For Farmer in the Dell this month there are a number of circles you need to make for the tractor applique block. This is an easy method to make sure your circles turn out smooth and perfect.

To REALLY make the Perfect Circle it is ideal to buy circle templates that are different sizes and use those (you can find them at our quilting store!). The next best option is to make your own out of cardboard, which is what I did.

1. Trace your pattern on to freezer paper. Usually you can do this by just setting your freezer paper on top of your pattern and tracing away. Make sure you trace your lines as smooth as possible.

2. Cut your freezer paper circles out, again cutting as smoothly as possible around the circle.

3. Iron your freezer paper, shiny side down, onto the cardboard you will be using. Cereal boxes work great for this.

4. Cut your cardboard circles out. This is the step where you REALLY want to get those edges smooth and perfect. Any bumps or irregularities are going to show up in your fabric circles.

5. Take your freezer paper off the cardboard and iron it on to the fabric you will be using for your applique circles.

6. Cut out your fabric circles, leaving at least 1/4″ (mine was closer to 1/2″ but that was a little too much) fabric around the freezer paper.7. Pull off your freezer paper template. With a knotted thread, sew a large basting running stitch by hand around the edge of your circle. Set your cardboard circle in the center and pull your basting stitch tight.

8. Paint your edges with spray starch (spray some in the lid of your starch and generously coat the folded over fabric with a paint brush). Iron, pulling your basting stitch tight if you can while ironing.

9. Let them sit preferably overnight, but an hour or two will probably work. Gently remove the cardboard and the basting stitch (or just trim your thread and leave it in) and applique away!

That should help make your tractor wheel’s smooth circles!


How to make Perfect Circles for Applique