Quilts with Pieced Circles

by Lisa Call on November 13, 2005

in From The Studio

While in Idaho studying with Nancy Crow last month, one of the classes being taught was Lines, Curves, Circles & Figure/Ground. I did a few of the exercises in this class and my favorite turned out to be the one based on circles.

I’m not much for sewing curves but after a few minutes instruction from Nancy on how to do it properly I decided to give it a try. The week hadn’t been going the best and I needed to regroup and loosen up. This seemed like a good exercise to let that happen. My goal was to just play and relax. It turned out to be a lot of fun and I was glad I did the exercise.

I didn’t like one of the large circles that I put in my quilt during the workshop and it’s taken 2 tries (the last one this weekend) to get a replacement that works.

This is the final top. It’s about 80″ square.

Circles #1 &copy 2005 Lisa Call

This was the original circle that was removed. It was much too static and uninteresting compared with the other circles in the piece. It clearly didn’t work with the composition and had to be removed. I’m not sure what I’ll do with this 40″ square top. Maybe a friend will have a baby and I will be ready to go with a quick gift.

Circles #2 &copy 2005 Lisa Call

During class time I replaced the above circle with this one. But then discovered that I really liked this circle much better than the rest of the quilt, so again it had to be removed. I want to make an entirely new quilt to go around this 40″ block. At some point when I want to play and need to loosen up again, I’ll pull out this circle and add 3 more to it.

Circles #3 &copy 2005 Lisa Call

Quiz for the day – looking back at the quilt with all 4 circles – can you figure out which of the 4 circles I added in this weekend?


mary m. November 14, 2005 at 6:37 am


Is it the one on the bottom left? Did I tell you I’m pregnant and due in two weeks? ;D

Robin November 14, 2005 at 2:06 pm

Lisa, I’m a big fan of your work and get very excited anytime I see that you have posted something new. I really like the direction that your work is moving in. I loved the straight lines, but I think curves are great. As far as the middle one is concerned, why don’t you try cutting it up and sewing it back together? We did this in Sue Benner’s class and we came out with some suprising results. I could see it being cut up into 16 and rearranged. Just a thought.

Allison Aller November 14, 2005 at 6:43 pm

I think you added the bottom right…because it the inner circle bands are like the block you liked but didn’t use. Also I think you were shooting to get some more light value in that corner, and used the lavendar to get it.
So nu?
I love sewing curves myself…to the point where now it is very hard for me to sew a straight line!

PaMdora November 14, 2005 at 8:31 pm

Love the circles. Hope you do more of these. It’s surprising how someone with your talent can take simple and commonly used things like lines and circles and make something that looks different from anything else I’ve seen.

Lindsay November 15, 2005 at 11:12 am

Your quilts are BEAUTIFUL. I love the color, the improvisational quality. I’m a member of EDM drawing group and want to welcome you!! I’m also a beginnign quilter and would love to know if you could suggest a book that would help me learn how to build a quilt this way. So far I’m using geometry and I’d rather use organic lines!!

Lisa Call November 15, 2005 at 9:10 pm

Good guesses.

But the one I made at home is the upper right – and it is my least favorite of the quilt. I think I was trying very hard to make the block “fit in” with the others I couldn’t just relax and have fun.

But I when I’m in the mood I’ll pull out that extra circle and work at making another one of these because it was fun.

Thanks for the comments everyone.

My answer to Lindsay:

I learn by watching someone else do something and then trying it myself – reading books doesn’t work for me so I’ve ever really looked into them much as a learning tool so don’t have any I can recommend. I learned to piece this way from Nancy Crow and of course I highly recommend her classes.

allison November 16, 2005 at 8:53 pm

Darn! I guessed wrongly. But it’s is true, you can’t force these things…

Samantha November 18, 2005 at 2:40 pm

These are lovely- I just found your blog, and we’re nearly neighbors as Ilive in DTC area!

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