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….


7 thoughts on “A Brilliant Way to Make Circles!

  1. Kerry,
    I had seems these Applipops elsewhere and I was thrilled you discussed them! I also have the Sue Garmen, Lily Rosenberry pattern and it is on my bucket list and these applipops look like they will work nicely for this pattern or anything with circles. Thank you for showing us how to use them. I checked out the Applipops web site and have bought the set of two. Thanks again. I love seeing your various projects!

  2. You know, I had heard some buzz about Applipops but hadn’t looked into them, since I get such great results with Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Circle mylar template sets. I’m so intrigued by what you’ve shared today — it looks like a similar principle, but the Applipops product removes the extra step of hand stitching a gathering thread around the perimeter of every circle first. On a quilt with a bazillion little circles, all of that extra time would really add up. I’m intrigued enough that I need to at least try this Applipops method.

  3. may I thank you for showing these excellent circle makers? I have ordered some and was amazed that Applipops offer a flat rate of $15 to ship internationally! Amazing…
    I may, finally, finish some circle infested WIPs I have had a long time!

  4. Hi Kerry. I so love getting your newsletter especially this one! I was totally impressed with Applipops and ordered a set immediately. Its genius! Can’t wait to do perfect circles!

    I googled the Lily Rosenberry quilt – WOW! It’s a beautiful thing! I’m still working on the Spring Bouquet Quilt. I have all 9 blocks traced and the pieces prepared – the hand stitching is done on 3 of them. Getting the border pieces together now. Its a work of love! Wish I had known about hand applique long before this! I’ve done a mega amount if embrodery in the past and made numerous projects out if the blocks but I’m enjoying hand applique so much more!

    My sister Cathy Doll bought me the Chickadee Wallhanging from you for my birthday! That’s my next venture!

    Take care Kerry and looking forward to reading about your next stitching journey!

    Cora 💖

    On Sat, Jun 13, 2020, 4:26 PM Simple Bird Applique, wrote:

    > Simple Bird Applique posted: ” 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 ” >

  5. I liked that way of making circles, Kerry. However, when I looked at the price (in US funds) and probably paying shipping and other expenses for delivery from the States, I think I will pass. I don't question what they are charging, probably not making a whole lot of money but I think I will stick to your method..  Glad you find these to show us though Lauraleigh

  6. Thank you for this information. I just placed my order. That will make circles so much neater and easier. Cheerio, Cherie Drury

    Sent from my iPhone. Let’s quilt!


  7. I love the quilt you are making for Briar. I could look at those cute little outfits all day long! I love the fabric combinations you used and the hand quilting is the frosting on the cake! Stay safe and be well ❤

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