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Thread: What the HECK Is the Secret?!?!?

  1. #1
    Senior Member DonnaFreak's Avatar
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    Angry What the HECK Is the Secret?!?!?

    OK.....somebody has GOT to know what the secret is to sewing a circle without it being more jagged than a shark's teeth! I just wanna know who's holding out on filling me in?!?!? HELP!!! *grumble* LOL!

    Donna
    Last edited by DonnaFreak; 12-09-2011 at 08:29 AM.
    DonnaFreak

    "Some days it's just not worth it to chew through the leather straps."

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    Super Member RugosaB's Avatar
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    You know that feeling when you've finished all your quilting projects and your studio is perfectly clean???? Me neither.

    It's not how fast you sew, it's how well you sew fast! Wait, I think that's supposed to be MOW!

  3. #3
    Super Member Charleen DiSante's Avatar
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    I just love seeing the helpful posts after someone posts a question. Thanks for all the positive posts.
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    Senior Member kellen46's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=DonnaFreak;4765800]OK.....somebody has GOT to know what the secret is to sewing a circle without it being more jagged than a shark's teeth! I just wanna know who's holding out on filling me in?!?!? HELP!!! *grumble* LOL!

    What kind of circle are you trying to sew....a pieced or appliquéd one.

    For appliqué circle I do a basting stitch right at the edge of the circle and gently gather it, just a bit not much. Then I turn it over on the ironing board and from the wrong side with the help of a point turner gently smooth the outer edge while pressing it flat. I turn it over to the right side and check for un-smooth places and coax it into shape. finally I iron the circle with a bit of starch and appliqué it down. This is good for smaller circles.
    Or you you can use the Eleanor Burns method. Layer fine fusible interfacing with a finished size circle drawn on it. Layer right side of fabric to fusible side of interfacing. Stitch on the line all around. Separate the interfacing from fabric and cut a bit out big enough to pull the piece right side out. I then trim a way most of the interfacing to with in a half inch of sewn line. I then heat press the circle from the fabric side to my block and stitch the now finished edge down. I have made multiple layed circles like this, trimming away the excess fabric after each stitch down the added bulk is removed and the cut-aways are always reusable as smaller circles.
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  5. #5
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    If it's an applique circle, I perfer to use Wonder Under and cut it out neatly with the scissors and stitch it down. You can draw your circle on a used dryer sheet and place it on top of the right side of your fabric and stitch all the way around it. Cut a slit in the dryer sheet and turn the circle out through the slit. Carefully manipulate the edge until you get it perfect and iron and sew it down.
    If it's a pieced circle like Drunkard's Path, I carefully pin it, sew the seam and clip the seam allowance curve at intervals to ease it into laying flat. If you are trying to FMQ a circle, good luck because perfect circles are very hard to do freehand. If it is a larger circle, you can machine stitch with your straight line sewing if you turn the quilt often (not easy to do if it's a big quilt). I don't know if any of these suggestions address your problem.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DonnaFreak's Avatar
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    I'm making these little stuffed owls to give as gifts to the kids in my family. The pattern calls for you to set your machine to a short zig-zag stitch to go around the eyes, around the white of the eyes, and around the beak and wings. I can't get the !)@(#*$&%^ machine to go where I want it to go around those tight little circles for nothin'! :c(

    Donna
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    DonnaFreak

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  7. #7
    Senior Member barefoot quilter's Avatar
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    Donna those are tooo cute what is the pattern called i would like to see if i can make one of those.... but i see what you mean i can't do that eather i saw a machine part that att.. to the sewing machine but havent seen it in a long time so i can't help you there.. sorry
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    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    I use the Eleanor Burns method for most circles- for those eyes - take a stitch or two stop with needle down turn- take a couple more stitches- it is very slow and tedious ..... BUT they are so cute
    To keep your mind fresh- learn one new thing a day !

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    These are all good tips, another tip is speed, I go slow when going in circles, it's much easier to control.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DonnaFreak's Avatar
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    April, it's the Kooky Owl pattern from FaveCrafts. Here is the URL for it. :c)

    http://www.favecrafts.com/Sewing-for...ky-Stuffed-Owl

    Donna
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  11. #11
    Super Member Pinkiris's Avatar
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    Donna--
    I think the owl is adorable stitched just like it is! Looks "feathery" Keep on trying if you want a neater circle, but I think they will be appreciated just as they are! Cute!Cute!Cute!
    Sue

  12. #12
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    Sharon, thanks for the tip. I'm having the same problem with my circles and now I know how to fix it!

