How to sew a circle

A number of people have asked me to describe how I sew my circles... So here goes.
1. Freehand cut out a circle. I prefer "lop-sided" circles since I think they are more interesting. Larger circles are much easier to sew than smaller ones. So start big.

 2. Place the cut out circle on your background where you want it to be.  

3. Place your backing and circle on a large table and carefully trace around the edge of the circle, marking ticks to match up the circle and background.

4. When you have traced the circle it should look like this:

5. Now comes the " Russian Roulette part" where you have to cut into your fabric. You will need to cut about 1/4"-5/16"  inside of your traced line. This means cutting directly into the fabric you have lovingly put together. And when you are done it will look like this:

6. Match the tick marks that you drew before and pin carefully. This is important. You can not eye-ball this.

7. Carefully sew together - making sure that the two pieces are aligned. I normally use a 3/16" seam.

8. Carefully iron the seams away from the center of the circle. Ironically this is where your seams smooth out, so if you  have not been diligent with your seam widths, here is where you will find a little mercy.

9. Repeat steps 2-8. Place the piece you previously cut out onto of your sewn back. You have to be careful to match up the background perfectly. You will see a very narrow circle. Often I have to trim another 1/8" off the circle and sometimes even more if I want a thicker circle.

10. Trace the circle again.

11. Cut through your fabric 1/4 " inside of the circle. Cut through it like step 5. Then follow steps 6-8 and you hopefully will end up with something that looks like this.

Then start all over again... and again. Note: test putting this together first. I helps to have some extra long fine pins, a great chalk marker- I live and die by Chaco,  a good iron, and nerves of steel.