Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Hand piecing Curves


Want to take some of the stress out of curved piecing?  Try hand piecing them!   (And, yes, I really do understand that for some quilters, hand piecing is in itself stressful but I'd encourage you to give it a try!)

To get started, mark your stitching line on the wrong side of the concave piece - in my example it is the background fabric.   (Updated to add) You can get a pdf file of the curve templates I used including one to mark stitching lines here.

Fold the convex piece in half, right sides together, and mark center of curve.  Fold the concave piece in half, wrong sides together to mark its center.

Align the marked centers and place a pin.  I like to use short pins designed for applique.  Then align the edge of the concave unit to the edge of the convex unit, right sides together.  Use a pin (or pins) to make sure that right edge stays aligned.  Only align the edge on the right.

Begin your stitching 1/4'' from the edge (see running stitch tutorial).  Once you've made several stitches remove the pins on the right edge.

Curves have stretch and your goal as you stitch is to hold the seams aligned - I hold the fabric between my thumb and pointer finger.  Keep stitching to the center pin and back-stitch as you reach it.

Align the left edge of the concave unit, securing with a least one pin.  Remove center pin and stitch towards the edge, stopping 1/4'' away and securing your thread.

Open your curved block, laying right sides down to finger press towards the concave unit.

Enjoy your beautiful block and make another and another....   I hope you'll give hand piecing curves a try!

Read more about my favorite tools for hand piecing here.

Have a wonderful day! Patty


  1. I've continued to hand-piece since the QAL finished up, but I haven't tried curves yet. Thanks for the tutorial! I'm curious about how you're cutting your pieces? Are you cutting a background piece and a color at the same time? If so, are you planning to use the opposite pieces in another project? Thanks, Patty!

  2. Thanks for the tutorial. Do you have suggestions/tips for best marking the seam allowance on the curve?

    1. To mark the seam line, I made two templates - one with seam allowances and one without. I use the one without to mark the sewing line by laying it on the wrong side and tracing. I only mark on the concave piece.

  3. *gg* I just sew 32 drunkard Path blocks yesterday with my sewing machine. That Was pretty easy after the first one. But I must admit, that I had to cut them after sewing. Your way is less fabric wasting.
    I hope to join your omg next month again. The last two one I missed the date because of life 1.0
    Greetings from Germany

  4. I am also interested in your cutting method for this pattern. Would you happen to have a pattern available for us to use to make a sample quilt of our own? I'd love to have a travel project for Dr’s appointments.
    Thank you in advance!! ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿงต✂️๐Ÿ“

  5. You make it look so easy! Great info!

  6. When I finished the blocks for the Hand Pieced SAL, I kept going with 4-patches, eventually piling up around 350 of them! They're becoming a big quilt, alternating with solid squares. I've been looking for another good hand piecing project, and this looks like a good challenge. Thanks for much for keeping my hands busy!

    1. I'm so glad you are still hand piecing. I am certainly enjoying making curves and think you will too!


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