Curved Piecing Technique

Victoria Adams Brown © 2009

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Curved piecing adds movement to a block. Curved patches are a basis for creating flowing seam treatments. If wider seam treatments will “hide” the seam, piece the raw edges together. If stitches will cover the seam, turn the edges of the seam under in order to create a finished seam. Raw appliqué is quick, easy and allows for a minimum amount of time when piecing a block.

This wall hanging is made of three trimmed 7 ½” square blocks. I began with 8” blocks. I use five to seven patches for most eight to nine inch blocks. In a notebook, I sketched each block with the curves of one block flowing into the next block. Once pieced, all three blocks were stitched together and then embellished as one piece. The fabric patches were pieced onto baby flannel.

Select ten to twelve nine-inch pieces of fabric. Narrow the selection down to five to seven fabrics. Usually I pick one fabric that will be used for two patches within the block. For me, this adds more balance to the block.

Refer to the sketches when cutting out the patches. In order for the pieces to resemble the patches in the sketch, it will be necessary to trim, or cut deeper curves into some pieces. Lay these on top of the flannel and arrange them so pieces will slightly overlap each other. Continue to arrange and trim the pieces until the desired look is achieved. A bit of fabric will be wasted with this method, but laying the patches out as “puzzle” pieces is more pleasing to the eye.

Pin the pieces in place and then baste with champagne Nymo. If embellishing the seams with stitches, a clean seam is necessary. Cut notches ¼” deep every quarter-inch into the curved patch. Turn under the notched fabric and press. Lay the curved piece on top of the previous patch, overlapping ¼” and baste. I hand-piece my blocks.

Embellish the seams. When the seams have been embellished, remove the basting stitches.

Vintage kimono MOP buttons

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