Thursday, November 19, 2015

Making Circles for Appliqué

Since I last posted I've completed almost two of the 4 appliqué blocks for the Oopsie Daisy quilt.
I also discovered that I "only" have to make 84 petals, not 86 as I previously thought. Phew, what a relief!

A photo posted by Twiddletails (@twiddletails) on
The center of each little flower is a circle. I thought I'd share my method for making perfect (or as perfect as I'm going to get them) circles.

You'll need: a circle template in your preferred size - something sturdy like plastic or cardboard, spray starch - I like Mary Ellen's Best Press, an iron, needle and thread and, of course the fabric you want to make the circles out of.
My preferred templates for circles are Karen Kay Buckley's "Perfect Circles". There is an assortment in each package with multiples of the same size. You should be able to find these at your LQS. You can, of course, make your own templates, but I find I can never cut them perfectly smooth.
Applique Circles
1. Place the template on your fabric and trace around it, using a disappearing or washable marker. Cut out, leaving a scant 1/4" seam allowance - smaller if you're making really small circles. I don't think it really matters whether you trace on the the wrong or right side of the fabric since you're going to have to get rid of the markings anyway but, if you'd rather not deal with it, trace on the wrong side.
Applique Circles
2. Run a basting stitch all around the circle about midway through the seam allowance. My stitches are about an eighth of an inch long. Leave thread ends at least 3" long to make the next step easier. Ensure that both thread ends are on the right side of the fabric this time. Pleace the template back into position on the wrong side of the fabric.
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3. With the template in position, pull on the two loose thread ends, gathering the fabric around the template. Tie the threads in a single knot.
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4. Now for the tricky part. Spray the bottom of the circle with starch. Pull the two thread ends in opposite directions with two fingers, thereby tightening the gather around the template.While holding on to the thread ends, press the circle with a hot iron until the the starch has dried.
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You should now be able to let go of the threads and your circle will hold its shape.
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5. Flip the circle over and spray the other side with starch as well. Press until dry.
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6. Carefully remove the template and thread. I like to starch and press the circle on each side one more time after this to ensure that it will hold its shape until it's securely appliquéd to my block.
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Voila! A perfect(ish) circle!
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