Learn to expand your piecing horizons with freehand curved piecing.


In the February 2015 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine, Jean Wells shows us how to use freehand curved piecing. To begin freehand curved piecing, place your first two strips right side up on your cutting mat. And then on the first strip cut a gentle curve. Remove the right-hand part of the strip. And then place that first strip over your second strip. They're still right sides up. Then trim that same curve, following carefully with an extra-sharp rotary cutter to make the same curve on the second strip. And throw away this little piece of extra. And now we're going to sew these together. So now you're ready to sew these together. So match up about the first inch of the pieces. And the rest of it will look funny, but ignore it, because it will be just fine. And put the pieces under your presser foot and just start sewing with a quarter-inch seam allowance. And when you've gotten about an inch, stop with the needle down and just move that top layer over to the right. Don't stretch it to fit. Just move it over. Hold the bottom piece with your right hand and the top piece with your left hand, and just keep moving it over. And this is a little more of an extreme curve than you might want to try for your very first curve, but it will all work. So you just continue doing this all the way down the strip. To add your third strip, just repeat the entire process. Do the gentle curve on your second strip. Take away that piece. Move it over to the third strip. Then sew these together just like the first two. And now that this piece is pressed, you just keep adding strips until you get this to be the size that you want. Use this technique to make fun projects like this Four-Patch pillow or a pincushion.