It’s Bullseye Day, January 1, 2019 and I know you’re ready to get started. This is what you should have already cut – squares measuring 9″, 8″, 6″ and you can wait on the 4″ squares for now. This quilt creates seed for more Bullseye quilts. You’ll see.


Pick one light 9″ square and one dark 8″ square.

Fold the dark square in quarters – no need to press.

Here is the part many of you will have trouble with. We’re going to cut a freehand circle. It doesn’t have to be perfect – that’s the beauty of this quilt. Nothing has to match and if it does, it loses character, definition, depth and creativity.

A circle! Not a perfect circle but an OK circle. You’ll be surprised at how good you get at cutting circles freehand. I like crooked circles!

Lay the circle of dark on the light 9″ square – no, don’t measure to get it perfect — just slap it down! I mean it! I’ll know if you measured and found the exact center with your perfect circle of fabric and I won’t like it. And ultimately you won’t like it either.

This is your chance to use up any old color of thread and half filled bobbins – nothing has to match top and bottom. Are you seeing a theme here?

Reduce your stitch length and stitch around the circle 1/4″ from the raw edge.

I use a few pins and my needle stop down feature. If your machine has this needle stop down feature, it is very helpful when stitching a round edge.

After stitching the circle turn the block over and carefully separate the two layers of fabric. Insert your scissors by cutting a small clip in the back light fabric. Do not cut into the dark circle!

Flip it over and lay the cutout to the side for now.

Now repeat this step 48 times if you’re making the throw size or make as many as you need for your size quilt.

Please don’t stress over cutting those circles – for those who have made a Bullseye Quilt you know it doesn’t matter, does it?

Next Tuesday we’ll do the next step – you have a whole week to work on Step 1. And if you think this is a fun quilt along, you can thank us by closing an ad or two. Ad space pays for this blog time and even though I enjoy writing it, we need to keep up.

If you decide you’d like a printed pattern, send $3 and an address label to Country Threads, 2345 Palm Ave. Garner, IA 50438.

This is great fun, Girls! You’re going to love sewing without too many rules!

81 thoughts on “BULLSEYE QUILT ALONG 2019!

  1. Nikki Mahaffe

    Free form is definitely out of my comfort zone but I just know this will be liberating!

  2. Sydney Silva

    What’s the quantity of each square I should have cut out to prepare for today? Sorry, I missed that.
    Love your blog!

    1. Carol

      For this step, it looks like 48 light nine inch squares and 48 dark eight inch squares. Go back in the posts, you’ll find all of what is needed. Not sure how far back, if I find it I’ll let you know.

    2. Carol

      Go to the bottom of the blog, there is a listing of recent posts, find the one with the magazine cover shot and tap the image, that is where all the info is.

    3. CountryThreads Post author

      Sydney Silva – you’ll have to go back to December Bullseye post to find fabric requirements.

  3. Barbara Forde

    This is one of the first quilts I made and I think it is still one of my favourites. This QAL is tempting me to do another to use up random pieces of fabric 🙂

  4. Sullivan Jenny

    So excited to start this quilt, gain! Hope I can find the few blocks I did in 2013.

  5. Kaye Gerber

    Thank you, Mary and May your New Year be filled with great joy and bountiful blessings! I did a Bullseye quilt top years ago and have the blocks all sewn together, but I also have circles cut from the three largest sizes to do something with, so I think this is the time!! It was a lot of fun and very freeing, so I was really excited to see that this is what you’re doing. Hope everyone has fun with it! 🐾❣️To all of your furry friends!

  6. Launa

    HAPPY NEW YEAR ..got down to -10 degrees last night and it’s SNOWING again! I can see I am going to join in your Bullseye fun with my wonky circles, Mary! Will be watching for Connie in the Rose Parade crowd on Home and Family channel. Go WSU!

  7. Kelli

    Really looking forward to this QAL! The Bullseye quilt has been on my radar for forever so this year I am setting aside lights I love and cutting at least one or two squares of dark as I make future quilts – I’m setting a goal of 5 finished Bullseye squares a month. I know that might be very slow in other’s eyes but if I don’t start it and make progress it will stay in the ‘i want to make this quilt someday’ pile! Thanks again!

  8. Sherry Whalen

    Thank you for featuring this QAL! I have my parts cut and ready to go – I even have the pattern because you did a demonstration at Ironwood some time ago. At that time I made 2 blocks, and put those parts in a box with some chosen fabric. Last week I cut out the rest. Time to get this box empty! I am caught up on my BH mystery too and was so ready for another clue yesterday and for the bullseye to start that I pulled out a pile of log cabin blocks and sewed them into a top to distract myself. So now – finish a couple of chores, decide if the wind chill and ice will keep me from an outdoor walk and then on to sewing!!

