It’s a Circle Thing: Applique

Circles make me happy.  They remind me of fun things – balloons, bubbles, cake, pie, the sun, etc.  I find them to be a very pleasing shape.  Circles are a challenge to achieve in quilting.  I like a challenge.  The most straight forward approach is appliqué.

While I was working at a sewing store, I made a sample baby quilt from the Folic line from In the Beginning fabrics.  I enjoyed coming up with my own design.  I wanted to add the circle appliqués to promote some of the products we sold at the store – plus, again, circles make me happy. (For more information about this pattern, contact Stitched at 802-878-2290.)

photo by Rose

In this close-up you can see how I attached the appliqué with a decorative machine stitch.

photo by Rose

 My next circle appliqué project was a baby quilt for a friend.  I call it Bubbles and Port-holes.  I used Odyssea by Momo.  The fabric has an underwater theme so the circles give the feel of bubbles.

I was inspired by a quilt I saw in Linda Kopp’s Quilts, Baby!: 20 Cuddly Designs to Piece, Patch & Embroider.  That quilt used circles of various sizes hand-appliquéd and didn’t include a border.  I decided to machine appliqué my circles.  As I worked, I became nervous that my machine appliqué wouldn’t hold.  I then decided to surround the larger circles with bias binding.  This gave them a port-hole effect which only added to the quilts nautical theme.


I carried the theme through in the quilting as well.  I did some echo-quilting around the circles and filled the surrounding area with waves mimicking seaweed.

A pattern for Bubbles and Port-holes including instructions for creating the bias binding will be available soon.


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