1. Arrange all of your blocks the way you'd like them to be for your quilt. To make a 38" x 50" quilt, you need 6 blocks across by 8 blocks down. You can arrange them randomly or in a pattern. I am incapable of doing anything completely random, so there is a pattern to mine. Each row has one circle of each color in it. If you look at the green circles, you'll notice that down the rows, the green circle shifts over by 2 blocks. Then the yellow is next, then orange, then blue, then I wrap back around to the beginning with purple and then brown. This pattern continues throughout the quilt. Then label your squares using paper, tape, etc so you know where each circle goes. I used a letter for each row and a number for each column, so my first green circle is A1, then the yellow is A2, and the purple circle in the next row is B1, then B2, etc.
2. Sew each row together. Take two adjacent circles (A1 and A2 for example). Place A1 right side up and A2 right side down on top of A1 and pin them with right sides together.
3. Sew along the right side with a 1/2" seam allowance. Note: I think 1/4" is a more common seam allowance for quilting, but since we are beginners, it's nice to have the extra room!
4. Open your blocks. They're connected now! Trim your threads on each end of your seam.
5. Pin the next block in the row (in this case F3) to the rightmost block (in this case F2) with right sides together and sew along the right edge with a 1/2" seam allowance.
6. Repeat step 5 until your entire row is sewn together.
8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until all of your rows are finished.
9. Now it's time to connect your rows. Take your first row (A1-A6) and place it right side up. Place the second row (B1-B6) on top of the first row face down (so rows A and B are right sides together). Pin together, trying to match up the cross seams if possible so you will have a nice grid pattern to your blocks. If the seams don't match up perfectly, don't worry too much, no one will look that closely (at least that's what I tell myself!).
11. Press seams open.
12. Repeat steps 9 and 10 until all your rows are sewn together.
13. Your quilt top is finished! This is a good time to square up your edges to make sure they are straight.
14. Cut your backing fabric to the size of your quilt front (which should be about 38" x 50"). Note: Measure twice, and cut once or you will have to sew multiple panels together like I had to!
15. Now we are going to make our quilt sandwich. Lay your backing fabric out on a large surface with the right side facing down. Smooth it out the best you can.
16. Trim your quilt batting to size. It's okay if it's slightly larger, you can trim it exactly one you're done quilting.
17. Place your quilt batting on top of your backing fabric and smooth it out. Make sure it comes to the edges or overlaps them a bit on all sides.
18. Place your quilt top on top of the batting with the right side facing up. Smooth it out the best you can and make sure the edges are aligned with the quilt backing.
19. Carefully pin your quilt sandwich together. Quilting pins are the best thing to use for this, but regular large safety pins work okay too. Start in the middle of the quilt and work your way to the edges, smoothing it out as you go. I pinned at the intersection of each block to make sure it all stayed in place while I sewed it all together. Make sure your pins go through all the layers (top, batting, and backing).
20. When your entire quilt sandwich is pinned in place, it's time to start sewing it together. Use a regular straight stitch and outline each circle again. It's helpful to start in the middle and work your way to the edges. On a regular sewing machine (not a long arm machine) you will have to roll your fabric to push it through as you sew. Go as slow as you need to, this part takes awhile!
21. Make sure to pull your threads to the back for each circle, tie them in a knot and trim the threads.
22. When you're finished quilting, your circles will look nice and puffy! The hardest part is now over. Trim the edges of your quilt sandwich to make them straight and square.
23. Now it's time to sew on your binding. I watched this video to learn how to bind a quilt. Hand-stitching the binding to the back of the quilt is definitely the most tedious part. It takes forever but it's worth it in the end.
24. Wash and dry the quilt. It will come out all wrinkly and soft and guess what -- it's finished! Wrap up your little one in their beautifully modern circle quilt!