Cheerio Tutorial Reboot Featuring Guest Quilter Shea Henderson

Revisited Quilting Tutorials from Missouri Star Quilt Co

MSQC Cheerio Quilting Tutorial Reboot with Shea Henderson!

Hi there, everyone! I am Shea Henderson of the pattern company Empty Bobbin Sewing and author of School of Sewing: Learn it, Teach it, Sew Together. I live in Kansas City, MO and am lucky to get to call MSQC a local quilt shop! I love to make the drive up to Hamilton to see the new window displays and wander among the bolts.

It is no secret that my first stop when I visit Hamilton is usually MSQC’s Penney’s Quilt Shop, home to all of the solids. Using solid fabrics is my favorite way to make a quilt and I’m excited to share one here today!

The tutorial I chose to reboot is Jenny’s Cheerio quilt. I wanted to quarter the blocks and play around with placement and orientation to create a new look. I am so excited about how it turned out!

MSQC Cheerio Quilting Tutorial Reboot with Shea Henderson!

My fabrics are all from the Moda Bella line of solids, and the colors are from a set selected by Vanessa Christenson of V. & Co.  They are:

MelonCameoRoseBerryliciousBoysenberryRuby IceCaribbeanMintPistachioTerrainNavySpray 

Quilt stats & materials:

Finished size is 54” x 63”

For the quilt top, I used 3/4 yard of each of the colors listed above.

I used 3-1/2 yards of Melon for the backing and an additional 1/2 yard of Spray for the binding.

You’ll also need one package of 5-1/4 yards of Heat N Bond Lite and some way to cut a perfect circle. I used my trusty Olfa circle rotary cutter and it worked like a charm!

Ready? Here’s how to do it!

First, cut two 10” x WOF strips from each color. Then subcut a total of (84) 10” x 10” squares (seven from each color). Set half of the squares aside for the backgrounds and the other half aside for the circles.

In order to conserve the Heat N Bond and max out the amount I could cut from the package, I cut (42) 8-1/2” squares. Center and fuse these to the fabric that was set aside for the circles.

Fold each of the squares fused with Heat N Bond in half in each direction in order to press creases to mark the center. Cut one 8” circle from each of the 42 squares.

MSQC Cheerio Quilting Tutorial Reboot with Shea Henderson!

From the 42 circles, select 21 to cut again. This time, I cut a 4” circle at the center. You’ll have 21 whole circles and 21 with a center cut out. Save those 4” circles for a neat option on the backing!

MSQC Cheerio Quilting Tutorial Reboot with Shea Henderson!This next step is my favorite…pairing the colors together! Grab those 10” squares and fold and press each in half along the length and the width to find the centers. Peel the paper backing from a circle and align the creases before fusing the circle in place. Repeat with all 42 squares and circles.

MSQC Cheerio Quilting Tutorial Reboot with Shea Henderson!

Using coordinating thread, stitch around the edges of the circles. I used a small zigzag stitch and a circular sewing attachment on my sewing machine, which is somewhat like magical, hands free sewing! Many machine brands offer these, so if you sew circles often, you might check around. There’s a sharp pen sticking up at the circle’s center (under that black cap), and the feed dogs on the machine rotate the block around perfectly for sewing. Just set the attachment to the correct radius and go!

MSQC Cheerio Quilting Tutorial Reboot with Shea Henderson!

Now, quarter them all! You’ll have (168) 5” squares.

MSQC Cheerio Quilting Tutorial Reboot with Shea Henderson!

Play around with different layouts. You can see here that I tried out a few whole circle options and offset layouts before ultimately going for an all over quarter circle look.

MSQC Cheerio Quilting Tutorial Reboot with Shea Henderson!

Sew the units into 14 rows of 12 squares to complete the top.

Remember those 4” circles? I fused a few of them in a grid on the backing! They are in one corner, in a 4×4 layout and the quilting gives them some extra hold.

The well-known Free Motion Quilter Angela Walters, also from the Kansas City area, did some fantastic free motion quilting on mine! She used a few techniques from her book, Shape by Shape 2. She’s a clever one… she didn’t quilt it row by row. She actually loaded it like normal on her longarm and then quilted it diagonally in sections. Can you see it? Follow the feathers to see it best.

MSQC Cheerio Quilting Tutorial Reboot with Shea Henderson!

If you make a Chopped Cheerio quilt, I hope you love the process of selecting an arrangement. It’s fun to see all of the different options and looks you can use! And, if you are on Instagram, tag me when you share it! I’m @emptybobbin on Instagram and would love to see what you make! #tutorialreboot

MSQC Cheerio Quilting Tutorial Reboot with Shea Henderson!

You can find me online at:


Instagram: @emptybobbin

My MSQC Tech Case Tutorial:

Just making it easier to shop for fabric here at the Missouri Star

We had an idea, we get a bunch of calls from people trying to figure out what shade of a solid is the right fit for your project, and we’ve been thinking of how we can help you figure this out easier.  So we had an idea, what if we took a photo of each yardage next to a black and a white bolt so you can tell what shade of the color is your going to get, sort of give you a point of reference.  So we did a test run and wanted to see what you thought?  If you like it, we’ll do it for all of them, what do you think?

Bella Solids – 30’s Yellow
Bella Solids – Christmas Red
Bella Solids – Dusk Yardage
Bella Solids – Etchings Stone
Bella Solids Burgundy
Bella Solids – Fig Tree Wheat
Bella Solids – Horizon Blue
Bella Solids - Hyacinth
Bella Solids – Hyacinth
Bella Solids – Kiwi
Bella Solids – Pale Pink
Bella Solids Snow