Saturday, April 2, 2011

Circular Motion

I selected these blacks and the creams to go in a circular quilt pattern.  Some of the blacks with blues in them didn't make the cut, and neither did any of the creams.  I instead opted for Nutmeg by Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton.  I have so many luscious darks by Kaffe Fassett, and so little was used up in this project!  On the other hand, I used yards of Nutmeg.  Gads, I'll have to search for another project to use all these darks.  As if I don't have enough projects going.  

I cut 10.5" squares out of the prints and the solid.  I could use large prints because the block will show so much of the print.  Not cut into itty bitty pieces.  I loves me a large print!

The Circle Cutter in action, that whipped my a**.  I was about 20 cuts in before I was able to cut one circle without having to go back over or cut off little tails or not adjust the cutting template or curse or walk away for a deep breath.  This may be my only circular quilt, so if you get it, you are one worthy quilt recipient.  I may be the first quilt I put up for sale on Etsy, as soon as I figure out how to set up my shop.                               
 The pile of screwed up scraps where the circle cutter and I couldn't come to agreement.

Some of the 'good' circles and cut outs.  Both are used in this quilt.  And, no, I can not do math.  As I started to cut I counted how many circles I would need, but didn't add in the cut outs.  I started out cutting twice as much as needed, but I realized it before I was too far ahead.   Nutmeg is the solid color I finally decided on.  I like saying Nutmeg.  The cut outs were easy to lay out on the Nutmeg square, and I raw edge stitched the perimeter.       
 For the circles I had to find the center of the Nutmeg square and also the center of the circle and line them up.  There may be a more accurate way than my way, but my way was easy.  I finger pressed the Nutmeg square to find the center, and then did the same with the circle.  I could line up the fold lines 4 ways, and viola, the center  or close enough to satisfy the naked eyes.  I'm not a pinner, but I have heard circles need pinning; I pinned everyone one before sewing.

I used my walking foot and a fine black thread with a shorter stitch length.  I think 1.6.  I went very slowwwllly around the circles, the circles were large enough that I could make a gradual turn with the walking foot.  I am just stitching each circle down, raw edge, and VERY close to the edge.  The circles will be made more secure with the quilting.  The fabric in this photo didn't actually make it into the quilt, there was too much blue against the Nutmeg.  If I had had a reducing glass with me, it would have told me so.  I just had to use my naked eye, and the naked eye of 3 other quilters who said it had to go.  I liked the print and I kept trying to force it to stay.    

Ta-da!  Originally, this top was going to be 6 rows across by 8 down, looking at it up on the board, I didn't think that was wide enough for a body to lay under, and I added another row across.   I had to use up all those extra circles I had cut anyway.  No border for this one, and I haven't measured yet, but the squares were 10.5", so if you can do quilter math, you can figure it out.  I prefer to use a tape, I don't want my head to explode and ruin the top.  I have been so busy making tops, I need to take a break from my favorite piecing, and quilt a few.  I have a couple of other tops to quilt before this one, plus a back to buy.  And cotton is going up!  Yikes!  Luckily, I have hoarded many fabrics for just such an occasion. This pattern is in the summer 2010 issue of Quilts and More magazine, designed by Julie Herman of Jay Bird Quilts .          

The QuiltSluts Retreat in Sandbridge Beach, March 2011.  Looks a little like a sweat shop in a really nice beach house.  This was in the wee hours of the morning, I had stayed up to finish the Circular Motion, and I wasn't going to bed until it was done.  I so wanted to work on something else too!  Which I did!  


Leanne said...

Your circle quilt is wonderful! I have never tried a circle cutter but I hope you don't give up on circles because of it. Look at how beautiful this top is!

Mary Menzer said...

I was able to use the circle cutter better toward the end, like many things it takes some practice and a sharp rotary cutter!

Mary Menzer said...

And Thank you!