There are lots and lots of different ways to make and appliqué circles, this is the way I like to do it. (I was home alone when taking these pics, so some of them may look like they’re on strange angles as I juggled fabric, scissors and camera!)
First up, supplies
Most 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)
and move it around
until you’re happy with the circle you see (remembering there is a .5″ seam allowance)
Use 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)
If 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
insert the scissors into the nick and proceed to cut out the circle
the fabric might end up looking like Swiss cheese, but the surrounding area is more usable
Thread 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.
Finish the last stitch close to the knot and with the needle going to the right side of the fabric
I’m using Patchwork With Busy Fingers Circles (size 2.5″). Use the punch (mine is a .5″ circle shape) and clip the circle
Place the paper circle onto the wrong side of the fabric circle
and draw up the running thread, pulling the thread diagonally across the circle to help the gathers form.
Turn 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.
Turn over to the wrong side and finish the thread with a knot.
I 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!!).
Use 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.)
Place 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.)
If, like me, lots are needed for a project, pop the circle into a box to await its turn……
If 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.
Turn the circle to the wrong side and using the handle end of a fine Clover Hera Marker in the hole punched earlier,
lift out the circle. (The circles can be used again and again.)
The circle may need to be tweaked a little after taking the paper out.
Fold the background in half and finger press the edges,
and repeat on the other side
Do the same with the circle
matching the first folds to get the second folds
Match the folds of the circle with the folds of the background and pin the centre to secure
Pin north, south, east and west ensuring the folds match. I also pin in between (probably overkill but it won’t move!)
Use an appliqué thread to match the circle and a straw needle and appliqué into position
I hope this helps.
* 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.