Sunday, October 25, 2009

Curved piecing part 1

Thank you so much for the interest shown in how I'm tackling my curved piecing for the quilt shown on the previous post. The pattern is in the Quilt Romance book from Kaffe Fassett and is shown on the cover.
I can show you how I go about it but keep in mind, there are other ways. This is mainly for those of you who haven't tackled paper foundation piecing or curved piecing. My hope is that if it interests you, you'll have a go.

I'll divide the information up into two posts so that it's not so photo heavy.
I photocopy my templates, cut them out roughly leaving a margin, and glue stick them to firm cardboard or template plastic. The plastic we get is quite thick so works fine. I then glue sandpaper to the bottom of the templates and wait for it to dry before cutting them out exactly on the lines. The advantage of the sandpaper is that it really sticks to the fabric and doesn't shift around, much safer for the fingers.

It's really a good idea to use the smaller rotary cutter to cut around curves. The other tool I find invaluable is my rotating cutting board for moving the cutter around templates. A small mat that you can turn works well too.

I photocopied my paper pieces for the arcs on normal photocopy paper and cut them out. All the fabric shapes for this quilt are cut from strips, easy peasy so far.

One reason quilters get confused with paper foundation piecing (PFP) is that they try to think too much about how it works. My advice is don't think about it, just do it step by step.
There are two types of arcs in this pattern, ones that have light fabrics on the ends and ones that have dark fabrics on the ends. Here we go with one that has lights on the ends.
Step 1
Choose the two fabrics and place them right sides together.
The uppermost fabric is the one that will end up as the first one on the arc. In this case the light fabric.
Place the PF (paper foundation) on top of the strips with 1/4" seam allowance to the right of the first sewing line.
Lower the stitch length on your machine, 1.5 on my Bernina. Sew on the dotted line.

Step 2
Turn the PF over and open up the two fabrics. Press with a dry iron. I keep my ironing board at a low level beside the machine table.

Step 3
Hold the PF with the writing facing you. Fold the PF back on the next dotted line and trim the fabric you just sewed on, 1/4" beyond the fold.

Step 4
Open up the paper and on the fabric side, place the next strip even with the one you just trimmed. Make sure that the strip of  fabric is showing beyond the top and bottom of the PF.

Keeping the fabrics in place with your fingers, flip the whole lot over and sew on the next dotted line.
Keep repeating these steps, alternating the light and dark fabrics.

These arcs go really fast after the first couple when you should be starting to get a rythym going.
Once you have the fabrics sewn on the whole arc, trim evenly with the paper.

I remove the papers at this stage and don't sew the arc to any other block parts with the paper still in. It makes it difficult to sew and remove the papers afterwards. I have had no problems doing it this way.
To tear the paper off, hold your finger over the begining so as not to pull out any of the stitches and tear away and down.

If you're having trouble with the tearing, try folding the paper back at the stitch line each time before tearing.

It seems like a lot to take in but I wanted to show you as many detailed photos as possible. I only started  this project a week ago and I have done all 72 arcs plus pieced half the top together and just have to assemble the parts for the second half.

Still with me? Good because I wanted to let you know about a new blog. I'd love it if you could go over for a visit and give my daughter a big blog welcome. She has a love of bright colours and makes some wonderful things when she has the time. With four kiddos, that's the hard part so I know she'll appreciate the encouragement. You can find her at Sew Stitched Up.
See you for part 2 in a few days,
Janet

47 comments:

Kathie said...

I agree don't over think it, just sew!
great tutorial, blocks look great!
I find paper piecing so relaxing most of the time!
I sure hope Amelia finds/takes time to do some stitching everyday, she will find comfort with the fabrics and needles I know I did when my girls were little, doing something just for me was a good thing.
Kathie

pamina said...

Thank you Janet ! I've got the book and this quilt is one of my favourites, I would like to make it too, and with your explanations, it will be easier !

Andi said...

I think I could actually do that!!!
Thanks for the inspiration.
I have Kaffe's new book on order and will consider giving it a go now that I can see it as 'do-able'.
I'm off to visit your daughter now!!
Andi :-)

Stephanie said...

