Monday, October 8, 2012


I was talking to my friend, Kara, who asked me if I had any tips on how to put together the half circles for the Modern Mystery Quilt.  I promised her I would share some pics on my blog of how I did it.

This is the "field" or background piece.   I folded it in half and creased it.  Then I brought each of the "wing" pieces to the center and creased them.  I have now marked the middle and the quarters of the piece.
Next came the half circles . . .

Take the half circle piece that will be inset into the field/background piece.  In this picture it is the colored dot fabric.
Then fold it in half as shown with the pink piece.  Then I took each edge of the folded piece and folded it back to the center as seen in the purple piece.

You have now marked the center and both quarters of the insert piece.

Here are the two components in their folded state.

When you open up each piece you are able now to match the center and the quarters for pinning.

An extra little tip here.  If you will fold the green piece right sides together and the bring the edges over to the center you will get a valley at the center and two mountains at the quarters.
When folding the field/background piece, make the first fold with WRONG sides together and then bring each edge to the center.
By doing this the center will be a mountain and the two quarters will be valleys.

This makes the two pieces "nest" together better when you start to pin.

See the "nesting" ?

I like to start by pinning the center point, then I go to the edges and pin those two and the last two places I pin are the quarters.

Gently work my way around the rest of the edge without stretching or pulling the edges.  If you are patient and take your time, it will go together with reasonable ease.  There is no need to force the two pieces to fit.

Take it to the sewing machine and sew with the field/background piece on top and stitch slowly and take each pin out as you come to it.

It helps to have a good supervisor on standby. . .

Take it to the iron and press the seam open.  Then the piece will lie flat and be ready to use in your quilt.

This does take a little extra time and effort, but I think it is well worth it.

One other thing that I do as I am chain piecing blocks is to use components from another quilt as a "Leader/Ender".  Bonnie Hunter coined this phrase meaning using components to lead a chain and end a chain.  In doing this you make lots of components for another quilt as you complete the current project.

In this project I was making half-square triangle units for a Split Nine-Patch quilt.

Hope you found this little tutorial helpful.



  1. Hey Sandi, This is great. I learned how to do circles from The Gypsy Quilter when she came up a few years back and we had a lot of classes. She even did one at Lavender and Lime on circles. She taught a really great way and you don't have to do all the pinning. You can cut a circle out of a fabric and then cut a replacement circle. The replacement circle must be 1" larger in diameter that the hole and talk about easy to put in. I pin the halfs and quarters only and sew and it works!

    1. You are right, Anna, there are several ways to do this. I remember when the Gypsy Quilter came to LL.

  2. Wonderful Sandi thanks so much for your help! Does make it easier.