|Ping is basking in the glory of my circle making...|
Finally...I saw the light. Somewhere (and I'm very sorry I'm not able to remember who or where so I can credit them) I saw someone make a circle this way. For me - it was the light bulb moment. If you've seen this before - then congratulations - you've probably been in some kind of circle heaven of which I've only recently been accepted. But if you haven't...and you suffered in torture circle purgatory like me...then here's your ticket out.
- the swatch of fabric you wanted to make a circle
- Pellon SF 101
- something to create a circle with - template, bowl, your neighbor's kid's ear guage plug
- something to mark the fabric
- walking foot on your sewing machine
- Pellon SF101 is a fusible interfacing. Fairly Merry ((famous quilter and close personal friend in fabric) find her at @FairlyMerry on IG) turned me on to this stuff about a year or so ago. It's fantastic for lining bags, as well as the bomb for circle making. I got mine at JoAnns.
- There are two sides to SF101 - a rough side and the smooth side
- The rough side is the glue /fusible side - the smooth side is the "right" side of the fabric
- Take your piece of fabric and mark a circle on it. Be accurate in your marking as you will be cutting on this line. You will be sewing a quarter inch around the circle - so keep that in mind if you are trying to make a specific size of circle - factor the quarter inch.
- Cut the circle out. Be accurate here - it will be important as this is the guide for your sewing. I'm an improv kind of gal and LOVE to fudge things or sew loosely.... but this is where tedious accuracy pays off.
- Lay the right side of your circle on the smooth side (also the right side) of the SF101.
- Install your walking foot. I'm telling you - another point not to ignore or skip. It will make a huge difference in result (positive) if you use your walking foot. You will be sewing a quarter of an inch - but you could sew wider if you wanted. I line the edge of my fabric with the edge of the inside of the foot. It's easy for my eye to follow it.
- I like the needle down position - you want something holding it in place when you stop to adjust the fabric. Also, (this is the much anticipated speed demon reference....) slow your roll. I push my speed down for this sewing and go slow. You must understand... for my entire quilting existence (right at 20 years), I've had to sew in between everything else in my life. Mom duties, wife duties, work, work, work, etc. So I have always had to make the most of my sewing time and have fallen into the habit of sewing like a speed demon. Circles require a zen like presence. Be one with your machine ... slow down.
- I sew slowly and adjust frequently. I keep my foot right on the edge of the fabric and take my time. I meet at the end and sew a few stitches over the start of the circle.
- I use pinking shears to cut the circle out. Be careful - you don't have a lot of room for error here.
- I pull the SF101 off the circle and take a little snip with my pinking sheers - probably a 3 inch cut. This is so I can turn it inside out.
- I make my husband take me out for hibachi and grab an extra set of quilting tools while I'm there. Seriously - chop sticks are fantastic tools! I use the end of the chop stick to slowly push out and almost crease the fabric. If you find you have a flat spot on an edge - you can take a needle and kind of pull out the fabric a bit. Or chop stick it, again.
- I look at all my edges before....steaming the snot out of the circle. For those of you who are faint of heart when hearing about using steam - I say - be gutsy. I steam everything. I live on the edge all the time and in all my years have never had a quilting incident (shrinkage or bleeding, etc). You don't have to use steam (in fact - I'm not positive about the actual instructions for use of the SF 101 - but I've been steaming since I started using it and no problems to report). The mere act of ironing it will activate the fusing on the SF 101 and it will create a lovely little bond to your circle.
- Look at how lovely it is. Now why would I have ever doubted my ability to create circles!
- Attach the circle in the method you prefer. I machined mine on to my quilt using a button hole stitch on my machine. I match the thread to the circle as the majority of the thread lands on the circle vs. the background. I included the close up of the appliquéd circle so you could see how the thread disappears.
|I use the single thread button hole stitch|
|This is the back of my quilt|
Button hole stitch
|Button hole stitch detail shot|
And Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict here: Can I get a Whoop Whoop!!