How to Make a Circle

In my previous blog post, I talked about making a Tripoli mat. This time I will talk about how I made the fabric circle for the mat and a couple other circle making techniques I use. 

Tripoli Game Mat

Some of the tools I usually use are a ruler, a compass, maybe a cup or bowl, and especially a sharp pencil. For ease, I will show the techniques on paper.

 Tools for making a circle by hand

For fabric circles, generally I only need small circles. The fastest and easiest way to make them is to trace an existing circle. I like to use cups, bowls, and even small coins. 

For tracing, make sure the item is securely in place and wont shift around. then draw around it.

Tracing a cup to make a circle

Cup with a circle

Compasses can also be useful for drawing circles. They can come with or with our pencils attached. This one did not, so I improvised and taped a pencil to it. 

Compass with pencil

 When drawing a circle, keep the point right at the center, hold the top knob and twist gently to draw the circle.  

Compass with a pencil taped to it

For the last method, I used a pencil and a ruler. This is the method I used to make the mat because I needed an 18 inch circle.  That is too large for a compass, or a bowl. For this example, I am making an 8 inch diameter circle.

I started by marking a center point.

Point marked on paper with a ruler

 Then, knowing I needed a four inch radius, (half of 8 inches) I put the four inch mark of my ruler right on the center mark a drew a line, from 0 inches to 8 inches. at each a did another mark to verify the ending points. You don't have to draw a line, but could just make the ending marks.

Draw a line through the center point

Then, at multiple angles, draw the same kind of 8 inch line through the center point. I doesn't matter what angle you draw them at.

Lots of lines going through the center point

Finally, connect the end point lines with a smooth lines. The more end points you have, the easier it is to make a smooth, curved line.

Connecting the outside dots to make the circle

 Here is the final circle.

Final circle

For the game mat, I needed marked lines for 8 equal areas. I used my large quilting ruler and mat to make sure I had 8 equal areas, separated by 45 degree angles. Then filled in with a bunch of end marks without the lines. 

Making a circle on green fabric

There you have it. Lots of options for making circles for your next quilting project!

Final circle with circle making tools

Have fun quilting!

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