Zoë MacDonald is E-Commerce and Social Media Manager at Canada’s largest manufacturer and wholesale distributor of quality sewing, quilting, and knitting supplies. Crafty lady and recent quilting convert, she is keen to share her love for the latest in notions.
As a quilting newbie, I am always on the look-out for ways to get the wow factor that seem manageable to me. While I love the interlocking circles on a Wedding Ring pattern quilt, the complexity of this pattern makes it more daunting than inspiring to me. (I thought quilting meant no more curved seams?)
After all, when you are addicted to the fresh start of a new sewing project, armed with crisp new fabric and purpose, getting to completion can be its own challenge. Most of my UFOs aren’t quilting projects, but I imagine there is a quilting equivalent to being up late, surrounded by pleated and gathered mint chiffon, wondering where it all went wrong. This is especially true for those of us who are prone to distraction, or “easily inspired”.
All this to say, I’ve learned (the slow way) that it pays to keep it simple and focus on one (maybe two) striking features that you know you can nail. So, I pressed on, and in my quest for quiltsperation I noticed a common theme among many bold modern quilts: circles. Either in ascending order or polka dot grid, layered like a Venn diagram, or integrated into pictorial motifs (ladybugs, flowers, etc.), They. Were. Everywhere.
By Jennifer Houlden - as seen on Quilt Social
Quilts spotted at Quilt Market – as seen on Jackie’s Art Quilts Blog
Works in progress – as seen on Jackie’s Art Quilts Blog here.
Quilts by Product Specialists Cathy McClean & Donna Housley – as seen on H.A. Kidd Facebook
… and suddenly, it occurred to me that I can do this! Or, at least some version of this, thanks to my secret weapon: the TrueCut Circle Cutter.
How to cut a perfect circle with the TrueCut Circle Cutter (without marking, tracing, or snipping):
Unlock the gear (lefty loosey) then lock again (righty tighty) when the red indicator is pointed at the correct measurement.
Unlock safety near blue blade “button”, and make sure blade cover is removed.
Place circle cutter with blue button facing you: Remember, “Blue to belly”. Press down on gear shape on what will be the centre of your circle, with your non dominant hand and dominant hand over this arm and on the blue button. Then, apply pressure, swooping the cutter around the centre gear for a full 360 degree turn.
Create perfect-circle quilt appliqué
1. To prep your fabric for turned appliqué, increase desired finished circle size by ½” (13 mm) and have lightweight fusible interfacing (I used HeatnBond brand) and main fabric ready to cut. (For raw edge applique, apply Heatnbond Light to the wrong side of your fabric.)
2. Use TrueCut Circle Cutter to cut both circles.
3. Match adhesive side of interfacing with right side of fabric circle. Sew along edge with ¼” seam allowance (6 mm).
4. Use pinking shears around seam allowance to notch fabric and reduce bulk at the same time before turning.
5. To turn, cut a slit in interfacing side and reverse appliqué circle through this opening. To help ensure a smooth edge, use an Heirloom Crease Marker and/or Fabric Folding Pen along the seam.
Now, your appliqué circles are ready for the appliqué-tion of your choice! For instance…
A solar system quilt! (Spot the TARDIS - courtesy of Dr.Who-loving team member, Ivana)
I fused the sun and planets in place over the scattered sky-themed half-square-triangle quilt base, using wool heat setting. I used the turned edge appliqué technique to allow for a simple straight-stitch with Sulky Holoshimmer to secure in place, and stippled the “orbit lines” with the same thread combination.
While I took some liberties with scientific fact, you get the idea. Aside from playing fast and loose with the size scaling, you’ll find technically-not-a-planet Pluto peeking in from the opposite corner. It’ll always be an honorary planet to me!
Bringing it full circle
With the TrueCut Circle Cutter, cutting circles is fun and easy enough that it will inspire you to create just for the sake of circle-cutting. Like a doughnut pincushion, or no-pattern pot holder:
|You can never have too many.|
|A good outlet for scrap batting. Don't forget to use Unique Therm Fleece!|
What would you make if you knew cutting circles was this easy?
To purchase your own TrueCut Circle Cutter, visit your local Canadian quilt retailer.
For more inspiration and product education, follow H.A. Kidd and Company Limited on Facebook.