Curves: Types and Tutorials

We’re just about to start week three of Sew For Fifteen, and you guys are blowing me away with your awesome curves! We’ve had improv curves, hand sewn curves, and lots of curves using templates and patterns.  I will be working on a template pattern this month – the Picnic Quilt by Color Girl Quilts.  I cut it out last summer, so it’s definitely time for me to get working on it! Which is your favorite type of curve?

Template Cut Curves

There are many patterns written for curves using printed templates or rulers specifically for curved piecing.  The following blog tutorials and videos are just a few of the great resources that you can use for template cut curves. One of them advocates using ALL THE PINS, one suggests skipping pins altogether, and the rest explore both options. I use a few pins when I’m sewing curves, but you have to find what works for you. Check out these tutorials and videos for guidance.

Color Girl Quilts: How To Sew A Full, Set-In Circle

Sewing Curves by Suzy Quilts (This video features the Propeller Quilt pattern, which has since been improved and renamed Modern Fans.)

Sometimes Crafter: Options For Sewing Curves

Pile O’ Fabric: Easy Methods To Piecing Curves

Art Gallery Fabrics Blog: Alice’s Tulips Block Tutorial

Sewn Up: Curved Piecing Video Tutorial


Improv Curves

Improv curves are typically cut without a template, though one of the tutorials listed here describes a great method for sewing improv curves with a freehand template. Most of these tutorials show you how to layer fabrics, cut a few curves into the layers simultaneously, then sew them together where they match up. Improv piecing is an art in itself, but we’ll cover that later in the year.  The spirit of most of these tutorials is to leave the templates behind and just go for it.

Red Pepper Quilts: Cutting And Sewing Free Hand Curves

Man Sewing: Curved Piecing Tutorial Video

Spontaneous Threads – Caution: Curves Ahead

Quilting Jet Girl: Improv Quarter Circle Tutorial

Night Quilter: Steps To Sewing Perfect Curves (This tutorial describes the method used by Stephanie at Spontaneous Threads, but with different photos and sample blocks.  Both are super helpful.)


Sew For Fifteen

If you’re just finding out about Sew For Fifteen, I’m glad you found it! We’ll be working together to learn some new techniques and check things off our quilting to-do lists, fifteen minutes at a time, for the whole year.  The community, tutorials, and prizes are bound to make this year productive and tons of fun! You can find all the information about how to participate here. Each month has a different theme.  January is all about curves.

So, which kind of curvy quilter are you – template or improv? If you’re just trying curves for the first time, tell me in the comments which type you think you’ll try first.


Reflections and Looking Ahead

Yvonne of Quilting JetGirl is throwing the #2019PlanningParty again, and since I hate to miss out on a party, I’m here reflecting on 2018 and looking ahead to 2019.  My goals for last year were:

Participate in more design challenges and calls for proposals: I met this goal somewhat, though not to the extent that I had hoped.  I had an amazing experience working with the Quilter’s Planner team, and very much enjoyed working with a few designers on their blog tours.  I intend to keep at it this year by submitting at least two patterns to quilting magazines and continuing to put myself out there for design challenges.  I learn so much each time I take a risk and put myself out there.  Sometimes I don’t hear back and I have the opportunity to reflect on why, and other times I’m lucky enough to dive into the experience of working with a publication or fabric designer. Either way, there’s progress to be made.

Sew from my stash: I made two or three projects using only what I had in my stash, and it felt great to do that.  With regard to new purchases, I’d say no comment, but I’m here for accountability and reflection, so the honest answer is  – my stash has grown and I’m okay with it.  I made some investments in my growing pattern business and acquired some bundles that I plan to use for pattern samples.  I also purchased some fabrics at great prices for skirts that I plan to make and quilt backs that I will definitely use.  Finally, I bought some fabrics that I loved, had my eye on, and wanted to play with.  This year I plan to continue to be thoughtful about fabric purchases, and to use what I have when I can.

Garment sewing: This year I made a cardigan and a triceratops halloween costume (3T, not for me). My garment sewing goals for 2018 definitely took a back seat to quilting goals.  I have a handful of garments waiting to be made – shirts, skirts, and coats – and hope to get to them in 2019.  I love having handmade garments to wear – they often fit better than off the rack, and the feeling of accomplishment from making my own clothes is the best!

Continue to develop and discover my voice – I am very happy with the progress I made in this area, and so excited to keep at it in 2019.  I was lucky enough to pattern test for some incredibly talented pattern designers, connected with lots of inspiring and talented quilters, and had some really great opportunities thrown my way.


My one new goal for 2019 (for now – new ones always pop up along the way):


Just go for it, and work with you to do the same! There are a lot of quilting techniques I want to try for the first time (FMQ is at the top of that list), and other techniques I want to improve at.  I’m looking forward to working together to check those things off our quilty to-do lists as we inspire each other and help cheer each other on.

What are your goals for 2019?