Have you tried curved piecing before? It’s definitely a little different than piecing straight lines, but with a few tips and some practice, you’ll be on your way to feeling comfortable with any curved piecing project!
Below, you’ll find a step by step photo tutorial for doing curved seams using pieces from my You Are My Sunshine mini quilt pattern. If you haven’t tried curved seams before, I hope the tutorial will give you the encouragement to try them out! And if you have done curved piecing, but it’s been awhile, I hope the tutorial gives you a good refresher!
The photo below shows two curved pieces from my You are My Sunshine mini quilt pattern. The yellow quarter circle piece was cut from a template (Template B for those of you following along with the pattern), and the sun’s rays are made from a foundation paper pieced (fpp) pattern (Unit A from the pattern). You want to make sure that any paper pieces used to construct the pattern pieces have been removed from so the fabric can be flexible enough to bend where you need it to.
Next, mark the center point of each of the curved edges so you can make sure the two pieces are lined up properly. To do this, I prefer to fold the pieces in half and use a temporary ink to make a small mark.
Repeat with the second piece to mark the center point of its curved edge, too.
Below, I’ve shown the center point of both curved edges marked (I’ve added a computerized mark so it’s obviously visible, but I just make a tiny mark with my erasable pen).
The pieces can be lined up now. Flip the outer piece (fpp unit) over on top of the inner piece (yellow quarter circle) so they are right sides together and carefully line up the center marks.
Place a pin through both pieces right at the center point.
Carefully and slowly work your way from the center point to one of the outer edges, lining up the curved sides of both of the fabric pieces. As you pin away from the center point, the fabric piece on top will start to lay a little funny–just continue make sure those curved edges are aligned and pinned in place.
Repeat the process, but this time pinning the other half of the curved edge. The pieces look a little crazy now, but everything will be just fine as long as those curved edges are lined up nicely where you’re sewing the seam.
Now, take the two pieces to your sewing machine and slowly sew a 1/4″ seam along the curved edges, removing pins as you go. The piece on top will have ruffles and waves, so just go slowly and make sure that you aren’t getting any puckers or pleats where the needle is sewing the seam.
I always love pulling the first two pieces out of the machine and seeing how well the two pieces align! You go from a jumble of fabric and pins to a beautiful, curved seam. 🙂 Press the seam away from the fpp piece (toward the yellow quarter circle).
If you’re following along with the You Are My Sunshine pattern, there’s one more curved seam to do to finish up this block.
We’ll repeat the same process with this seam. Start out by marking the center point on both of the pieces.
Then flip the outside piece on top of the inside piece so the right sides are together. Put a pin right through those marks that signify the center points.
Work your way from the center point to the outsides, lining up the curved edges and pinning frequently. Again, you can see the top piece isn’t laying all the way flat–but it will be flat along the 1/4″ seam right where you sew it.
After slowly sewing the two pieces together with a 1/4″ seam, press the seam toward the outer piece (away from the fpp unit).
That wasn’t too bad, was it? I think a lot of quilters are nervous to try a curved seam, but then realize it’s really not that difficult after at. It also feels great to try out a new technique and find that you really can do it!
If you’re interested in trying out a new curved piecing project, check out my You Are My Sunshine mini quilt pattern. It’s on Craftsy HERE and on Etsy HERE. It’s a fun, simple pattern to get your feet wet with curved piecing. 🙂