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We have had several discussions in the Quilting Forum about how to use curved seams in strip pieced quilts and quilt block sewing. It's something many quilters would like to try -- and it is not difficult. So this article is a simple how-to for getting you started in this improvisational technique using no rulers. The article following this one in a couple weeks will show you how to use this technique to make some new looks in traditional Rail Fence and Nine Patch blocks. So pull out some fabric from your stash and practice sewing curves.
You'll be cutting these curved edges by hand with a rotary cutter. By saying "easy curves" I mean both "easy to sew", but also curves which do not have steep hills and valleys. With "easy curves" you do not need to pin or clip the curves before sewing.
1. Cut two pieces of contrasting fabric approx. 9" wide and 22" long. As shown in fig. 1.
2. Now put one piece on top of the other as shown in #2 below. I show the 2 pieces slightly offset so you can see there are two stacked, but you should line up the edges. Both fabric should be RIGHT SIDES UP.
3. Now with a rotary cutter make a gently curving cut through both layers as shown in #3. You do not need to duplicate this exact curved line, but don't make the hills and valleys in your curve any steeper.
4. You will now be able to take the two parts apart to form the layouts seen in #4 below. Each half of the other with matching curves.
5. Now as shown in #5 below take one pair (I'm showing the left pair from #4 above) and turn over the right hand half. I indicate below that one side is the back of the fabric. You will be sewing these two seams together along the curves. The "hill" of one side will match the "valley" of the other.
You may want to start by pinning at the high and low points of each hill and valley to keep the fabric pieces aligned for sewing. But with practice you will be able to sew these seams without pinning.
When you finish
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