A Brilliant Way to Make Circles!

Most quilters who try hand applique, often resist doing circles, believing it is difficult to make a circle that is, indeed a circle, and not a wonky oval, with pleats and puckers. And I cannot blame you if you feel this way. Circles can present a few challenges, but this is a product that will change the way you think about making circles. Have you heard of Applipops?

Applipops is a family owned business with an amazing product, and Jillian reached out to me and asked if she could send me a set, give them a try and then give her some feedback. I must confess I had never heard of Applipops, so I went on the website. Immediately I was impressed with the simpleness, but at the same time I was struck with the brilliance of the product. I eagerly awaited for my Applipops to arrive, so I could give them a try. The skeptical part of me thought that they may be too good to be true.

As soon as my 2 sets arrived in the mail, I read the directions, and dove right in. I am going to go on record and say that every applique-ist must own a set (or 2)! One of the reasons I am so excited about Applipops is that I am getting ready to start Lily Rosenberry, a Sue Garman pattern that has been on my bucket list for far too long. This is the method I will be making the many, many, many circles.

Here is a bit of a demo, but make sure you visit the website to get some extra information.

First I cut a square of fabric. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a square, you can use scraps if you like. Next, I chose the size of metal ring that I want my circle to finish at. (3/4″ diameter).

Next, I placed the piece of fabric over the metal ring.

And then I added the next biggest ring on top of the fabric. I found it best to do this on a hard surface. Press the top ring so it snaps onto the bottom ring.

Trim the excess fabric using the outer ring as a rough guide.

Turn it over and you can see that you now have a seam allowance sandwiched between the 2 rings. (Brilliant!) So with just my fingers I coaxed the seam allowance over the smaller ring.

Next, I used my iron and stiletto to press the seam allowance over the smaller ring. You want to coax the seam allowances to the centre of the smaller ring, making sure you have no pleats or puckers. At this point the rings are very hot, which is why having 2 sets is a really good idea. As this circle cools down, I started another circle. Quite the assembly line!

At this time I was still thinking…”wait a minute, this is too darn easy”. So then I separated the rings and, voila! A magnificent circle! Important tip: before you separate the rings, take a good look and make sure there are no puckers or pleats. If you do have some unruly pleats, just add a dab of starch and rework it. Easy Peasy!

I removed the inner circle, gave it a good press and there you go!

So then I thought “that was easy enough but what about that wee little one?” So I gave the wee little one a try. Exact same easy method, EXCEPT, your seam allowance should be smaller, so it easier to work with. I was so impressed! Before I forget, make sure you check out Applipops Instagram page. Prepare to be blown away by Ellen’s amazing quilts! Also, check Applipops out on Facebook:)

So, what else have I been working on? Well I finished my Unity Quilt, which Bonnie Hunter kindly designed in March as soon and we ordered to stay home. I was going to add an outer border, but I think it looks good just the way it is:)

I am thoroughly enjoying hand quilting Briar’s quilt.

Til next time….