I thought this was a hard block to make because of the narrow tree branches, the tiny hands and feet, and the wee fruit on the tree. Those little circles finish at about 3/8". I think they are the smallest pieces I've ever appliqued.
The next time I make a block like this I think I'll machine stitch some seams: where the man's shirt joins his pants; where the head joins the neckline of the shirt/dress; and possibly where hands and feet join clothing. I think it would alleviate the overlapping layers that I have now.
Someone asked for suggestions about how to make small circles. This is how I do it. (Not all steps have photos.)
#1. Cut the circle out of cardboard -- a used file folder, an empty cereal box, any stiff cardboard will do. Just not plastic!
#2. Place the cardboard circle on the fabric you're using and cut the fabric 1/4" outside the cardboard.
#3. Knot a piece of thread (long enough to go around several circles). Put the needle in the fabric close to the edge and let the knot end extend an inch or two. Make a running stitch around the circle close to the edge. When the last stitch meets the first stitch, take one more stitch so stitches overlap a little. Be sure the ends of both threads are on the same side of the fabric. Leave a tail on this end of the thread, too.
#4. Place the fabric circle on your ironing board with the thread tails next to the ironing board.
#5. Place the cardboard circle in the center of the fabric circle.
#6. While holding the cardboard circle down with one finger, gently pull the thread tails so they gather the fabric around the cardboard circle. If you're not careful, the cardboard circle may pop out of the middle. Your circle should look like this.
#7. Press. Hold the iron in place long enough to make a crease around the edge of the circle. It doesn't hurt to press both sides.
#8. When the circle is cool, gently pull the gathers apart just enough to remove the cardboard circle, then pull the thread ends to make the circle round again, and press once more.
I wait to remove the basting thread until I'm just about finished appliqueing the circle in place. I clip the tail without the knot, then gently tug the knotted tail while holding the circle with my thumb and finger. If the thread doesn't budge I pull just a little harder and if it still doesn't budge, I clip the tail and leave the basting thread in place.
Gayle of mangofeet left a comment on a previous post recommending this Craftsy tutorial by Sarah Fielke. She uses aluminum foil to fold the edges around the circle, then presses in place. I succeeded with this method once but then couldn't manage to make it work again. The circle I made this way didn't hold the edges in place as well as the stitches did.
I know many of you probably use needle-turned applique but I still haven't had success with that method yet. (Yet!) If you don't do needle-turned applique, how do you prepare small circles for applique?
I'm linking this post to
> Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag
> Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
> Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
> BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts