I am always looking for a new project that I can use for my hand dyed fabrics. I keep dyeing more fabric and I get the mind set that it is too good to cut up. So having a project that makes me cut into the hand dyes is a good thing. So when I saw this simple way to set in circles and machine sew them, I was all excited. Pat G. and Lorraine in the Fyber Café arts group, took a class with Claudia Law, one of the things they learned was how to do these circles. I had seen it before on LeAnne Paylor's blog click here but I could not get my head around the concept. So maybe I can help it make sense.
Start with a double layer of freezer paper, ironed together, then trace your circle diameter. I have templates, but for the larger size I used a bowl, butter tub lids are great templates too. Cut out the circle and save the centers too. The smallest circle I've done is 3" you have to be able to pull all your fabric thru the center of the paper, or just rip the paper off when you are finished. You can try a smaller circle if your fabric is not too bulky. I made mine from 4 1/2" to 7" but you can certainly make them much bigger.
Iron the paper to the BACKSIDE of your background fabric, where you want the circle to be. Keep it well ironed in place.
Cut out the background fabric inside the circle, with a generous seam allowance. Then snip around the curve in the seam allowance. Use a glue stick on the paper edge and fold up all the snips.
Find the area on your circle fabric that you want to use, this is a great place to fussy cut. Use the cut out paper center as a guide and rough cut out your circle fabric with a 1" seam allowance.
Add a layer of glue stick on top of the glued snips, then set it onto your circle fabric, both fabrics right side up. Iron a bit to dry the glue.
Remember the first time you did paper piecing, and you had a hard time getting the idea that you were sewing on the paper not the fabric. This can bend your mind too, hopefully this will help. You are sewing from the TOP. With the fabrics both right sides up, peel the top layer back to the freezer paper edge. You will always stitch on the background fabric, right next to the paper. Do Not sew on the paper. The smaller your circle the more times you will have to stop with the needle down and pivot to get a smooth stitched circle.
Remove the freezer paper from the fabric, it is easier if your glue is not all dried. I have reused the freezer paper up to 3 times, until it tears, doesn't iron in place or gets too full of glue. Trim the excess fabric from around the seam. Flip over and iron from the front. It should lay very flat with no tucks or ripples.
You do not have to overlap your circles like I did. Have fun fussy cutting fabrics, or cut the circles out of patchwork pieces. I have another half yard of fabric to add circles to. My background is much darker than the photos show. A lot of the fabric I am using was ice dyed, or 3 layer parfait dyeing. I am going on a 3 day art retreat next week, with my art group to the Oregon Coast, whoopee! I am linking this to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" click here to see what other talented textile artists did this week.