After making about forty something of these circles, some of you asked me how are they made. Well, the technique that I use is a mix of techniques, tricks, and templates that I found along the way. I refined some of the steps to make them my own way. I tried really hard to follow some tutorials I found; but to tell you the truth, I needed to find a way to make it simple in order to make so many of them. Here is how I make my wagon wheels.
First you need your download these templates, print them, and cut them out in card stock. If you are planning to make more than nine circles I suggest you cut a few more. They do wear out after so much tracing and ironing.
Each wheel has twelve spokes. Choose your fabrics in three groups of four: dark colors, mediums and light. This will give your wheel a nice color balance.
Trace your twelve spokes and cut them along the lines.
Organize the spokes into two half circles of six spokes each.
Now you're ready to start sewing your spokes. Leaving a quarter of and inch seam allowance, sew six spokes to make a half circle.
You should end up with two half circles like this. Don't forget to press all your seam allowances in the same direction. Don't let any folds "eat" away part of your half circle when pressing. You'll need all the fabric in your spokes to make a perfect circle.
This is the step that will make your circles perfect. Place the middle line of your square ruler in the middle seam of your half circle, align the as perfect as can be. Then cut any remaining fabric (if any) outside of your ruler. It may be a thin wedge of fabric or a bit more. Do the same with your other half circle.
Put your two half circles right sides together, place the pins and sew them together to make a whole wheel. Remember to leave a quarter inch seam allowance.
Press your seams all in the same direction.
And there you have your wagon wheel.
Now take a 13 by 13 inch square of fabric to make your block. Fold it in fourths so that you get two crossing lines in the middle of it. Press it and then put it aside.
Put your finished wagon wheel facing down on your ironing board and center your card stock template. You can make it by eye since there is no more that a quarter of an inch left out side the big circle template. As even as possible spray a bit of light starch at the edge of your wheel.Then press the edges over the template with your warm iron. The edge of your wheel will feel a bit hard and it will stick to the card stock. That's why you only need a bit of starch, you don't want to rip your template.
Un-stick the template from your wheel, and there it is: a prefect circular edge for an easy applique
Unfold your 13in by 13in fabric. Align the crossing lines in your square of fabric and the crossing lines in your wheel and pin the wheel to your square like so, and put it aside.
Now take your small circle template and trace it onto a piece of fabric for the center of your wheel. Cut it leaving a quarter of an inch allowance.
Spray some light starch on the edge of your circle and press the edges over your template like you did with your wheel.
Un-stick your template, fold your fabric circle in half and press...
fold it again like a cheeky beak.
Then opened and center your small circle by aligning the crossing lines in the middle with the rest of the crossing lines in your block
You can either hand stitch or machine sew with an applique stitch. I personally prefer to hand stitch....
and there you have it.
It wasn't too hard, was it??
Let me know if I need to explain better any of the steps.
PS: I want to thank my dear Jose, for helping me with the PDF file for this tutorial.
Edit: Here's the husband typing... If you have trouble printing (the images are too light) try to download the "dark" version at "www.threekitchenfaires.com/WagonWheelTutorialDark.pdf". Both versions printed OK on my machine, hopefully this will solve your issue...