Rob demonstrates how to make an amazing 3D Circle Quilt using ColorWorks Concepts – Phase II Cosmopolitan Blue Multi Panel, a circle rotary cutter compass, Cotton Couture solids by Michael Miller, an edge guide or seam guide sewing machine attachment, a lapel stick, and Bosal Foam.
Get the supplies needed here: https://www.missouriquiltco.com/land/mansewing/3d-circle-quilt
Video Transcript (Download PDF version HERE):
On my days between projects I love to goof around my studio. And I was playing with my circle cutter and some fantastic bosal foam. So I thought, hey we can make frisbees. But instead we’re going to make this awesome 3-D Circles Touching Circles quilt. Let’s get started.
Ya the problem with flying fabric frisbees is my dog Winston loves to chase anything that flies. Remember he’s a miniature Labrador. And so with that I had to realize that maybe I’d better mount these bad boys to the wall. So today’s tutorial is all about making these really fun 3-D circles. And I’m using the Color Work Concepts by Northcott. It’s a great fabric. I love the way that the geometric print works together in with all of the circles and the way that they touch back together. Super simple quilt. We just have a few steps to work through. And so the first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to use our circular rotary cutter compass. Wow that’s a mouthful, right? But we’re going to use that to cut some circles. If you make your circles about 7 ½ inches across through their diameter you’ll find that you can get at least 13 out of your single panel of your print here. I think this quilt would be terrific with like hundreds and hundreds of circles. So anyway about 13 per panel. About 7 ½ inch circles. And then I also have a cool little quick tip on how to use your rotary compass.
So I just find any spot that I really like. And of course I want to manage my fabric well so that I have as much possible for later. So I’m going to go ahead and start this cut. And so as I cut my circles of my fabric I’m going to need as many printed circles as I’m going to need for my solid circles because I’m using solid on the back of the circles as we play. I mixed up my colors for fun. The demo we’re going today we just have some cool Michael Miller Cotton Couture on the back. So as you have your circles made, let me make sure this is safe here. We’re just going to stitch them together with our right sides together, ok? So you’re using a solid so that’s real easy.
So follow me to the sewing machine here. Now real quick when I’m doing circles and things like this what I want to do is I want to use some sort of fantastic edge guide on my machine or a quarter inch foot that has an edge guide on it. This one bolts onto the machine. I’ve been playing, I wasn’t always a fan of the magnetic ones. But this magnetic one is so strong, I mean you can really let it sit down and it will stay in location. So a seam guide is a great tool to have if you don’t have one. We have them available for you in the description below there in that link. And for your, making sure I’m right sides together, oop and you know what I actually prepped that one. Let’s grab the two that I had prepped earlier. I know these are the exact same size. We’ll do this again. Right sides together, just like that. And then over to the sewing machine. And a quarter inch seam allowance. We’re also going to leave about a three finger opening so that we can turn it right sides out. So as I stitch I’m going to backstitch so I can really tug on this. We’re also going to be shoving bosal foam inside of here. So we want to make sure that that holds. Now the trick to sewing circles nicely is I’m kind of the edges together of my fabrics about two or three inches out. And I’m putting a little bit of pressure kind of on the corner of my sewing machine on the fabrics themselves. And that causes them just to kind of naturally rotate underneath the presser foot. If you have an extension table on your machine you can put your hand out here and that would do the same thing. But I’m just putting a little pressure here with my three fingers. Have a nice light slow pace going. And as you get more confident and with that seam guide there you can go pretty darn quick. And then just make sure you leave enough of an opening, like I said, about three fingers so we can put the bosal foam inside. Ok, so I’m going to stop, it’s about three fingers worth. I’m going to backstitch so I can pull on it. Thread cut.
