The Circle Game - Gary's Journey - Part 4

Tuesday, August 21
Apologies for those following my journey waiting with baited breath for the next instalment of my take on Jen’s Circle Game. (Well that’s mum apologised to, and even then, I have my doubts!) For everyone else I am sure you know and have experienced the best intentions of BoMs and how time slips by.

There have been several competing factors, one I’ll blame Jen for, the others are just life. Some of you may have seen my journey through Jen’s Delilah ToM on my Instagram page (@live.breathe.create). I was determined to get this finished and quilted and into the NSW quilt show, along with my second entry which was a wedding ring quilt I designed for my eldest daughter. This was only 5 years late, but as I am led to believe as wedding (ring) quilts go that’s pretty standard and probably ahead of the game!


I was really pleased with both but it meant that usual intense completion of hand quilting and binding (and the joys of a sleeve). I hand quilted both, with the Delilah I wanted to echo the colours and shapes so that the quilt design was the focus, not the quilting. Using Quilters Dream Select cotton batting meant I could do that given the distance between quilting stitches that it allows for. 

Same went for the wedding ring, I just wanted to echo the pattern and so I used the Quilter’s Dream wool batting which had the added advantage that the great loft meant that the ¼” quilting around the arcs meant they popped out.

Life also happens (this is the bit Jen is not responsible for) and just occasionally you need to take a break. I had to do some work in Darwin and so took the opportunity for an extended break, so we travelled through the Kimberley. I will not bore you with holiday snaps but again they’re on Instagram, it was an amazing time. It was so good to get off the grid for a few days and be truly present to this ancient land.

Ok, one picture then, this was one of my favourite shots of the holiday, this is Danggu National Park. Devonian limestone reef (so I am told) with the approaching sunset.

Ok,so there are my excuses, apologies again and onto the Circle Game. A few circles to catch up on here. 

As I have said before, I have been trying to develop some coherency between the blocks using just the ‘behind the scenes’ wovens and some shot cottons. As we move through the blocks I am running out of fabric to create pictures of the fabric selections so bear with me.

In this block I was wanting to play with scale so the smaller the square frames the smaller the check with the circles a constant, other than the shot cotton highlight.

Just as every block in Delilah, I am learning new techniques  with the Circle Game, the lesson in this block was beware of check distortion, whether this was because of the looser weave than normal fabric I am not sure but I think once it is in its setting circle and quilted it will not be as noticeable (here’s hoping).

For the next block I took the three matching weaves in the three tones and decided to have fun with squares and do the line matching game, well you may as well throw in that extra challenge. 
The final block of this instalment I really enjoyed and really happy with the points, arcs and just how it looks.

I wasn’t convinced as I was sewing it up but as I got there I liked it more and more. I have always loved what you can do with fussy cutting striped fabric.

In the next two blocks my iPhone seems to have thrown a wobbly and I cannot find the fabric/template shots, which is interesting as the initial fabric choices morphed from intention to reality. Maybe it didn’t like my choices in the first and so ditched them! (Is my smart phone getting too smart?)


I loved the one on the left, the one on the right was a challenge and this is the first block I am not really happy with. It works until you put it on the spots then it seems to get lost. Also, don’t look too closely but the central join is a bit shabby. I started to play with it but the wovens are not too forgiving when it comes to overworking them (I was warned) so I left it as it was pulling the fabric, especially the petals as the self-pattern weave is not as dense in places. Once I have finished the circles and cut out my semicircles for the border I might remake this one, but I want to see all of them together before I make that decision.

One cheat was the centre circle, on this and the spikes and petal block above. I tried hand piecing such a tight circle, but the final result was a weird  distorted ‘hexacircle’ rather than a nice neat circle. For both I actually appliqued on my circle. Using Karen Kay Buckley’s perfect circle templates, I did the gather and press thing and then pinned and appliqued. The larger set had the perfect size (phew) for both. I have used these a lot, the investment has paid off.

So that’s a wrap on this set, I will try and not be so tardy next time. 

Just read that, and ‘tardy’ seems a bit Jane Austen like. Oh well, that’s about where any semblance to Mr Darcy ends.


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