Tiny Circles

Try this tool for making small circles.

Originally posted on August 24, 2016 by Amanda Leins

I’m on vacation, and as we all do when on vacation (at least, I assume we all do), I hunted down and visited the local quilt shop!  I had the pleasure of going to Jennifer’s Quilt Shop in Pinckney, MI, and found a new-to-me tool for making circles. I’ve blogged about circles before (see here and here), but was excited to see and try this tool. I love visiting new shops because they usually always have something I haven’t seen before and want to try. Sometimes, they will even have classes to take if I can get away from the swimming and outdoor time.

What did I find? Karen Kay Buckleys’ Perfect Circles!

The circles come in 4 of each size, and slide onto a ring for storage.

Perfect Circles come in packs in two sizes, and are intended for use in making applique circles. The small set ranges in sizes from 7/16″ up to 2″. The large size goes from 2 1/4″ to 4 1/2″. I purchased the small set because I’m making a quilt that calls for many, many 2″ circles.

Here’s how to make a perfect circle:

  1. Cut a piece of fabric about 1/4″ larger than the template. 
  2. Sew a basting stitch around the outside to gather the circle together.
  3. Use a brush to dab starch or sizing on the gathered edge. Soak the edge pretty well, then press it dry with an iron to set the circle. The template is a heat resistant plastic, so you can iron over it without risk of damaging the templates. Pressing takes a little practice, but the end result is a perfectly formed circle that will hold its shape thanks to the sizing and starch.

Not the greatest cutting job, but hey! I’m on vacation!

Use a running stitch to quickly gather the outer edge of the fabric.

After pressing–a perfect circle!

Each set comes with a ring and 4 circles in each size, to be able to set up an assembly line of sorts. I can’t wait to play around more with these when I get home! These would be perfect for easily making the circles on a “Quilt for Baby Ida”.

 Do you have a great tool or notion you found on vacation?


Mandy Leins is an author with Stash Books, quilting and piecing teacher, and longarm quilter. You can find her at Mandalei Quilts.



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