Have you checked out our fun foundation patterns in the July/August ’13 issue?
and my Sparkling Bubbles quilt.
Do you avoid patterns that call for piecing curved edges? I once did. When you lay the concave patch next to the convex patch, it doesn’t look like they will even fit together!
Before my quilting addiction, I sewed clothing with lots of curved piecing. I clipped the curves, matched darts and pinned everything in place. At the sewing machine, I slowly basted the pieces in place. If I was satisfied with the fit, I would go back and re-sew with a smaller stitch length. Lots of steps. Curves in quilt blocks are usually done the same way.
About 8 years ago, I needed to create a quilt for a design class. After several hours of playtime with my Electric Quilt software, I had a design I loved–and it had lots of curves!
About that same time, I discovered the niftiest little sewing foot by Sandy Chandler at Just Curves: the Curve Master. Could I really sew curves without clipping, pinning or basting?
Before sewing the curves for the Sparkling Bubbles blocks, I found it helpful to remove the foundation paper in the curved seam allowances. Feed dogs just don’t grab paper like they grab fabric. I un-thread my sewing machine and stitch along the seamline to create a perforation, then remove the paper.
Place the sections under the needle, and align the two fabric edges against the 1/4″ seam allowance guide of the Curve Master foot as shown; lower the foot.
Sew two or three stitches to secure the beginning edge, then lift and separate the top section almost vertically as shown, keeping your fingers in front of the needle.
Begin sewing, holding the top section up while gently nudging the bottom section against the seam allowance guide. As you sew, watch the edges to ensure both are touching the 1/4″ seam allowance guide. The hardest part is resisting the urge to tug the fabric as you are sewing. You’re dealing with bias edges here. Stretching will distort the pieces. Trust the Curve Master.
Approximately 1/2″ from the end, stop sewing with the needle down. Using special bent tip tweezers (also available from Just Curves), grip the ends of the 2 sections firmly together. Continue sewing to the end, allowing the top of the tweezers to fit into the safety slot (the narrow opening between the seam allowance guide and the needle hole) as shown.
I love this foot! You can order a Curve Master of your own for $29.99 at justcurves.biz. Sandy has a special offer for you: Place your order by October 31, 2013 and type in “Quilty Pleasures” in the Special Instruction section, and the bent tip tweezers will be included at no charge (an $8 value).
I see curves ahead!