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Canning Day Quilt

Easy Perfect Circles

I recently shared the Dresden Plates made by my daughter and me.

She made her’s at my mom’s house.  I  had made my center and was hand appliqueing it on when Emma came in with her plate.

I looked at her center…. then I looked at my center.


Her center was perfectly round.

My center was not.

That’s because she made it with my mom.  So I got on the phone to find out the method she had used to make it.

Here’s how she makes them… and the method I’ll use from here on out.

You’re going to need your fabric of course, a hot iron, fabric starch, and a template for your circle.

I’m using a template from Karen Kay Buckley’s Bigger Perfect Circles.  She has a range of circle templates, but the bigger template is what I need for the Dresden Plate.

You can also easily cut out a template out of poster board or the type of cardboard on the back of a notebook.

I traced my circle around my template on the back of my fabric using a pencil.   Be sure to leave a quarter inch space around the template for cutting out.

Cut around your circle leaving about a 1/4 inch or so.

Spray a little of your starch into the lid of the spray starch.. it makes it easy to work with.

You can use a brush or Q-tip, but my finger worked just as great.  Dip your finger in the starch and dab it around the outside of your circle.

Stick your template back in the center.

This part was hard for me to photograph because you really need two hands.  But move the tip of the iron around your circle, pushing your fabric up around the template until the fabric goes tightly around the template forming a perfect circle.

Don’t worry as long as you don’t leave the iron sitting on the template it’s doesn’t have any trouble with the heat.

It’s now easy to remove the template from the center of your circle…  unlike when you use the stitch around method.

Pin it to your project and hand or machine applique it into place.

Easy, perfect circles every time.

Now I’m wishing I had used a happy yellow circle in the center of my pillow!

To unpick or not to unpick… that is the question.

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10 Responses to “Easy Perfect Circles”

  • julie:

    Thanks for the tip.
    I would unpick and put the yellow center.

  • Taz:

    I like them both. Don’t pick your out, leave it as is, it’s very pretty.


  • I love the yellow, it’s so happy! But if you didn’t have the two to compare no one would ever know.

  • How clever! And what a perfect circle!
    Thanks so much for sharing it with us.
    Your stitches are just adorable as well!

  • I love that yellow! I would end up redoing, only because it would bug me until I did…but if you like the first one, leave it for sure! :) Great technique – thanks for sharing!

  • I always burn myself when I do that method. I love perfect circles, though.

  • I’d unpick and put the happy yellow center, especially if I were the one having to live with it. It’s pretty as it is but the yellow definitely lifts it to the next level of wonderful. Great quilting btw.

  • [...] showed how to make a perfect circle for the center of your fan here.  In this case, it’s a perfect 1/2 circle.  Yes it would have been easy to machine applique [...]

  • Lana:

    I personally like the yellow center better, but as someone counted with out the yellow there to compare no one would ever know! No matter what center you chose its a beautiful piece! Great description on your perfect circle. This is the method that I have always used to make fabric buttons. Much easier especially when your whole project consists of them. Of course I did a ton of them the other way first before I thought…there has to be a better way lol.

    Lovely site and thanks for sharing.

  • Donna Cadwell:

    Don’t take it out. Put a slightly larger yellow circle over the color you don’t like since it is neutral and won’t show.

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