Monday, May 4, 2020

Book Club - Tip for Hand Piecing Curves

It's finally time to conquer some curved piecing!   I really enjoyed making each of our next 3 blocks -  Emma , Claire, and Elizabeth.  They each come with their individual challenges plus each bring the challenge of the curve.

Let's start with the basics!

  • A concave shape is one that curves inward.
  • A convex shape is one that curves outward
An easy way to remember is 'you can walk into a cave'..... concave.

Now, some tips!

Always sew with the concave piece on top.

For most blocks, I go with 2 pins - one at the starting edge and one at the center.  In fact, in the picture below, you'll notice that the hand stitching started at the right and stopped about half way.  Once the center point is reached, pause, pin that left edge and then keep sewing.

Find the center

A simple crease in both units will mark the center.  If you fold one right sides together and the other wrong sides together, your crease (fold) mark will nest and make it easy to align both pieces and secure with a center pin.

Pin to align the seam lines

While I typically just pin at edge and at center, there are seams where 2 pins aren't enough!  In that case, pin often.  For complicated curves (hello Emma), I will use short pins designed for applique to pin directly on the stitching line. The pins actually run through the stitching lines on both the concave and the convex unit.

When joining blocks, pin so seams don't get caught

Joining blocks together when curves are involved can be a little tricky because you may have 2 seams very close together.  When that happens, use pins to keep the seam out of the way.

Cut large and trim down.

For both Claire and Elizabeth blocks, I traced the template shape onto the wrong side of my fabric but actually cut about 1/4'' wider around the straight edges.  This gave me a little extra fabric to hold onto while stitching (hello Claire). 

Once the unit/block is pieced, just trim to get the block to the correct size. If you trim your block from the wrong side, you can also check to see how close your block is to the original template lines.

If you need additional insights on sewing curves, please check out my basic post on hand piecing curves for the drunkard's path block.  You may actually find that sewing curves by hand is easier than machine! 

Kristin has put together a great video tutorial on curves - go check it out!

Looking for more hand piecing tutorials?  Check these out:

Still need the pattern for Book Club for the Hand Pieced QAL - grab yours now!  Book Club is a 9 block sampler and two block setting to make either a wall hanging or a throw sized quilt.  Did you miss the QAL announcement?  You can find more information here!  If you have any trouble ordering the pattern, please don't hesitate to email us at - we'll be happy to help!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

1 comment:

  1. Love hand sewing. Thank you. I think I have done 3 in the last year. So relaxing for me. Hope to see more.


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