Making Circles in Three Easy Steps

Curves and circles are a staple of quilt design. Quilts that include them really speak to me. A while back I decided to pull out all the quilts I’ve made with these designs and I realized they weren’t all made with a single favorite technique, but in many of these quilts, I had used different techniques. I do a lot of machine appliqué, and quite a few projects had circles done this way. This is the placemat from my book: Snuggle and Learn Quilts for Kids.
satin stitches circles

In another book, Compass Capers, many of the Mariner’s Compass quilts are made in a circle. In this one the fabric was pressed around a paper circle pattern and hand appliquéd in place.

Mariner's compass

A few years ago I came up with a really simple and fun way to make snowpeople faces:

Snowperson Topper - November 14, 2014

Snowperson Topper – November 14, 2014

I’d like to share that technique here! The fun part is that the faces you see are actually the “batting” between the quilt layers, and in this quilt I used white polar fleece. Prepare to do this by layering the quilt with polar fleece as the batting. Then cut a circle of freezer paper the size you’d like the face to be, and iron it in place on the quilt top, shiny side to fabric. Then:

1.  Sew around the circle in a color thread to match the quilt top.

2. With a sharp, pointed scissors, cut away the top fabric from the inside of the stitching, so the fleece shows through.

3. Satin stitch around the circle. Repeat for remaining circles.

Here are a few more circles and curves using many more techniques:


Fused Sheers in Circles and Rings

gradation lecture

Bias Covered Curves

Tuscan Sun blog

Appli-Pieced Curves

circles on quilts

Slash and Zig-Zag Circles and Curves

If you’d like to learn to do some of these techniques – and more, I’m teaching a class at WCTC this Fall, on September 18th, called “Creating Curves“. You’ll learn many ways to stitch circles and arcs into your quilts, while making samples of each technique, which will serve as a wonderful reference guide for future projects.

Besides my Thursday afternoon Open Labs, I’ll also be doing 2 more one day workshops:

Stacked Strips – October 10th: With a bit of simple foundation piecing, scrappy new strips can be made. These will be bordered to create an exquisite bed runner.

Quilting - Stacked Strips 304-617J-001

Stain Glass Trees – November 7: Layer Pretty scraps, cover them with tulle, stitch, cut and couch these triangle trees onto a base fabric. It’s simple and oh so pretty! A lovely Christmas gift.

Quilting - Stain glass trees 304-617K-001


Wendy has many offerings also. To sign up for any of these classes go to: (click on “course search” at the top, and type “quilting” in the “subject” box), or call registration at: 262.691.5578



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