Sunday, May 17, 2009

Curved Foundation Piecing...A Tutorial

Suze, a very thoughtful gal, emailed me with a link to where my old blog, "Work in Progress", is languishing in Blog Purgatory. She was able to find my old website using an archive site called "The Way Back Machine".

To get to my old blog posts, I had to click on "Visit My Weblog"on the home page of my old website under the main heading...and then start digging around through here.
I was able to find the tutorial I had written about curved foundation piecing for crazy quilting and am re-posting it for you.

Thanks so much, Suze!!!!

So let's turn the Way Back Machine to October 4, 2005....(slightly edited)


My process is kind of weird...I just kind of blundered into this technique!
I had my husband take pictures through the process of sewing this curved foundation piecing, and he made sure that Dodger Barbie would get to learn, too.

Here we go.... ;-)

#1 Here on the right is the piece ready to sew on. The curves are parallel. Notice that one of the fabrics in the chunk to be sewn on hasn't been cut all the way to size yet.

#2 The pieces are placed right sides together; needle down and off we go...

#3 This step is KEY! As I round the curve, I am pushing the bottom fabric to the left with my right hand, and pulling the top fabric to my right with my left hand. As I guide the sewing line along the curve, I am adjusting the fabrics immediately before they go beneath the presser foot, aligning the top and bottom with my hands as I sew.

#4 The finished seam. Notice how it is cupped?

#5 The fabric is flipped and ready to be ironed flat.

#6 And there it is, flat, not too bad! I didn't photograph this next step, but after it is flat on top I will turn the block over and iron it from the back. Sometimes the foundation muslin can get wrinkled, and it's important to iron that flat or the block will end up distorted as you keep adding pieces. This is especially true if you are using heavier fabrics, like upholstery, corduroy, etc.

I trim those seam allowances to reduce bulk before the next step.

#7 Here I am "outlining" the next shape with my machine on that chunk of purple charmeuse, holding it taut and flat with my left hand as I sew. This sewing line will not only tell me where to cut, but keeps the piece flat and in place. No flopping or wrinkling.

#8 Ta Daa! I've cut off the excess purple charmeuse fabric, and here you see the completed curve.

The four blocks I made using this method are here:

These eventually became this quilt, called "Cool and Warm":

The borders were pieced on long strips of muslin using the same curved piecing technique.

This technique yields blocks and borders with much more randomness than the curved applique technique I am currently using...and now I am kind of missing that element! We crazy quilters have so many choices....

I hope this is of use to some of you....


Esther Gregory said...

okay... so I'm confused. you're sewing through three layers of fabric? (the two colored pieces and the foundation?)

You move the two colored pieces but not the foundation? And the two colored pieces are cut to have the same curve?

Also do you have a tutorial on your new method of sewing curved pieces?

allie aller said...

To answer Esther's excellent questions" ...yes, yes, and yes.

I don't have a tutorial on the curved applique method, though.

Suze said...'s great to see that tutorial again..glad I could help!

Cat said...

That's a bright pretty piece!

I love curved piecing, only I used to do it totally different! (laughing) I would iron the edge under and baste each curved piece on, then ready for embroidery, then remove the big basting stitches.

Happy days to you.

Judy S. said...

Hmmm...npt ready for that I think! Aren't these sunny days great?

Raspberry said...

This was INCREDIBLY helpful. I'm always so scared of my scraps that are too 'curvy'. :)

Barbara C said...

It was good to see this again, I'm glad you could recover it from your old blog. Isn't that Way Back Machine a marvel?

Susan Elliott said...

Oh THANK YOU SUZE!!! I've been pining away for this tutorial for years!!!!!!!!!! saved it!

Online Printing said...

Dodger Barbie surely must've learned a lot from this curved foundation piecing tutorial :) This takes skill and patience, I'll have to practice a lot! Your work is amazing, you've clearly got the talent. Thanks!

kerrykatiecakes2 said...

So glad you resurrected this tutorial Allie - it is a wonderful one!

Rian said...

Very cool. I'm going to have to experiment with your technique. I do it differently, but then there's stitching on the seams. Would be nice to not have that...

Denise Felton said...

Well, I'm still a little bit chicken to try curved foundation piecing. But you've made me believe it's possible! I just put a link to this post on my blog. Hope it brings you a few new visitors.


Jennifer said...

I like that. Kind of like your own piece of artwork.

Marianne S-M said...

Allie, thanks for the tutorial. Looks daunting to me