Happy Go Round Quilt

Hi, Moda Bake Shop readers! It’s Lisa Calle from Vintage Modern Quilts, sharing a project I love to pieces. You may have already seen a sneak peek of this quilt if you were at QuiltCon in February. I’m happy to share the finished product here today. I love this quilt! Happy Go Lucky from Bonnie and Camille is on the way to becoming one of my all-time favorite lines. The colors, the happy florals, the vintage look, the perfect tiny dots…it’s got everything.

This is an improv style quilt so you may use more or less fabric than I did…It all depends on your cutting and piecing. I used Bella Solids layer cakes in my quilt top but I’ve given an option below for using yardage instead. Just know that you will have more cutting involved if you opt for yardage.

1 Layer Cake (Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie and Camille)
3 coordinating solids layer cakes (I used Robin’s Egg, Blue, and White. NOTE: You will only use a fraction of these layer cakes so you’ll have plenty left for a second quilt or another project. I used 16 Blue, 20 Robin’s Egg, and 12 White.)
3.5 yards of coordinating solids
1/2 yard binding (Happy Go Lucky 55067 11)
4 1/8 yards backing (mine is pieced using Happy Go Lucky 55063 22 and 55061 17)

Curve Master 1/4″ Presser Foot (This foot is great for all curved piecing.)

All seams are 1/4″. Read instructions before beginning. I recommend practicing on some scrap fabric before you cut into your layer cake. Unfinished block size is 9″.

1. If you are working with yardage for your solids, cut into 10″ squares. You will need a total of 48 ten-inch squares from your solids.

2. Select four layer cake squares – a mix of prints from the collection and some solids. I went by the general rule of two solids, two prints.

3. Layer your four layer cake squares into a neat pile, making sure the edges are lined up on all sides.

4. Using a rotary cutter with a fresh blade, cut a freehand arc across your stack of layer cake squares. Go slowly and use firm and even pressure Try to make a wide curve. The tighter angles are going to be harder to sew. For a video tutorial showing exactly how to cut and piece these improv curves, click {here}.

5. Mix and match your inner and outer curves. Line your inner curve edge up with the outer curve edge, right sides together.

*A note about pinning* You do not need to pin these curved seams. Starch your edges to keep the bias seams in check and/or use the curve master foot.*

Sew a 1/4′ seam along the curve, gently guiding the fabrics together under the foot of your sewing machine. The key is to guide the fabric. No tugging or pulling as that will distort your seam.

5. Press light to dark. Repeat sewing and pressing process for your other fabrics in the stack.

6. Once you’ve sewn all four sets, check them for size. Set aside any blocks that don’t quite measure 9″ square. These are your A blocks. Trim your other blocks to 9″ square and set into your finished pile. These are your B blocks.

Note: These blocks do have a right and a wrong way. It’s easy to tell if  you’re working with prints, but solids can be trickier. If your block ends up like this, you’ve sewn it the wrong way. Just seam rip (gently), flip the inner curve, and sew again.

I made this block just to show you guys. I would so never make a block like that. Never. Ever. 😉

7. Repeat this process until you have 64 blocks total: A and B blocks.

8. Take your stack of A (not quite 9″ blocks) and repeat the curve step from above, but this time just choose one layer cake. Set it underneath your pieced block and shift it to enlarge the block. Cut a curve just like before. Sew your two pieces together and press light to dark. Square up to 9″.

Alternatively, if you are a master curve piecer and didn’t have any blocks that didn’t make it to 9″ (go, you!),  take half of your perfect blocks and add a second curve to them using the process outlined above. This quilt will look nice with just one curve per block, but the second curve adds a lot of movement throughout the quilt. I made several blocks that have up to four curve in them.

9. Assemble your quilt top in a 8×8 block layout. I sewed mine in sets of 4 blocks at a time so I could take extra care matching the points where the four blocks meet in the center of the broken circles. Don’t worry too much about fabric placement. Just have fun with it! There are lots of options for setting the blocks in this quilt. I made another version using Aspen Frost by Basic Grey:

{Note: the Aspen Frost version is smaller}

10.  Baste, quilt, and bind as desired.

One happy and fun 68″ x 68″ quilt.

If you make one, please add it to the Moda Bake Shop {Flickr} group. Don’t forget to stop by my blog and say hi. 

Lisa Calle

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