Friday, April 10, 2015

Curves ~ Tutorial

Curves.  Grab your pen (rotary cutter) and give it a try!  There isn't a right way or wrong way in my opinion.  What works for one, may not for another.  I have been getting my 'curve on' for a long while now, but you can bet there was a lot of trial and error in between!

This tutorial is the first time I have used fabric other than solids!  I'm telling you...that was a challenge!  



I like to start with strips.  The width of the strips will depend on how curved you want your curves.  I picked an assortment of fabric in prints and solids.  They vary in width, but the length is approximately 12" long.  



I picked two strips and overlapped one on top of the other about an inch.  



With the fabric lined up on the top (and over lapping), I take my drawing tool (rotary cutter) and cut a gentle curve from the bottom to the top.   Discard the scraps.   


If you have never tried curves before, I suggest marking several spots on your strips.  


Pin with right sides together matching your marking lines together.  This will help keep your curves lined up when its time to sew them together.



Sew the two pieces together using a 1/4" seam.  Go slowly, use a small stitch length and have your needle in the down position. You will be adjusting the fabric as you go, being careful not to stretch or pull the fabric.  You really want to have smooth, gentle curves.



Press your seam to one side and bring on the next piece!  


Again, over lap, free hand your curve, mark, pin, sew and press!  



Once you become comfortable with curves, it becomes easier and easier.  Your curves will have more motion, the strips will become smaller and eventually marking and pins will be unnecessary.  It's like taking the training wheels off your bike!


Keep cutting!  I cannot tell you how many times I was half way in to a curved project and just hated it!  I was ready to toss it in the trash!  I decided I was going to finish it regardless of all the wasted time and fabric!  You know what?  They ended up being amazing when finished! Keep going...you just never know!





I hope this was helpful in some way!  Curves are a lot of fun, the possibilities are endless!

I almost always flip my cutting mat over when cutting curves or pieces that don't need to be squared.  It gives a little extra life to the front with the grid for serious cutting!


11 comments :

  1. Jayne, this is a great tutorial! I just completed a few curved blocks and wish i had your lesson here, because i like yours much better! The randomness and the narrow size of each strip look a lot nicer. Thanks for taking the time to teach it!

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    1. I was hoping it would help someone and so glad to hear it has!

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  2. Thank you! This is a nice clear tutorial that makes a person feel enabled and confident that they can do it, too. And your resulting mini is sooo cute! I am excited about trying it!
    Beth

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    1. Thank you! It really is fun making curves!

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  3. Great tutorial, Jayne. It's been awhile since I've done any curved piecing. I've used rulers in the past, next time I think I'm going to have to fly 'blind'! :)

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    1. I was hoping the tutorial would be helpful in some way or another! I love 'flying blind' most of the time and hope you get to give it a go too!

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  4. Ughhh I am in the middle of a "oh god I hate how this looks and it's awful and why did I even bother and what a waste and BLAHHHHH!!!!!!" project. It's so hard to keep going. I haven't been cutting strips, but I think I'm going to give that a try. I like how it kind of forces a slightly different scale than using much larger chunks of fabric does. :) Thanks for the tutorial!!

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    1. I really hate working on a project and it does everything but 'float my boat'! I'm not going to say every thing I force myself to keep going on works out, but it does happen!

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  5. I like the idea of an organic curve - I've never tried them yet, but you make it look so easy!

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    1. Curves are one of my favorite things to do. Throw caution to the wind and be free! Dramatic! It just takes practice, patience and letting yourself let go. I'm sure you could do it, and should do it!

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  6. I will be trying this technique for the very first time in my barn quilt panel, for the sky...super excited! Thank you for making it seem easy!!! We shall see, fingers crossed :)

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