    Happy New Year to you! Sherry W.

  9. Sue in Oregon

    Okay!! Thank you, Mary. I am going to start sewing my blocks today. It looks like so much fun. A great New Years Day project and intermittent views of parade and game.
    Two ads clicked. Maybe more later.

  10. Donna 🌲 MN

    Mary I think I told you I had a bullseye pattern/book & I found it quickly which isn’t always the case in my sewing room 😏. Anyway, I began cutting my squares & looked st your book again AND it’s autographed by “you”. I must have bought it the one and only time I visited your store & I recall it was in the fall and you were preparing to announce your closing sale. How long ago was that? Anyway I have your book & it’s autographed. I know I bought it merely for the bullseye but in looking it over there are many I love. I’ll never run out of ideas. I am looking forward to doing this with all the others.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Donna in MN – we closed the retail store and pattern business Oct. 31, 2014 – glad you could visit!

      1. Donna O ~ MN

        Glad I have an autographed copy. I have many ofbyour patterns plus a log cabin kit I bought when we visited. We took a detour to go to your store before we went to our retreat st Czech Inn in Hayward. We had fun playing with Colton, he was so friendly and funny.
        Mary I started to cut my circles but had to do other household duties but now I can get back to the circles.

  11. Karen Gaither

    Happy New Year Mary! I think I will make another Bulls Eye out of my Halloween fabric left over from my Halloween Gypsy Wife. If was a fun quilt to make many years ago started at camp. I will look at pattern and might make in mini size if I can easily reduce sizes.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Karen Gaithersburg – a Halloween Bullseye would be fun! Happy New Year to Raider and Ali – oh, and you, too – haha!

  12. B Meier

    Can’t wait to try the bulls eye quilt! I’m embarrassed to say I just finished the “My Sled” kit of yours from many years ago!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      B Meier – don’t be embarrassed- be proud! Many would like to have that quilt finished!

      1. Pat Smith

        I’m suffering from what my girls call FOMO! (Fear of missing out). My stash and sewing equipment are in FL and I’m in VT. But, I should be back in FL by Sun. and have the posts for guidance, and will try to catch up. I’ve been struggling to break out of the pattern following mold to be more free. I think this project will help me.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Pat Smith – this will be an easy catchup project. My sister, Becky, suffers from FOMO. I do not – haha!

  13. Moe Baly

    Mary, I’m so excited! Mine is a very old UFO! I’m going to finish! A group of us are doing it with you!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Moe Baly – I’m soooo glad you’re doing this as a group! Hope it’s fun!

  14. Nicole Hanson


    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Nicole Hansen – you’ll be happier if it’s all flannel – don’t use all matching backgrounds.

  15. Diane in Central Ohio

    Mary, I will catch up. I haven’t been in my sewing room to sew for TWO weeks. Just too much to do with kids, grand kids, teacher people etc!! I save your posts so will be able to find the directions. Thanks for doing this; I have always wanted to make one:) I usually click the ads. Today, one had a shirt that said, “Sorry I was late, I didn’t want to come.” Too funny:)

  16. Sue in Oregon

    Sherl….At first my circles looked like 4 leaf clovers. Then, I started doing a more shallow cut. The beginning not so deep. Try that for better circles.

  17. Jo in Wyoming

    I clicked the ads. There were only 2
    This looks like great fun for my jail inmates group. Their fabric is a hodgepodge. I think I’ll cut many 9” and 8” squares and can take to them. They have trouble cutting anything more than 6”, they only have 1 ruler and it’s broke! All things considered, they do pretty well. This is a great team project. And very doable when the are released.
    I just found this quilt on the cover of the book “Quilts from Aunt Amy”. I can take the book for show and tell so they can better visualize what is coming next week. I love it.
    What a great way to start the new year. Thanks, Mary.
    I’ll check for more ads tonight.

    1. Linda H - SE MN

      Jo… It’s wonderful that you are sharing your quilting skills wth this group. I keep thinking about your quilting group not having the tools they need…and wondering if there is a way for us to help… We all know that having the right tools makes any job easier and even safer (with much less frustration). What could we do to help equip your group? How awesome it is that they will have these skills going forward – it could really make a difference in their lives…

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Linda H – should we go in a campaign to help Jo and her inmates?

