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Machine Minute - Curved Piecing

Watch this video to learn the two secrets to easy curved piecing!

Hi, I'm Jennifer and today's Machine Minute is brought to
you by Baby Lock and the Symphony machine. Curved piecing:
Curves are more popular than ever, but for some quilters,
they strike fear in their hearts because they can be
a little bit challenging. I'm going to share with you
a couple of tips and tricks to make putting this
curve together smooth and easy. Now there are two rules
to remember when you're working with curved piecing. One: pin.
Pin more than you ever do. You might be pin
averse or you might do no pin sewing in the
rest of your quilting life, but for curve piecing, pins
are essential. Second: sew slowly. This isn't a speed contest,
and the more control you have as you're sewing, the
better. To begin with, if it's your first curved piecing
project, choose a curve that's more gentle than one that
has a really sharp arc to it. But there are
two parts to any curve. One is the inside curve
or concave curve; the other is the outside curve or
convex one. The first thing you do when you're sewing
curves together is to fold your piece in half and
just finger press so you create a little guide for
yourself as to where the center of the piece is.
Do the same thing on your concave piece, making sure
that you align the edges and then finger press that
center. And this is the part I think that always
takes people by surprise when you line up those two
points. It looks like you've missed the mark completely because
your first pin is going to match those two curves,
but what about this and this coming together? Well, that's
where you start manipulating the fabric, and you know that
these are bias edges so they do have some stretch,
so you want to be careful how much you handle
them. But your pin is going to go in at
the outside edge of those two curves, and you'll match
up your raw edges and place another pin along that
edge. Repeat that for the opposite edge. And again you
want to do as little handling of the fabric as
you can, but you do have to do a little
bit of fussing with it to get those edges to
line up. So I've got three pins in and you
can see I've sort of got these gaps where the
curves still aren't together. So now, I like to work
with the outside curve, or that convex curve, on top.
And just sort of adjust those together, again finding a
midpoint and placing a pin at that spot. And repeat
that process for the outside or the opposite side and
line those up. So no I've got five pins in.
I really want to have about nine, so I'm going
to do ahead and place another pin at the midpoint
of each of those sections, and what I'll end up
with is a piece that has a lot of pins
in it, and you can see on this side, it's
very smooth. On the opposite side, I've got lots of
fabric I've got to deal with manipulating as I sew.
So this is the part where you want to do
to your machine and sew slowly. If you machine has
an adjustment to slow down the speed, this is a
great time to put it to use. I'm going to
place my piece underneath the presser foot. I've got it
set up to sew with a quarter inch seam using
my presser foot as the guide. And I'm going to
start sewing very slowly. I don't want to sew over
a pin, but I do want to make sure I
keep the pins in as long as I can and
simply watch the fabric as it goes into the needle,
making sure I smooth out any edges and avoid any
puckers. And I'll continue sewing all the way around the
piece, sewing slowly, removing the pins as I get to
them until I make it all the way around the
curve. Now this is a great time to put on
some music and just relax and enjoy your sewing as
you go along. What you'll end up with then when
you're finished is something that looks like this on the
back, a nice, smooth curve. You'll press it flat. There
will be no puckers, and the front of your piece
will have a perfect curve.


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