Going round
in circles


  • 1.3m (1.5yd) floral print for borders and binding
  • 40cm (16in) white on white print
  • 20cm (8in) dark print for Border Two
  • 12 fat eighths in blue, pink and red prints for the appliqué circles, four-patch blocks, and border One and two corner posts
  • Four A4 sheets of foundation paper or Stitch 'n' Tear
  • Wadding 1.4 x 1.3m (52 x 48in)
  • Backing fabric 1.4 x 1.3m (52 x 48in)
  • Hand quilting thread in soft blue
  • Appliqué thread in soft grey
  • Bondaweb
  • Rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting mat

Skill Level


Finished Size

Approx 122 x 112cm (48 x 44in)

You can download a copy of the original magazine pages for this project here, Going round in circles

Cutting Instructions

  1. Cut the following pieces. Think before you cut to make sure you are making best use of the fabric:

    Centre panel

    • One rectangle 13 x 17in of white print; trimmed to size later

    Border One

    • Two strips 16 1⁄2 x 2 1⁄2in for the sides
    • Two strips 12 1⁄2 x 21 1⁄2in for the top and bottom of floral print fabric
    • Four 2 1⁄2in squares in contrasting fabric for corner posts, from the fat eighths

    Border Two – Sawtooth

    • Six rectangles 9 1⁄2 x 6 1⁄2in; three white print and three dark print
    • Four 2 1⁄2in squares in contrasting fabric for corner posts, from the fat eighths

    Border Three

    • Two strips 24 1⁄2 x 4 1⁄2in for sides
    • Two strips 20 1⁄2 x 4 1⁄2in for top and bottom of floral print fabric
    • The corner posts are four-patch blocks, see Border Four

    Border Four – Four-patch blocks

    (Includes corner posts for Borders Three and Five)

    • Fourteen 2 1⁄2in squares from each of the 12 mixed blue, pink and red fat eighths, total 168 squares
    • Reserve the leftovers for appliqué circles

    Border Five

    • Two strips 40 1⁄2 x 4 1⁄2in for sides
    • Two strips 36 1⁄2 x 4 1⁄2in for top and bottom of floral print fabric
    • The corner posts are four-patch blocks, see Border Four


    • From floral print fabric cut five strips 2 1⁄4in wide across the width of the fabric

  2. From the fat eighth leftovers select fabrics for the appliqué circles. Trace the circle templates from the pattern sheet into the smooth side of your Bondaweb; how many of each size is up to you, but you will need a total of 62. Leave 1⁄4in between the circles for cutting. Separate the circles leaving a tiny allowance OUTSIDE the drawn line, and iron onto the REVERSE of your chosen fabrics. Cut out on the drawn line.

Centre Panel and Border One

  1. The centre panel is cut oversize as it will probably fray a little when you are doing the machine appliqué. Mark two rectangles with a washable marker, one inside the other, 16 x 12in and 16 1⁄2 x 12 1⁄2in. This will be the sewing line and cutting line respectively.
  2. Take 20 of the appliqué circles and arrange them onto the centre panel, leaving a 1⁄2in border inside the marked sewing line. If you do this on your pressing board, you won't have to move the panel once all the circles are in place.
  3. Once you have an arrangement you like, pick up each circle in turn and remove the backing paper by scoring in the centre of the circle carefully with a scissor point. Peel the paper from the centre out, to prevent damage to the edges. Bond the circles into place with a hot dry iron.
  4. Set your machine for blanket stitch or a slightly open small zigzag stitch and stitch each circle into place as in Figure 1. Ruth used a soft grey thread, but you could choose a high contrast colour if you prefer. Keep the majority of the stitching on the circle. When all the circles are stitched trim the panel to 16 1⁄2 x 12 1⁄2in.
  5. Add Border One to the centre panel as shown in the quilt assembly diagram, Figure 2. Remember to add the corner posts to each end of the top and bottom borders.

