Those plum flower buds I photographed last week have now started to bloom..
and so has my Aunty Green...
Some people have asked how I do my circles, basically I just treat them same as my other appliqué pieces. However I don't trace them straight off the pattern, instead I use this plastic 'ruler' thingy that I think belonged to one of my sons when they were doing high school maths (I think they're easily available at newsagents or office supply places). It's quite handy as it has ovals, diamonds and other shapes in a range of sizes. First I find a matching sized template on the pattern.
Then I trace around the inside of this template shape. I find it easier tracing around the inside of these template shapes rather than around the outside of a 'normal' template, especially with small circles.I have started using a Frixion pen to do this.
I know there is some debate about this pen but I'm giving it a go.
When I'm drawing on the fabric, I have a black mat (mine was made in Japan by Kawaguchi) underneath, which prevents the fabric from slipping around. I then cut around the traced circle with a small seam seam allowance. Depending on the project, I sometimes only cut the seam allowance a centimetre or so in front as I am going to prevent fraying but with AG I have been doing a lot of auditioning, wanting to see what the shapes and fabric combinations look like so I have cut the circles out completely.
I then use a small dot of basting glue on the wrong side, I have been using Roxanne's.
With my project on the light box I then stick the circle onto the background fabric. I have used pins and basting (especially for larger 'paper-cut'style appliqué before and have used glue not always successfully in the past but Irene is a big fan and she convinced me to use it for AG and it has been great, especially for all the separate pieces and small circles in this quilt.
I do often rehearse first with pins and I'm keeping in the odd pin so that I don't loose pieces on the bus.
Anyway I use a fine cotton thread (sometimes I use silk) close to the colour of the piece to be appliqued (this is why I like my donut) and a long fine straw needle (no. 11).
I begin with a knot, wrap the thread 3-4 times around the needle and pull through.
I start by taking the needle just through the appliqué piece on the seam line.
Then needle turn, on such a small circle I do relatively small stitches.
See how close my thumbnail is to the edge (didn't realise how close til I saw my pics).
Half way there.
...just tuck it all in.
Then through to the back where I do one of those knots that I learnt how to do for hand-piecing.
Then tuck in the tail and snip off the end.
All finished, just need to iron away the Frixion pen marks.
Which I did once I'd finished the other two close by so that I didn't lose their markings (learnt that one by mistake).
These are possibly the smallest circles I've ever made at only 3/8" across.
As with any technique this is just what suits me.