Bullseye Tuesday

Got all your circles sewed and blocks pressed? It’s time to cut them up!


Here are Chere’s blocks – dark backgrounds and all fabric has either circles or dots. So interesting – can’t wait to see the finished quilt.

Since your foundation block was cut 9″ x 9″ our measurement to cut into quarters is 4-1/2″ on your ruler. Cut all blocks into 4 – 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ quarters.

One block becomes 4 small blocks.

See the squares at the top of the photo? That’s where you started. We’re going to cut all the blocks into quarters and sew 4 different quarters together into one new block.

But before you start sewing blocks I want you to see what Scott is doing with his quarter blocks.

So you can see you’re not limited to making one square block out of 4 quarter blocks. A design wall would be helpful to lay out a new configuration.

When you’re cutting please note that your block measures 9″ x 9″. Sometimes the foundation block gets a bit “skewed” after sewing circles in the same direction 3 times.

Cut very carefully because if they’re not cut the same size, your finished block will be “off”. I cut only one block at a time and toss the quarters into a box or bag.

Now let’s sew them together. I like to sew from the outside edge to the center so the raw edges don’t flip up.

Do not press the seam at this time.

When you sew pairs together, nest the seams with the top seam going UP and the seam underneath going DOWN. Your machine will force them together in a perfect match.

Go back to the ironing board and iron the quarter block seams in the direction you’ve sewed them and iron the center seam open.

Voila! Your first block!

This is the first step we’ve done that I’m going to tell you to match precisely but if everything was measured correctly in the first place, you should have no problems.

Ok, now here’s the thing. You might start out finding four different quarters that look good together but by the end you might have too many reds in your outer circle or too many backgrounds that match – you get the idea? If this happens and you don’t like it, make a few more Bullseye blocks and slice them up for variety. The choice is yours.

The next step of course is sewing blocks into rows which I’ll talk about next Tuesday but if you’re having a snow day and want to go ahead, don’t let me stop you! Go for it!

Tammy has been helping me today.

Our storm warning has been cancelled and the 6-8″ of snow has disappeared. The weather app says — “snow is unlikely”! Like my mom always said – the weather man is the only job she knew of where you can be wrong 90% of the time and still keep your job! Haha! The entire North Iowa area is closed today waiting for the storm! Ugh!

Have fun with your Bullseye blocks – if I’ve missed anything, let me know and I’ll answer in the comments.

33 thoughts on “Bullseye Tuesday

  1. Judy

    I had to laugh at what you mom says as my husband has been saying that same thing for many years. It is so true. They have more instruments now to help them forecast it correctly and I think they have actually gotten worse over the years instead of better.

  2. Sheryl Austin

    Am loving this, have been snowed in & this given me something to do that is fun! Love the randomness.

  3. Connie Hunsley

    This bullseye quilt has intrigued me. As you probably know,
    I have never made a quilt. But the directions to this seem so simple that I may try it. I’ve printed all the directions and still will order your directions on paper from you in case I get confused. Not sure what to do after the top is sewn but I can always take it to the fabric store here and hopefully someone could help me! Sounds like fun!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Connie Hunsley – I’m going to talk about the quilting in the next couple weeks. Next Tuesday I’ll talk about the borders- if you’ve never made a quilt, this would be a great one to start with and I’m sure our readers would agree – anybody want to lend Connie advice on making Bullseye as a first quilt? More about Bullseye next Tuesday.

  4. Jeanne

    Can’t wait to start quartering and assembling mine! Excellent cutting and pressing info here. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Debbie B

    Love this quilt! I’m a little behind, but enjoying the process. Thanks for the great directions and advice. Stay warm. I think my Dad in Oelwein is ready to come to Florida.

  6. Felicia Hamlin

    Hi, Mary, I cut 14 big squares today, I will look for more fabrics in my mess tomorrow. I won’t have trouble finding darker squares it is the neutrals that will give me problems. I have cut two 9” squares of each fabric, I hope that is OK. How big is this quilt going to be? Thank you, Mary, for taking us on this journey even if I am behind.

  7. Connie

    Finished quartering and sewing the squares back together. Thank you for such clear directions. The pressing tips were especially helpful. Look forward to the next step. Only about an inch of snow from this storm in far northeastern Wisconsin but, we’ve had snow on the ground since November in our area.

  8. Jan in TN

    Love the Bulleye quilts in progress that you posted today! I have alway said, “the weather people have the only job where they have a 50/50 shot at being right but it doesn’t matter cuz they’ll still have their jobs even if they’re wrong!” Not sure there are any other professions that would apply to. Lol!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jan in TN – I would have to agree. Why didn’t I become a weather person?

