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Thread: perfect circles

  1. #1
    a regular here sisLH's Avatar
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    HELP please! I CANNOT make ggod circles by hand or by machine. I can cut out good circles but how can I attach them and still have them look circular?! I want to do a Mariner's Compass. While I have seen them with no circle in the center, that is the pattern that I prefer. I skip other patterns because of this circle problem. How do you get yours the best way?

  2. #2
    Senior Member bobbie1's Avatar
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    Good question..looking forward to some answers! I need help also :-D

  3. #3
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    this is why I have never tried a circle. I am way to chicken to try them. yet. I know that you are supposed to make cuts in the fabric to the right of the seam. but don't know what that is about.

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    Go Slow...

  5. #5
    Senior Member cmrenno's Avatar
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    Make a template the size of the finished circle (from cardboard.) Cut a fabric circle one inch larger. Sew a running stitch around the fabric circle. Place the template inside the fabric circle and draw up the thread. Knot it off. Lightly spray with starch. Press. Remove basting thread and cardboard and there you have a perfect circle. You may want to press again. When you get to where you do a lot of these I recomend heat proof template plastic from the quilt shop. You can use it over and over. Good luck with your project!

  6. #6
    Super Member bluteddi's Avatar
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    not sure how u would addapt it but
    1. I make perfect circles but cutting one circle in desired fabric and one circle to match either out of matching fabric of coordinating or muslin.
    2. Place right sides together...
    3. stitch around circle, yes ALL the way around
    4. on wrong side, I cut a small slit ( careful not to cut the desired fabric
    5. clip edges
    6. birth circle thru slit
    7. press right side of fabric
    8. applique or whip stitch to desired area

    Nice round edges....

    I made an entire quilt using this method

  7. #7
    a regular here sisLH's Avatar
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    To cmrenno and bluteddi --- I like your ideas on them and will try both as making them those ways sounds much easier. When I am doing the actual attaching of mine is when I have the most difficulty. I pin them nicely and think I am sewing them nicely but they look more like alien circles or weird ovals when I'm done. Any hints there??

  8. #8
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    I use both the aforementioned techniques and they work equally as well!

  9. #9
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sisLH
    To cmrenno and bluteddi --- I like your ideas on them and will try both as making them those ways sounds much easier. When I am doing the actual attaching of mine is when I have the most difficulty. I pin them nicely and think I am sewing them nicely but they look more like alien circles or weird ovals when I'm done. Any hints there??
    I would glue baste (small dots of glue) the circle down with washable glue and not pull the stitches too tightly. If you are machine stitching them I would put the glue dots a little closer together. And go slowly.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bobbie1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by virtualbernie
    Quote Originally Posted by sisLH
    To cmrenno and bluteddi --- I like your ideas on them and will try both as making them those ways sounds much easier. When I am doing the actual attaching of mine is when I have the most difficulty. I pin them nicely and think I am sewing them nicely but they look more like alien circles or weird ovals when I'm done. Any hints there??
    I would glue baste (small dots of glue) the circle down with washable glue and not pull the stitches too tightly. If you are machine stitching them I would put the glue dots a little closer together. And go slowly.
    Do you change thread length on machine?

  11. #11
    lgc
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    Junior Member lgc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sisLH
    HELP please! I CANNOT make ggod circles by hand or by machine. I can cut out good circles but how can I attach them and still have them look circular?! I want to do a Mariner's Compass. While I have seen them with no circle in the center, that is the pattern that I prefer. I skip other patterns because of this circle problem. How do you get yours the best way?
    As with anything there are several ways of doing the same thing.
    I would start with the easy...cut a circle of fabric that includes the seam allowance, cut the same size circle of fusible interfacing (the lightweight kind, with dots of glue on one side) sew the two circles together (right side of fabric against dots of glue). Cut a small slit in the interfacing and turn right side out. Use a chopstick or other such tool to smooth out the edges. The dots of glue should be on the backside of the circle fabric (dots facing out). Place on background fabric fuse into place and sew around by hand or by machine.

    You could also use freezer paper templates-cut the size of the circle you want, iron to backside of circle fabric cut out. Remember to include seam allowance. Use your sewing machince to stitch a basting stitch in the seam allowance and then pull the ends of the thread to gather the seam around the paper. Starch the edges then iron dry. Remove basting stitches and paper (paper can be use several times).
    Place on background sew by hand or machine.

    Please don't be afraid of circles, one of the easiest shapes to applique. :thumbup:

  12. #12
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluteddi
    not sure how u would addapt it but
    1. I make perfect circles but cutting one circle in desired fabric and one circle to match either out of matching fabric of coordinating or muslin.
    2. Place right sides together...
    3. stitch around circle, yes ALL the way around
    4. on wrong side, I cut a small slit ( careful not to cut the desired fabric
    5. clip edges
    6. birth circle thru slit
    7. press right side of fabric
    8. applique or whip stitch to desired area

    Nice round edges....

