Saturday, February 19, 2011

What I learned Today

The perfect post was made yesterday that links to the fantastic method I learned today at my Applique Society meeting from Cheryl. I hope it makes sense to everyone, and please ask any questions about this post.
This is an ingenious way to do the circles. You can use paper or the mylar plastic, there would be no difference. Please note, I have used white quilting thread for contrast, but you would use whatever thread you want to applique your cherries/berries.
Cut your fabric circle slightly larger than your paper.

Knot your thread and baste around the outer edge.

Gather your circle by gently pulling on your long thread tail.
Take the long thead tail and wind it around your circle.  Wind enough thread to applique the circle down when you are ready to make the block. 

Remember, you are using your applique thread for this whole process.  When it's time to applique, you simply unwrap your thread, loosen the gathers enough to slip out the paper or mylar circle, gently gather it up again, then thread a needle and stitch down. 
This is a new idea for me and I know I will definitely be making the rest of my cherries/circles with this method.  It allows one to get the paper out very easy.  Right now I'm cutting my basting thread and have to tuck the gathers under as I stitch down.  The second time saver is that you already have your threads ready for appliqueing, making this the ultimate "take and sew" as the only thing you would need is your needle and some small scissors.
I also asked about joining a bias stem for the wreath.  Someone suggested that you measure how much you need for the circle, then join the ends on an angle like you would join binding strips, then gently lay out your circle on the background.  I'm going to give this a try tomorrow and I'll report back on how it went for me.



  1. How convenient Sharon! I started using my applique threads to gather the circles but when I cut off enough for attaching at a later time, the threads were loose and created a jumbled mess - I would go to pull one out and get a bunch. I will start wrapping from now on...thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I wondered how the bias stem circles were being tackled too so I'll be waiting to see what you do. What a good idea to do the circles with the applique thread. I love great tips like these.

  3. Two great tips Sharon. Thanks!!

  4. that is exactly how I do my circles except I never thought of winding the thread around the circle to avoid tangles. I am going to wish I did that with all my border cherries, but that is why it is good to hear someone else's tricks. I applique with silk thread. What do you applique with?

  5. I can't take any credit for these ideas, I just talk alot at groups and ask a lot of questions. I have used YLI silk in the past,but I have found now that I'm appliquing with fabrics that are "muddier" in color, the silk is a bit shiny so I've switched to using Aurifil 50 wt and I also bought a bobbin doughnut with 36 prewound bobbins of MasterPiece. I use these as well. I did see the new Superior Silk thread in a very nice red, it didn't seem as shiny as my YLI silk. The quilter who had it said Superior had some good colors to fill in where YLI was lacking and the red she had was nice.