Tutorial: Finishing Circles Another Way

I am only kidding with that title. I’ve been wracking my brain working on a method so that I would not have to hand applique those large wheels from yesterday. Not that I am averse to hand applique — I quite enjoy it. I just don’t have time to hand applique those wheels right now. And I WANT THAT QUILT DONE while it’s still fresh in my mind. Oh, and the ric rac applique edge wasn’t going to fit my vision. What to do, what to do?

Complicating things is the open center in the wheel. Yes, I know I could applique a circle over it. But let’s solve this in one fell swoop, shall we?

Yes, let’s.

OK, pretend this is one of the wheels. I’m starting with a 6 1/2″ square and a 7″ square of Pattern Ease. Any lightweight non-fusible interfacing will work. I’ve used fusible for a similar application, but let’s not get the iron messy, shall we?

SO, here’s your “donut” circle and a square of Pattern Ease that is slightly larger:

Lay the donut right side down on the Pattern Ease square — you may want to carefully pin these two together to lessen any shifting:

Stitch 1/4″ from the outer and inner raw edges:

Trim the Pattern Ease even with the outer and inner raw edges — I also clipped the inner curve:

Next, cut into the Pattern Ease only — halfway between the inner and outer edges

Now, flip the Pattern Ease over the outer edge, essentially turning it inside out so that the Pattern Ease goes to the back:

Use a chopstick or knitting needle to smooth the outer curve and press the outer edge.

Turn the Pattern Ease left around the inner ring to the back:

Smooth the inner seam with a chopstick or knitting needle and press.

Here’s what the reverse side looks at this point:

Trim away most of the Pattern Ease leaving it approximately even with the 1/4″ seam allowance:


This finished circle can now be machine stitched to the background. Now, if one should desire, this circle could also now be hand appliqued to the background. See, with the big wheels, there are a lot of seams around those edges. The thought of dealing with that while maintaining a lovely 1/4″ turn-under was a little daunting. Problem solved. Yes, I know that you can still see a tad of the Pattern Ease. Well, be more careful next time. And/or applique to a white background. You’re welcome. 🙂



  1. Elaine said

    Thanks for solving a problem I didn’t even know I had!

  2. Carol said

    I can’t tell you how many circles I have avoided. Maybe now I will have the nerve to try one. Great idea

  3. peggy said


  4. Karee said

    brilliant. no fray backside. again, brilliant!

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