I have begun to make the two sizes of circles that will be hand appliqued on the borders of my Flower Pots quilt. ALL of the circles in this project have been made using Karen Kay Buckley‘s Perfect Circles or Bigger Perfect Circles, with the exception of the largest circle. For that, I needed to make a Templar circle because even Karen’s Bigger Perfect Circles were not large enough!
I used Templar to make the largest circle because it is heat resistant and will NOT melt. It warps very little too. I will be using these templates 20 times each…I made two for ease of circle production. * Note: if you are using a Rowenta iron, they tend to run a little hotter than most irons. Watch your heat setting and maybe reduce it a bit to prevent your templates from warping. I always use a DRY iron on a medium high setting.
Here is how I make circles…regardless of size:
1. Trace the largest circle onto Templar (it doesn’t matter which side) using an extra fine point Sharpie marker.
>I made registration marks for the placement of the smaller circle, and the placement of the circle unit onto the Flower Pots border.
2. Using non-fabric scissors, carefully cut out the Templar circle ON the draw line.
>The circle should be as smooth as possible! To achieve this, “glide” the scissors around the shape. Try not to “saw” through the Templar which will produce jagged edges.
>Once the circle is cut out, if there are some rough spots or areas that are flat, use an emery board to file those areas smooth and into shape. I actually hold the length of the emery board along the length of my right index finger, bending my finger slightly to flex the emery board into a gentle curve. I find this makes it easier to sand my Templar shape and gives me a nice smooth edge.
>It is important to realize that the edges of your Templar shape will be directly translated to your fabric…points, jags and flat areas on the Templar shape will result in points, jags and flat areas on your applique shape. You will want to take care with this process.
3. Place selected fabric on a sand paper board or cutting mat, to prevent distortion, then trace around the circle template onto the WRONG side of the fabric with a (0.7mm lead) mechanical pencil.
4. Estimate slightly more than an 1/8 of an inch away from the draw line going toward the (raw) edge of the circle and do a running stitch around the circle. The circle should have a seam allowance about a 1/4″ away from the draw line. So, you are taking running stitches about half way between the draw line and the cut/raw edge of the circle.
>You may choose to cut the circle from the fabric and then do the running stitch, or do the running stitch around the circle and then cut the circle from the fabric. Either way works!
>When the running stitches meet back at the beginning, leave an unknotted thread tail, and clip. Next, with your threaded needle, knot the end of the thread, take the next fabric circle, do a running stitch…repeat this same process for each circle needed. I set up an assembly line and crank out circles! ; ) *Tip: I use a self threading needle and a L-O-N-G piece of 50 wt. cotton thread.
5. Paint the raw/cut edge of the circle with Magic Sizing or Best Press.
6. Place circle template in the center of fabric circle and pull the thread tail(s) to cinch the fabric up, over and around that template!
7. PRESS!!! Using a medium hot dry iron press the circle allowing the heat to dry the Magic Sizing.
8. The result will be a CIRCLE with a finished edge.
*when the circle has cooled, simply reach your fingertips around the seam allowance and gently ‘pop’ the template out! ; )
You may be interested to learn how I made the “circle units” for my Flower Pots quilt. If so, check out Going In Circles Part II…