Wednesday, March 11, 2009

hours of gentle curves....

The backgrounds for this big project are pieced in long strips, with gentle curves. I've been using a technique I learned in Myrna Giesbrecht's class "Points and Curves" several years ago, when it was taught at Quilt University. Myrna is no longer teaching there, but her website has info on classes and workshops that she offers, and she's a phenomenal teacher.

Anyway, about those curves... there's no pinning involved, which is why it worked out for these 52" or so runs that I needed to stitch. The pieces are set out with one overlapping the other, both right sides up, by a small amount:

The overlap is on top of the cutting mat, with the already-sewn portion to the right. I have a few pins holding the two pieces together since I've got these laid out on the floor.

Cut the curve through both layers at the same time (either freeform or you can follow a pattern, but try not to get any REALLY deeply rounded parts):

Make registration marks to give yourself a guide for lining up the two pieces when you're sewing. I put some pins in to hold them together until I'm closer to the sewing machine, but mostly because it's such a long seam. For smaller pieces, just the marks will do.

Then they get placed right sides together, and line up the fabric as you go-- no pinning--so you're only pulling together the next inch or so as you stitch. Use the registration marks to stay lined up as you go (the pencil marks are visible just in front of my thumb):

I find it easier if I keep the top fabric lifted slightly, and just keep easing the curves...

Once it's done, press with a little steam and you're ready.

I'm looking forward to the next part-- a quick bit to add interfacing, then batting, and getting those background circles quilted in, and then the fun part... drawing the tree and all the leaves.

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