[‘Round the World] Finished

['Round the World] Finished

I have wanted to make a quilt with lots of dots since I started quilting. These dots slowly made their way into my stash (specifically, Michael Miller Ta Dot prints (with no white or black) as well as a few Anna Maria Horner Polka Line prints, which are the same scale as Ta Dot).

When I saw Allison’s (Cluck. Cluck. Sew.) raw-edge circle quilt, it immediately went on my list of quilts designs to try. Luckily, there’s a tutorial.

I needed wanted to make a gender neutral baby quilt and I thought the raw edge circles + polka dots would be a perfect combination for that.

['Round the World] Finished

I then added some Kona solids — solids that match the dot colors (not background colors) —to give the eye a place to rest.

To appliqué the circles and straight-line quilt, I used a 20-weight rainbow variegated thread and I love how the thicker thread stands out on the bright quilt.

As I was making this quilt, my girls kept calling it the pizza-pie fabric and my husband said it would give a baby seizures, but I disagree.

['Round the World] Finished

For the backing, I used a colorful Alexander Henry print from the Good Earth collection plus a strip of coordinating solids.

['Round the World] Finished

This quilt does not have my new labels on it because I got my label supplies one day after I finished the quilting. The next quilt will incorporate them though.

I was so, so close to loving how this quilt turned out. Then, I washed it. You could say that I learned how not to raw-edge appliqué with this quilt. I much prefer the other lesson I learned while making this quilt. Darn circles. (I wonder if the raw-edge appliqué issues were because of the heavy weight thread??). Some of my raw edges unraveled a little too much and were just a wash or two away from coming apart from the quilt.

I tried a few different ways to fix my problem…

['Round the World] Finished

First, I outlined the inside of the circles with another line of sloppy stitches, thinking this would keep the circles from coming apart from the quilt. But, because of how I constructed the circles, this was not a solution at all; as it would expose the batting if the fabric unraveled more.

['Round the World] Finished

Luckily, I liked how the extra outlining looked on the back, so I left the outline stitches that I did in the quilt (I only did a row of circles with the outlining).

['Round the World] Finished

Next, I tried using a wiggly decorative stitch to sew all around the edge of a circle. I did not like how this turned out but I thought I would damage the fabric removing those stitches, so they stayed in the one circle that I stitched like this.

['Round the World] Finished

Last, I used a zig-zag stitch, but used it only where needed on the raw edge. I like to call this look the Frankenstein. While I don’t hate how the Frankenstein stitches look and I would have much preferred not to have had to patch my circles in this way.

So, even though I do not love how this quilt finished, I still do like it and can appreciate it since I hopefully will not make those same mistakes again!

A note about the quilt’s recipients
Our super nice neighbor-friends are expecting their fourth child and the baby should be here any day now. This family has really helped us out a few times and I thought a baby quilt would be a nice way to show them that we appreaciate them being our neighbors and to thank them for coming to our rescue on more than one occasion! I am thrilled to be able to give back to them in some way.

I had planned to keep the quilt a surprise, but I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut once the wife happened to tell me that she loves polka dots. So, I spilled the beans and told her my quilt plans. I also warned her that there is some pink in the quilt, and asked if that was ok in case the baby is a boy (they are waiting to find out the gender until the birth). She said she didn’t mind (whew!). And it turns out that my backing fabric was a great match for them too because the husband really likes maps.

19 thoughts on “[‘Round the World] Finished

  1. i ve never raw edge appliqued lucia…im sorry you ran into problems, this is such a great quilt! do you think you will try this method again?

    1. Jenny — I really don’t think I’d try raw-edge applique like this again. Something was wrong with my method (obviously) because I haven’t read where others had this problem with this pattern. Either it was the weight of my thread or my stitch length was too long (I think it was a 3?) or I should have sewn more than 1/4″ from the edge of the circles. If I want circles in a quilt, I think I’d much rather go the drunkard’s path route. And if I want raw edge applique, I’ll do things different next time (maybe even stitching around whatever I’m appliqueing twice?).

