improv-- a 6 minute circle story.

I'm working on my submission for the NYC Metro Mod Guild show (read more about the traveling show here, you may be able to see our quilts in a town near you!), and I hit a snag when I realized that I couldn't get as many words on it as I had originally planned..
Wait, let me explain-- the theme of the show is "What does Modern Quilting mean to you?" and along with the quilt, we all must submit artist statements detailing our personal beliefs on Modern Quilting and how that ties into our show quilts.  I, of course, wanted to write all over mine, in pieced letters.  Like, all over it, but I realized that my design space is much much smaller than what I wanted to say.
My quilt is split into two parts, with writing on both but using different background fabrics.
The bottom letters are 3" tall, and the quilt must be 15" x 20" to be included in the show.. I knew I could make smaller letters, but didn't want to try to piece itsy bitsy fabrics to make my "b" "g" and "a" look curved.  So, I got creative and tried something new.
Ages ago I saw the 6 minute circles technique on a blog somewhere (I think it was this one), but just filed it in the back of my mind, not needing it until last week..
I drew up some tiny circles, followed the directions, and gave it a try.
On my first attempt, I removed the freezer paper before stitching as the directions suggest, but my "circle" wasn't really round. 
For all subsequent attempts, I left the freezer paper on as a sewing guide and my results improved.
Yay!  I had little circles, which I then pieced into letters measuring just under 2" tall.

Now for a bit more applique and hand work, and my tiny quilt top will be ready for basting.

Couldn't help adding in some EPP..

What I learned:
This is a great method, and I think it will experiment more with this type of freezer paper piecing for letters.  Of course, with the success of my first 4 circles, I got a little over zealous, and ambitiously tried to use the technique to piece other shapes..
The hearts worked great! until I got to the accute point at the center of the top.. um, no.  physically impossible.  But, I improvised and just needleturned the points by hand.  I still got an awesome heart, just half pieced, half appliqued. 
It looks better than a raw-edged machine applique, and faster than hand appliqueing the whole thing.  I'm pretty sure I'd do it again.
(Btw, heart blocks are for the 15 minutes play Scrap bee.)


  1. I love this! Great job. I have always wanted to do a banner with my blog name too. How smart you are!

  2. Those circles make such cute letters. And your EPPs are so appropriate. Your quilt is going to be wonderful, Jess.

  3. thanks guys~ it still has a lot of work to go, but I love how it's shaping up.

  4. I love this method for circles...I use it all the time, but I never thought of using it for different shapes like hearts...that brilliant!

  5. LOVE IT!!!! This is so you. Well done! and you learned something! Doubel wahoo! awesome that you added the hexies!

  6. you did this. you are crazy good!

  7. How did you do in the hurricane , I know you are in NY right ? Im in New Jersey it got harry!

  8. woohoo, those are awesome letters and oh my those circles. crazy good!

  9. Hi Jessica
    I got the hearts from you and have been breaking my head trying to understand how you did them. the hearts are so pretty and will look great on my quilt Thanks so much for giving me the link to show how to do the circles. I am going to try it!
    it is amazing how nice they come out.
    If I am successful doing the process I will post photos on my blog.



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