Friday, July 30, 2010

circles tutorial

For those of you questioning me, no I'm not realted to Wonder Woman, though my mom would probably take that as a compliment!  I don't get nearly as much done as you think...I just don't post every day...

It seems many of you have not seen the quick and easy way to applique a circle, so I'll show you what my mom taught me.

First, decide how big you need your circles to be.  I end up in the kitchen looking for something to draw around - lots of round stuff in there!

I use cardstock weight paper to draw my template onto.  3x5 index cards are something I almost always have on hand and they're usually big enough.  (For this project, I needed bigger, but happen to have a whole ream of 8x10 cardstock thanks to a school project.)

I use a permanent marker to trace my circles because you don't want inkpen or pencil rubbing off onto anything.

So...assemble your supplies...

Trace around your template.  (Notice mine has ears...we can work around that...)

I usually make a couple for each project.  They do get a little worn, but there's no reason to make enough for one per circle.

Nearly perfect circle

Cut it out (okay, maybe a little "well, duh" here...)

(ugh, blurry)

Pin to fabric.  (Fussy cutting optional!) 

Cut around template leaving plenty of excess.  This one has almost 1/2 inch extra.  You'll get the hang of how much you need once you've done a few.

Unpin template.

Using a big running stitch, stitch around the outside of the circle.  Careful not to go too close - you're going to gather the circle, much like making a yo-yo.

(Smaller circles need smaller running stitch...learned by experience!)

(probably shouldn't have used matching thread...for this step you don't need to...)

Once you've stitched all the way around, place template on wrong side of fabric and pull thread to gather around the template.  (This is why cardstock weight works well - it holds up to a little tugging and pulling to get it centered properly.)

Secure thread so it won't un-gather.

At this point, some will tell you to press the whole thing.  For smaller projects, I may do this and then remove the template.  For this size, I didn't press and left the template in there (pressing would probably be ruined by the time I got done sewing anyways).

Place circle where you want it on your background and pin well.  Make sure you don't have any puckers on the back.  (This is a problem when two cats are trying to help and you're using a throw pillow instead of a table...)

Using a stitch that I don't know the name of (blind stitch? hem stitch?) that is the same stitch I use to attach my binding, carefully stitch down the circle.  You want to catch just the edge of the fabric and NOT the paper tempate inside!

Once you're all the way around, tie off your thread.

Flip the block over and CAREFULLY cut out the back from under the circle.  (If you've taken out the template, there is a much higher rate of snipping into the circle fabric...)

Flip over and press (oops...I haven't pressed yet...) and VIOLA! 

Perfect circle!

And you surely don't need to share any DNA with any of the Superfriends to do this.  I know.  My super abilities are clumsiness and balance, which work well together because I trip a lot, but don't fall down so much...

On an unrelated note, I have $70 of fabric in the washing machine.  More on that later.

Happy circle quilting,


Marsha B said...

Great tutorial! Answers a lot of questions. Thanks for the info.

Can't wait to find out what that $70 worth of fabric is all about!

a good yarn said...

Fab tutorial Katie! I'm wanting to try a method that uses aluminium foil. Is it new fabric in your machine? Ooh, I hope so! Ann :-)

Liriopia said...

AH-HA! You applique your circles. That is what I would do if I had to figure it out myself! $70.00 worth of fabric? Seriously?


Beth said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I see circles in my future.
I saw something the other day that screamed Katie. Gotta figure out if I can get the photo from where I saw it to somewhere I can share it. (How mysterious hu? But it's a visual thing).
Can't wait til that fabric dries so we can see it.

---"Love" said...

So that's how you do it! I was wondering how you got so many perfect circles. Thanks for sharing so clearly how to do it. You must have some big plans in mind for the new fabric! ---"Love"

Unknown said...

I've been itching to do a cirlce quilt for a while now...and it will be a while longer;) But your tutorial is great;)
Happy Quilting!!

canuckquilter said...

Thanks for the tutorial! Now I'm itching to see that $70 worth of fabric.

Christine said...

Thanks for the tutorial!! Its an adorable I spy quilt!!