You're a terrific teacher. Smaller machine stitches definitely helps with paper removal. I did 120 8" NY Beauties a few years ago...haven't paper pieced since! This new Kaffe book is on my Christmas Wish list. Just LOVE the cover quilt.

KateHK said...

Thank you for the tutorial - I'm going to give it a try especially as the book has just arrived at home! Off to visit your daughter's blog. Kate

ranette said...

Great tutorial Janet....I'm going to tell my sister to come look at it because she is new to pp'ing and this is the best explanation I've seen.

That quilt is on my longterm list to do someday. Most Kaffe quilts are. Your daughter has inherited your talent!

mokkakissa said...

Oijoi!

Crispy said...

Thanks for the tutorial!! I have only done one block with PP just to see if I could do it. I did it but with much frog stitching LOL. You put together the best tutorials!!

Crispy

Nedra said...

I have friends who want to make this quilt, and now I can send them over to your tutorial so they can see how easy it is. Thanks!

Jessica said...

awesome! thanks for the tip about making template pieces. I think i need to dig around in the garage for some sandpaper..

Eileen said...

This is a great tutorial. I was afraid of paper piecing for years.. but like you said, I thought too much about how it worked. Once I just dove in and started to go step by step.. it all became clear. I hope you inspire more to try it.. your directions are very good.

LOVE your quilt and how it's coming along. Makes it very tempting to order this book.

Tree said...

I just recently found your blog and what an absolute delight it is - your quilts are beautiful. I particularly love the one in your banner and the princess feathers quilt.

Beth Karese said...

Good, clear instructions with great pics. You really have a knack for this!! I used PFP on a little project (coasters) long ago. It was such a precise technique. I used to think PFP was cheating... silly. I'm looking forward to your tutorial on curves.
(Amelia is going to be great fun to watch! Your daughter is quite talented... like her mom!)

Magnolia Bay Quilts said...

Great tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing it. Your blocks are amazing -- they just sparkle! I'm headed over to check out your daughter's blog now.

Rhondi said...

Hi Janet
You are amazing! I was just taking a closer look at the quilt on your new banner photo and noticed the quilting! You are really putting a lot of quilting in it. It is going to be spectacular and I'm sure you'll be finished in no time.
You must sew all day every day!
You are an inspiration to me.
Hugs, Rhondi

Vicky F said...

Hi Janet,
Thanks for the tutorial; your quilt is looking great! I'm glad to know you remove the paper from each arc section before piecing it further; I was always nervous about doing that.
Looks like your daughter has inherited the quilting gene from you!
Vicky F

Jackie said...

This is just a terrific post! Your progress is coming along wonderfully. I love the idea of the sand paper. Paper piecing is the best for accuracy too. I can't believe I missed your last post, what a wonderful mosaic of all your curved projects! I went over and say hi to your daughter. Looks like she is going to have a fabulous blog.

Quilt Hollow said...

It's wonderful to have a daughter that you can stitch with, fabric shop with all just oogle over patterns with! My mom isn't a quilter nor as the desire to shop in a quilt store...bummer for me at times.
Your tutorial is fantastic but then so are you!!

quiltycat said...

Thanks for the great tutorial! I don't love PP but I see the original of this quilt and it's amazing! I have to tray your way and I wait for the second post.
nichi

Thimbleanna said...

Oh thank you -- this is so interesting! I love seeing how different people do different techniques. I clicked over to your daughter's blog -- I'm so glad I did -- I giggled when I read about your "wicked cool stash"!!!

SewCalGal said...

Nice tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

I do love paper piecing and this design is perfect for scrap fabrics. Love the colors & fabrics you are using too!

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

YankeeQuilter said...

Great post! This will be a beautiful quilt.

In Awe of Applique said...

wonderful tutorial Janet, thank you! I have done a little pfp and love it, but tend to make it harder than it really is sometimes...(being a credit to my haircolor...lol) I can see that the Kaffe book is in my future (time to bend Santa's ear, I think). Can't wait for the 2nd installment : )
~Andrea

Jayne said...

