TUTORIAL - Appliqued Circles

Today we are going to talk about making perfect appliqued circles........

The tools - fabric for the circles, pencil, Perfect Circle templates by Karen Kay Buckley, starch, stencil brush, Roxeanne's Glue/Baste it, sharp to the point scissors, needle and thread

Perfect Circles by Karen Kay Buckley - made from heat resistant mylar

Choose the size that you need for your project (alternatively use a found object like a coin that is the right size or close to it). Remember if you use a coin - you can use a smaller size because the thickness of the coin will result in a larger diameter circle. 

Place the template on the wrong side of the fabric and lightly trace around it with a pencil

Cut out the circle leaving a less than 1/4", but great than 1/8" seam  allowance

Put a knot in the end of the thread (I am using contrasting so you can see, but not necessary). Stitch a gathering stitch in the seam allowance - there are NOT ENOUGH stitches in the above sample

This is more like it

Paint the seam allowance with starch and place the template inside the gathering stitches

Pull up the thread and using the iron - press that seam allowance . Make sure you hold that long thread tight to keep the gather tight
Press from the front as well

Let it COOL - this is very important

Then very gently release the stitches and pull out the template

The finished circle - note this one has some lumps and bumps on it - that is because the gathering stitch was too big and I did not wait for it to cool before I removed the template. 

This one has smaller stitches and notice there are NO pleats on the back and therefore no points on the front. You can carefully remove the stitching at this time. If you use a matching thread - there is no need to removed it if you don't want to. 

A good circle and a MESS. The mess happened for several reasons - I did not put very much starch on the seam allowance, I used too big of a gathering stitch and I did NOT let it cool for very long. So if you want  to make this process easy - use the tips I gave you!!!!!!


  1. Good to know, where did you get that ream of circle templates?

    1. Caroline - ooops - just realizing I did not respond to your comment. The circle templates are from Karen K Buckley

  2. Encouraging and very clear to understand...patience is a much needed 'tool' for this work looking at the topic as a beginer to applique:) Thank you so much!