Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Circle Trick
A Tutorial

Whew!  Once again the Christmas/New Year's Day whirlwind has passed.  I hope you had a great holiday.  Ours was pretty awesome.  Hubby's off work this week, so we are easing back into the regular routine,

I'm working on a baby quilt. It's the second one I've made in the last couple of weeks.  Even though that's not why we are here today, I'll share a picture of the first one.
It's a simple design for Merrick, who is firstborn son of my daughter's landlord.  
For the second quilt, I was not sure of a pattern I wanted to use.  I googled the term "modern baby quilt" and found this quilt design.  I sort of improvised and made the pattern my own.

Here's a quick tour of the beginning steps:
  1. I cut assorted 3.5" squares that finished at 3 inches.  
  2. I placed and pieced the squares into four-patches, as much as possible.  
  3. When I was happy with the finished layout, I sewed all four-patches and strips together.
  4. I ironed the seams and made sure the piece was pressed flat and neat.
  5. Using a circle-shaped cardboard template I made, I traced a circle onto the larger pieced square of small squares.
Making Large Circles:
The circle template is 33" in diameter.  I had to make a template because it is so large.  
  1. I used a large piece of brown wrapping paper (I had to tape two pieces together.)
  2. I found and marked the center of my paper.  I folded the paper in quarters.
  3. Using a 24" ruler, I marked from the center of the paper out to 16.5", marking about every inch or so on just one quarter.  
  4. I connected the marks to form the arc of a circle.  
  5. I cut out the one quarter edge and used it to trace the other three quarters of the circle, then cut them out also.
Bias Trimmed Appliqued Circle:
The original quilt's designer, Latifah used Dale Fleming's 6 Minute Circle to applique the circle to a background.  I used another method that I find even simpler for big circles.

  1. Cut a bias strip of fabric slightly longer than the circumference of the outer edge of your circle (you can measure or kinda guesstimate.)  The width of my strip 2.5", which after folding, finishes to about 1" wide.  
  2. Pin bias strip to outer edge, making sure the edge of your circle butts to outer unfinished bias edge.  
  3. Cut the end and tuck it into the folded edge for a neat finish.
  4. Be sure to pin liberally to hold on curves.
  5. 5. Using a 1/4 inch seam, sew all the way around the circle's outer edge. 6.  Finger press the bias trim out to cover the raw edges. 7. Press the bias out until it lies flat. 8. Again, pin liberally to hold the edge in place.
At this point, I top-stitched around the inner edge first, and then the outer edge.  You can hand sew if you prefer not to have any top-stitching.

After, sewing the bias down, I turned the piece over and trimmed away the excess fabric from the back of the patched area.  Once you iron it, this helps the pieced area to lie almost perfectly flat (If not flat, don't worry, it will quilt out.)
The finished top, waiting to be quilted.
I turned the squares on point so the design appears more complex.
See the lettering that spells "LAYLA."

1 comment:

  1. Teri,
    you are so creative. The baby quilt you made for Abby is so perfect and so is the doll, bib, book,ball,receiving blkts and burp cloths!! It just doesn't get better than your work! Thanks soooo much for coming, it meant the world to Abby and to me.
    Big hug and kiss!