered by Quilting

Segment 2: September 8 to September 29

September 8 – Block 5: Sandra @ Sandra Healy Designs
September 15 – Block 6: Bobbi @ Snowy Days Quilting
September 22 – Block 7: Laura @ Slice of PI Quilts
September 29 – Block 8: Kathleen @ Kathleen McMusing
and Segment 2 Wrap Up
October 13 – Segment 2 Prize Winner Announcement

Eligibility for Prizes for all Participants
Segment Prizes:
Participants can enter the prize drawing by sharing a single photo
with all 4 completed blocks
and one of these tags #QALBytheSeaUS or #QALBytheSeaAbroad on Facebook,
or the host’s blog linky party
at the end of each segment by 7:50 AM EDT on 10/13.

A six month subscription to Make Modern.
A PDF pattern of your choice up to $10.00 from these designers:
Laura of Slice of Pi
Sandra of Sandra Healy Designs
A Fat Quarter fabric bundle fromIsland Batik
Quilters Dream Poly Batting, Black 60” x 60”

Calendar of Events

Here is the calendar for the next segment; beginning the 2nd Tuesday in October.

Segment 3: October 13 to November 3
Segment Host:

October 13th – Block 9: Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
October 20th – Block 10: Sandy @ SandyStar Designs
October 27th – Block 11: Abbie @ Sparkle On!
November 3 – Block 12: Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
and Segment Wrap Up & Quilt Settings

November 10 – Segment 3 Prize Winner Announced!
December 1 – Grand Prize Winner Announced!

Coming Up on the Blog:
OMG and PhD updates
#TTot22 – 10/22
TGIFF – 10/23
From the Heart Blog – 10/28

Disclaimer: *Links with asterisk indicate an affiliate link and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Your price is not any different, but a small percentage of the sale will go to supporting my blog.


  1. September 29, 2020 / 8:12 AM

    Very nice block design, Kathleen!

  2. Nancy Bekedam
    September 29, 2020 / 8:28 AM

    Awesome block, Kathleen! Interesting about the parallel ruler and that you have your FIL’s!

  3. Lori Smanski
    September 29, 2020 / 9:22 AM

    this is so pretty. thanks for sharing. thanks for sharing the information on this interesting tool.

  4. Pam Winterrowd
    September 29, 2020 / 9:50 AM

    Beautiful block!

  5. September 29, 2020 / 12:25 PM

    The Mariner’s Compass block is stunning! 🙂

  6. September 29, 2020 / 12:25 PM

    Hi Kathleen! Thanks so much for sharing the pattern for this block. I’ve always loved the mariner’s compass block, and definitely agree that PP is the way to go to get nice crisp points. You also shared great tips and photos for making this block successfully. ~smile~ Roseanne

  7. Patti
    September 29, 2020 / 12:39 PM

    This is a lovely block. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Susan Nixon
    September 29, 2020 / 4:28 PM

    Love it! Thank you so much!

  9. Lucy McRae
    September 29, 2020 / 4:55 PM

    I can’t seem to fill out the required form to fill out for the block download as I live in Canada and there doesn’t seem to be a button for that….I am now left hanging….

  10. KatieQ
    September 29, 2020 / 9:03 PM

    Wow! The Mariner’s Compass block is wonderful. Thank you so much for making it available. I have never made one before, but am excited to try this one.

  11. September 29, 2020 / 10:50 PM

    Your block was a pleasure to make Kathleen. I’m so glad there is a Mariner’s Compass in the QAL By the Sea quilt!

  12. September 30, 2020 / 6:38 PM

    Beautiful block!

  13. October 3, 2020 / 10:27 AM

    Very cool block, Kathleen. How cool that you have the ruler from your FIL.

  14. October 4, 2020 / 4:40 PM

    I love this clever block, Kathleen! It is a stunning design and a great addition to the quilt along!

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