Back when I wrote this tutorial: How to Applique a Leaf . . . I also said I’d someday post a tutorial on how I applique perfectly round circles.
Well, someday is here!
I’m posting this to help those who are doing the “Bouquets for Hazel” quilt-along, but thought it might benefit others as well, so I’m posting it here. This employs the hand needle-turn method of applique.
My usual disclaimer goes here: This is just my way of doing it, so you can take it with a grain of salt. Always feel free to just do your own thing and use your own favorite method.
And here we go . . .
You’ll need some sort of stiff paper, like card stock. I use plain old index cards, since I usually have plenty of those on hand. You don’t want anything too stiff, but plain paper is not stiff enough.
I also have a circle template that I use to draw my circles, so if you’re lucky enough to have one of those handy little things, now is a good time to put it to use.
If not, you can just trace your circle on to your card stock from your applique pattern, either by cutting it out of the paper pattern and tracing around it, or tracing it from beneath with a light table. You’ll want to trace as smoothly as possible.
The smoother and rounder you cut your circle out of the card stock, the smoother and rounder your finished circle will be on your block, so cut carefully.
Thread your needle with thread that matches your fabric, and tie a knot in one end.
When you get back to where you started, put the needle down to the bottom so the knot and the thread tail are next to each other on the right side of the fabric. Don’t cut the thread or tie a knot just yet.
Cut the thread. Tie a new knot in the end so you can start again.
Holding it in place with your thumb, begin stitching around the edge of the circle.
This works on nearly any size circle you’d like to applique.
I use it on very small circles, but when I do really tiny ones, I press the circles after I’ve gathered them around the paper, and then pop the paper out before I stitch them down, just using the pressed line as my guide.
On really large circles, I applique them without using any paper, just as I would applique any other piece. I just make sure to pin them in position carefully before I start.
I hope this helps you make your own perfectly round circles. Let me know if you try it and how it works for you.