Ok now as we come back over here, I made all of my circles and stitched all of my circles together to start. I like Henry Ford’s style quilting. I do all of one project at a time, or all of one part of that project at a time. However the bosal foam itself is going to be smaller than the circle. So once we get these turned right sides out, that’s kind of when we want to measure what size our bosal foam is going to be. And I strongly recommend you cut one bosal foam first. Slide it inside, make sure you like the way it fits and then cut the rest. Because you don’t want to have to trim down the bosal foam a little bit. And that seam allowance in there may add a little bit. So you’re working your circles back out. And you can get a little firm with it if you need. And I can use my finger in here. And you see I just kind of pull it along that seam allowance, right? I also often use a purple thang or a hera marker. So I could do something like this. If we get up inside of here and we can kind of push and pull to flatten that out nice, right? And then I’m also going to take a moment to press it. So that I can get a real good feel for what size circle to make that bosal foam. So if this was a 7 ½ cut to begin with, around seven inches because we have those seam allowances should be about right. So there’s, it will be easier to see this way. Now that bosal foam is going to fit just about right in there.
The easiest way to get it in there is to take it and kind of try fold it into the center. Now I should talk a little bit about bosal foam while we’re doing this because bosal foam is a fantastic fiber that i love playing with. It quilts like butter but it gives a lot of firm, what do I want to say, like a good rigid stiff feel. Kind of like tim tech but soft. And it really gives some great character and we could quilt through it if we want. I just chose not to in this project. The other thing is that it comes non fused, one side fused or two side fused. And the fusing can be really helpful like, let’s say you were doing really large circles or something and you didn’t want the fabric to kind of sag but you didn’t want to quilt it, you could then fuse it to hold it down over time. So there’s a lot of different ways to use this. I’m not going to bother fusing, and the bosal I’m using is a non fuse so I can still press against it, ok? I’m going to struggle with this for a little while. That’s ok, just get it all positioned down as we need. As we go. And then let me show you this. This is exactly what I was hoping kind of would happen. You may be able to see right here that it is actually, there’s a lump, there’s a ridge. So my bosal foam that I tried to inset there was still just a little bit large. And that was the experience I had the first time too. I planned it for you this way today. So you would see you don’t want your circles bowing and things like this. You want them to lay nice and flat just like this one does. And you’ll still have this three finger opening, ok? So if it’s doing funky curving and stuff that means your bosal is too large and you need to trim them down. So I’m going to move on to show you how to finish this one.
And what I first like to do, we’re going to topstitch the edges closed, ok? So make sure your machine is loaded with a thread that you like the way it looks. But one of the things that I like to do is use my lapel stick which is a glue stick. And I’m going to take and prepare to fold this end under. So I’m pull my fabric and I’m going to put a little bit of glue on the inside piece of fabric like that. So there’s a little bit of glue along there. And then I’m going to fold this up and stick it as much as I can. And then while that’s there and I’m kind of pulling back on the top fabric I’m also gluing this down this way. Stick, stick, stick. And then I can fold the edge underneath. And stick it and stick it. And then I just found, other than the fact that I get thread stuck all over me, that if I work it, let it sit a little bit and pull it over, it works real nice. And then from that point we can just come over to the sewing machine and get this topstitch going. And for whatever reason today maybe because it’s so nice and warm on our set here, my glue is not drying fast enough. So I’m going to stand here for about two minutes. But we’ll right back when it’s finished.
So after just a few seconds of pressure, it’s going to hold together nicely here. But what I want to do is I want to get that topstitching done right where the something part is first. So I’m going to get that right under the needle. And at this point I’m not actually using the quarter inch seam allowance I’m much closer to the edge. So we’re just going to go ahead and topstitch this right along the edge. And you might even find as I did, I’ve got 13 of these circles up in the quilt, that there is a little bit more of a flat spot where we do the, the seam opening and the topstitching than the rest of the circle. And that’s also the area where we’re going to generally match up the two circles. So if it looks a little flat to your eye don’t be concerned. You don’t hopefully see it in the quilt behind you, ok? And I’m almost done with this topstitching. And you notice I have the same pressure with my fingers. I’m just kind of real lightly letting the feed dogs move the fabric while my fingers do the guiding. Very easy. I’m just looking through that opening of the foot to make sure my topstitching is nice and easy. And here we come back to the end. And we’ll just backstitch over that as well. And cut those threads and we should be ready to go here.