        1. Linda H

          Yes! Thanks Mary!

          If Jo isn’t comfortable sharing her address with the world, maybe we can come up with another option…

      2. Jo in Wyoming

        Thanks Linda, our quilting community is very generous with donations. Most of these women have never seen a sewing machine or the tools to make a quilt. They are hard on the equipment. I spend a lot of time sharpening scissors, rotary blades and fixing machines.
        After they are released and I see them working, it’s so worth what little time I can give them.
        I love working with the girls and am thankful for the privilege of being a volunteer with this program.
        Thank you for your interest.

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Jo in Wyoming – please make us a list of things your inmates could use. The readers of this blog want to help you! How about fabric, too? Please post your mailing address and give me permission to post it so we can all help these gals!

      1. Jo in Wyoming

        Oh, you all are too much!
        I have miles of fabric for them. An area quilt shop donates trade-in sewing machines.
        Storage space is a big issue.
        We have started using fleece for backs. We never have enough batting, and quilting the sandwich is difficult, (no way to baste the layers together) so they tie. With fleece there is no basting, quilting or binding. They envelope the top and back, then tie.
        Having said that, 2 yard cuts of fleece would be good for us. But….the folks in California need your generosity too. My address…Jo Sunderman 1810 Columbia Dr. Cheyenne, Wyoming 82009 Quilters are the best.

        1. Linda H

          Good Morning Jo…. just wanted to let you know that a JoAnn gift card is on its way to you. I though you would be able to get the most bang for the buck at JoAnn with all of their coupons… I hope you can find a thing or two that will be helpful for your group!

  18. Linda H - SE MN

    This QAL really IS going to be fun!! I just dug a stack of old, mostly ugly, fabric out of my cupboard (all of it is at least old enough to vote!) and I’m having a blast slapping these together. Only issue – all of the stacks of fabric that have been already been pulled out for the Good Fortune Mystery, along with Bullseye now, means I have piles of fabric EVERYWHERE (except for the bathrooms…so far…) Thanks Mary and Happy New Year to everyone!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linda H – I’m with you, Sister! I have stacks of fabric everywhere! This is the perfect quilt for ugly fabric – you’ll agree!

  19. Pam in NC

    Mary, I was so excited to find a copy of “Quilts from Aunt Amy”! I found it at Half Price Books through Amazon. Even though the postage was equal to the cost of the book, it was still less than $10! The best part is, is the book is practically new and the binding wasn’t even cracked! Some wonderful quilts to ponder in the book. Love the story and looking at her handiwork in addition to yours. Have a great 2019!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pam in NC – read the dedication. Aunt Amy was such a hard worker and nobody appreciated her. I remember her when I was a kid but I wasn’t old enough to know how much I loved her hobbies and her personality!

  20. Kathy in western NY

    Happy 2019 and it’s one of my happiest days of the year. I stay home and do just what I want! So I did some organizing, laundry, and more cutting of my flannels. I want that tote gone as all I do is sort and re-sort if I don’t use these piles up. I am so loving the freedom of this quilt. I have 6 blocks pinned and ready to sew in the morning. Good night and thank you for this retreat we all share together.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy in western NY – you probably don’t realize how much fun this is for me – teaching such a fun quilt that encourages freedom sewing!

  21. Felicia Hamlin

    Mary, your circle looks so perfect to me. I will try to go thru my fabrics tomorrow and cut, cut. I am as sloe as molases in January, but I will try. Thank you for doing this for your readers. Happy New Year.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Felicia Hamlin – listen to me now — if you haven’t started cutting all 48 of each, cut just 12 light 9” squares and 12 dark 8” squares to get yourself started. Then you won’t feel so pressured to keep up with 48 sets of squares. Let me know that you got this message!

      1. Felicia Hamlin

        I sent you an e-mail yesterday, but you probably want those questions addressed here on your blog. I cut 18 squares of the same fabric, I don’t have neutrals so I ordered some fabric. My first mistake? I cut a circle from a 9” square, typical me, and I really laughed. My circle was more like a square without the corners, but the others turned better. I did 5 squares with circles on them and will wait until I get my fabric. I can see what you mean about generating more material for other quilts. Thanks Mary.

  22. Carol

    Thank you so much for doing this. It was so much fun to work on this today. My plan was to sit down and sew a few of these circles and I couldn’t stop. It is very addicting and before you know it I have them all sewn. Now I can sit in my recliner and cut out the back circle fabric.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carol – Atta girl! It really is an addicting quilt to make – everybody says so and I agree. I’m cutting out back circles tonight, too!

