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  • Nicola

Vintage Circus Sew-along: month 4

Welcome to month four of the Vintage Circus sewalong! Richla, from Got Kwilts, and I are putting our hands together for the final pair of circus characters...

Stately Giraffe & Juggling Bear

In last month's post we created our Big Top and seven beautiful balloons. This time we'll be using the extra balloon I had you set aside when we meet our tallest character, the Stately Giraffe, and creating the most dexterous, the Juggling Bear.


Creating unusual angles in a quilt block can sometimes be a bit of a tall order (sorry!), but the placement template technique is used again here to achieve the giraffe's elegant neck.

Again we'll trim down an oversized side piece - but just one this time, so take care with the direction of the cut - and marking a placement line with the template in your pattern. These are larger pieces, so add a few more pins to keep things steady while you stitch.

We're also using a giant (of course) snowballed corner to create the giraffe's back and smaller placement templates to shape its legs.

For those of you who asked if there was a Foundation Paper Piecing template for the giraffe: you can now download separate templates for the neck and the body by clicking on the links, below.

Giraffe FPP Neck Template
Download PDF • 84KB

Giraffe FPP Body Template
Download PDF • 112KB


There are plenty of moving parts to this block (!) and it's only when you actually assemble the block that our entertaining bear will emerge. Which means you'll be matching a few points. Following the pressing directions in the pattern will be a big help, as the seams should nest beautifully, giving you nice, crisp points. You can also mark the ¼" seam allowance where you'd like the points to match with a water soluble pen, allowing you to pin accurately. And you don't have to stitch the entire seam at once - I know! - just stitch a short section that includes the point, take a quick peek to see that you're happy with the results and, if you are, go ahead and stitch the whole seam. If you're not happy you'll only have a few stitches to unpick.

Remember to pop back to our month two post to refresh your memory about fussy cutting the juggling balls.


We're also going to be making a start on the bunting blocks this month, which are essentially flying geese units, made with the trusty snowball technique...

...take some care when pressing the seams, as directed in the pattern and, again, they will nest beautifully when you join them together. No magic required. And note that the units are pieced so that you'll never lose the points of you bunting. Hurray!

Sadly our show is nearing its end, but please join us next month for one last surprise act!

Nicola xx


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