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Using the Brother Circular Attachment for a new quilt design experience

Using the Brother Circular Attachment for a new quilt design experience

by Jean Boyd

Yesterday, I finished off piecing a Valentine table topper using the Brother Innov-is BQ3050. The sewing fun continues as I make another Valentine-theme project today. Let’s go!

Brother Innov-is BQ3050.

Last month in my QUILTsocial posts, I introduced a fascinating attachment for the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 machine – the Circular Attachment. You can read my post, Endless design possibilities with the Brother Circular Attachment here.

This Circular Attachment fits several different Brother machines.

The Circular Attachment can be used on several other Brother machines as well. There are two extra feet with the attachment – a braiding foot and a cording foot – which can be used independently of the Circular Attachment. There’s also a quarter circle template to help determine how many stitch repetitions you’ll get in specific circle size. The manual gives detailed instructions to help you learn how to use the attachment.

The Circular Attachment is easily attached to the machine with just 1 screw and then you’re ready to stitch!

Manual and parts for the Brother Circular Attachment

I also find it helpful to use the SA186 open toe foot. This foot provides clear visibility when creating decorative stitches. As an added bonus, the sole of the foot is grooved to ensure accurate stitch formation within the feed dog area.

Circular Attachment and open toe foot

It’s a good idea to do a few practice samples with the Circular Attachment before starting on a project, so you can test your thread and stitch choices. Not all decorative stitches are suitable for this attachment, so be sure to experiment with several different stitches to see what works best for you. There are over 500 stitches to choose from on the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 machine so you’ll have lots of choices! You also need to use a fairly sturdy stabilizer on the back of your fabric. I used UNIQUE Tear Away stabilizer that’s recommended for machine embroidery.

Stitched sample using the Brother Circular Attachment

Now let’s get started on another Valentine-themed quilt using the Circular Attachment!

  • Using a removable fabric marker, draw a 12½” square on fabric.
  • Mark the center of the square.
  • Layer fabric and stabilizer. Pin together if desired.
  • Insert the pivot pin from the circle attachment at the marked center of the square.
  • Press the pivot pin into the “Y” mark on the attachment.

Pivot pin goes through the fabric and into the “Y” mark on the Circular Attachment.

  • Set the measurement indicator to the desired size. For my project, I started with a 40mm (1½”) circle, then went to 50mm, 65mm and 80mm.

Circular Attachment is set for a 40mm circle

  • Select the desired decorative stitch and start sewing. This is a good time to unplug the foot pedal and use the stop/start key on the front of the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 machine for stitching. This allows the stitching to be done at an even speed and I can concentrate on guiding the fabric. I also changed the sewing speed to slow for better control.

Use the stop/start key instead of the foot pedal for better control while stitching circles.

Use the open toe foot for better visibility when sewing decorative stitches.

  • For this project, I wanted 2 circles that were exactly the same, so I made a note of the stitches used and the diameter of each circle.
  • I stitched 2 circles that look like this:

4 rows of decorative stitching using the Circular Attachment complete this design.

Be sure to come back tomorrow to see how these circles stitched with the Circular Attachment on the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 machine were used as a border for this little Valentine quilt.

Another way to use the stitched circles

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: This ¼” piecing foot makes easy work of piecing the Valentine table topper

Go to part 4: Piecing the heart together on this sweet Valentine-themed quilt


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