Quilt Tutorials

12 Block Circle Setting Quilt Top {Tutorial}

Today I’m going to share a quick tutorial for how you can set 12 quilt blocks in a circle setting to make a quilt top. I originally created the layout for blocks that finish at 12″ square and creates a 72″ finished quilt, but I figured I would go ahead and write this tutorial for a range of block sizes.

Use orphan blocks, block of the month blocks, bee swap blocks, or create your own blocks to set into this modern setting!

General Pattern Notes

  1. Read through the pattern prior to cutting fabric.
  2. Sew all joining seams with a scant ¼ʺ seam allowance.
  3. Press seams open to reduce bulk unless otherwise noted.
  4. The tutorial assumes that the usable fabric width is 40″ unless otherwise noted.
  5. WOF = Width of Fabric
  6. Binding strips are assumed to be 2 ½ʺ x WOF.
  7. Instructions are given for 6″ finished blocks first with 9″, 12″, 15″, and 18″ blocks in parenthesis. –> 6″ (9″, 12″, 15″, 18″)
  8. The quilt top will finish at 36 ½ʺ (54 ½ʺ, 72 ½ʺ, 90 ½ʺ, 108 ½ʺ) square.

Fabric Requirements

  1. This tutorial requires (12) focal blocks that finish at 6″ (9″, 12″, 15″, 18″) but does not include yardage requirements for the focal blocks.
  2. Background Fabric: 1 1/8 yards (2 1/8 yards, 3 yards, 6 yards, 7 yards)
  3. Binding Fabric: 3/8 yard (1/2 yard, 5/8 yard, 7/8 yard, 7/8 yard)
  4. Backing Fabric: 1 1/4 yards (3 1/2 yards, 4 1/2 yards, 8 1/4 yards, 9 3/4 yards)

Cutting Instructions

  1. This tutorial requires (12) focal blocks that finish at 6″ (9″, 12″, 15″, 18″) which means that they will measure 6 ½ʺ (9 ½ʺ, 12 ½ʺ, 15 ½ʺ, 18 ½ʺ) square prior to piecing the quilt top together.
  2. Background Fabric
    1. 6″ Finished Blocks: Cut (1) 18 ½ʺ x WOF strip, (1) 9 ½ʺ x WOF strip, and (2) 3 ½ʺ x WOF strips
    2. 9″ Finished Blocks: Cut (1) 27 ½ʺ x WOF strip, (2) 14ʺ x WOF strips, and (3) 5ʺ x WOF strips
    3. 12″ Finished Blocks: Cut (1) 36 ½ʺ x WOF strip, (2) 18 ½ʺ x WOF strips, and (4) 6 ½ʺ x WOF strips
    4. 15″ Finished Blocks: Cut (8) 23ʺ x WOF strips and (2) 8ʺ x WOF strips
    5. 18″ Finished Blocks: Cut (8) 27 ½ʺ x WOF strips and (2) 9 ½ʺ x WOF strips
      1. Subcut (4) 9 ½ʺ (14ʺ, 18 ½ʺ, 23ʺ*, 27 ½ʺ*) squares *Reserve extra WOF for third subcut instruction.
      2. Subcut (1) 18 ½ʺ (27 ½ʺ, 36 ½ʺ) square or (4) more (23ʺ*, 27 ½ʺ*) squares for the 15″ or 18″ focal blocks *Reserve extra WOF for third subcut instruction.
      3. Subcut (12) 3 ½ʺ x 6 ½ʺ (5ʺ x 9 ½ʺ, 6 ½ʺ x 12 ½ʺ, 8ʺ x 15 ½ʺ, 9 ½ʺ x 18 ½ʺ) rectangles

Quilt Assembly

Step 1 - Pick Focal Block Layout

Step 1 – Pick Focal Block Layout

On your design wall, arrange the (12) focal blocks in a pleasing circular layout.

Step 2 - Piece Top 3 Focal Blocks

Step 2 – Piece Top 3 Focal Blocks

Using (3) 3 ½ʺ x 6 ½ʺ (5ʺ x 9 ½ʺ, 6 ½ʺ x 12 ½ʺ, 8ʺ x 15 ½ʺ, 9 ½ʺ x 18 ½ʺ) rectangles and the top 3 focal blocks, sew the focal blocks into a row. First sew a rectangle to the top or bottom of each focal block, pressing seams open, and then sew the blocks together, pressing seams open. The row should measure 9 ½ʺ x 18 ½ʺ (14ʺ x 27 ½ʺ, 18 ½ʺ x 36 ½ʺ, 23ʺ x 45 ½ʺ, 27 ½ʺ x 54 ½ʺ).

Step 3 - Side and Bottom Rows

Step 3 – Side and Bottom Rows

Repeat Step 2 for each set of 3 focal blocks to make the left hand row, right hand row, and bottom row.

Step 4 - Quilt Assembly

Step 4 – Quilt Assembly

To assemble the quilt top, piece the focal block rows into full rows using the remaining background fabric squares.

