Thursday, August 6, 2020

Stacked Improv Curves Tutorial

I needed to make some improv curve blocks for my local MQG charity quilt.

These were a lot of fun to make so I put together a quick tutorial in case you want to give it a try.

First, cut 4 squares of fabric - mine were about 8" x 8".  Stack them in any order, aligning along two edges.  With your rotary cutter, carefully cut a freehand curve.  Un-stack and shuffle so that each piece is paired with one of a different color.

Fold each in half to find center.  Align the centers and pin.  Your concave piece should be on top.

One tip - use an old cutting mat when cutting curves to avoid damaging a good cutting mat!

From the center, carefully align fabric, working from center to each edge and pin the concave piece to to convex (pie shaped piece).  Sew seam.  For a different view of pinning for curves, check out Yvonne's tip post.

Note: when working with curves cut with a template, I typically only pin at center and each edge.  Freehand cut curves will not align on edges so you need more pins.

Press each of the four pieces and the stack again - aligning the bottom right corner.  Freehand cut another curve.  And repeat steps from above to align centers and pin from center to either edge.

You'll notice that this method is going to create some wonky pieces.  Wait until you've have sewn the final curves before trimming block.  To trim, use the outer edges of the original cut square to keep those edges on the straight of grain.

Note - Blocks were not trimmed to a predetermined size but only trimmed to square them up.

Play with different arrangements - you'll see two of them in the top row of photo below.  Once you find one that you like, sew them together, press.  Tim to square up the block.

I've been enjoying exploring curves using templates (see Carnival quilt) and now I think I may try some more improv curves!

Have a wonderful day! Patty


  1. Lovely. Thanks for sharing this technique. I love working with freehand curves; I never know how they're going to turn out!

  2. Great tutorial, Patty. I love the way the multiple curves interact and play with one another.

  3. Those are great! Thanks for the tutorial - I'm going to have to try that!

  4. Great tutorial for these improv curves...thanks hugs, Julierose


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