2022 Oct BOM - 6 inch Inset Circle Block

10/16/2022 9:27 AM | Anonymous

Previous posted by Em Komiskey on stlmqg.blogpost.com

Welcome to Month Ten of the St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild 2022 Block of the Month Sampler! You did it! You made it to the final month of this Block of the Month. All that's left is to finish these blocks and put your quilt together! 

Remember to post your block to Instagram with the hashtag #stlmqgbom before the November meeting  to be entered to win this month's prize. If you don't use Instagram, you may email a photo to the guild email. There will one more monthly prize, but there will also be a drawing for the grand prize for anyone who has a finished Block of the Month quilt top by the January 2023 meeting. STLMQG member Dottie Vaughn has donated longarm quilting service for one finished quilt. Thank you Dottie!

This month, we will be making FOUR 6.5-inch (unfinished) inset circle blocks! I love how this creates a nice, crisp circle without the intersecting seam lines that you get with a Drunkard's path or similar curve technique. There are many tutorials online on how to accomplish this, but as far as I can tell, the technique is most often called the 6-minute circle credited to Dale Fleming. You can see a video of her demonstrating this method here. [note: this definitely takes longer than 6 minutes!] I first learned this technique at one of the very first Sew Me St. Louis retreats so it's fitting that you get to learn this technique the weekend of this year's Sew Me!


This block requires a few more items in the way of supplies. If you are at the retreat and brought your BOM fabric so you can finish this quilt, but you don't have these items, come and find me (Em Komiskey) as I will have these things at Sew Me St. Louis. If you plan to complete these inset circle blocks at a later time, come and pick up a piece of freezer paper if you don't already have some! No need to buy a whole box for one project. 

Here's what you'll need: 

  • (8) 7½ inch squares of fabric (4 background, 4 for the circles)
  • freezer paper about the size of your block
  • template for a circle that's around 5 inches (I used an IKEA kids' bowl, which is about 4¾ inches in diameter)
  • pen or pencil
  • paper scissors
  • fabric scissors
  • glue stick or glue pen


Pair your fabric squares, deciding which will be background, and which will be the circles. 

Using your circle template (or a compass) trace a circle in the approximate middle of your freezer paper. 

Cut out the circle you traced on the freezer paper, then fold the paper in half lengthwise, then in half widthwise to create a crease every 90° around the circle. 

Fold your background fabric in half lengthwise, then in half widthwise and press with a hot iron to create creases. 

Line up the creases in the paper with the creases of your background fabric. The shiny side of the freezer paper will be face down, and the back/wrong side of your background fabric will be face up. Iron over the freezer paper so it sticks to the fabric. 

Cut out a circle from your background fabric that is approximately ¼ - ½ inch smaller than the circle you cut from the freezer paper. 

Make notches in the background fabric from the inside of the circle up to nearly the edge of the freezer paper all the way around the circle about every ½ inch.

Press the notches of background fabric back over the freezer paper to open up the circle. Some tutorials suggest using a tiny bit of glue on the paper to hold the notches open. I just sprayed a little bit of water and made sure they were creased well. 

Apply glue to the up facing notches of the background fabric. Smooth the circle fabric onto the glue, making sure that all of your background notches stay folded back over the freezer paper. I like to give the block another quick press with the iron to adhere the glue. 

Note: at this point, I flipped my block over and realized a couple notches of background fabric didn't get folded all the way back to the edge of the freezer paper circle. I just peeled them apart, pulled the notched back, and then added a little more glue. 

Trim the excess circle fabric at about the edge of the notched background fabric. Then remove the freezer paper. 

Pull the background fabric back and sew along the crease created by the folded back notches. Go slow, set your needle to stop in the down position if you can, and keep just to the inside edge of your crease. I like to use an open toe appliqué foot so I can see what I'm doing. 

Press your block and trim to 6½ inches. Repeat 3 more times!

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