  9. Kathy in Western NY

    Gosh so many cool ideas to do with this quilt pattern. I have enjoyed reading the comments with fabric ideas. I love the dotted fabrics. Thank you Mary for introducing us to your fun pattern. It’s been a ball making it. Time to watch This is Us – my favorite tv show.

  10. Karen D Martin

    I’ve been trying to resist this sew along, but I think I am going to start cutting tonight-lol! I made a Christmas Bullseye many years ago from all homespun fabrics and it is one of my all time favorites. It’s ravelly and snuggly—I love it! Thanks so much for sharing this pattern! I think Scott ‘s setting is called Lover’s Knot. My friend Miriam is making a king size one from 1800’s fabrics and it is stunning!

  11. Carol

    Oh, I like the idea of Halloween fabrics and a black circle in the middle!
    Still very cold in WNY, -4 on the way to the gym at 6:30 am, but now, glorious heat wave …23 degrees, the highest temp since last week.

  12. Connie Martin

    I’m glad Kate mentioned the Christmas quilt. I collect Halloween fabric and I am going to do a Halloween Bullseye quilt. I also like Mary’s mention of sewing a small circle in the center. I think I will put all Black circles in the center. I have had your book, since it came out and have been planning to make this quilt since then! Than was a long time ago. I remember going to quilt shows at that time and every booth had a Bullseye quilt in them. Call me crazy, but I will have to turn the circle edges under. Our Weatherman here in Columbus, OH is from Iowa and loves snow!
    Thanks for the push to get me to make this quilt.


  13. Christina Mejer

    I’m a little ahead so I started playing with my blocks . Many of you probably already do this but I find it helpful to take a picture. Just when I think I have it perfectly random , I find blocks I need to separate when I study the picture.
    It’s a sunny 6 degrees in Alaska today! Feels warm compared to a few weeks ago .

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Christina – we do it all the time and it works like magic – we see things in the layout that never caught our eye in person!

  14. Launa

    Mary, I saw a similar lay out like Scott is using. Looks great n creative! Another friend doing your Bullseye sew along mentioned viewing one with a small circle sewn over the center intersection of
    4 new quarters.
    Sunny 😎 outside here; no new snow. 23 degrees @ 2:30 p.m. Wind has picked up.
    Thanks for the great pictures n instructions!

  15. Donna

    Mary, thank you for your excellent advice on the bullseye quilt. It is darling!

    Tell me how far apart your stitching is on your quilting when you do a project. Do you always quilt in straight
    lines? I did straight line stitching (quilting) and was super pleased with the result. Thank you!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Donna – the distance between lines varies depending on the quilt. If it’s a bed quilt, I want it to be softer and don’t quilt very close together – maybe 1-1/2”? If it’s a wall quilt I want it to be very flat so I quilt very close sometimes — 1/4-1/2” maybe. This all depends on the scale of the pieces and size of the quilt – I can’t give you an exact rule to live by.

  16. Marian Stever

    Goody gum! Tuesdays are my favorite day. Thank you, Mary, for the excellent instructions. I feel confident now! Glad to hear you aren’t getting any snow. We have 8 inches on the ground here in Rochester and it looks just fine to me! Great for cabin fever and quilting. Tammy is a darling. I am wondering where Ernie Jo and Hazel are! They need to put their two cents into the Bullseye!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marian Stever- I’ll tell those two lazy butts to get with the program – haha!

  17. Kelli

    Love the blocks! And Kate’s idea of a Christmas Bullseye. Thanks for doing the sew- along – it got me out of my comfort zone and hugs love it

  18. Helen Thomas

    Wait. Your mom’s saying is the same as mine! And here I thought I was being so original and clever! 🙂

  19. Sue in Oregon

    Oh, My! I love it! I think I will make this one like yours and the next one like Scotts. It is really cool too. And, I will use my design wall since I used quite a few repeats. I did not repeat any 4ers though.
    The polka dot quilt will be wonderful.
    Tammy looks very interested in quilting.

  20. Dee Winter

    We have moved to the 2-4″ category in Shell Rock. and they extended the warning to 6 am tomorrow. Front is moving slower than anticipated. My daughter in southwest Iowa is still getting drizzle I have a friend who is a weatherman, he says it’s a forecast for a reason. Mother Nature is a woman afterall!

  21. Kate

    I’m already digging through all my Christmas fabric to make a Bulls-eye Christmas quilt. Maybe more than one and give them away to family. This quilt has the old fashion, not perfect look I love in quilts. Thanks for the fun. Just trying to decide how I will quilt this one. I’m thinking with long stitches for the old fashioned look I want.

    1. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

      Hi Kate (and Mary): what a great idea! I hope you will send Mary a photo of your Christmas bullseye.

      Very cold an snowy here today: about 6 inches this afternoon.

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