Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Hi you experienced bride-quilters!

I have a question as to what techniques you all use to create perfectly round shapes (such as in the grapes, which is the next block I'll tackle). My current plan is to cut out round shapes and to gather them on the left side like yoyos in order to appliqué them on.

What methods did you use? Needle turn? Open edge applique? Freezer Paper? Any tips and tricks?

Hoping for some inspiration,
greetings from the Rhine,


  1. I used the same methods as you mentioned, I used freezer paper for smaller shapes like grapes. I press it with steam iron and remove the paper before I appliqué. You can have a look at my block here:

    Have fun - Nat

  2. Hi Natima,

    I love your block! And I love the idea of the Bride-journal. Very clever!
    So you press the edges while the freezer paper is on the right side? Isn't that very time consuming and tricky (not to mention frequent burns on fingers)? I have the small Clover iron, but even with that I burn myself regularly, particularly because for some reason, the chord always seems to be in the way... Mmmhh. May have to rethink my grape-ing....

  3. I have been using Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Circles.

  4. Britta I just needleturn my circles. I know they're not perfect, but I'm ok with that. I draw the circle on the right side and turn to that circle. Oooh I just thought, I hope you're not all going to think I'm really slack now, hehe!

  5. I recently bought Circleeze. It's a heat resistant plastic template similar to Karen Kay Buckley's.

  6. Perfect Circles templates for me as well.

  7. Perfect Circles for me too.
    Kay H

  8. Perfect Circles. I had never heard of these templates. I tried to find out how they work after seeing them, but apparently the directions are tied to the purchase of the templates. So, how do they work? I noticed there are solid circles and ones with a hole in the middle. They're heat resistant plastic circle templates, like bias bars, but how do use them? Just cut a bigger piece of fabric and iron around or do you hook the two together, sort of like the clover yoyo-templates and then iron? I'm a bit lost but intrigued and curious (and ready to order, I guess)...

    Greetings from the Rhine,

  9. oh, I just found a photo tutorial.... at


  10. I already ordered Perfect Circles - thanks, girls!

  11. Hi Britta,

    I use freezer paper adhered to the RIGHT side of the fabric, a 1/8th inch turn-under allowance, an Elmer's disappearing purple gluestick, and my stiletto/awl (or a toothpick/wooden food skewer). I apply very thin glue (from the very edge of the gluestick) to the turn-under edge of my shape and use my stiletto and fingernail to press the allowance down on the back with tiny little pleats.

    Here is a link you can copy and paste into your browser, if you want, to see a little mini-tutorial I did on my nutty method back in October of 2009.

    I used to use the perfect circles...all that basting, gathering, pressing, loosening, etc. made me mental when I was making a bunch of tiny apples for a project before the bride. My gluestick method was slow for me when I first learned it, but I quickly became lightning fast at doing it. I never would have done all the extra circle shapes on my version of the bride without my newly learned method! I'm WAY too lazy!

    The secret with the gluestick method is finding the perfect width of turn-under allowance for YOU...I find the tight little circles easy with a slight allowance, but it is a matter of personal trial and error.

    Good luck! I miss the bride now that she is all done, but I love to watch how all the rest of you are doing!!

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

  12. I do mine like Lizzie does hers - needle turn from a circle drawn on top of the fabric. I have the Circleze but have never tried them (bad me). Guess I should since you all seem to like them and like the Perfect Circles that Marjorie said are similar.

    It's sure fun working on this quilt with you Britta. Anyone else working on it now or is everyone else finished already or taking a break at the moment?

  13. What I like about the Circleeze technique, is that you center the circle template on a fabric square, twist the fabric up & put it through the smaller hole in the base template, then spread the fabric out along the base plate and iron. After you have the shape pressed, THEN you trim the excess. It uses more fabric, but no basting step.

  14. Needle turn is the way to go, you just have to practice and you will get better. I have found that if you clip your circles every 1/8 of an inch on the seam allowance and use a tooth pick to turn the said seam allowance under, it will work like a charm. Just remember, the smaller the circle, the smaller the seam allowance. Don't use your needle, it tends to shred the fabric. Good luck.


  15. Needleturn for me! The less seam allowance the rounder the circle.


Thanks to everyone that is following our journey with the Civil War Bride Quilt. We love to read your comments and appreciate your encouragement...............