Friday, January 12, 2018

Free Form Curve Piecing

I'm working on a sample for a new class.   I've been using free form curved piecing in a variety of ways for years.
It's great for making wonky borders, adding abstract shape and making overall patterns.  Like these examples:

But 'til recently I had not thought of applying the technique to some other standard quilt blocks.

What  got me thinking about this was I needed a technique that I could demonstrate at the NCQC's  (Northern California Quilt Council) January meeting.  I thought free form curve piecing might be a good choice because it's easy,  fun and I could probably demonstrate it in the time allowed.
So I started sewing examples of curved pieced units to see just how many different things I could come up with;  and then it occurred to me that with a little finesse you could probably sew a lot of different blocks and that lead to the idea of making a Sampler!

But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Here's the basic technique:

1-To make two 6” finished - 4 patches: choose two fabrics and cut a 7.5” square from each fabric.

2- Layer the two patches both face up and press so they lay flat.  Cut a gentle curve through both layers.

take two of the contrasting patches and match up as shown.

3- Start to sew a scant ¼” seam at the top right corner. Take a few stitches and then stop to shift the edges together.  Continue to stop and readjust the seam edges as needed.  It’s a lot like easing in a seam in garment sewing.

4- Press to the dark fabric.  Repeat steps #2 & 3 with the second set of patches.  You will have two congruent but opposite units.

5- Stack these two units both face up, feel along the seam to make sure the two units are well aligned.

6- Cut a gentle curve more less 90 degrees to the first cut.

7- Take 2 of the opposite matching patches and sew according to step # 3.  Repeat with the second set.  Press to the darker fabric, twisting the seam in the center.

8-  Trim each block to 6.5”

9-  You will end up with 2 congruent but opposite colored 4 patches!

                                 SEW simple, fun and easy!  Here are some other blocks I've come up with for my Sampler quilt.

4- four patches sewn together 
four patches from the demonstration 
curvy strips 
9 patches 
drunkards paths


I definitely feel a curvy Sampler in the makings!
The NCQC meeting went really well!  People were very positive and attentive and it definitely lead me to thinking about curved piecing in new ways!
Have a great weekend!
Cheers, CW


  1. What a playful concept. Thanks for sharing.

  2. And now you've made me think of curved piecing in different ways too! Thanks.

  3. A sampler seems a good way to remember these techniques. I hope ncqc went well.

  4. What a fun idea for a sampler! I wouldn't have thought of all those ways to play with curves.