Completed: Rotate, rotate mini quilt

I made the “Rotate, rotate” mini quilt for one of Curated Quilts’ quilt challenges. For each issue of this modern quilting journal, they set a challenge from which they select mini quilts to show in the magazine. The quilts all share a certain theme and colour palette to form a cohesive set of inspiration. The most recent call was for paper pieced quilts inspired by symmetry. I liked this theme because I usually prefer to make asymmetrical designs. I thought it would be fun to intentionally make something symmetrical.

Rotate, rotate mini quilt

The first thing people often think of with symmetry is something in which the left and right parts are each other’s mirror image. There are other types of symmetry though. For my design I wanted to play with rotational symmetry. With rotational symmetry a shape or design still looks the same after you rotate it a certain amount.

on the left a stack of foundation paper piecing templates and fat quarters. On the right a stack of untrimmed foundation paper piecing templates.


For my foundation paper piecing design, I started with 40-degree rotational symmetry which meant that I had 9 wedges. Inside the wedges I drew a design with triangles that is the same for each wedge. Those triangles are not symmetrical though (see, I just couldn’t resist adding something asymmetrical…). With the colour placement inside the wedges I introduced 120-degree rotational symmetry.

3 assembly steps of the Rotate, rotate mini quilt

For the colours, the journal suggests certain Moda Bella solids but you’re allowed to use different fabrics as long as they are similar in colour. I couldn’t find all the suggested fabrics in Dutch stores, but there is a shop that carries (I think) all Moda Grunge fabrics. The Grunge fabrics have the same names as the Bella solids so I figured they would probably be close enough. For my quilt I picked Prussian Blue, Sunflower and Aqua.

foundation paper piecing template that shows that I did not sew into the seam allowance in the point to prevent a bulky quilt center.


The wedges were sewn together in 3 sets of 3. I later realized that the Y-seam at the end might have been easier to sew if I had made a set of 4 and 5. Because 9 pieces come together in the center of the quilt this could potentially get pretty bulky with a lot of seam allowances on top of each other. To prevent this, I did not sew into the seam allowance at the center (the picture probably makes it clearer). That way I could sort of squish and twirl the seam allowances at the end to spread the bulk evenly around.

detail shot of the rotate rotate mini quilt showing the quilting

For the back I used some of the leftover yellow and green fabrics and a pinkish fabric that I did not end up using for the front. The batting is Hobbs Tuscany Cotton Wool. I quilted it with dark yellow Gutermann Cotton 30 thread. I decided to emphasize the zig zag shapes created by the triangles inside the wedges but in the opposite direction. At the edge, the zig zag is a bit denser than towards the center of the quilt. I think this worked very well.

Quilt back of a faced quilt showing a label.

I opted for a facing instead of a binding because I didn’t want to box the design in. The labels made this a finished quilt. It measures 15.5″ x 15.5″. I am very pleased with how my “Rotate, rotate” mini quilt turned out so even if it doesn’t get picked for the journal, I am happy I made it!

September 19, 2022

Emmely Treffers

About Emmely

I am a sewing enthusiast from the Netherlands. I live in the Leiden area with my husband and two daughters and I am currently working as a senior researcher in molecular virology. With my quilting patterns and sewing blog I want to infect as many people as possible with my love for sewing.

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  1. Kate Chiconi

    Wow! I’m impressed at how clean and sharp all the shapes are on the front, and how you managed the controlled chaos on the back! I don’t envy you the job of picking out all the paper, though…

    • Emmely

      Thank you! Removing the paper is my least favourite part of the process but it did not take too long. The precision that you can achieve with FPP was completely worth the downside of paper removal in this case.

  2. kathy reed

    I hope yours gets picked! It looks terrific, and you matched the corners around the outer edge so well. I enjoyed reading about your process. Thank you for continuing your blog. I’m always pleased to see a post from you.

    • Emmely

      Thank you for such a lovely comment! Truly makes my day. 🙂

  3. Mariss

    What a feat!! Designing this alone must have been a real challenge — all those angles! Then the sewing of it, and working out how to sew it. Congratulations on this remarkable piece of work.

    • Emmely

      Thank you! I mainly design and make my templates in Adobe Illustrator, that helps!


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