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longarm circle template experience   General Discussion

Started May-28 by Pirate (PIRATE_SR); 262 views.
Pirate (PIRATE_SR)

From: Pirate (PIRATE_SR)


This post could be misconstrued as an advertisement, but it's not.  I'm sharing my experience with this new-to-me ruler for stitching perfect .. and I mean *perfect* .. circles on your longarm (or midarm or any machine that you can use with ruler templates).

The template is by Quilter's Rule, a company that has been around for a long time.  The specific template is the Mini Nested Circle template, sizes 1" to 4".   The nested ruler templates come in a lot of other size circles and in different step sizes (my template will create 4 size circles: 1", 2", 3" and 4").    What is so neat about this particular template design is that your arm DOES NOT get in the way of the circle!   All you longarm quilters know exactly what I mean by that.

I bought this particular template after seeing it demo'd at a quilt show, many moons ago.  I might have used it once or twice since then but I know that, for me, out of sight is out of mind.  I only recently rediscovered it when I was rummaging through my pile of templates.  I know that I bought this template so that I could stitch a beautiful "String of Pearls" design .... circles that are aligned at their midpoints and only touch each other at a "single" point of contact.   I am utter rubbish at freehand circles.  This template makes me look like I am a genius.  :-)

Here is my stitching so far.  I am using the smallest circle, 1" diameter.  I have chalked a guideline at 1/2" from a seamline and line up the etched guideline on the template with the chalked line to keep my String of Pearls straight.   To create this design, I stitch a circle-and-a-half .. or do full circle plus one half of a circle ...  so that I am properly positioned to stitch the next circle in line.  If you keep the template steady, when you stitch over the previous stitching, it absolutely looks like a single line.  Dang, this template is awesome!

  Here you can see the perfectly stitched circles on the left and the chalked guideline.  The template is on the right with my longarm needle at the right side of the circle opening.   Because this is a nested template .. all 4 sizes in the same footprint, to keep the circles in place when using the smaller sizes, I have used blue tape to keep them together.     So, at this point, I have stitched a circle from 9:00 all the way around back to 9:00, then continue stitching to stop at 3:00.  The next step is for me to slide the template to the right, so the left side of the circle opening is against the longarm needle ... which puts the needle again at 9:00!   repeat, repeat, repeat.

 So the left-hand photo shows where same position as the above photo.  The right-hand photo shows the template has been moved to the right so I can start stitching again.   The result is a beautiful line of circles, each one touching its neighbor at just "one" point.   If your chalked guideline was curved, you simply align the etched guideline on the template to your chalked guideline and you'll have a curving line of circles.

How do you get to use the other size circles?  The solution is ingenious.    Look at the photo below.  You will see a red-outlined "cross" .. that's what they call "the key".  Each leg on the key is a different length that corresponds to the size of the circle you want.  The key, as are the other circle pieces, are removeable.  If you want to stitch a 3" circle, you remove the 1" & 2" circle pieces, lift the key out and turn it so the number "3" on the end of a leg aligns with the edge of the 3" template circle.    Oh, you do need to slide your longarm needle into the interior of the circle before you do all that because when you put the key back in place, you will have a **solid** circular edge, which is what you're going to be running your longarm needle around.

 This is the actual template.  I've outlined the key in red.  You can also see the other circle pieces .., 3 removeable circles.    You can see this and the other circle templates here.   There is a PDF instruction manual and YouTube videos available for help and inspiration.

But what OTHER nifty circular designs can you do with this template?  Look below!
  Pretty doggone cool!   I will say that I haven't frolicked with this designs yet .. I'm still churning out perfect String of Pearls.  :-)

that is a neat solution.  and great explanation by the way.  I recently bought a set that has the different sized circles lined up.  I had previously purchased a set of nested circles but you had to sew around the outside and I ALWAYS ended up wobbling.  I actually could freehand better than using those things.  So now I only use them for drawing circles, not sewing them.  I haven't done any more than practice with the new ones but definitely sewing INSIDE the circle is easier than outside.

Wow thanks for this post...........I have a set of those, but not sure what size. I have used them a few times but did not ever realize how to use that key...........thanks! Also love the designs you showed. I will have to pull this back out and try some of your tricks.


From: Judy (DJZMOM)


Well done!  I think I recall when you spied that nested template set.  Very well executed!!!  You make really explain the technique you have figured out (for you!).  Thanks for documenting it here.  I'm printing it out for future reference.  I want to go to their booth THIS year at PIQF.  Pretty advanced for me still but I can drool!