  23. Diane Bauer

    I set the day aside and stitched all of my blocks today. While I loved being able to use whatever thread was on the machine and not worrying about matching, the random combinations challenged me and I kept wanting to find an 8″ square that would go with the base fabric. Some go well together and some are truly random. I’m excited to see what the end result brings. I ended up with 46 different base squares so only needed to duplicate two of them–grateful to be using up some of my stash.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane Bauer – only 2 repeats – fabulous! And you’re ready for Step#2 next Tuesday!

  24. Kate Wood-Kaiser

    I live in Germany. I belong to a German quilt group. We meet every Wednesday afternoon& start with coffee & cake followed by working on our own projects or helping others with their projects. We range in age from 15-82, so it‘s quite a varied group. The bullseye quilt seems a perfect thing to share with them as it seems appropriate for any level of ability.
    Now I just have to straighten up my sewing room, so I can reach my machine.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kate Wood-Kaiser —- I loved your note and wish I could be part of your quilt group! I’m so happy that the Bullseye Quilt is even going to be enjoyed in Germany – wait till I tell Rick – I’ve tried to tell him about the expanse of our blog readers but I don’t think he believes me – haha! Yes, it’s a quilt that is easily made within a group since the 9” background block is literally the only piece that needs to be very accurate. Please keep us all up to date with your group’s progress, OK?

  25. Mary

    The Bullseye quilt project isn’t on the radar for me right now, but I’ll enjoy seeing it develop on your wonderful blog.
    Any update on Arlo? Still in hospital at the vet’s? Are his people able to go in to give him some loving attention or would that be too much excitement for a dog who needs to stay still, rest, & recover. (I can’t believe I said “stay still” when talking about a Labrador Retriever). I pray for his complete recovery.
    All the best in 2019, Mary

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Mary – thanks for asking about Arlo – I should have kept you up to date better. He is still hospitalized at the vets but Ginny goes to see him and he is always so glad to see her. I’m guessing he’ll be going home very soon. It will still be a long recovery for the poor guy!

      1. Mary

        Thank-you for taking the time to reply. You have so much on the go, it’s quite an achievement to do all you do for your family & your blog family. I an thrilled that Arlo is slowly recovering and that he has so many loving people in his world.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jeannie – yes, I believe I have answered this question 5 times. I’m wondering if more than one person is asking or if my answer is getting lost in space which is always possible,I guess.

  26. Kathy in western NY

    Good afternoon Mary. It’s so great to know Germany is sewing with us. I already broke my new year’s resolution. When will I realize a 67 year old doesn’t need to make them! I went to Joann’s today for senior discount day and bought some pieces of light colored flannel as most of my scraps for the 9”squares were baby pastels and plaids. Wasn’t much money but I wanted this quilt to be all my scraps but just couldn’t do it without buying more!!! I know, I know…..it’s an Illness. I have lived this long without any therapy so going into 2019 buying fabric is just who I am.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy – it’s ok, Kathy! Its a long year ahead so you can redeem yourself – ha!

  27. Marian Stever

    Mary, you are a doll to do this quilt-a-long. It seems to be a team effort and we all will be so happy to quilt with you and finish a masterpiece!!! I just finished a small string quilt to hang over one of my sewing machines so I am into the Bullseye vein. I may be making a runner for my table as the bed quilt seems daunting to me. Appreciate your blogs about Reed and Myra and their gift of books. You are so thoughtful. I love your animals all and keep keeping us up-to-date with all the critters. Happy New Year, too.
    Mild weather here in Minnesota and 40s promised by Friday-Saturday.

  28. Peggy

    Hi Mary. Found my bullseye blocks, extra fabric and book that I started after your book came out. So it has been waiting for about 18 years to get finished. Needed an excuse to get at it again. Thanks Have all the first circle on just have to cut out the backs. Do you cut out the back of the smallest circle?

  29. Christina Mejer

    This looks so fun , count me in ! I am sending you $3 for the pattern in case I fall behind 🙂 Thanks so much and I love your blog ! I’ve been a fan of yours for years 🙂

  30. Christina Mejer

    Can you tell me the size of the quilt ? How many squares do I need for a twin size . I have been cutting my scraps and it’s very freeing because nothing goes together!
    Thank you ,

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Christina Mejer – 48 blocks is lap size – you’ll have to figure out how big you want your twin – everybody is different.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Margaret – go back to the January 1 post and/or you can order the pattern from us – address on home page. Cost of pattern is $3.00

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