Apr 19, 2011
tutorial - how to sew a perfect circle block
so here i´d like to show you a method how to sew a perfect full circle with the help of some freezer paper and a glue stick. i learned this method using this awesome tutorial* but i simplified it a bit for my own taste and maybe you will enjoy it, too.
*dioramaramas site is still up, you can find the tut by scrolling down a bit to Feb 7th 2009
ready? then let´s get right to it!
first you need to decide how big your block should be and how big the circle.
you need to cut out a piece of freezer paper with the exact block size, mine was 6x6".
Fold the paper to find out the middle of it, mark your circle circumference with a kompass (mine was 4") and cut out that circle very exact.
and voilá, you got your template which will last for lots of circles (i did 23 circles with the one pictured in this tut!)
then you need to get your fabric.
the circle fabric should be about a good inch bigger than your circle circumference (my circle fabric was 5" because the circle was 4" wide).
now take your background fabric and cut it a bit bigger than your block template, about 1/2" on each side ( I cut mine about 7x7" because the block size was going to be 6").
put the template onto the fabric so that you have room on each side. iron your freezer paper template onto this fabric (shiny side down), then mark another circle on the fabric: i used a can, put it down about in the middle (does not have to be exact, just almost the middle), about 1/2" away from the freezer paper edge to the middle of the block. draw a line around your can or even do it freehand, this is your marked "seam-allowance". the next step is done best with sharp scissors:
now cut out the inner circle right at your marked line.
then cut like mad into your seam allowance until 1/8" to the edge of the freezer paper. you´ll have lots of little "teeth" now :-)
finger-press them right against the freezer paper edge, the firmly iron them in place.
you got this now:
now put a bit of glue on each of the "teeth", very careful, you don´t want a mess on the paper, the fabric or your hands.
my favorite method is to lift a "tooth" a bit with my thumb and apply a bit glue with the stick, so that any residue will be on my finger and not on the freezer paper. find your best way!
now carefully put down your circle fabric, right side down onto the glued teeth:
this can be a bit tricky, just make sure all the teeth are straight in their place and the circle fabric sits smoothly on the background fabric. you can adjust some teeth or the general fit of the fabrics but you have to do it fast and maybe use some more of the glue stick to fix the new position.
press it shortly with a medium-hot iron, to connect the glue and the fabric. turn it around and let it cool down a bit.
then peel off the freezer paper carefully - if anything went right that shouldn´t be a problem at all because you just glued the fabrics together, not the paper.
(if you did glue the paper, too, separate it cautiously :-)
pretty, isn´t it?
now fold the background fabric back like in the picture and you will see an ironed line right at the end of the teeth, going right around your block. this is the pressed in edge of the freezerpaper. and this is where you are going to sew! (a tip here: i used my clear free motion foot for this because this way i can see the tiny pressed line the best)
just follow carefully this line, straighten your fabric on both sides as you go and sew the line all around.
then you´ll have this:
doesn´t look very exact or pretty but it will work out just fine!
take your block, right side up, and spray it with some water right around your messy looking circle-sewing.
then take a hot iron and press it determined from both sides.
looks a bit better now..
.. but not good enough: now you have to straighten out those sides. take your ruler to square up your block:
and now we are almost there! you just need to cut back the seam allowance from the back of the block. cut it as even as possible, about 1/4".
and you´re done!!
i hope you enjoyed the tutorial. if you have any questions or comments: i´d love to hear them! thanks for reading,
PS i will post a german translation/tutorial soon!