Concentric circles

One project I finished recently is a take on the Colour Wheel quilt pattern in Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson, made for my cousin. I decided to quilt it in a slightly different way to the one suggested in the book. I wanted to quilt it using concentric circles, and I thought I’d share my method for doing so.

The circles are spaced 1″ apart. I worked from the centre out to prevent the batting bulking up in the middle. For the inner circles, I found a selection of plates and bowls in the kitchen that were the right sizes (we’ve got a lot of mismatched crockery!) and drew round them with a water soluble fabric marker. I then quilted along the lines using a walking foot. Eventually I ran out of plates, and moved on to the second method. I cut a length of string and sewed it into the centre of the quilt. I could then tie the string around the water soluble fabric marker and use the whole arrangement like a beam compass. 

As the circles got larger, I found it helpful to mark the 1″ separations along the joining seams so I could be sure I wasn’t stretching the string and distorting the circle. I also found it helped to hold the pen perpendicular to the fabric.

I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

EDIT: If you’ve used this tutorial to quilt in concentric circles, please consider adding a picture of your quilt to the concentric circle quilts Flickr pool. Thanks!

This entry was posted in Friends and Family, Sewing, Tutorials. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Concentric circles

  1. Pingback: This Month’s Favorite Links | entre deux :: between two

  2. Rachel says:

    Gorgeous! The quilting is amazing. Was it hard to keep the circles smooth while turning the quilt as you went?

    • toithaca says:

      Thanks! The quilting got easier as I worked out from the centre – the radii increased so the curvature wasn’t as fierce. The main problem I had was with bunch the fabric, but I tacked the quilt sandwich together quite densely which helped. Starting in the centre is definitely the way to go, otherwise the fabric might bunch up towards the middle.

  3. NancyinSTL says:

    I learned the hard way that it’s best to mark your quilt top BEFORE you sandwich it.

    • toithaca says:

      Oh no! I tack the layers of my quilt sandwiches together (rather than using pins) so marking the lines on afterwards wasn’t a problem for me, but I can see that marking them first might be a good idea!

      I’m sure it’ll be worth it!

  4. Excellent ! I plan to complete at least one with concentric quilting in 2012. Well done.

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