Punched Circle Paper Quilt

I used to think that I wanted to make a quilt. I distinctly remember finishing grad school in 2001 and thinking that I'd make a quilt in my new-found spare time. As it turned out, I found plenty of other things to fill my time after grad school (including meeting and eventually marrying Steve). After 19 years, no quilt. Never say never, but I don't see myself making a quilt 'someday' anymore. 

Why? Primarily because I don't really enjoy sewing and I'm not very good at it. (Chicken or egg? I don't like sewing, so I don't practice, or I'm not good at it, so I don't like it?) Back when I pictured myself making a quilt, I was actually dreaming of DESIGNING a quilt, not sewing one. I wanted to pick out cute fabrics and rearrange the cut pieces into appealing blocks. I didn't want to do the actual cutting, piecing, quilting, or binding. 

I was about to clean up the scraps after making my lemon card and got distracted by putting the scraps together into interesting color combinations. I grabbed two circles punches and the next thing I knew, I had the start of a paper quilt. 

Trevor and I made paper quilt squares years ago, and more recently we painted barn squares on chipboard. I loved making both of them. This was just as fun. It would make an awesome group project. Affiliate links below. 

Punched Circle Paper Quilt



Start by creating the base for your first quilt square. I'd suggest 8" squares, but you do whatever size you want. As you can see, mine aren't actually squares. I used a piece of paper I'd originally intended to use as a card base, then cut the rest to the same size. In retrospect, I should have done squares. You'll have more options for rotating squares than rectangles when it's time to arrange them.

Punch several 2.5" circles and arrange them on the square base. You can cut partial circles (for corners and edges) by putting the cardstock only partway into the punch. Or, you can use whole circles and trim the excess off after you've adhere them.  

Punch 2" circles in a contrasting color and adhere them to the larger circles. When you finish one square (or in my case, rectangle), make another!

I made six blocks. Then I played with different arrangements:

Then I experimented with a different background color. 

I decided this was my favorite:

I might go back and add more to this paper quilt, or I might abandon it and restart with proper squares. Or, I might go a different direction entirely with my next quilt-inspired project!


  1. Very cool! Circles are much easier on a paper quilt than a fabric one.

  2. You know I haven't made a "real" quilt yet, just some t-shirt ones and the denim one for Adam, but I didn't "know" how to sew either, I just taught myself ... so never say never! :) I loveeeee these!! Such FUN colors!!!

  3. I think you should try. You have achieved success with everything you've tried so far. Do your due diligence - research, get tips and go for it!
    LOVE the circles - super fun colours!


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