Machine Quilting the Circle Quilt

October 28, 2019

How do I quilt a top with lots of bold color? With even more bold color!  This quilt is made entirely with solid fabrics so the quilting is going to stand out as a key design element.  Balancing the impact of the quilting designs with the graphic quality of the quilt top can be challenging, so I decided to match the thread color to the fabric to allow machine quilting to add texture without interrupting the fields of color.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember seeing the blocks for this quilt come together last year.  The blocks didn’t become an actual top until I went to a quilting retreat last month.  All of the components of this quilt were structured improvisation.  Lots of rulers were involved (including the Classic Curves Ruler by Color Girl Quilts), but the quilt evolved organically as I added the various components.

There are dozens of fabric colors in this quilt so I selected 50wt Aurifil in colors that each coordinated with between one and four fabrics in the quilt.

I ended up selecting 19 colors of Aurifil.  The colors are listed from left to right.

Back Row (Cones):

  • 2535- Magenta
  • 4020- Fuchsia
  • 2225- Salmon
  • 2425- Bright Pink
  • 1135- Pale Yellow
  • 5006- Light Turquoise
  • 2740- Dark Cobalt

Front Row (Spools):

  • 4225- Eggplant
  • 4030- Plum
  • 2245- Red Orange
  • 2145- Yellow Orange
  • 1147- Light Leaf Green
  • 6737- Shamrock Green
  • 2870- Green
  • 4093- Jade
  • 2810- Turquoise
  • 2770- Very Light Delft
  • 2730-Delft Blue
  • 2562- Lilac

For me, the best part of using colorful threads is the opportunity you have to infuse just a little more color into the fabric you use it on.  In this quilt there are a few sections of grey fabric, but instead of using grey thread, I selected Lavender Aurifil to add a small amount of color to an area that has the potential to become bland.  Magenta Aurifil is one of my favorite colors to do this with.  It blends with lots of fabrics, but it adds just enough saturate color to enliven the quilt.

The machine quilting for this piece was done on the longarm.  Most of the designs were done with rulers, but there is some free motion quilting mixed in to add some different textural effects.  I incorporated occasional gaps in the machine quilting so I will be able to go back in and add some large stitch hand quilting- Which I can’t wait to do!


  • Reply
    Rochelle Summers
    October 28, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    This is such a wonderful quilt and the quilting is really exceptional. I love the way your design looks so uniform when going around the rings of the circle above. The variety of quilting motifs makes this a quilt that will never be boring.

  • Reply
    Linda Cordonnier
    October 29, 2019 at 11:53 am

    I really enjoy solid fabrics in your quilts. Lovely job of choosing the different quilting designs. This took some thinking on your part and I really like seeing the different quilt patterns. It never gets borrowing.

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