Piecing a Circle: Glue Method

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A while back I ran across this really interesting video where Dale Fleming talks about using freezer paper and glue to assist in sewing fabric circles. She calls it the Six Minute Circle. I’m all about trying out new techniques so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

Honestly though, after trying it, it’s not my favorite method. I still prefer the more time consuming but more accurate (for me) method of pinning. However, since I’m not everybody I’m sure there are some of you out there who would find this method easier and more accurate. There’s no right way as long as it works, so try them both out and see which you like better!

Supplies:

  • Freezer paper
  • Two pieces of coordinating fabric
  • Washable fabric glue stick
  • Thread
  • Scissors

Freezer paper, washable glue stick, and two pieces of green fabric

Start by ironing two pieces of freezer paper together (both with shiny side down so you’re basically making one thicker piece of freezer paper) and cutting out your circle. As a side note, I have also tried with just one sheet at it worked out just fine. I assume she’s using two to give it a little added stability and thickness.

Dry iron the freezer paper (shiny side down) to the back side of your fabric. Loosely cut out the inside of the circle, leaving excess for the seam allowance.

Freezer paper ironed to green background fabric

Cut lots of little snips around the seam allowance, making sure you don’t go all the way up to the paper. We don’t want to get a cut caught in the seam. These snips allows us to stretch the fabric around the circle.

Fringes cut into the seam allowance of green fabric

Add just enough glue to hold down the fabric.

Adding glue to freezer paper

Carefully pull the fabric around the circle and fold it down along the circle where you glued. My glue dried pretty fast so I worked in small sections. Make sure you pull the fabric all the way to the freezer paper or it won’t be a perfect circle.

Gluing down fringes around the circle

Add more glue to the top of the fringes of fabric we just folded down. I found that if I tried to move the glue stick around the circle it was pulling the fabric away from the freezer paper. Doing lots of little strokes from the center outward worked much better.

Make sure your circle fabric is large enough to fit over the circle with at least a half inch extra. In the video Dale uses fabric that is the same size as the backing but that seemed pretty wasteful to me. As long as it covers the hole it’ll be fine.

Place the circle fabric (back side facing up) over the glued circle.

Circle fabric added to the freezer paper face down

Dry iron. This creates both a pressed crease in the bottom circle and dries the glue so you won’t gum up your machine once you start sewing.

Ironing the layers of fabric and freezer paper

Carefully remove the paper from the fabric. I had to carefully peel away the fringes because they kept wanting to stick to the paper.

Peeling the freezer paper away from the fabric

With the glued side on the bottom, sew along the crease while holding the loose fabric out of the way. I used my universal foot, but you can use another foot like a zipper or open toed foot that makes it easier to see where you’re sewing.

Sewing along the crease of the circle

Trim down the seam allowance.

Trimming away the excess fabric in the seam allowance

Press the seam in the direction you prefer. Dale says that if you press towards the inside it gives it more of an applique look and pressing out gives more of a pieced look.  I press out, because I went through all the trouble to piece it so I want it to look that way!

Finished 6 minute circle

Now you know another way to piece a circle! Do you have a favorite?

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