I Finally Tried Pieced Curves!

Blue and gray curved piecingI started making quilts more than twenty years ago, and I’ve been making them with passion for about ten of those years. For that entire time, I’ve skillfully avoided pieced curves. It always seemed like sewing a straight seam and getting everything to match was challenging enough. But last month at the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild meeting, our education chairperson, Brooke, gave a talk on pieced curves (and reverse applique, both as ways to sew circles). More than just show us how, she issued a challenge for us to try either or both of the techniques and bring our work to the March meeting.

So this past weekend, I pieced my heart out. Brooke demonstrated the technique with templates and pieces that were probably about 5 and 6 inches wide. Once home, I decided to just pull a template from one of my books and found some that were 2.5 and 3.5 inches wide. That’s quite a bit smaller, it turns out.

I cut the pieces in blues and grays thinking that, if the piece turned out, I could make it into a pillow for our front room.

Curved piecing 1

Next came the pinning. Just like every tutorial I’ve read, Brooke stressed the importance of pinning the pieces. With the concave (larger) piece on top, I placed seven pins around each tiny, tiny arc. I started in the center, pinned the sides, and then filled in the rest.

Curved piecing 2Curved piecing 3

The little guys didn’t come close to laying flat. Which made them extra scary to sew. But like Brooke and all the written tutorials suggested, I sewed slowly around each one. And then I pressed the seam allowance to the concave side.

Curved piecing 4

Watching the pieces flatten out as I was pressing them was like witnessing a miracle. Who would have thought that misshapen mass of pins and fabric would ever lay flat?

Blue and gray curved piecing

Obviously I have some perfecting to do—I’ve got some tucks in the concave pieces and my circles aren’t exactly round. But I’m pretty happy for it being my first try. And I do believe I’ll try it again, probably with larger pieces, just to see if that truly makes it easier, as I suspect it would.

Click here to read the minutes from the February CMQG meeting that include Brooke’s demonstrations, with step-by-step photos.

Leave a comment


  1. lela mckee friel

     /  April 15, 2015

    Hi Christine, I really like your pieced curves and I love the fabrics that you put together! You have a really nice eye for color combining! Where do you shop for your fabrics? I am always looking for new sources. Thank You for sharing your beautiful work and creating such a lovely blog!

  2. lela mckee friel

     /  April 15, 2015

    Thank You Christine for sharing your fabric source websites. You are lucky to have so many fabric stores close to you! The closest fabric store to me is 70 miles, so I do a lot of online shopping!

    I am really enjoying your blog. Your quilts are beautiful and I love your spirit as you go into the process of creating each one.

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