Figure 1: Blanket Stitch Circles

Border Two - Sawtooth

  1. The most accurate way of piecing half square triangles is by the foundation method. Sometimes foundation can be fiddly, but this method is easy and fairly quick. You will need to trace four sheets of foundation paper for the pattern from the pattern sheet; one for practice and three for the sawtooth border. Trace the solid and dotted lines onto the foundation sheets as they appear on the pattern sheet.
  2. Take one white and one dark rectangle of fabric, matching the edges. Place right sides together and press. With the white fabric on top, place the foundation pattern over the fabric so that it is centred over the lines. You can trim away the excess paper if you wish. Pin into place avoiding the dotted sewing lines.
  3. Set your sewing machine to a very short stitch; this will perforate the paper better and make stripping the paper pattern off the fabrics easier later.
  4. Stitch on the dotted sewing lines in the direction indicated. When all stitching is complete, separate the half-square triangles as follows; cut on the solid outside lines first, then cut on the vertical and horizontal solid lines, then cut on the diagonal lines. Before you strip off the paper, press the squares open with the seam allowance towards the dark fabric. Strip off the paper pattern.
  5. Stitch the half-square triangle blocks into two strips of ten for the sides and two strips of eight for the top and bottom, making sure that the 'sawtooth' pattern runs correctly around the quilt. Add these to the quilt centre as indicated in the quilt assembly diagram, Figure 2. Remember to add the corner posts to each end of the top and bottom borders.

Figure 2: Quilt Assembly

Figure 3: Four Patch Blocks

Four Patch Blocks

Using two contrasting fabrics at a time, make a total of 42 four-patch blocks as shown in Figure 2. Appliqué a circle onto the centre of each block.

Borders Three to Five

Add Border Three as shown in the quilt assembly diagram, Figure 2, using four four patch blocks for corner posts. For Border Four stitch the four-patch blocks into two strips of eight blocks for the sides, and two strips of nine blocks for the top and bottom; add in the order shown. Add Border Five using four four-patch blocks for corner posts as shown in Figure 2.

Quilting and Finishing

  1. Give your backing and quilt top a good press. Lay the backing wrong side up on a clean flat surface. Next lay on the wadding. Lastly lay on your quilt top right side up to make a textile sandwich. If there are any little wrinkles smooth the layers from the centre out.
  2. Tack your quilt using large stitches through all the layers. Starting from the centre, tack towards the edge every 4in. The tacking diagram Figure 4, shows a basic tacking pattern. You can use safety pins to tack your quilt if you are going to machine quilt. They should be placed every 3 to 4in, working from the centre out. Avoid the lines you are going to quilt or you will have to keep stopping to move your pins! This whole operation is easier with a friend to help.
  3. Ruth chose to echo quilt around the circles in the centre quite closely, about 1⁄4 to 1⁄2in apart, filling in all the space. A simple crosshatching in Borders One and Two using the sawtooth squares to set the pattern works well.
  4. Then add extra circles to Border Three using the appliqué templates from the pattern sheet, and continue echo quilting across Borders Three and Four less closely than the centre, about 1⁄2 to 1 1⁄2in apart. For Border Five continue to echo quilt out from Border Four to produce an irregular scallop effect. You can mark quilting lines, or just mark the crosshatching and extra circles in Border Three, with the rest done by eye or using a quilting guide on your sewing machine.
  5. Either hand quilt using a short running stitch through all three layers, following your marked design, or quilt on your machine. The use of a walking foot makes sure the layers do not slip during quilting. Trim the quilt edges carefully.
  6. Stitch the binding strips into a continuous length and press in half lengthways. Fold one end at 45 degrees and press. Trim to a 1⁄4in allowance. Stitch the binding to the front of the quilt, turning the corners to mitre the binding. Overlap the end of the binding with the start. Turn the binding to the back of the quilt and slipstitch in place.

Figure 4: Tacking Diagram

First published in Popular Patchwork June 2007