Friday, July 1, 2011

Circle Perfect.

A new month.  A new project.  A new quilt takes shape.  Beginnings are always so sweet.  And endings so satisfying.  It's the middles, the middles of things that can take us in unexpected directions.

Today I have something fresh for you that I prepared for the Love circle of do. Good Stitches (a virtual charity quilting bee).  It is my turn to lead the quilt design (yipee!!!) and I've selected a quilt from a book I recently shared with you,"Block Party: The Modern Quilting Bee" by Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejnieks.

the "August" quilt from Block Party

Remember this quilt?  It looks like fun to me!  I can't help but see these dancing dots as bubbles, so I've selected colors inspired by cool lagoons and deep sea waters:

Deep Sea Colors

My bee members can use whatever color equivalents they choose, but just for the record these are from the left: Kona Coal, Kona Everglade, unknown, Kona Bahama Blue, Kona Marine, Kona Ash, Metro Living Circles Turquoise, Kona Pacific, and Kona Moss.  You can find Kona cottons and metro circles both at Sew Fresh Fabrics, Marmalade Fabrics and Fresh Squeezed Fabrics.

for Love in do. Good Stitches

I'm asking each member to make one large 18" x 22" block with a little or a lot of circles also in the deep sea color palatte.  You can see from the book that some of the blocks in the sample quilt have very few circles.  The circles are also layered and some even cut off at the edges.  I like the random effect.  It creates so much movement!  When I receive the blocks, I will trim them down to 17.5" x 21.5", sash and finish the quilt.

Our bee, do. Good Stitches, is set up so that each member sews from his or her own fabric stash.  This can be tricky when your quilt design would typically require a matching background fabric on all blocks.  Since we don't want to require members to run out and buy whichever background fabric the leading quilter prefers, quilt design takes some flexible thinking.

I've decided to to ask each member to choose a solid color from my deep sea palette as the background fabric.  The 7 basic colors are dark gray, teal, aqua, dark blue, light gray, brilliant blue and deep mossy green.  There will be 10 blocks total, and I'd like for any given background color to be used no more than twice.  I used Kona emerald for my block!

circle perfect.

Last time I made circles, I used the foil method which was doable, but tedious.  This time I was armed with the Go! baby circles cutting die, which has 3 different sized circles.  It couldn't get easier than this!  Before cutting, I backed the fabric scraps with Steam-A-Seam (a double-sided fusible that's great for applique).  Once positioned on the background, I pressed the circles to fuse them in place and then finished the edge with a zigzag stitch.

Kona Emerald Bubble Block

Circle perfect!  In fact, this worked so well that I would enjoy making a few more blocks so that the finished quilt can be as big as the original in the book. But, I think I'll wait and see what colors my bee friends choose for their background fabrics first.

I'm thinking this is going to be a very happy quilt!

P.S.  A few of you have commented that you're starting to think you "need" an AccuQuilt Go! baby cutter =).  I just want to say that when they asked me if I'd like to receive a complimentary a cutter, I was a bit skeptical that I'd find one very useful.  But, I knew that the kids would enjoy one, so here we are.  It is not my intention to wax on and on about this machine, but since it's arrival a few projects that I already had planned (Aria's chair cushion and this quilt) presented themselves as good opportunities to experiment.  I do like the cutter - it's fun and quick - but to be honest I don't know if I'd buy one for myself.  I'm cheap!  I need to buy a new sewing machine, ya know?  But, if I was looking to treat myself or put something nice on my wish list, this would have been a good choice.  I just wanted to make sure you knew that my opinions here are honest and I'm not some walking commercial!  If you have any questions, I'd be glad to answer them!  Ok, moving on...


  1. Bubbly! This will make a beautiful quilt. It will be interesting to see what all the bee members come up with.

  2. Awesome! But now I think I need to get the circle die too... shoot.

    I'll plan to do a background of Kona Coal I think.

  3. Love the color choices - they definitely do look like bubbles! :)

  4. Oh LOVE this pattern and it on my 'must do' list :)

  5. I love these colors together so much! I've visited a few blogs now of folks who received a free Go Baby -- how lucky! Do you think you can cut through felt with them?

  6. What a nice quilt project for your charity. I am using my Go Baby more and more. Don't have the circle template though.

  7. This quilt design is on my to do list as well. I love the colors you choose, but are you sure that's Kona coal and not teal?

  8. Well, it's pretty hard to see in the photo, but there is some Kona coal before the Kona emerald. The Kona coal blends in with my table =)

  9. Maureen - Just checked and it cuts felt like a charm! I'm going to cut up our felt scraps into circles. I've always wanted to make Anna Maria's felt circles garland!!!

  10. Yay! I'm so glad to see you're doing this quilt - I bought the book specifically because of your post on it including the picture of this quilt. I'm going to make one for my neice :)

  11. Ooh, can't wait to see how this one comes out. Looks like it'll be great!

  12. Looks great! and thanks for your comment about th Go baby cutter... May have to wait for a birthday or Xmas..

  13. Hello Rachel! I'm so happy to see you again and sorry that I haven't visited you for a while.
    This your new quilt is going to be amazing! After so much colours this is so beautiful with the dark base and circles over it!
    Still I love also your bottled rainbows with all the delicious colours!
    Sunny wishes from Teje

  14. Hi Rachel

    I've started this quilt top as well, using scraps of fabric. Some are just circles one is a crowd of balloons with one escaping.

    Great fun.


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