Saturday, May 17, 2014

Applique Tiny Circles

I'm starting with a finish!

I'm going to show a little bit about the construction process. I finished hand quilting the front and back pieces last week so my goal was to get the stocking put together this week. Sometimes setting goals works!

But...I noticed I had forgotten to applique the three little red circles on green band of the stocking toe. Here's a look at the ingenious way the stocking designer came up with a way to applique such small circles and my little tricks to help. You start with a regular hole puncher and some card stock for your template.

I trace the circle, and cut out with my pinking shears. Maybe since I was a garment sewer before I was a quilter...I use my pinking shears a lot in applique work.

Baste small stitches outside the drawn line with a matching thread.

Put the card stock template on the wrong side and cinch up the basting thread. 

It should look like this when it is all cinched up.

 I like to trim a bit of the bulk from the back side after securing the gathered fullness with a few locking stitches. DO NOT CUT THE THREAD used for the basting!

From the front side of the circle applique it should look perfectly round and ready to be sewn in place.

Applique using the still-attached basting thread. Genius!

Three perfect tiny circles!

Time to make piping. Here's a trick I learned from my garment-sewing days. I use yarn instead of cording to make piping. For garments or small applications it really has a nice supple texture. I always use bias strips for piping and my zipper foot to sew the yarn to one side.

I baste the piping onto the front of the stocking...along the seam line which I have marked. Notice ! trimmed my piping with my pinking shears to assist with the give and take of sewing on curved areas.

Here's the top ready to be sew to the back of the stocking.

I then sew the stocking front and back together by following the basting stitch I used to place the piping. I was very particular about getting that basting stitch just right since I knew it would be my final guideline.

After doing a quick check on my sewing job from the right sides...I use those pinking shears again and give the seam a good trimming.

Love that reveal moment of instant gratification.

I just have to add the hanging loop and binding to the top. I trim with a rotary cutter across the top of the stocking.

I make the hanging loop using another tool from garment sewing days...a tube turner.

I tack the loop in place...

I sew on the binding...utilizing the free-arm option on my sewing machine.

Hand-stitch the binding in place.

Here's the pattern! Notice it says it is the 2008 edition. That's the year I bought it...

Finished it in 2014.


Suz J said...

Those circles are tiny! That is my usual method for doing circles too, but I've never tried such a small template before. Quite incredible!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

thanks for showing your process, we do circles pretty much the same way except I use the mylar circles and I press the circles and then sew them to what I am making with matching thread later as I'm usually making more than 20! - sometimes hundreds. lol Love that sock

CathieJ said...

That is an adorable stocking. Did you leave the little card stock circles in the red circles? If you did then I assume the stocking wont be washed.

Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...

Those details really add a lot to the stocking. Wonderful tutorials make it looks so doable, with a little patience.