Thursday, July 28, 2011

Making curves

Add a curve to your border......or create a landscape with curves.   I've said  "I don't do curves."  Guess what....I  was wrong.  Gasp!   I found a couple of techniques/ways  that I adapted to accomplish curves that work for me.

For Boogie Woogie Star, the curved border is sewn, piece to piece.  In the small  autumn landscape, the curves are cut, turned under and top stitched in place. 
   The tricky part is getting the curve to match...right?  If I free form cut the curve for a border piece, how do I make the inside match?  One thing to remember, your mind/hand have an innate curve direction that they will automatically create.  Huh?  Try drawing a curve line.  Do it again.  Bet they probably start and curve in the same direction....that's your innate direction.   Look at the autumn landscape....see my innate curve direction  in at least 4 places.  I learned that I needed to draw my curves before I cut to get the variety of movement.   So here's how I create a curve.

Imagine that I want to add a curved border.....the red print is the block or quilt top, and the yellow is the border to add.  Slide the yellow under the edge of the block/top so that there is enough over lap on both pieces for the curve. 
Note...Update:  Be sure both fabrics are right side up.
  If not you will get the same curve on both fabrics.  You want opposing curves that match.

  Then I take tailor's chalk....what ever marking tool you prefer....and draw a gentle curved line, top to bottom.  Gentle curve means avoid mountaintops and deep valleys.  If the curve is too steep or wavy....I just brush off the mark and try again.  That is why I like tailor's chalk for this. 

Now be brave and cut on the marked curve.   The think slice of red on the top of the yellow is discarded.  Ditto for the slice of yellow under the red.  That should leave you with the 2 pieces--the block/top and the yellow border to add.  And they will match!

  Decision time now.  Do you want a sewn seam or a top stitched one?   For a sewn seam, make a couple of marks across the cut on both fabrics.  This will be your points to align when sewing.  The yellow flips over the red block/top and sew using 1/4" seam.  You will only be able to line up and sew  an inch or so at a time before you need to stop (needle down) raise the pressure foot and adjust the edges to match. Stitch and repeat until the side is sewn.  Press and repeat for the other sides.
    Rather do a top stitched border?   Spray starch is your friend for this.
Be sure to use a dry avoid  introducing steam that can cause stretching.  Starch will add body for this technique.  
  Turn under 1/4"  on one of the pieces.  In this example I turned under the red block/top piece.  Again dry iron and press.  Don't drag the iron along the edge, it will cause stretching. 

Because the curves are gentle and not steep, the 1/4" is easy to turn under without clipping the seam allowance.  Clip the mountian top curves if needed to achieve a smooth edge. 
  Now overlap and stitch in place.  Use a straight stitch or decorative edge stitch if you like. 
Repeat for each side of the block. 

  That's how I make curves manageable for me.  Try a few and figure out the best way for you. 
Happy stitching.

1 comment:

Lynne said...

Are you left-handed? Your curve looks pretty much like mine!

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