Creative articles about quilting

Circular Embroidery Attachment a Versatile Tool for Creatives Part 1

Circular embroidery attachment projects

Circular embroidery attachment projects & inspiration

Happy Spring & Happy Easter!  I hope you are ready to experience spring like weather & some new innovative ideas for the BERNINA Circular embroidery attachment # 83. The Circular Embroidery Attachment is a versatile tool for creatives. This is Part 1 of a 3 part series. This series of posts will discuss 6 awesome project ideas so be sure to follow along.  Todays’ post is about making a Colour Wheel Art Quilt.  I just could not stop playing with this circle making tool for BERNINA sewing machines. I hope you are as excited as I am about this amazing attachment!

Image of Circular embroidery attachment # 83.

Circular embroidery attachment # 83

Circular embroidery attachment #83 lets you embroider unusual and decorative circles or semicircles. 

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Circular Embroidery Attachment

                                     Circular Embroidery Attachment #83 Components 

When you purchase the Circular Embroidery Attachment #83 it comes with the slide, silicon stop, 2 screws, a screw driver, instruction manual & 2 protective boxes.

Despite the fact that the Circular Embroidery Attachment #83 incorporates the word ’embroidery’  it’s actually even more versatile.  In addition it’s an appliqué & quilting tool & extremely useful for making circles. A very helpful video about the Circular embroidery attachment #83 & installation is shown below:

Todays’ Project:

Color Wheel Art Quilt made with the Bernina Circular Embroidery Attachment # 83

Color Wheel Art Quilt made with the Bernina Circular Embroidery Attachment # 83

 The colours represent the 6 warm & 6 cool colours of the colour wheel.  I have a class to take at Quilt Canada this summer and a discussion of the colour wheel is part of the class. What better way to learn about the colour wheel than to make an art quilt for my sewing studio? The Circular embroidery attachment #83 is the perfect tool to assist me.

Materials Needed:

  • 22″ square of background cotton, 22″ square of backing, 4- 4″ square of backing fabric for facing, 4- 2 1/2″ x 18″ strips of backing fabric for facing
  • Free PDF download available How to Make a Faced Edge for Your Art Quilt or  bind as desired
  • 22″ square of batting
  • 4″ squares of fabric in yellow, yellow green, green, blue green, blue, blue violet, violet, red violet, red, red orange, orange and yellow orange
  • Fusible interfacing 12 -4″ squares 
  • Circular embroidery attachment# 83
  • Reverse pattern foot #1
  • Open toe embroidery foot #20
  • A water soluble marking pen or erasable marking pen
  • Spray starch optional but helpful
  • A way to draw a 14 1/2″ circle  on the background fabric ( I used the base of a lampshade)
  • Neutral thread for circle appliqués & quilting thread to match the background
  • A colour wheel for reference (optional)
  • Red thread for satin stitched primary line, blue thread for secondary & green thread for tertiary lines (optional)
  • Stitch #1 straight, #2 zig zag, #7 blind hem

How to make it:

Select & cut all fabric & interfacing. Spray starch & iron all fabric (only) for added stiffness

colour wheel fabrics, making a colour wheel art quilt, making a color wheel art quilt

Fabric selected with help from a colour wheel

Colour Wheel Fabric

Colour Wheel Yellow fabric 4″ square with 4″ square of light fusible interfacing

Mark the center wrong side of the coloured fabric with a wash out marker

Center of yellow fabric marked for placement on the pin of the Circular attachment

Insert the Circular Embroidery Attachment #83 as shown in the above video. Place the circle fabric (yellow) right side against the fusible side of the interfacing & place it on the pin of the Circular Embroidery Attachment #83. Insert the Reverse Pattern Foot #1 on the machine

Working with a circular embroidery attachment #83, how to use the circular embroidery attachment #83

Fabric center inserted on pin of circular embroidery attachment

Measure from the pin of the attachment to the machine needle so that you achieve a 1 1/2″ space allowing for a 3″ circle when completed.  Move the slide of the pin along to the right spot. Sew with a straight stitch, holding the fabric lightly and smoothing it as it turns with the attachment 

Reverse side of colour wheel yellow

Reverse side of circle all sewn. The Circular Embroidery Attachment #83 has done all of the work

Trim close to the circle with scissors, carefully cut a slit in the interfacing only and turn to the right side through the cut in the interfacing.

Trimming the fabric & carefully cutting a slit in the interfacing


 Turning the fabric out though the hole in the interfacing to make a circle

Turning the fabric out through the hole in the interfacing to make a circle

Finger press the circle and make 11 more.

12 circles, sewn on the Circular Embroidery Attachment #83, finger pressed and ready for placement

Draw a 14 1/2″ circle on the background fabric with a wash out marker, place your appliquéd circles carefully spaced on the circle.

making a colour wheel, how to make a color wheel art quilt

Colour wheel appliqués placed & ready to be ironed to the background

 Iron & appliqué your circles with a #7 stitch & thread to match (or invisible thread on the top threading only).  I reduced the width & length of my stitches so that the appliqué stitches are almost invisible. Mark lines for primary (red) secondary (blue) & tertiary (green) as shown on the quilt (optional).

primary, secondary & tertiary marking for a colour wheel

Lines marked for primary secondary & tertiary colours

Satin stitch the primary, secondary & tertiary lines.  Recommended to use a stabilizer on the back to avoid puckering & test out stitch length & widths ahead of time on scrap fabric.  I used a zig zag stitch #2 with the length & width modified as shown. Width 2.4 & length 4 bars.

how to satin stitch

Satin stitching the primary, secondary & tertiary colours

After all the appliqué & satin stitching is done, sandwich & quilt your quilt as desired & bind or use my free tutorial available on my website How to Make a Faced Edge for Your Art Quilt.

Color Wheel made with the Bernina Circular Embroidery Attachment # 83

Color Wheel made with the fantastic BERNINA Circular Embroidery Attachment # 83

I sincerely hope this post inspired you to make your own colour wheel art quilt and try out the versatile Circular embroidery attachment #83. The Circular Embroidery Attachment is a versatile tool for creatives!  Check out the Monday April 10 post for Part 2 of The Circular Embroidery Attachment  a Versatile Tool for Creatives. Next up is easy reversible coasters, centering fabric designs and drunkards path blocks. 

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