Appliqué circles

Some of you have asked how I’m appliquéing my circles for Quilty365 and on Monday I took some photos of the process. I was home alone, so some of them may look like they’re on strange angles as I juggled fabric, scissors and camera!

There are lots and lots of different ways to make and appliqué circles, this is the way I like to do it.

First up, supplies

20160224-151937.jpgMost of what you see here you’ll recognise; those you don’t, I’ll explain along the way.

My circles are 2.5″ finished and usually a 1/4″ seam allowance is added. However with circles I like a bit of extra leeway, and so I’ve chosen a 3.5″ circle as my template. I’m using the Victorian Textiles Small Circle Set* as the circles are see through, allowing for a bit of fussy cutting.

Place the circle on the right side of the fabric (it’s often easier to see for fussy cutting than the wrong side)

20160224-152725.jpgand move it around

20160224-152746.jpguntil you’re happy with the circle you see (remembering there is a .5″ seam allowance)

20160224-153020.jpgUse a pencil to trace around the outside of the circle (I have a grey lead, plus coloured chalk penciled, depending on the colour of the fabric)

20160224-153129.jpgIf the circle is well into the body of the fabric, fold the fabric along the pencil line and use scissors to take a small nick

20160224-153250.jpginsert the scissors into the nick and proceed to cut out the circle

20160224-153326.jpgthe fabric might end up looking like Swiss cheese, but the surrounding area is more usable

20160224-153426.jpgThread up a needle with some strong thread and make a heavy duty knot. Starting about 1/4″ in from the edge, sew a small running stitch. Keep the stitches fairly small; smaller stitches make a smoother circle.

20160224-153654.jpgFinish the last stitch close to the knot and with the needle going to the right side of the fabric


20160224-153846.jpgI’m using Patchwork With Busy Fingers Circles (size 2.5″). Use the punch (mine is a .5″ circle shape) and clip the circle

20160224-154203.jpgPlace the paper circle onto the wrong side of the fabric circle

20160224-154244.jpgand draw up the running thread, pulling the thread diagonally across the circle to help the gathers form.

20160224-154336.jpgTurn over to the right side and check the fussy cutting. This is where the extra seam allowance comes in handy; there is enough leeway to move the fabric and adjust the circle if required.

20160224-154535.jpgTurn over to the wrong side and finish the thread with a knot.

20160224-154653.jpgI then like to starch the circle and I use Best Press* (comes in a variety of flavours scents, but I prefer the “scent free”) to fill the tube on a Water Erasable Pen* (best done over a sink!!).

20160224-155022.jpgUse the brush to “paint” the starch around the edges of the circle.  (Squeeze the tube to get the starch down into the brush to get it going.)

20160224-155113.jpgPlace the starched circle between layers of an Appliqué Mat* and press with a warm dry iron.  (Using an applique mat means the circle is protected from the heat of the iron while pressing.)

20160224-155208.jpgIf, like me, lots are needed for a project, pop the circle into a box to await its turn……

20160224-155300.jpgIf the circle is to be used immediately, wait for it to cool. Repeat! Wait For It To Cool (helps to keep the shape).

Audition a background.

20160224-155432.jpgTurn the circle to the wrong side and using the handle end of a fine Clover Hera Marker in the hole punched earlier,

20160224-155924.jpglift out the circle. (The circles can be used again and again.)

20160224-160005.jpgThe circle may need to be tweaked a little after taking the paper out.

Fold the background in half and finger press the edges,

20160224-160045.jpgand repeat on the other side

20160224-160117.jpgDo the same with the circle

20160224-160140.jpgmatching the first folds to get the second folds

20160224-160209.jpgMatch the folds of the circle with the folds of the background and pin the centre to secure

20160224-160315.jpgPin north, south, east and west ensuring the folds match. I also pin in between (probably overkill but it won’t move!)

20160224-160438.jpgUse an appliqué thread to match the circle and a straw needle and appliqué into position

20160224-160538.jpgJob done!

20160224-160601.jpgI hope this helps.  (I’ve also posted this under “Chintz Hintz” if you want to find it quickly again at a later time.)

Meredithe x

* these products are available from the supplier Victorian Textiles; ask at your local shop for the stock. If they don’t have what you require, get them to order it in for you from Victorian Textiles.

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11 Responses to Appliqué circles

  1. Hilda says:

    Great tutorial Meredithe and certainly gets you a lovely finish! Yummy fabric choices! thanks for all the pics 🙂

  2. Lovely manicure as always! An excellent tutorial – a slightly different way to the method I use, so it’s always good to see how other quilters do something!

  3. Very clear. Even to a non-quilter….!

  4. Jill says:

    I have been thinking of asking some advice as you seem so approachable, (hang on I will stop grovelling and keep typing). i had seen on an earlier tutorial from when i first saw the “circe work”, but the person then flipped her squares over and cut out some of the background. I would rather leave as you have done but wondered about the thickness, but then all applique does add thickness, so question answered. Problem solved. As you were, lol. Thanks for your tutorial.

  5. Ann says:

    Awesome tutorial!

  6. audrey says:

    I will have to remember this method for when I want perfect circles. Great explanation! It’s easy to see now why your circles are always so impressive.:)

  7. Fiona says:

    great tutorial and I love the colour on your nails.

  8. Barb Vedder says:

    great tutorial – I use a similar system. I like the idea of the whole punch I’ll have to add that to my process.

  9. Sandra says:

    Very nice to see how others approach their applique, thanks!

  10. Lucy says:

    Hello Meredithe

    What a great tutorial, great pics and so well explained. Love that your nails match the fabric too!

    Lucy xx

  11. anaslua says:

    Oh, this is great, I always wanted to know the professional how-to. Thanks a lot!

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