Create curves with squares? It doesn’t seem possible. Now you can stitch a 1/4-Circle block—like the well-known Drunkard’s Path design—without cutting curved pieces or trying to stitch a seam with opposing curves.
Traditional Curved Piecing Technique
Maybe you’ve seen shapes such as these cut from templates. To sew the seam, opposing curves must be joined. Whenever I tried to sew this seam my results were, well, disastrous. In short, I avoided all quilt patterns with curved seams.
Templates Come to the Rescue
Liking the looks of curved-seamed blocks, but totally not liking the technique, I thought about enlisting the help of a sewing product, fusible interfacing and some untraditional quilting techniques.
I found it easier to trace the curve shape and then sew those curves, rather than working with opposing seams. So, I developed a set of templates, Carefree Curves Quilting Templates. These templates assist you in making traditional to super-sized blocks.
To create the 1/4-Circle blocks, I use the circle template, which makes three sizes of blocks: 4-1/2″, 6-1/2″, and 8-1/2″. You’ll see how the other two templates are used next week!
How to Create Carefree 1/4-Circle Blocks
- For every four blocks cut four background squares, and cut one square to create four 1/4-Circles. The sizes are printed on the template.
- Cut a square of lightweight fusible interfacing the same size as the 1/4-Circles.
- Layer the circle squares (fabric and interfacing), right side of fabric to the smooth side of the interfacing.
- Place the template on fabric/interfacing squares. Trace circle and quarter markings.
- Stitch along the traced line.
- Trim away excess fabric. For best results, use a pinking shears or pinking rotary cutter blade.
- Align ruler along quarter markings. Cut, using rotary cutter, ruler, and mat.
- Trim away excess interfacing from the interior, leaving 1″ of interfacing.
- Turn interfacing to wrong side. For best results, run a smooth edge Hera Marker along the stitching line to define the curve.
- Press curved edge, making certain seam is at the edge.
- Pin 1/4-Circle to one corner of the background square. Each sewn/cut circle creates four blocks.
- Machine stitch 1/4-Circle to block, using a straight stitch, blind hem, or zigzag stitch.
When you watch the TV show, you’ll see all of these steps in motion! Plus, I’ll show how easy it is to create a variety of designs.
- 1/4-Circle—you’re not limited to one size of circle. Here I placed the larger 1/4-Circle in one corner of the block and the smallest 1/4-Circle in the opposite corner.
- Mohawk Trail
- Drunkard’s Path
Quilt with Carefree Curves, 2-part Sewing With Nancy series, is this week’s online Sewing With Nancy feature. Watch online, on PBS, or DVD. Or, watch on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone. Have you downloaded the app?
For a chance to win a copy of the Quilt with Carefree Curves book and a set of the Carefree Curves Template, tell me which Carefree Curve Design from the show is your favorite. Now, I didn’t show you all of them, there are more to see on the TV show! A random winner will be announced November 30th.
The random winner of a copy of Mary’s book, Applique—Large & Small is Natalie. She said, My favorite is the framed applique—although they’re all appealing for one project or another!
Bye for now,