Unswerved by Curves

Have you checked out our fun foundation patterns in the July/August ’13 issue?

QMMP 130800 cover 200 Unswerved by CurvesTwo of the foundation patterns also have curves: Shayla and Kristy Wolf’s Piccadilly Circle. . .

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Piccadilly Circle by Shayla and Kristy Wolf

and my Sparkling Bubbles quilt.

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Sparkling Bubbles by Eileen Fowler

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!

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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.

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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!

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Clockworks by Eileen Fowler

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?

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Curve Master Presser Foot from Just Curves

Here’s how it works: the Curve Master foot comes with six shank adapters, so it snaps on to virtually any machine.photo B e1374621547156 300x215 Unswerved by Curves

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.photo C e1374621904618 300x266 Unswerved by Curves

With right sides together and the convex section on top, align the beginning edges of the convex curve and concave curve as shown below. Doesn’t that look odd?photo D e1374622040537 300x218 Unswerved by Curves

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.

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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.

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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.photo G e1374622360999 300x240 Unswerved by Curves

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.photo H e1374689315199 300x229 Unswerved by Curves

Curves perfectly sewn!photo K e1374622171822 300x279 Unswerved by Curves

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! Unswerved by Curves

About Eileen Fowler

I am an Associate Editor at Quiltmaker. My quilting hobby, that began over 20 years ago, turned into a career when I was hired by Quiltmaker in 2008. My quilting passion is slowly taking over every nook and cranny in my house. I have a supportive husband who makes it all possible.
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2 Responses to Unswerved by Curves

  1. Claudia says:

    I challenged myself a couple of years ago to try curves. With accurate cutting and patience, it is possible. I was rather proud of myself.

  2. Barb Johnson says:

    The very first set of quilt blocks I made were made from the Drunkard’s Path pattern. Talk about ambitious ;-> I made them by hand because I thought that how you had to do it. I assembled them into circles. I quit after about 4 circles, and they are still somewhere in my stash. I love the look of the pattern, but it was just taking too darn long! Now that I know about this method, I may go back to them!

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