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Sewing Applique Circles

“Perfectly In Place”

Everyone has had problems sewing applique circles and curves in the beginning of their sewing experiences.

Sewing stitches are more complicated when working with angles.

Here we’ll show you how to simplify the process with both hand and machine methods.

To Begin

In order to begin stitching angles you first must have something to work with.

Have an appliquéd piece attached to its background fabric.  We prefer using fusible adhesive such as Heat n Bond lite hold for this.  The reason why is that it’s a more stable method and less chaotic.

Using regular glues and such can be very messy and less reliable.  Not to mention that they can cause the fabric to get bumpy.  Even the spray Elmer’s glue can be this way. 

Unless you are used to working with unpleasant materials, it’s best to save it for after you are more comfortable with sewing around curves.

When learning this technique it is best for the materials to be as secure and clean as possible.  Having sticky fingers, needles, and fabric creates an awful situation. 

We need less frustration, not more!

Once this is assembled, move on to finding which method is right for you.


Stitching appliques down by hand can be a slow and tedious process.  However, it’s worth the experience.

Sewing by hand can help give you the feel for the angles. It forces you to go at a turtle’s pace. 

This will be very valuable knowledge that will help you as you grow your skills.

Applique thread is clear plastic. This allows you to see what you are doing.  Use this kind of thread until you are more confident to use ones made of silk.

Place your current work, appliqued piece attached to its background, in an embroidery hoop.  This will free up your hands and allow you to concentrate on stitching rather than constantly moving the materials into proper position.

Sew around the edges of the applique with a zigzag stitch.  This can be as tight or loose in spacing as you desire.

If you wish to create more a raised satin stitch around the outer portions of the fabric, try working with high-grade embroidery floss.  Of course this is after you practice with applique thread.

Remember, to take frequent breaks when needed.

It’s a good idea to put a timer on for 30 minutes to an hour.  When the timer goes off, walk around for a while.  Stretch your muscles.  Relax before you go back to your project.


Sometimes jumping onto a sewing machine for sewing applique circles can be too fast of an experience.  We, ourselves, know this to be true when we started out.

One way to overcome this is by setting the speed of your machine to slow.  We know it’s annoying, but it’s best for when you are beginning.  Having control is key.

It is a wise idea to use a thin embroidery hoop to keep the materials stable while you are stitching.  This will allow you to turn the hoop with a simple motion as you are sewing the angles.

It’s a particularly helpful for circle appliques because you control the motion and speed.

Keep your feed dogs down to allow you more control.

The thread to use is best if it is clear applique thread, machine embroidery thread, or thread made of a silk blend.

Try a project with applique thread first.  This will allow you to see more clearly where you are stitching and it will give you a feel for the motions that are necessary for a beautiful outcome.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get it right the first few times.  Remind yourself that it will come. 

You are the master, not the machine.  If the machine is in charge and directing everything, it’s time to slow down and take a break.

Regain your control when you are relaxed.

Wrap Up

Stay relaxed.  Patience and persistence will get you past the learning hump.  Before you know it sewing applique circles will become part of your quilting arsenal.

Until next time.

Happy quilting, 

Color Block Quilts

› Sewing Applique Circles
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