Ok now that we have these, oops oh and now it really stuck to stuff, right? So now that we have those I want to show you how I joined them in together. And there’s actually again a two step process. Building all of your background pieces so obviously look over here at the quilt with me if you will. Obviously we’ve got these four circles sitting on top of the nine circles in the background. So when I was doing this I built the nine circles first and then I mounted the four to the top. The nine circles are going to join together in just the locations where they touch. But the four circles on the top actually topstitch through and hold everything all together. So the finishing happens from these four. But if you look at the way we joined these, it’s very simple. You’ll need a couple of straight pins for this. Ok.
And what I like to do is I wanted to manage all of my color and all of the energy of the quilts, so if you look here, what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to put kind of my blues together. My greens together. So brighter over here, darker over here. And when you look at the quilt behind me you see that’s what I did there. And then again because it’s such a graphic print I wanted to line my lines up. I didn’t want these lines going all cattywampus. I wanted my lines to kind of line up. So I would pick an area and I did join them or visually join them all together at first so I could tell they were kind of square. I know that sounds weird looking at circles. But then once I had these I’m going to topstitch right over this little section here. So what I want to do is I’m going to stick one pin in and through. And another pin in and through like that. We’re not going to stitch over those pins. But now you can see you can move it safely to the sewing machine. Just move that seam guide out of the way. And then make sure when you tack these you’re using the same color thread as you did for your topstitching. And now we’re just going to do another maybe inch of stitching and back. And then once that’s cut like that you can remove the pins. And then those two units have now been joined.
So what I found was the easiest way is I did two and you can see there’s a little bit of flexibility at this point. You can still move things around. So then I want to make sure that all my lines are just the way that they are. And then I’m going to come and I’m going to do the other two so we’ll do those for you too. And then the time you want to be really, really accurate is when you’re joining all four back together. Ok, I still like the way that looks. Now we’re going to come over here and I have to tell you this was one of the most fun tutorials I have assembled this whole season. I really enjoyed not only the design process but the construction process. And it’s really a fun quilt. And I had a lot of friends come through the studio over the last few weeks while I was playing with this one and they were really impressed. So it’s really fun. I want to do bunch more of these. One of the ideas I’m dreaming of is some fantastic, like a variegated, so it’s kind of like a solid color and then just do all kinds of ridiculous quilting through it, where the quilting joins between the circles. I think that would be fantastic as well. So I’m getting really really excited about my 3-D circles projects here.
Now we’ve got those two together. Last thing we’re going to do is join those. Let me do that for you really quick and we’ll wrap it up for the day. So now what I’m going to do is I’m going to pin in here. I’m going to pin here, ok? So I’ve got those two pins. And then now I need to do the same down below. So while I’m finishing this concept out, and I know you’re all probably already starting on your 3-D circles projects, we’ll have to figure out as a community here on Man Sewing, how many stacks of circles we can stitch together. So how many dimensions can we get into our three dimensions. You know, so these might have like seven or eight layers over time because that bosal foam is just so easy to stitch through. Ok, here we go. I’m going to topstitch up here for these two together. And then I’m just going to slide those down. Topstitch these two together. And then slide this over. Oop, thread cut real quick. And of course you’re going to want take a moment and get all of those threads, did you see that, I still have lapel stick on my fingers. Everything is sticking to my hands. I love it. So anyways you want to be able to go ahead and trim up your threads because we want to because these are kind of finished working samples and something. And you can still see that there’s still a little bit of flexibility. So watch again I’m going to go back up to the quilt. Those four were basically sitting like right on top of here like that. And then as I have the nine together in the background I do a topstitch here. I would topstitch here, here. But I did start from the center and I worked my way out like a good quilter should. So that I was able to massage and fix everything and adjust everything to keep it looking very cool and accurate right there. Remember play with those cool lines in that Color Work Concept fabric. It’s really really fun. And I want to see how many layers we can stack up with 3-D circles here. We’ll catch you next time at Man Sewing.