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Curved Piecing Tips

So many quilters shy away from curved piecing without giving it a try. I am here to tell you it is EASIER than it looks. You can do it. Here are some simple tips...

  1. Go slow! There is no reason to rush stitching a curve. Take your time, finesse it, enjoy the process, relax your shoulders, take a deep breath. Easier said than done, I know. With a little practice, it will get easier.

  2. Stitch with your needle in the down position. This means that when you take your foot off the petal, the needle will stop down not up. This allows you to lift the presser foot, manipulate the fabric as needed and put the foot back down without losing your place. Machines with a screen will have a button for this. Mine is near my reverse button. There is usually a little picture of a needle on or next to this button. If your machine is purely mechanical, rotate your wheel so the needle is completely down when stopping.

  3. Stitch with the circle on the bottom. This way you can manipulate the fabric on top as you go.

  4. If a little pucker gets stitched, keep going, it will be okay. After stitching the entire curve, see if the pucker needs to be fixed, sometimes they will iron out. If needed, pick out the stitching that's holding the pucker, flatten it out and then restitch that spot.

  5. Keep your eye on the fabrics as they go under the presser foot and adjust them as needed. If you're constantly watching the needle, it's too late to adjust the fabrics, they're already stitched.

  6. Keep the seam to a true 1/4". This will keep everything flat. Large seams will take up too much fabric and the circle and the frame will no longer match. Small seams will make too much fabric in the circle. Practice a bit to see how you can create the most consistent 1/4" seam on your machine.

  7. If you are making different sized curves, stitch the largest one first. Why? Because it will be the easiest. The smaller the curve, the tighter it turns and the harder it is to stitch. Get a feel for stitching curves on the easier ones first!

I love the look of curves and find they are everywhere around us. My newest pattern, Exploding Peppermints has five different blocks with curves. They give the quilt movement and attract the eye!


Hi! I'm Jen, a quilt pattern writer, product & fabric designer, mom, and retired nurse practitioner and certified nurse midwife. Whether you're new to quilting or making your 100th quilt, you're in the right place. Check out the tutorials, quilt patterns, coloring pages, and featured quilters. 

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