Tone on Tone Applique Dots by Diary of a Quilter

Hello friends! I’m Amy and I write about my adventures with fabric on my blog Diary of a Quilter.
My project today was inspired by Riley Blake’s new collection of tone on tone polka dot fabrics! I’m especially loving that navy on turquoise! And so I created a little mini pieced quilt design that I plan to turn into a pillow for spring.

To get the variety of colored fabrics I used a Riley Blake Stacker – a collection of their light solids. Each “stacker” comes with 20 pre-cut 5″ squares. I needed 32 squares so I used two stackers.

 To get the perfect circle I used Lori Holt’s new circle rulers for tracing.

After tracing the circles, I pinned a piece of light weight (non-fusible) Pellon sew-in interfacing to the back and sewed the two pieces together right on the line. Then trim around the edges leaving just under a 1/4″ of space from the seam. After the circle is trimmed pull the Pellon away and make a snip in the Pellon – about 2″ – just large enough to pull the fabric through and turn the circle right-side-out with the seam now inside the circle. Carefully push out the edges to shape the circle and give it a good press. (Visit Lori’s blog to see a much more detailed version of this process.)

You can then either machine or hand-stitch the circles to a coordinating 5″ charm square. To make sure your circle is centered on the square, fold them both into quarters and pinch in the middle to find the center. Use a pin through both pieces to line up the centers. Then stitch in place.

I created 16 of these blocks and then sewed them together, using a 1/4″ seam to create a mini quilt top. I’m going to quilt the top and then make a 18″ throw-pillow, perfect for spring!

Another favorite polka dot throw pillow is this one I made for Christmas from wool felt a few years ago. I’m thinking I need to make a new one for summer. This is a very easy project – you can find the Wool Polka Dot Pillow tutorial here.

Thanks so much for inviting me to be part of Project Polka Dot, Melissa!


Oh my goodness Amy I LOVE your appliqué dots!  I can think of all kinds of ways I would use that technique!  I’ve also been a BIG fan of that polka dot throw pillow!!

I am so grateful to have met Amy.  Years ago she talked me into going to a blogger meetup while I was on vacation in Utah.  I am so glad that she did. I met so many people that night that I still keep in touch with.  Since then I’ve been able to see Amy at SNAP and the Sewing Summit and count her as a true friend.   We are both going to be teaching at the Riley Blake Fabric Fest in September! I can’t wait!

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  1. This is adorable, Amy! I love how it looks in the pastel solids, kind of like paint samples on a design board. It would also be a great way to showcase larger scale prints in the big circles, too, and the method you used for getting smooth circles is just genius — at first I was wondering how on earth you managed to turn the seam allowance under so smoothly!

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