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Machine Minute: Curved Piecing

Curved piecing is easier than it looks! Use these tips for smooth curves.


Hi, I'm Linda, and today's machine minute is brought to you by Baby Lock and the Crescendo machine. Today we're going to talk about curved piecing. Curved piecing can be a little intimidating, because you're not on a straight line anymore and that's a little frightening for people that haven't done it. But we're going to give you some tips and some suggestions on making it easier. Let's get started. So very often when you're doing curved piecing, you're cutting it with a template or a pattern. The reason is, it's really hard to rotary cut the curved edge. So in this case, I've cut out my pattern, I've cut out my pieces of fabric using the template, and now I'm going to mark my dots. Marking the dots is very important because that's what you're going to be matching up as you sew. Now I've put little pin dots on my dots so it would be easier for my lead to get through. I'm just going to make a nice small mark at those points. Make sure you do it on the bottom curve, too. And if you're using template plastic, you'll have a little more of a spot. You want to make sure you make a nice hole there again so you can see those dots as you go. So you can see my dots. You can come back in and make them a little larger. You want to keep them fairly concise, because it will help you match those seams. You can see here on the blue piece that I made my marks much larger so you can see them a little better in the camera. But you really want to keep those dots pretty precise. Now let's talk about matching up the dots. So in the finished piece, here's how your pieces are going to match up. So in order to get that to happen, the first thing you're going to do is match your centers. I like to spear through my dots. So if you can see the dot on that side, and I speared through the dot on the blue. I like to spear through first, and then put on my pin. And I'm going to make sure I put in my pin in this case with the head on the outside so that it'll be easier when I'm sewing to take it out. Next I'm going to do the corners. So again, I'm going to spear through that dot and spear through that dot. And now I'm going to make sure as I pin that you can kind of see it's starting to take shape. And I'm going to stop stitching at that dot. Again in this corner. So now you can see how we're going to start to get that curve to match up. The nice part is, when you're cutting a curve, you're typically on a bias edge, which is going to stretch a little more and form a little better. So you can see I've got my piece positioned under my presser foot. I've got the needle starting right under the presser foot at my dot. So I'm going to start and end right there. I'm going to take a few quick stitches at that seam and then I'm going to start. I've turned the speed way down. I'm going to take out my pins as I go. I did that on purpose. I want to be able to ease that seam in, so I really do want to go nice and slow. Now again, remember I'm going to stop right at that pin, right at that dot, take a few quick stitches in place. So when we turn it what we have is really a nice consistent curve without any pleats. So there you have it. I hope these tips and techniques have made it a little less intimating to try curved piecing.