  2. Lucia, this is lovely. All those different stitches make it interesting and artsy!! 🙂 I really like them and think it could be fun to have different stitches on every circle (next time!!!). And I love the thread you chose to use. Fun!! The colors for your fabrics are terrific! Love that there is no white or black. This is a wonderfully creative quilt…perfect for a baby!!

    1. Thank you, Vickie!

      I’ll try to think of those stitches as ‘artsy’ instead of ‘mistake’ — that will make me feel better about them. 🙂

  3. I actually have one of these quilts in a UFO pile. I loved reading about your trials with it… I’m just left wondering is there any way to do this quilt so I don’t have the same issues??? Or is that just the nature of the pattern?
    Thanks for sharing. : )

    1. Hi Ranelle! I really think I goofed up with this pattern. I lengthened my stitch length to 3 (or 3.5? I can’t remember) to be able to see the stitches better and that’s probably why the fabric raveled too much. I bet if I left it at 2.2 (more norm), it would have been fine. Good luck with your UFO — I bet it will turn out fine. 🙂

      1. Thanks Lucia. You’ve given me the incentive to atleast bump it up a little higher on the list of quilts to finish. I’ve been stalled out for way too long.

  4. This quilt is wonderfully bright and cheery – the fabrics really do work beautifully with the pattern. I am thinking that it was your stitch length, and not the weight of the thread that caused you problems. If the stitch is too long, the spaces between them are too large to hold down the raw edges.

    I still love it, though, frankenstein repairs and all!

    1. Felicity — you are probably right. I normally use a 2.2 stitch length (for piecing). To applique the circles, I lengthened it to 3 or 3.5 (can’t remember) so the stiches would be more visible. That was a big mistake! I just wish I had not messed up on a quilt that I’m GIFTING. I am a little embarrassed to have my ‘work’ out there with so many boo- boos. Oh well. Lesson learned. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I completely love this quilt! I really appreciate you sharing your struggles with it. My machine and I are barely on speaking terms right now after a FMQ incident the other night. I like your blog a lot – your quilts are beautiful. I read in the boy blue post that you are maybe having bobbin tension trouble? It is REALLY easy to deal with that yourself, at least on my machine which is not the same as yours. Just in case this is helpful there should be a little screw on the bobbin case that you can adjust (check your manual) and remember righty-tighty lefty-loosey. Now if you hold the bobbin thread between your thumb and finger and then give a little tug the bobbin case should drop just about 6-8 inches and stop. If it doesn’t, it’s too tight. If it drops all the way to your waiting hand – it’s too loose. I don’t know if this is helpful but I thought it was worth mentioning. I’m going to go follow your blog now and add it to my blogroll (which I mostly use to follow blogs since I don’t much blog myself). And since I didn’t say it enough times, blog blog blog. 😉

    1. Emily — thank you so much for the tip! I may have to try your technique if my problem won’t go away. I had read in some forums that some people (or machines?) like to have two bobbins; one for regular sewing and another for FMQ. I don’t have much experience with machine maintenance and tweaking so it will take me a little time to get this straightened out. Hopefully your machine will start behaving soon. It’s a pain when it doesn’t work right!

      1. I have also read that some people like to have a few bobbin cases for different tensions. My machine is so temperamental that I have to adjust the bobbin case depending on how much thread, and what kind, is on the bobbin at the moment. (I am currently looking and hoping to be in the market for a new machine). It’s a super easy fix to try if you have a small screwdriver hanging out near your machine – which I do anyways! 🙂 It’s really all SUCH a learning process, right? 🙂

  6. Just thought I should say that I’ve recently started reading your blog (I’m a NZer living in Australia) and find it so encouraging. I love your colourful quilts and the way you write about the process. You say so well what you like as well as what didn’t go quite as you expected and your positive approach to that is so great. I tend to get thrown by what I don’t like in my own work and remember once going to hear someone famous talk about her quilts and she showed her earliest as well as later work and was so warm and accepting of all her work, even early “mistakes” and I think that’s so helpful. It shows a healthy acceptance of oneself and counter intuitively helps us do better work I think.

  7. Wow! I want to use this pattern for a baby quilt and ran across an image of the fabric and googled to see if using them together would be too busy – and there was the photo of your beautiful quilt! A great inspiration, and obviously sold me on the pattern/fabric combo 🙂

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