Friday, May 30, 2014

Quilting: Perfect Fabric Disk

One great thing about quilters is that all you have to do is ask for help and lots of talented and generous folks come to your aid. I needed help with making a fabric disk for the center of my Dresden plates. I wanted perfectly crisp edges and a perfect circle, and no matter how I tried, I just could not get it PERFECT. Although many shared their favorite methods with me, this is the one that I finally settled upon that worked perfectly for me. (Thank you Sue Dague!) You may have found another way that works just right for you; there are many ways to do most things and you just have to find one you like best. Here's the method I like best for the project I'm working on right now.

  1. Cut a circle out of stiff cardboard that is the exact size as finshed fabric disk.
  2. Cut a circle out of the fabric, about 1/2 inch larger in diameter than the cardboard disk.
  3. Put a dab of glue stick glue in the middle of the cardboard disk and stick it to the wrong side of the fabric disk, centering it.
  4. Hand sew a running gathering stitch about 1/4 inch in from the edge of the fabric, on the right side and all around the circumference, then pull it tight. Tie it off so the fabric is pulled tightly against the edge of the cardboard.
  5. Spray (lots of spray) all the gathered folds on the underside with starch and carefully press till dry. 
  6. Flip the disk over and spray the top side, then press it really well. The whole thing should be dry and hot!
  7. Allow to cool, then use your seam ripper to loosen those gathering stitches you made, just until you can get your finger under the fabric and pull the cardboard out, about 1/4 of the way around.
  8. Press the folded gathers back down (where you stretched them out) and then press the front again.
  9. Voila! A perfect disk just ready to applique! 

Top Right: fabric circle; Bottom Center: cardboard disk on fabric; Bottom Left: Stitched, gathered, starched and pressed; Top Center: finished perfect disks!

You can see below the underside of this Dresden Plate after I appliqued the disk on the center front and trimmed the excess fabric away from the underside.

One plate with a perfect circle disk in the center completed. Only 11 more to go! 


  1. Love this! Very beautiful, love the colors! Finally figured out how to post comments. Love reading your blog...sometimes makes me feel like a "slacker" you get so much done in a day!