Circle quilting

I have been working on hand quilting the leftover Peppered Cottons quilt.

I had a few questions about the process.      To do the circles I follow the edge of the hoop.    I am quilting in a 22 inch hoop so the circles are pretty large.    I started in the center and did one complete circle.     I quilt a few inches away from the edge of the hoop and make a full circle then I move in about an inch and make another circle following the line of the previous circle.     I really don’t enjoy marking so I do this by eye…..not perfect but more fun.

Once I finish the center circle I move the hoop and overlap a bit on the next one.

Here are a few pictures (click pictures to enlarge)

The last picture is the back.

For thread I decided to use a contrasting thread.    I wanted the stitches to show.     I have a giant spool of vintage thread That I bout a few years ago and have already quilted about 5 quilts with.     Here is the thread (it is really more tan than the picture shows) and the needle I am using.


The thread is pretty thick…..It is hard to tell in this picture but it is a lot thicker than standard 40 weight hand quilting thread.  The left is the thread I am using and the right is YLI 40 weight hand quilting thread.


I would say it is about 12 weight .   It takes a larger needle .

Here the smaller needle is a size 10 sharp and the larger is the one I  am using.     I would guess it is about a size 6 between but I can’t tell for sure , it is just the one that I took out of the pin cushion that fit the thread best.


Teddy is looking scruffy today ( he goes to see the groomer Monday) but he wanted to be in a picture


It snowed about 3 inches last night and looks like more for tomorrow so we will be inside this weekend……the garden is calling so I hope it warms up soon!

Happy Quilting


24 thoughts on “Circle quilting

  1. Nor Forguson says:

    Why are handquilting? You should br Treadling with Teddy, trending with (Tim) you. 😲Lots of T’s. As usual, awesome to peak into your hand quilting! Enjoy your weekend! Thanks for sharing.😃

  2. Sherry Southgate says:

    What is Teddy? His face reminds me of the Westies we used to have but he looks like a white Schnauzer. Gosh, he’s cute.

  3. Rose in Vt says:

    Have you ever used different weights of thread in the same project? I was at MQX Thursday and at the Aurifil lecture I won a packet of all 6 weights of thread they make, all in the same color. I want to try them all in one project, just am not sure what yet.

  4. katlorien says:

    How nice to see Teddy providing a sense of scale. I think he loos rather handsome with curls.
    I was pleased that you showed the thread and needles, as I am a beginner (only quilted one quilt so far) and it is helpful to see what other quilters are using.

  5. Sandra B says:

    Love the circles!! Thanks for telling us how you do them….I have a quilt top that I want to use circles for the quilting, but wasn’t looking forward to marking them all…this method sounds like much more fun!!!
    Hello to Teddy!

  6. Leilani says:

    Thank you I am just about ready to start quilting in circles like that and this was very helpful.

  7. Debbie says:

    I have been following your blog since I read the article in Quilters newsletter around a year or two ago. Thanks for sharing all the quilts and interesting info about the sewing machine. Looking forward to more.

  8. Janice P says:

    Tim, are you still planning to post how you cut the pieces for the original peppered cottons quilt? Would love to learn how you did it!

    • timquilts says:

      I didn’t have enough of the fabric left to do a demo….so I will need to buy some more striped fabric …..I’ll see what I can find next trip to the fabric store

  9. Sally Carson says:

    You’ve inspired me to do more “modern” free form hand quilting. I hate marking and following you gave me the courage to give it a try and I love it. Thank you!

  10. Marla says:

    Thanks for the quilting tips. I avoid marking whenever possible…almost always! 🙂

  11. Looks amazing tim, love the pattern and fabrics and all, that’s a real winner you have there.

  12. audrey says:

    Love the circle quilting! It’s a great compliment to the quilt.:)


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