Love sewing CURVES!

When my creative juices are feeling a bit stagnant or maybe every day life is just crowding out the ideas, I look at abstract paintings to get inspired.  I’ve been busy creating a lot of landscape quilts and flower quilts and my heart and brain needed to work in a different design area.  I found a beautiful painting of colors in curves.  This painting inspired me to create the art quilt COLOR WAVES.  While I have made many quilts with curved piecing, this one was the first to create those curves so that they gathered together into very fine lines of color in several sections of the art quilt.  Sewing all those different colors, which become more and more narrow, into some tight collections of color was a new experience.  I realized the importance of piecing in a systematic way going from one direction to another across the quilt in a sort of sequence.  By doing this, I could keep the seams more easily heading in the same direction and minimize the thickness of the seams.  

I started the piecing of this quilt with one of the larger peach curved pieces in the middle of the quilt.  I added one piece at a time towards the bottom side  and then added one piece at a time to the top side which continued around to the right side of the quilt.  I can’t wait to try this design with different colors and some different swirl patterns!!  There were a few times when I deviated from this sequence of piecing when there was a slice of color coming up from the lower right corner.  

As with all curved piecing, especially when the strips of fabric will eventually be quite narrow, I only cut one side of the curve on a much wider piece of fabric in my sewing process.  This way you are working with wider, more stable pieces of fabric instead of very skinny strips.  It is with the cut on the second side that you narrow the strip to its final size and shape (plus a seam allowance of 1/4″), ready to receive the next color piece.

The finished size of this art quilt is 16″H x 17.5″W.  Once I finished the piecing, I took photos of the quilt from all rotations to find the best view of the colors…that is, to figure out the best way to hang the quilt.  I love the blast of movement the piecing creates from the bottom left to the top right from this view!

Have fun trying curved piecing!  


9 Responses

    1. I do not use a foundation fabric nor do I know how that would work. I use a wallpaper cut to match two fabrics together for a curved cut, then it is slow sewing, a few stitches at a time, then shifting the fabrics together, then a few more stitches. I’m not a person who pins either. Let me know if you have more questions. Curved piecing is in almost all my quilts….I love it!

    2. No, I cut all my curves into each other, piecing as if making a quilt the old fashion way. The back of a finished “top” shows all the seams and raw edges of every piece of fabric.

    1. You use a wallpaper cut technique. Take first piece of fabric and cut a gentle curve. With right side up, lay the first fabric with small overlap on another piece of fabric also right side up. Cut the second fabric following the curve of the first. The two fabrics should lay like puzzle pieces matching together on your cutting table. Now put the top edge of both right sides together and sew it 1/4” allowance. The easiest is to just sew a few stitches and then ease it together, sew a few more stitches, ease more together, etc. when done you should be able to iron it flat and you have a curved piecing done.

  1. I’ve recently become enthralled with the idea of piecing with curves. And, while I find traditional pieced designs lovely, the rigidity or symmetry of traditional designs aren’t something I’m inspired to piece and quilt myself. Apparently, according to those who know me best, I don’t like to follow to follow “the rules “ so to speak. I stumbled across the photo of this wall hanging you created and my brain screamed “THIS! I want to do THIS!”. Your work is beautiful and vibrant, a delight to the eyes. I’m going to take the explanation you offered in the comments above and attempt to create something myself with the guidelines you offered.

    1. I’m just like you, I don’t follow directions well either. I’m just like you, I don’t follow directions well either. Have fun! The options are limitless!

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