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  • Nicola

Vintage Circus Sew-along: month 5

Welcome to the last month of our Vintage Circus sewalong! Before we wave you goodbye, Richla, from Got Kwilts, and I are sharing our final tips for assembling your quilts and a rather fabulous encore!

Finishing the Quilt

What I like to refer to as a 'bunting border' is my favourite way to finish a quilt. It's a lovely way to add a final flourish to a quilt, using up all of the scraps from creating the blocks and literally tying all of the prints together. And what could be more appropriate for a circus-themed quilt?

One little tip I can pass on is to check the measurement of your groups of four bunting units as you go - they should be 14½" wide - before you join them all together, to be sure that they'll fit (ask me how I know!).


Along with the small elements of hand or machine embroidery you could add to your characters' faces - which I like to do before quilting - you can also have fun adding some extra decorative touches once your project has been quilted. Our first idea is to add 2" Suffolk Puffs - a.k.a. fabric yoyos - to the circus balls. Lauren at Molly & Mama has a gorgeous tutorial here. And even if you don't plan to do this, pop over to the tutorial and scroll to the last photo: you'll thank me!

I wrote about adding mini ric-rac trim as the balloon strings in last month's post, but you could add a wider ric-rac trim to your quilt binding: Lori Holt posted a wonderful tutorial on her blog and Riley Blake now supply Lori's ric-rac in a range of delicious colours (I love it and used it to add detail to my Midsummer Sampler blocks).

And a couple of ideas for adorning your wheels were shared in the Vintage Circus Facebook group: Lauralee added felt circles and embroidered centres to hers and Sheree is going to add buttons after quilting (although we all agreed that they might not be suitable for the under threes).


Last, but definitely not least, we have one more surprise for you, an encore if you will: a pieced backing. The credit for this lovely idea goes to our sewalong participant, Kim, who wrote to ask for some help with the dimensions and the materials, which I was happy to supply. You can down load a PDF guide for creating the pieced backing below.

Vintage Circus Backing Setting
Download PDF • 273KB

If you are sending your quilt be long-armed, please do check with them first that they can accommodate pieced backings.

Finally, thank you for joining us to create the Vintage Circus quilt. Whether you're making it for a young friend or a young-at-heart friend, I hope it's brought some merriment to your sewing room,

Nicola xx


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Rosemary B
Rosemary B
Nov 15, 2023

this is an adorable quilt.

Nov 18, 2023
Replying to

Thank you so much, Rosemary, they are such fun blocks to make :-)

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