  13. #13
    Super Member Marilynsue's Avatar
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    I don't know how you managed those eyes, but they are way too cute! The owl is so whimsical that the eyes look perfect like they are! Love them!!

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaFreak View Post
    I'm making these little stuffed owls to give as gifts to the kids in my family. The pattern calls for you to set your machine to a short zig-zag stitch to go around the eyes, around the white of the eyes, and around the beak and wings. I can't get the !)@(#*$&%^ machine to go where I want it to go around those tight little circles for nothin'! :c(

    Donna
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  14. #14
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    If you have a needle down function on your machine, it's a life saver on machine applique. It allows you to raise the presser foot and reposition the fabric as needed. Stop with the needle down on the outside side of the circle to reposition. Have you thought about doing a simple staight stitch about 1/8 in from the eyeball edge and allowing the edge to fray like in raw edge applique. It would be easier I think. If button eyes are put on make sure they are small to not pose a choking hazard for small children.They do look very cute!

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    Cool

    Seeing what you are making, I would be tempted to straight stitch about an 1/8 in from the edge of the fabric circles and let it ravel out on both circles for the eyes and the same for the nose. Would make it look like lashes.
    There are attachments that you can purchase for your machine to sew circles. I have also seen where someone used a thumbtack through a piece of tape, then taped to the bed of the machine so it is set up so the center of the circle is positioned on the pointed part of the tack and taped to the machines so the needle goes through the fabric an 1/8 in from the edge or what ever seam allowance you want. Hope this makes sense.
    I must have been typing the same thing at the same time Tartan was.
    Last edited by one-and-only; 12-09-2011 at 04:38 PM.

  16. #16
    Super Member faykilgore's Avatar
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    CUTE! CUTE! CUTE! The imperfections add to the whimsy! I'm sorry for your frustration but I think the outcome is better than perfect would be. Just MHO.
    Fay

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  17. #17
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    How about treating the eyes and nose like raw edge applique? Think I'll try it and make a pin cushion out of it.

  18. #18
    Senior Member lonestardreams's Avatar
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    These are so cute. I'm going to try some. Thank you for the link.

  19. #19
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    Donna, this is what I do, draw your pattern on the fabric, do not cut it out,cut out all your appliques,place them on the pattern that you drew and glue them in place with glue stick, let dry then cut your pattern out, but not on the lines, in a large enough square that you can handle it as you zig-zag it on your machine. when all applique is done, I press the pattern piece, then cut it on the pattern lines and go from there.

  20. #20
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    I use flat metal washers, there are mylar products too that are flat circles, the hint is to pink your edge, this will reduce bulk which causes the crease.
    Cut circle 1/4" larger than your washer, pink edge, spray starch, iron around washer, remove washer, repress.

  21. #21
    Super Member BuzzinBumble's Avatar
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    Donna, I don't have any circle sewing secrets, but wanted to sat that I think your adorable owl is all the cuter for its slightly ragged eyes - they make him look more kooky and fun! The kids in your family are going to love them!

  22. #22
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    The owl is sew cute, but I have no idea how to get those circles to behave, sorry.
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  23. #23
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaFreak View Post
    OK.....somebody has GOT to know what the secret is to sewing a circle without it being more jagged than a shark's teeth! I just wanna know who's holding out on filling me in?!?!? HELP!!! *grumble* LOL!

    Donna
    we had a lesson in guild that really works for applique circles...cut a circle out of heat proof template plastic and then cut fabric at least 1/2" bigger all around. use HEAVY DUTY aluminum foil and put fabric and plastic circle in the middle and then bring foil up around circle and fabric tightly....works like a dream. set your iron on the whole thing for about 30 seconds and let cool...neatest circle you can make...will not work with thin foil as it doesn't hold up. plastic may wrinkle a little but still useable and you can trim all the way around after it is cool...try it
    Retired and living in NE Michigan

  24. #24
    Junior Member onthelake's Avatar
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    He is SO cute...looks like he had a little too much eggnog!
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    Jean

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    Will be watching for more ideas.

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