May Basket

19 06 2009

I’m continuing work on the A Tisket A Tasket mystery block of the month. Once again I am slightly behind.  I just finished the May basket today.  I did modify it slightly.  The pattern only had two pieces for each flower — the flower and the center.  I made five complete petals on each flower.  I’m happier with the flower, not so sure about the butterfly.  He is growing on me, which is good since I’m not going to redo it!

May-Basket

May Basket

I took pictures of how to prepare nearly perfect circles for applique.  The first time I used this method was over 13 years ago.  I know that because I was piecing two of these Cars Cars Cars quilts from the book T.L.C Tender Loving Covers (bottom 5 rows are from the book, the cement truck and race car at the top were my own design to make the quilt longer..  I was pregnant with Jesse and Nolan was sitting on my lap while I was working on the quilt.  At that time I was cutting up cereal boxes to make my circle templates.

These quilts are wearing out which is to be expected after over nine years of continuous use.

These quilts are wearing out which is to be expected after over nine years of continuous use.

Later I discovered Mylar — a heat resistant template material — and cut circles from that.  However, it can be difficult to cut a perfect circle.   These days I use pre-made mylar templates.

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Precut Mylar circles

The first step is to cut a circle from the fabric roughly a scant half inch larger in diameter than the template.  It doesn’t need to be perfect.

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Cut circles from fabric

Next baste around the outside edge of the circle.  Any old thread will work.  Then place the template in the center of the wrong side of the fabric and pull up the basting thread and knot it off. 

Basted circles
Basted circles

3 more things are needed to press the circles — a hot iron, a small paint brush and either Sizing or Starch.  I prefer Sizing because I don’t rush through my quilts or necessarily wash them when I am finished.  Starch can attract insects, Silverfish in particular.  They like to eat starch and will eat the fibers in the fabric at the same time.

Tools for pressing the circles

Tools for pressing the circles

Spray some of the Sizing or Starch into the lid of the can.  You could use a different container, but why when the lid is so handy?

Sizing sprayed into the lid

Sizing sprayed into the lid

Now use the paint brush to saturate the seam allowance of the circle piece.

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Saturate Seam Allowance with Sizing

Press the circle with a hot iron until it is dry.  My iron was  on the cotton setting

Press

Press

Carefully snip a stitch in the basting thread.

Snip

Snip

 Gently pull back the seam allowance enough to remove the circle template.  The seam allowance will go right back into place.

Circles after template is removed

Circles after template is removed

The circles are now ready to be stitched onto the design.

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2 responses

20 06 2009
Vicki W

Great tutorial!

6 03 2010
Dixie Billups

what an awesome idea!!! My sister sent this to me, and she is right….the perfect way to make a circle! Thanks for sharing! lol
Dix




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