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Applique – Perfect Circles with Aluminum Foil


I’m going to show you how to make perfect circle appliques using a method of turned edge applique that uses aluminum foil to help you get the circle perfected.  This would be the opposite of raw edge applique.  You would choose this method if you are trying to avoid having any raw edges on your work.

I’m showing it to you today on a Dresden plate, but keep in mind that you can use this for any circular shape.  In fact, it’s the same method I use for the Sweet Spot blocks in Para Para.

Looking for other applique tutorials?  Find them here:



Video Tutorial


For this method, you’ll need the fabric you are going to use for your applique, a bit of aluminum foil, and some cardboard (like a cereal box).  In the tutorial, I show you the types of items around the house I use for determining the size I want my circles, cutting methods, and then how I wrap the aluminum foil around all the other bits and give it a good press to get that creased applique you want.  This method gives you an applique that’s ready to sew.  No need to needle turn.

After you use this method to ready your applique, you’d now be ready to hand or machine stitch.


Patchwork + Quilt (a class for learning to quilt)

Are you learning to piece quilts?  Are your blocks the wrong size, wonky, or leaving you frustrated?

I designed this course to help with all those hair pulling moments and more.  There’s video tutorials every step of the way as I walk you through making a quilt.  Maybe this is your first quilt or maybe you are just frustrated and need to take a class to help you learn the correct way of piecing.  This class has everything!  It also comes with two quilt patterns.  Click the tab below to find out more!


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  1. This is just the coolest tip ever ! Thanks Melanie, it makes me want to go upstairs to my quilting room and find something to make circles with ! I wonder, would with technique work with other shapes?

  2. I learned this method years ago in an Elly Sienkiewicz class…have used it very successfully on circles as small as 1/4″! Hard to explain in words but your pics really help…hope others will try it as it’s so easy and, if you are careful when you smooth the fabric over your template, you will be happy every time! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I’m so glad you showed this method…I learned it from a classmate in an Elly Sienkiewicz class years ago and have made many 1/4″ circles this way! It’s so easy and fast!

  4. So very glad I found your site!! I love the idea of the foil and will be using it right away! Thank you for sharing…

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