To get to this point I’ve tried a number of methods: dryer sheets, cardboard templates, plastic templates, aluminum foil, and fusible appliqué. I was never satisfied with any of these. It was either difficult to keep the fabric in place when drawing up the circle (with cardboard and plastic templates), the circles had points or tucks (with all methods but fusible appliqué, determining the center of the circle wasn’t always easy, or you had to use a satin or decorative stitch to finish things off neatly (with fusible appliqué).
Compass (remember these from elementary school?)
Iron and ironing board
Sewing machine or hand appliqué supplies (needles and thread)
The diameter of the circle is the distance from one side to the other. This is how big your circle is.
The radius is half the diameter, or the distance from the center to any one point on the edge.
The circumference is measurement of the outside edge of the circle.
Determine the size of circle you want.
2. Cut out the circle right on the drawn line. Take care to use long, even cuts in order to minimize any sharp edges or points on the drawn circle. This is your freezer paper template.
3. Place your circle fabric wrong side up on an ironing board. Ensuring that you have roughly a ½ inch seam allowance, iron the freezer paper smooth side down to the fabric.
4. Cut out the circle of fabric, with the freezer paper template as a guide, with roughly a ½ inch seam allowance.
6. Gently tug on the loose ends of thread. Short tugs seem to work better. This will draw your fabric edges over the freezer paper template, creating a turned over edge. You may have to work the gather a little, but provided you don’t pull sharply or too hard the threads will hold and you will get a pretty smooth edge.
Attaching the Circle
The following steps apply if you are attaching the circle in the center of a square block or precise design. If you are doing this as part of a relatively random design, then simply remove the freezer paper prior to appliqué, pin, and sew.
1. Place a pin through the center of the freezer paper template (fabric and template should still be attached). This provides an extra mark for the center of the circle.
4. Place the circle, with the pin still marking the center, directly over the marked spot. Line up the mark and center point, then complete pinning.
5. Appliqué as desired.