Needle Turn Applique Circles

Posted by Ruth on 8 July 2012 | 0 Comments

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If you have been following along for the past 4 days, you will have learned a number of things about needle turn applique - what you need and cutting out the shapes, aligning the shapes in place and carefully stitching them down, and then how to make a quilter's knot and end off your thread. Today we will look at how to make a circle easily. 

I start with my freezer paper template and press it to the wrong side of the fabric. This one I centered over a small flower on the fabric just to make it a little more interesting, watch for that when I turn it over to the front later on.

Press template to back of fabric

Now cut it out leaving a small seam allowance - 3/16" is all you really need, unless you have a fabric that frays a lot, then you might want it to be a little wider.

Trim leaving seam allowance

The next step, which a little different than we learned in a previous post, is to make a small gathering stitch around the outside of the circle within the seam allowance. Try to get as close as possible to the edge and keep the stitches small. I usually use the same color thread I'll be stitching the circle on with, but this time I wanted to use a contrast so it would show up in the photo.

Make a small running stitch around it

Stitch completely around the circle and then gently pull the thread tight so the seam allowance gathers and pulls in toward the center. Make sure the gathers are smooth around the edge of the freezer paper, then give it a press to make a nice crisp edges to the circle. Check the front to ensure there is no points, use your needle to smooth any puckers away and then press again.

Pull up the gathers

After a good press, gently remove the freezer paper. I prefer to take it out now, especially on these tiny circles. Another method is to stitch it in place and then cut out the background from underneath to remove it.

Remove the freezer paper

Now we are ready to stitch it to the flower using those tiny stitches. Did you notice the flower design on the fabric?

Press template to back of fabric

....but wait, I'd better stitch the rest of those petals on first.

Center is ready to stitch on, but first we need to finish the petals

Almost there now, just a few stitch left on the last petal

Nearly finished the last petal

Now they are in, I can tuck it under the first petal....

Tuck the last petal under the first

And stitch it in place.

Stitch the last side of the first petal

All done. don't worry about these raw edges in the middle, they will be covered soon.

All petals are now fully attached

Let's add the center. That looks better with all the petals in place!

Add the center

Use a couple of pins to hold it in place while you stitch - careful you don't prick your finger like I did!

Secure with pins

Now it's complete.

The first flower is on using needle turn applique

And this is how the back looks.

Stitching on the back

Are you stitching along too? The points on this flower are the hardest of all so be sure you trim back the excess seam allowance before tucking it under. 

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