Warm Fuzzy Circles

I had inspiration this weekend, and it was so much fun. Seems I’ve been running on empty for awhile and was beginning to wonder when my mojo would be back. Well, I was reading Cecilia’s blog and saw this quilt made of raw edge circles that she had quilted–and inspiration struck! Now, I’m sure someone else has done this with the Accuquilt dies–but I haven’t seen or heard it, so here it is.

It occurred to me that the Circle Die would be great for making the circles. And then I checked and found that the 6 1/2 inch square die was a great foundation. So this is what I did.

I cut the two larger circles (3 inch and 5 inch) from the GO! Circle 2″ 3″ 5″ (55012) die from scraps. In choosing fabrics my only criteria for this one was that the scraps be bright colors –red, blue, yellow, green, purple. I placed fabric over the two larger circles and started cutting.

I cut foundations from the GO! Square-6 1/2 inch (55000) die. After some experimentation and some play in EQ7, I realized that the best bet would be to have a light foundation for all blocks. I tried alternating light and dark backgrounds or using light and dark as a four patch background, but it wasn’t as pleasing to my eye as having all lights for all of the backgrounds.

cut circles

First, I folded the circle in half and cut a half to one inch slash in the middle of the big circle. Then, I started sewing. The small circle was laid on a larger circle and stitched fairly fast around the edge. I stitched about 1/8-1/4 inch in from the edge using a shorter stitch than usual. Having stitched circles before I knew that speed and short stitch were the secrets to getting all the way around without stopping. At the end I stitched over the first couple of starting stitches.

stitch small circle to large

The next step was to sew the circles to the background squares. This time, I folded the square in half and cut a slash in the middle of the square. The circle piece was laid onto the background and the larger circle was stitched again just as the smaller circle was stitched.

stitch large circle to background

The next step was lap work to trim out the extra fabric behind the circles. I did that while I watched UNC finally win a basketball game. Of course, you don’t have to cut the slash in the back of the large circle and the background square and you could leave all three layers together, but it would get messy when you cut them apart into four pieces.

slash cut into back for trimming
back of block after trimming

Then the squares were cut into four pieces. This could be done with a rotary cutter, but since I was watching basketball, I decided to use my large scissors. I folded each square in half and cut down the middle. Then I folded the halves in half and cut down the middle. This gave me four squares for each block.

block cut into four pieces

It was then a “toss-up” to stitch the blocks back together. Once they’re stitched, they need to be “squared” up to the same size. Mine worked well trimmed to 5- 1/2 inches for a finished 5 inch square. I decided to add light sashing to float the circles on a light background.

block before trimming to size

Tomorrow I’ll show you the finished top. 

Author: Marjorie Busby

My blog is about helping other quilters learn to use great tools in their quilting through what I can teach and through finding other bloggers who have good information. In addition, I am a mother and grandmother. Other hobbies include any other stitchery which makes me happy at the moment. I worked in clinical research for most of my career. I am now retired and enjoying every minute.

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