    I made an entire quilt using this method
    I make my circles this way as well, the thinner the back fabric, the easier it seems to be.

  13. #13
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    I use "Perfect Shape" no melt plastic from The Stencil Co
    I cut a circle from the plastic then use it as a template for cutting the fabric about 1/4" larger. then with iron turn the edges over and iron. I might spray starch the edge and then iron. Perfect every time.

  14. #14
    Super Member bluteddi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deb watkins
    Quote Originally Posted by bluteddi
    not sure how u would addapt it but
    1. I make perfect circles but cutting one circle in desired fabric and one circle to match either out of matching fabric of coordinating or muslin.
    2. Place right sides together...
    3. stitch around circle, yes ALL the way around
    4. on wrong side, I cut a small slit ( careful not to cut the desired fabric
    5. clip edges
    6. birth circle thru slit
    7. press right side of fabric
    8. applique or whip stitch to desired area

    Nice round edges....

    I made an entire quilt using this method
    I make my circles this way as well, the thinner the back fabric, the easier it seems to be.
    I have made reversable quilts with this method


    * I had problems making circles too, before I learned this method. The circle would look great, until I stitched it, no matter how careful I was. I made almost all of my circles this way now..*

  15. #15
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I do as Holice does...with excellent results. I love circles. :oops:

  16. #16
    Super Member gzuslivz's Avatar
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    Use the method bluteddi gave, but use iron on fusible. Then when it's all turned, just press it on your piece.

  17. #17
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    is anyone notching in the SA?

    on the muslim turn birth one, or pressing template one, or needle draw one?

  18. #18
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Mark around the circle on the fabric and then glue baste the circle edges right on the drawn mark leaving just a little of the marked line showing. Stitch on the marked line. Lots of heavy starch to hold the circle shape firm is a great help.

  19. #19
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluteddi
    not sure how u would addapt it but
    1. I make perfect circles but cutting one circle in desired fabric and one circle to match either out of matching fabric of coordinating or muslin.
    2. Place right sides together...
    3. stitch around circle, yes ALL the way around
    4. on wrong side, I cut a small slit ( careful not to cut the desired fabric
    5. clip edges
    6. birth circle thru slit
    7. press right side of fabric
    8. applique or whip stitch to desired area

    Nice round edges....

    I made an entire quilt using this method
    I find it helps to have the underside fabric just slightly smaller, maybe 1l8 inch. Then when you press, the right side fabric rolls over the wrong side fabric so it doesn't show. Also, you can use the light weight interfacing to reduce bulk. And sometimes I'll trim the edges with pinking sheers rather than notching.

  20. #20
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    That's exactly how I do it and get perfect circles every time.
    It will work with a yo-yo template too... Your correct about not using anything that the iron will melt..

  21. #21
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    You can sew a perfect circle using an old fashion thumb tack & a cork.

    Tape tack to the left of your needle, point up, with good tape (think duct tape vs masking tape)

    Put the center of your circle fabric over the tack and gently push down (cut larger than needed)

    Smooth fabric under presser foot and lower foot

    For your safety hold cork on point of tack

    Slowly & evenly start sewing. Let the machine do the work.

    Don't let yourself be distracted.
    The feed dogs will pull the fabric around the tack.
    Sew past where you started to lock the stitches.
    Circle should be small & lightweight enough to 'float' on surface. If too heavy drag distorts circle.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #22
    Super Member whinnytoo's Avatar
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    I use Karen Kay Buckleys 'perfect circle' templates.... they come in lots of sizes and work very very well.

  23. #23
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    i use my cricrit to cut out any size perfect circles out of heavy card stock then cut fabric 1/2 in. larger use #5 stitch on my machine an run around the edge of fabric. and draw it to a tight circle and press

  24. #24
    Senior Member thseabreze's Avatar
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    cut a circle out of cardboard, same size as the circle you want the fabric to be, fold the edges of the fabric over the cardboard, and use the hand stitching, all around before removing the cardboard. After stitching it all around, press with the iron, then remove the cardboard. There is a tutorial on Missouri Star Quilt Co. It works perfectly... :D

  25. #25
    Super Member craftiladi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmrenno
    Make a template the size of the finished circle (from cardboard.) Cut a fabric circle one inch larger. Sew a running stitch around the fabric circle. Place the template inside the fabric circle and draw up the thread. Knot it off. Lightly spray with starch. Press. Remove basting thread and cardboard and there you have a perfect circle. You may want to press again. When you get to where you do a lot of these I recomend heat proof template plastic from the quilt shop. You can use it over and over. Good luck with your project!
    Yes, Yes I just watched a video on the internet yesterday, this is exactly how she was teaching applique .

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