Note that the background fabric cutting instructions for the 6″, 9″, and 12″ focal blocks call for a single 18 ½ʺ, 27 ½ʺ, or 36 ½ʺ square in the center, but you could choose to use (4) 9 ½ʺ, 14ʺ, or 18 ½ʺ squares instead.

For the top row, sew (2) 9 ½ʺ (14ʺ, 18 ½ʺ, 23ʺ, 27 ½ʺ) squares on either side of the top focal block row and press seams open. The top row should measure 9 ½ʺ x 36 ½ʺ (14ʺ x 54 ½ʺ, 18 ½ʺ x 72 ½ʺ, 23ʺ x 90 ½ʺ, 27 ½ʺ x 108 ½ʺ).

For the bottom row, sew (2) 9 ½ʺ (14ʺ, 18 ½ʺ, 23ʺ, 27 ½ʺ) squares on either side of the bottom focal block row and press seams open. The bottom row should measure 9 ½ʺ x 36 ½ʺ (14ʺ x 54 ½ʺ, 18 ½ʺ x 72 ½ʺ, 23ʺ x 90 ½ʺ, 27 ½ʺ x 108 ½ʺ).

For the middle row, if you are using a pieced center square, sew the (4) center 9 ½ʺ (14ʺ, 18 ½ʺ, 23ʺ, 27 ½ʺ) squares into rows and sew the rows together to create (1) 18 ½ʺ (27 ½ʺ, 36 ½ʺ, 45 ½ʺ, 54 ½ʺ) square. Sew the left hand focal row to the left of the center square and the right hand focal row to the right, pressing seams open. The center row should measure 18 ½ʺ x 36 ½ʺ (27 ½ʺ x 54 ½ʺ, 36 ½ʺ x 72 ½ʺ, 45 ½ʺ x 90 ½ʺ, 54 ½ʺ x 108 ½ʺ).

Sew the rows together, pressing seams open to complete the 36 ½ʺ (54 ½ʺ, 72 ½ʺ, 90 ½ʺ, 108 ½ʺ) square quilt top.

2018 DOM Layout

2018 DOM Layout – Example of 12″ Finished Block Layout

Quilt Construction

Remove selvages from the backing fabric and cut the backing fabric into 1 (2, 2, 3, 3) pieces approximately 45ʺ (63ʺ, 81ʺ, 99ʺ, 117ʺ) x WOF. Sew the backing pieces together along the trimmed selvage edges, and press the seam(s) open.

Layer backing (wrong side up), batting, and quilt top. Baste the layers together using your preferred method and quilt as desired.

From your binding fabric, cut 4 (6, 8, 10, 11) 2 ½ʺ x WOF binding strips and join the strips together using your preferred joining technique to create a double folded binding roll. Trim quilt square and bind using your favorite binding technique.

I would love to see what you create. If you are on Instagram, tag me (@QuiltingJetgirl) and any images of your quilt using #12BlockCircleSettingQuilt. Or send an email to yvonne(at)quiltingjetgirl(dot)com with a photograph or a link to a blog post about your quilt!

Pieced 2018 DOM

Pieced 2018 Aurifil Designer of the Month Quilt Top

I opted to use the pieced center option to make the best use of my remaining fabric for my 2018 Aurifil Designer of the Month blocks.

If you enjoyed this free tutorial and the sizes offered, you will find lots of other great patterns with multiple size offerings in my shop!

Linking up with Tips and Tutorials on the 22nd with Kathleen McMusing.

16 thoughts on “12 Block Circle Setting Quilt Top {Tutorial}

  1. Shannon says:

    Simple design, but oh so cute! Love it, Yvonne! Especially the concept of using up orphan blocks – genius!

  2. Lea says:

    Oh what a beautiful and original design, Yvonne. I can see so many gorgeous possibilities with this quilt. I’m pinning this. Thank you.

  3. This is great! Thanks for sharing this method! I feel like I need to go find some orphan blocks now!

  4. Jenni says:

    This is soooo helpful! Thank you!

  5. Liz Wilson says:

    That’s super useful, thank you! I wish I had this a year ago when I was doing trig to try to get a circular layout.

  6. What a great design and tutorial! Thanks for linking up to Tips/Tutorials!

  7. Missie Krueger says:

    I have a dozen windmill blocks finished with no plan for using them. Now I have a plan and can hardly wait to try it out on my design wall. Thank you so much!

  8. Great tutorial! I can see this being used on so many different sample blocks!

  9. sgrehome says:

    Thank you for this. I’m sure I will use it at some point.

  10. Debbie says:

    This is a great layout and I appreciate your sharing it!

  11. Amy L says:

    This is wonderful, Yvonne! I will definitely use it. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Danice G says:

    Thanks for this wonderful tutorial. Great use of smaller fabric pieces.

  13. Very cool!!! that is great inspiration!!

  14. Yvonne says:

    Clever, thanks

  15. springleafstudios says:

    Thanks for breaking this information down for us. It’s giving me ideas for a possible future quilt layout.

  16. Karen says:

    Wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing this. I have 3 blocks to finish of 12 that needed a setting. This is perfect for my UFO from, well, I’d rather not say. LOL

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)