You are a good teacher!! This was extremely helpful. I will refer to it often. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to next chapter!

be*mused jan said...

Excellent photos to illustrate your clear points! I used the same technique to assemble the *sun* in my schoolhouse adventure and you're right...after the first few spokes, you fall into an easy rhythm.

Janet said...

Thank you for sharing what you do - I'm learning! :0) I sure like your daughter's blog - her quilts are wonderful. It's hard to find time to sew with 4 busy little ones around but I find its a real sanity saver.

Cornfield Quilter said...

What a great tutorial! I have always wanted to try the arcs but have always come up with excuses not to because I was afraid to. You make it look so easy, and now I am hooked. Thanks so much!

Barb said...

Thanks so much, can I put this on my blog...under tutorials so I can have it for future reference and maybe someone else might like to see this also???

rainey said...

Making the decision that you didn't have to blog if you didn't want to certainly seems to have freed you up ! Hoping that you're enjoying it now that it feels less of an obligation and that the enthusiasm to share what you're accomplishing is its own reward.

I just have to say that you've created another stunner of a banner!

Kaaren said...

I've never had the desire to PFP, Janet, probably because I've never understood how. You are a wonderful teacher and the light bulb has been turned on thanks to you. Here's hoping it stays let!

I can't wait for the next segment. Thank you so much.

Marls said...

Great Quilt Janet. I have done PFP and your tutorial is so clear I'm sure you will have converted a few followers to the process.
Just going over to your daughters blog. I also am a lover of brights.

Vicki W said...

Excellent tutorial!

Julia said...

Excellent tutorial...beautifully explained...
Your arches are fabulous!
I have done pfp, find it very messy, but very accurate..
Thanks Janet.
Julia ♥

wishes, true and kind said...

Nicely written (and illustrated) tutorial. I'm developing a fondness for curves :). I'm on my way over to your daughter's blog. How fun!

joan

Lurline said...

Great tutorial, Janet - I am sure it will be so helful to anyone who faces foundation piecing with trepidation! I must get onto some background fabric and will make mine scrappy, too!
Hugs - Lurline♥

Juliann said...

I love your advise to not overthink the process - that is what I too often do in so many areas of life! I love your new header too.

Robin said...

What a great tutorial! I'm definitely going to have to try your template technique-- they seem like they'd be very sturdy, and the non-slip is so cool. Can't wait for part 2 to learn how you put your arcs and fans together.

Sally said...

Thank you for your great tutorial. Appreciate the detail and nice photos. Sally

*karendianne. said...

Everything about this post is fantastic. I even have my own personal story about it. Cosmic! *karendianne.


www.leehaven.com

LeKaQuilt said...

Thanks for the tutorial!

Lizzie said...

Your tutorial is the best I have seen so far. I am in the fabric planning stage of this quilt and can't wait to actually get it started. thanks!

Lizzie

Carrie P. said...

Thanks for sharing, Janet. Look forward to the curved part which makes me nervous.

belinda said...

Thank You...this was great!! I have always LOVED paper piecing!!

Mary said...

THis is going to be gorgeous! I don't care for paper piecing myself but I bought a Drunkard's Path die for my GO Cutter and am going to give that a try -- haven't done curved piecing before but I even have a foot I bought a few years ago that I'd never tried....we'll see how it goes.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

I'm really enjoying your tutorial and look forward to part 2. I like how you make up your templates..the sandpaper is a brilliant idea!

Ann Champion said...

Your quilt is just gorgeous...and your tutorial is wonderful. With such clear instructions, nobody should be afraid to tackle sewing those curves. The detailed pics are especially nice for so many of us that are more "visual learners". :)
I'm really tempted...

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Ok you DID foundation piece this but maybe with your instructions I can do it? I might try some this weekend because I'm so anxious to do this. I really really want to make this quilt and your insight might just allow me to do this. Thanks Janet.