Here’s a summary of my fifth “Give It a Month” birthday challenge. Each month this upcoming year, I’m conquering a new quilting technique. This past month, I sewed curves.
I’ve never sewn curves before — I like to stick to straight lines. But curves are so trendy right now and there are so many great patterns coming out using curves. So I knew if I could conquer curves, a whole new world of sewing would open up for me.
First, I chose a pattern. This was the hardest part! I was overwhelmed by how many pattern using curves I loved. I turned to Instagram for some searches and felt myself continually drawn to one pattern — the Looper quilt by Miss Make. A few reasons I loved this quilt: it’s totally customizable, so you create as many blocks as you want and arrange them however you want. It also had curves in multiple sizes, so I know I’d get practice on subtle curves and more curvy curves! 🙂
Next, I made templates. The Looper quilt pattern has printable template patterns for all the curves. I tested using paper templates and making a template from template plastic. (Word of warning: The templates for this quilt are HUMUNGOUS, so there was no way I was going to tape plastic template together to make templates for the whole quilt. I ended up doing a template of the smallest piece just to try it out. (I used this plastic template from Dritz, but there are a lot of brands out there.) I found both easy to use, and would do it either way in the future depending on how many pieces I was cutting and how big the template was.
Now for cutting. Fun tip about cutting curves: you want to cut pieces against the grain so the curvy parts stretch easier. (I realized this after sewing a block that didn’t want to fit together and was not even close to being the right size). When using the plastic template to cut pieces, I just used my rotary cutter in one hand and cut with it butting against the template, and it was very easy. For the paper templates, it was a little more work. I pinned the templates in place with the pin heads facing inside so I could clearly see the outside the template. I used a rotary cutter for this method, but had to cut much slower and found a few times that I cut into the paper template so my curve was a little choppy.
It’s sewing time! I have 3 tips for success:
- Pin, pin, pin, pin, pin. You still don’t have enough pins. (These Clover applique pins are thin, small, and perfect for this task.)
- Start with the largest curves and work to the smallest (put the larger curve on top while sewing).
- Stitch slower and use a shorter stitch length. Stop to pivot often.
I have a whole quilt top done using curves! (I really only had to make two blocks using curves for this quilt, so it was pretty easy. But I love this pattern and want to do it again in a different configuration. Our basement has wood paneling on the walls and a ’70s vibe, so I picked this color palette to complement that. I think it’ll look really cool when it’s all quilted and on the couch in our basement bar area!
Thanks for joining me for “happy hour,”
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Have you ever made a quilt with curves? I’d love to hear your experience in the comments!