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Cheeky Circles

Cheeky Circles

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Who's ready to try out some curved piecing today? This is Kristina Brinkerhoff from Center Street Quilts and if you haven't tried curved piecing yet, you really should! I labeled this quilt as ambitious, but it's really not very complicated overall. There are just a lot of steps involved that might be unfamiliar to some: printing out the template, cutting out the pattern pieces, curved piecing, and setting the quilt on point. The blocks are big, though, and once you get all the pieces cut out, the piecing goes pretty quickly! Will you give it a try with me?

This quilt finishes at approximately 60" x 80".

12 Fat Quarters (Cheeky from Urban Chiks)
4 yards background fabric
5/8 yard binding fabric
4 yards backing fabric

Print out the Circle Template PDF file (Click Here: Cheeky_Circles_Template_Pieces). Make sure your printer is set to print at "Actual Size" or "100%" (not "Fit to Page" or "Scale"). There is a 1 inch line on the pattern page that can be used as a reference to make sure the templates have printed out at the right size.

Cut out the template pieces on the outer solid line. You can create sturdier template pieces by transfering the paper pieces to template plastic or a thick piece of cardboard. Just trace the paper templates onto the new template material (template plastic or cardboard) and cut out the new templates along the outer solid line. The inner solid line is where the seams will be sewn (1/4" from the outer solid line), but you don't need to worry about transferring this line onto the new templates.

Cutting Instructions:

Press the (12) fat quarters to remove fold lines. From each fat quarter, use the Unit A Inner Circle Template to cut out (6) inner circle pieces, for a total of (72) inner circle pieces. I like to first trace the pattern onto the fabric and then cut it out with a smaller sized (28mm) OLFA rotary cutter. The smaller rotary cutter makes it is easier to cut around the curves, but scissors can be used instead.

From the background fabric:

  • Trace and cut out (72) Unit B Inner Circle Template pieces.
  • Cut (3) 21 1/8" squares. Cut each square in half diagonally twice to yield (12) side setting triangles (you will only need ten of these).
  • Cut (2) 10 7/8" squares. Cut both squares in half diagonally once to yield (4) corner setting triangles.

From the binding fabric cut (7) 2.5" x WOF strips.

Assembling the Blocks:

Lay out one Unit A Inner Circle fabric piece and one Unit B Outer Circle fabric piece. Fold each in half along the curve and finger press to mark the half-way point along the curve.

Flip the Unit B Outer Circle piece onto the Unit A piece (right sides together) and place a pin through the center points of both fabric pieces.

Work your way to the outer edge of the curve by placing pins through both pieces of fabric. The inner circle piece should lay flat while the outer circle piece will start to ruffle. Make sure the outer circle piece is laying as flat as possible at the seam line--ruffling further out is just fine.

Pin the second half of the curved seam in the same manner. You can see how the pinned edge is still (pretty) flat.

Slowly sew a scant 1/4" seam along the curved edge. Remove pins as you go and make sure that the outer circle background fabric is laying flat along the seam (you don't want it to end up with a pucker in the seam).

Press the seam toward the background fabric. The quarter circle unit should measure 7.5" x 7.5".

Repeat the same curved seam process with the remaining Unit A and Unit B fabric pieces. You should end up with a total of (72) quarter circle units.

Gather four quarter circle units and lay them out as shown below.

Sew the two top units together and the two bottom units together. Press the seams open.

It is very likely that some of the seams and edges on the quarter circle units won't match up exactly. When that's the case, just take extra care to make sure that the seams of the circle match up (and don't worry so much about the edges of the blocks).

Sew the top half and the bottom half of the circle together. Press the seam open. The completed circle block should measure 14.5" x 14.5".

Repeat the process with the remaining quarter circle blocks to make a total of (18) 14.5" x 14.5" circle blocks.

Assembling the Quilt:

Gather the (18) circle quilt blocks, (10) side setting triangles, and the (4) corner setting triangles. Lay out the quilt as shown in the diagram below and assemble each diagonal row, pressing seams open. Sew the rows together and press the seams open or to one side.

Baste, quilt, and bind as desired.

This quilt finishes at 60" x 80".

Thanks for following along with my Cheeky Circles tutorial! Curved seams are a fun skill to have and I hope you'll give them a try! You can find more of my quilting adventures on instagram (@centerstreetquilts) or by following my blog. Happy Sewing!

Kristina Brinkerhoff

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