Basting around tiny circles

Basting around tiny circles

I am not looking forward to appliqueing these onto the ring around the compass. They are tiny. Teeny tiny. They are smaller than the smallest size of Perfect Circles by Karen Kay Buckley. The smallest KKB circle template is 7/16 of an inch and the circles for the Love Entwined compass are 5/16 of an inch.  There were a number of creative solutions to the tiny circle dilemma posted on the email group for Love Entwined.

5/16" brass washers

5/16″ brass washers

Those who like to starch their circles before appliqueing them purchased small washers to gather their circles around with a basting stitch.

Linda has two Inklingo circle collections that work with KKB’s Perfect Circle sets. I was determined to use Inklingo to print the 32 circles instead of tracing around a template. I figured I could use one of the sizes without seam allowance to print a circle small enough to gather around the washer.

Printed circles on back of fabric

Printed circles on back of fabric

After the circles were printed and cut, I basted around them with hand quilting thread. Hand quilting thread is thicker and stronger than the thread I use for hand piecing so there is less chance of it breaking when pulling the gathers up tight.

Basted circle

Basted circle

I could only do 12 at a time because I only purchased one package of washers. [Note to self: Next time buy 3 packages…] Tie a knot in your thread before beginning but at the end of your basting just leave a tail about an inch or so.

Washer inserted and basting thread drawn up tight

Washer inserted and basting thread drawn up tight

Lay the washer on the wrong side of your fabric and pull up the tail of your basting thread to gather the material around the washer.

8-1 circles4

I used a small bowl to put the circles into and then sprayed enough Best Press on them to soak them thoroughly. I let the circles dry overnight instead of trying to iron them. Once they are dry, you can carefully loosen the basting thread about a quarter of the way around and then take out the washer. It was fiddly so I used tweezers with a bent tip to help remove the washer.

Completed circle

Completed circle

After the washer is removed, smooth and smoosh the seam allowance back into place. The Best Press should still hold everything. I cut off the knot and tail end of my basting thread but left the stitches in place. There are a few pokies that will need to be tucked in better as I am appliqueing but I find it easier to do circular shapes when they are starched into shape beforehand.

I decided to redo my compass because I didn’t like the way the pink and yellow spokes blend into each other. I know, I know… creating more work for myself. I am using the same fabrics but changing their position in the compass. I have to finish it up before I can applique the teeny tiny circles on. I need to get to work as there is only a week before Part 3 is released. I got a little more involved in The Sun, Moon and Stars than I was supposed to. I got side-tracked from my list! [What’s new?]

I'd love to hear from you!

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My focus in 2017:
Sewing in 2017

  • 1 Year of Stitches embroidery project
  • Hexiflowers (aka Grace's Garden)
  • Death Star pillow
  • Tonopah Nevada topographical map
  • 1855 Wales Center map
  • Winnie the Pooh map
  • Ethan's Quilt
  • Thea's Quilt
  • Rachelle Fae CQ block
  • Machine quilting with a walking foot

Inklingo: What’s New?
Colonial Garden Collection

Judy Martin's
Waltzing Matilda


6, 9 & 12 inch blocks


The traditional size: 1 inch Patchwork of the Crosses


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