Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl is passionate about quilts and quilt pattern design. She believes the secret to success is to show up, try, learn, modify and repeat, so Yvonne recently set out to conquer her fear of curved piecing. The resulting design is this versatile Connection Block, a free pattern and tutorial for you!

Yvonne has a great variety of free tutorials on her site, plus a selection of PDF Quilt Patterns for sale. One of her most popular, recent quilt patterns is the Triangle Transparency original design.

Conquer any possible fear you may harbor about curves with Yvonne’s Connection Block Tutorial + Pattern, and visit Quilting Jetgirl for updates on Yvonne’s latest designs.


I have had the absolute pleasure recently of teaching two children to sew and quilt. The younger of the two wanted to make a quilt block with a baseball; the lack of fear of curved piecing and lovely outcome convinced me that I needed to conquer my own fear of curved piecing once and for all. I designed the Connection Block as a fun, modern design that can stand alone as a mini quilt (24” square) or be tiled into several fun quilt layouts.

Fabric Requirements for Connection Block Mini Quilt (24” Square):
Background Fabric (Kona Blue Jay):
– 12.5” square
– (4) 6.5” squares
– (6) 7” x 13” rectangles

Top Half Circle (Kona Nautical):
– (1) 7” x 13” rectangle

Right Half Circle (Kona Marine):
– (1) 7” x 13” rectangle

Bottom Half Circle (Kona Sky):
– (1) 7” x 13” rectangle

Left Half Circle (Kona Riviera):
– (1) 7” x 13” rectangle

Batting:
– 26” square

Backing Fabric:
– 28” square

Binding (Kona Surf):
– (3) 2 ½” x WOF strips

To start, download and print the Connection Block Templates. Verify the accuracy of your printing scale by measuring the print scale reference 1” squares on each page and adjust the print scaling if needed. Cut out and tape together the Half Circle and Arch Templates.

Fold (1) Background Fabric 7” x 13” rectangle in half lengthwise and center the Arch Template taped edge line on the fold. Align the bottom of the Arch Template with the bottom edge of the rectangle. Using a fabric marking tool of your preference, trace the template arch onto the fabric.

Using fabric scissors, cut along the marked line and set the half circle aside for your scrap bin or future projects.

Select (1) Half Circle 7” x 13” rectangle. Center the Half Circle Template and align the bottom of the Arch Template with the bottom edge of the rectangle. Using a fabric marking tool of your preference, trace the template arch onto the fabric.

Using fabric scissors, cut along the marked line and discard the thin arc of fabric. Fold the Half Circle and Arch pieces into fourths, finger pressing lines to use as registration marks.

Right sides together, align the center registration folds.

Carefully align the edges of fabric and registration folds and pin the fabric together.

Work your way around the half circle starting from the center registration mark to pin the middle registration marks together, and finish by pinning the ends together.

Pin in the areas between the folds, allowing the fabrics to cup together.

As you begin to sew, do not try to force the fabric to be in a straight line. Notice in the photograph below that the fabric is naturally curving away to the left. I like to sew slowly and use a stiletto to keep the layers of fabric aligned. Stop prior to sewing over your pins and remove them.

I use the times that I stop to remove a pin to also occasionally lift my presser foot (with the needle still down) to watch the progression of the fold of the top fabric.

There will be occasional folds that form to the left of the needle, but with careful sewing you can allow the fabrics to ease as you progress and you should not need to sew over a fold. The block should look something like the image below after you sew the seam.

I like to gently finger press the background fabric down (the seam will press toward the background fabric) prior to gently pressing the seam.

To trim the block, align the straight edge of the Half Circle along your cutting mat with the edge seams 12” apart (note the seams are aligned at 6” and 18” in the image below). Trim the block to be 6 ½” tall x 12 ½” wide. When trimming the side, trim ¼” away from each aligned edge seam. For instance, that means at 5 ¾” and 18 ¼” in the image below.

Repeat curved piecing steps to make (4) 6 ½” x 12 ½” half circle blocks.

Arrange the (4) 6 ½” x 12 ½” half circle blocks, (4) 6 ½” square background blocks and (1) 12 ½” background block as shown in the image below.

Sew together the rows, pressing the seams away from the Half Circle blocks.

Sew together the rows, pressing the seams toward the center of the block.

The Connection Block should measure 24 ½” square (unfinished).

Quilt Layout Options:
Piece together (4) Connection Blocks and rotate the orientation of each block to create a fun modern polka dot baby quilt that finishes at 48” square.

Piece together (9) Connection Blocks and leave the orientation of each block the same to create a fun half circle effect, 72” square finished lap quilt.

Or, experiment with the block by creating puzzle pieces that interlock together to create a fun puzzle quilt (the Connection Block is the center of this layout).

I hope the Connection Block helps ease your circle sewing fears. If you make a Connection Block or quilt, please let me know by using the hashtag #ConnectionBlockQuilt or tagging me @QuiltingJetgirl when sharing on Instagram. Please also consider sending me an email (jetgirl8 [at] gmail [dot] com) with a photograph or link to a blog post about your quilt!