Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Curve Piecing Tutorial

I'm sure there are many ways to do this but a friend asked me to show how I do it. So Caroll, here you go.

You'll need two strips of fabric about 1.5" to 2" longer and wider than you want them to be in the end, depending on the deepness of your curves.

Step 1: Lay one strip right side up on your cutting mat along one of the vertical lines.

The light strip with writing is the bottom piece and I like it to be a little longer than the top piece so that I can see it when I overlap it with the top piece.

Step 2: Lay the top piece right side up, overlapping the bottom piece by at least an inch.

An inch overlap is good for gentle curves which I recommend you try first. To do deeper curves just overlap more. Cutting both pieces right side up (or wrong side up) is key to getting your curves to nest properly when sewn. I like doing it right side up as opposed to wrong side up because the curve I cut will be the curve I get once they are sewn.

Step 3: With a rotary cutter, cut a gentle curve being sure to cut through both fabrics. Be sure to keep your fingers out of the way!

This is why I recommend using the lines on your mat as a guide. I had a one inch overlap between the two fabrics. This way I know that as long as I keep my rotary cutter between the "overlap lines" on my mat, I am cutting both fabrics. Another method is to cut a curve from one fabric then lay it over the top of the second fabric and cut again right along the curve you cut previously. Experiment and do what works for you. The "overlap" method is what works best for me.

Step 4: Set aside the top left piece and the bottom right piece. If these are large enough you can sew them together too. Mine aren't. The pieces that will get sewn together are the bottom left and top right pieces.

See how nicely they line up.

Step 5: Sew the two pieces together, right sides together. Take your time with this step. Only line up the first inch or so.

Up to my finger is lined up for sewing in the photo above. Sew to this point, stop, realign, sew to my finger, stop, realign, sew ...

This does take time. It's not as fast as lining up two straight pieces and speed sewing the edges together. You have to continually realign your edges every inch or so, depending on how deep your curve is. Don't worry about what the rest of it looks like. As long as the next inch is lined up, all is good.

Step 6: Continue sewing until the entire seam is sewn. This is what it should look like, from both sides.

Step 7: Now press the seam to one side, which ever side it wants to go to or which ever side you need it to go to for construction purposes.

And this is what it looks like when you are done.

Now just trim it up to whatever size you need it to be for your project. I always like to cut these a little bigger than I think I will need because I'm not a good judge of how much the cut curve and seam allowances will shrink my pieces.

Grab some scraps and give it a try!


needle and nest said...

Thanks for the great tutorial. You made it look so simple! I couldn't resist pinning it:

West Michigan Quilter said...

Wonderful tutorial. I've always wanted to do this but didn't know how. Now I can't wait to try it! I'll link to you the next time I post because I bet some of my readers would like to know how too. Thanks so much!

Gill said...

Thank you!
I always wondered how this was done!!

quilthexle said...

Thanks for this great tutorial! If you don't mind, I'll link back to you, your explanations are excellent ;-))

Deborah said...

Great tutorial! You made that look so easy.

Mama Pea said...

Nice! I can't wait to get started on our challenges again. I can't wait for October to be over.

frutas said...


Zenia Rene said...

I will definitely try this tute sometime. Thank you.