Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Making Circles

I've been busy this past week sewing little
round berries for my guild's raffle quilt.
There were about 88 of them!

I used Perfect Circles by Karen Kay Buckley.
You can purchase them directly from Karen;
some quilt shops also carry them.
Some appliquers use washers but I find that Karen's Perfect Circles
are thinner and that makes the circle lay flat on your fabric. I also
like the fact that the circles come on a ring.

Above photo shows the supplies that you will need to start
making your perfect circles. I prefer to use my small iron and
you can use almost any spray starch.

Once you decided on the size of your circle; choose another one
that is larger like the example above. You want your fabric
to come over that smaller circle - so I would say a little more
than 1/4".

Draw around the larger circle with your pencil and then cut out.

Using a paper cup - spray the starch inside the cup. You can either
use a paint brush but I prefer to use a q-tip.
I'm using green thread here just for the photos but do be careful
as some threads bleed. (ask me how I know that) generally I use
white thread and double it.
Start sewing a running stitch all around; come down about
1/8". Just give a little tug as you sew - you don't want it
too tight otherwise you won't be able to fit your smaller
circle inside. The above photo shows how.
Place your smaller circle inside ....
You can hold the middle down with your finger but sometimes
I use a small spool; then with your other hand gently pull on
the thread to gather the stitches. Once that is done I leave a long
tail and cut off the thread.

Dip the q-tip into the starch and dab all around the circle. This is
why I leave on a long thread; I can now pull on the thread again
after I applied my starch to make sure it's nice and tight.
Now I start to iron all around the circle. Sometimes I apply more
starch to make sure it's nice and stiff. Once you have ironed it
all around; wait for it to cool off before removing the inside circle.
I give it about 10 minutes. To remove the inner circle; I use
a tweezer and gently loosen the outside fabric circle. Pull the
template out with the tweezers. Once out I can use the thread
tail to pull the fabric back into place.

Ta-da - a Perfect Circle! Now you can cut off the tail; I don't take
the stitches out although some people do.
When I first started; I had to make a couple of them in order to
get the hang of it. It may seem like a long process but once you
learn how to do it; they go very fast.
I was fortunate enough to take a class from Karen Kay Buckley
a couple of years ago. What a nice lady and a GREAT teacher!
There are so many different sizes that you can make for your
projects. I hope that you'll give these a try.


  1. thanks for this tutorial..........
    ciao ciao

  2. Oh that looks so much easier than I would have ever thought! Thank you! Your applique is stunning!

  3. I use those templates for drawing small circles to embroider. Your technique is also very similiar to making YoYos. Kay must have added the ring because she wasn't selling them with a ring when I bought mine and I added it. They are very handy little circles!

  4. Thank You Ladies!
    Yes Mary they are easy and I
    hope that you'll give them a
    I'm glad she added the ring
    Debra or else I think I would
    have lost half of them by now.


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