Oma’s Blues, the Circle

I have decided to start with the circle on the Oma’s Blues pattern. Not the fun birds and flowers, the circle. Why? I like to get the hardest part done first! And then have the fun.

Also, I think that it will help having the color of the circle guiding my fabric choices for the exquisite center vase and bouquet. (I have been know to get off track when bedazzled by colors and I like to start with something to keep me on track!)

There are several choices of methods for constructing that fabulous circle with the lovely triangles inclusing straight applique – cut and applique all 72 pieces; paper piece; cut all 72 and then sew the triangles together, as Esther did; or make a turned edge ring of white and then applique 36 dark triangles. I am sure there are more!

Esther has made it easy for us to paper piece the circle because there are two versions of the pattern in Part 1…The Master pattern and an R (Reversed) pattern. The Master pattern is for placement and layout while the R gives the reversed imaginw for making our applique motifs. The R circle can be cut (I taped the R pattern together first) off and used for the paper piecing, leaving the R center motif for blooms and vase.

I haven’t done much paper piecing…some Christmas trees with large pieces and a (simple) elephant. But I decided to take the plunge

I used strips 2.5” (my purple Stonehenge half quarter and 3” (easier!) of the white. Be SURE to trim with a generous 1/4” to assure that you can turn your edges cleanly and tidily.

Adding the white section. You add the fabric, right sides together on the top of paper.
Lining up the edge of the white with the stitching line. It can be tricky, and I hold it up to the light to help.
Stitching! Reduced stitch lenth to 1.85 so that paper comes off more easily.
Using my “add a quater inch” ruler to trim the seam line. This is a nifty tool for paper piecing!
My section is all paper pieced.
What it looks like from the back.
Trim with allowance for turning edge.

The biggest challenge of the circle is getting it to come out the right size. Even tiny increments of 1/32 or 1/16 of an inch can throw off your circle as they accumulate! Yikes! I have decided to do the circle one quarter at a time. This will allow me to adjust any small off sets where they join.

Checking the sections against the master pattern. After checking, I stitched the first two quarters together with a 1/4″ seam.
It fits! And I was able to do this in two days. Much, must faster than if I did applique.

Now to remove paper and get that edge turned! Or you can can cover the edge with with a contrasting or coordinating bias tape. I thought about it. Shoulda, woulda coulda! But I decided to edge turn over washable media.

See how nicely they line up? Marking the edge before I add the media for turning.
Ironing the media in place.

If you decide to edge turn, you will need to deal with those pesky thick seams, which meant a trip to hubby’s workshop for the mallet and some seam pounding!

Using some leftover backing, doubled and folded with circle in between the layers to pound those seams. Yes, I warned hubby before I started pounding!

In retrospect, I might use the bias tape if I make this again, because it is easier to finese your way around those lovely points you made paper piecing. But I am moving forward and working on the center motif. I am putting the circle aside while I work on the FUN center.

Laid out, not sewn yet on my Fossil Fernbackground, but I am happy with it.

Onward and upward! (As my mother used to say.)

Happy applique! Lennea


  1. Thank you Thank you so much, I have been pounding on doing it the same way or Elly’s way, which is cut out in one piece and just folding the dark colour up and down on the back ground, but I was not sure it would work on such a tight circle, it’s usually done on borders!? I do like the idea off covering the edge with bias and avoid all that bulk on the seams, your mallet sure worked wonders on your LOL. Many many thanks again Lennea. Cheers Glenda

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