Precision is key to making a Bullseye quilt. And setting the center circle into the first ring is the most tedious part. In my pattern pack, Bullseye Quilts from Vintage to Modern, there are clear instructions and photos in the pattern booklet showing how I match, pin, and then sew the center in place. But there's an even more precise way to do it! Here’s a tip that came from one of my students.
In a recent class, one of my students had a really good idea. Her background is in garment sewing, and she decided to thread baste the center circle into Ring 1, rather than pinning it. What a good idea!
She tacked the points in place with heavy thread and then thread basted between the tacks along the seam line. Basting the center circle makes it easier to see if you have your points correctly positioned before you sew the circle in place.
My student planned to go to the machine and baste it in place again, before sewing it for real. I would run the machine basting stitches to one side or the other of the first (yellow) basting stitches. Then I would remove the hand basting to keep it from being sewn into the final seam.
On the one hand, this is more work than pinning. On the other hand, it adds precision.
I hadn’t considered doing this when I made my Bullseye quilts, but it’s definitely going to be something I try when I make my next one!