Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sewing curves is not hard - Seriously


I came home from work today and opened my Google Reader to see that a friend was having trouble sewing Drunkard's Path Curves. So I was compelled to make a real video and post it on Youtube. I enlisted my youngest son to be cameraperson and also technical advisor.

This video was made in one take (since all he did was  pause the video game he was playing) - there was no time to practice, set up, rehearse, or write a script. The video is 1:18 minutes. It shows you exactly what I do in exactly the time it takes. The only editing was to add the title screen at the front via iMovie and then we uploaded it to Youtube.

Drunkard's Path unit after pressing
Here is the unit from the video, after I pressed it. I did not invent this approach but maybe it will help you to see that I can do it, and I am not a quilting superstar or pro or anything but a still relatively new quilter.

Here are the tricks to sewing Drunkard's path curves:

1. Remember that the two fabrics need to meet only at the point of the needle.

2. In the video, I mention that I am lining the pieces with my 1/4" foot because I have one that I use for piecing. But you don't need a 1/4" foot, just line the pieces with the spot on your usual piecing foot where you usually line up the fabric to piece with a 1/4" seam. The point is to have the pieces lined up at the 1/4" mark as they go under the foot. Then they will be at that spot when they get to the needle because the foot will hold them in place as the feed dogs move the fabric forward.

3. Don't pull hard on either of the fabric pieces, they will stretch if you do because you have cut curves which are therefore cut on the bias of the fabric.

4. Keep the top piece up while you are sewing, like in the video.

5. Sew relatively slowly, but it is not a slow process.

6. When you iron the unit, press the wrong side first and press the seam allowance from the L shape side to the curve shape side (toward the the orange side on this one) gently, then turn and press the front toward the curve shape (orange part).

That's it.

More butterfly blocks

Here is one of the blocks I have been working on again so you can see the curves, all nicely pressed. No curve was pinned and not one was ripped out. I did trim the quarter circle units down to size for this butterfly block. This block was inspired by Megan at Canoe Ridge Creations tutorial which is here.

You too can sew curves easily, without pins or special stuff. Seriously. You can.

Let me know how you do.

Best,

Leanne
ps. I will edit this post as people point out things that are not covered or that don't make sense.


66 comments:

  1. aahh! It IS hard! (for me) I tried and failed and tried and failed again. I LOVE that block SO much. sigh. I will watch your video as soon as I get all these kids to bed.
    THANK YOU - I hope I get it!
    : )
    ~Monika

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  2. Oooh! No pins, I don't know if I could risk that. I can get them to go with pins but it is time consuming. Hmm, one day I might be brave and give it a go.

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  3. Great tutorial... Love that block!

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  4. Wowza, that looks so easy!!!! Thanks for the great video. I really need to get me a 1/4" foot.

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  5. Way to go! I loved your butterfly blocks when they showed up on flickr. Beautiful!

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  6. you make it look soooo easy! i am pinning this!

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  7. wow, that is an amazing technique. I love drunkard's path and am going to try doing it your way!

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  8. You DO make it look easy! Great technique - thanks much!

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  9. I will need to have a go at this! Is so want to do the DP block

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  10. Great idea to leave a video L! I'm not a fan of sewing curves but always love the end results! Love seeing that block - stunning! Jxo

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  11. Wow Leanne thank you SOOOO much this is a fab way of doing it and totally makes sense, I can't wait to try tonight when I get in from work. I really appreciate you helping me out :-)) such a nice thing to do xx

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  12. What a lovely post! And a great tutorial!

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  13. Great video, you make it look easy!

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  14. Lovely post, and boy do you make it look easy!!

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  15. I don't have problems sewing the drunkard but I found you on FairyFace and decided to check out the video.

    It's great! I will surely try it, the idea of keeping the upper side lifted is brilliant!

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  16. So glad you did this as people are afraid of the DP block and they shouldn`t be. Love the video and good to hear your voice...loving your tweezer tip as I always struggle with the last centimeter!

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  17. Thank you Leanne for the video! I didn't try yet but this was very helpful! x Teje

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  18. Wow, thanks! That Terrain block is lovely too!

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  19. I have mastered the final inch flip method, but this looks superb too - definitely going to give it a go xxx

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  20. Awesome video! Now I feel like I can try this. Thanks!

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  21. Wow! That is bloody amazing!! And it's really nice to hear your voice, it's got a really soothing timbre.

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  22. You make it look so very easy. I will save this for when I decide to do some curved piecing. Hmmm do I have a UFO with curved piecing...I can't even remember!

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  23. Thanks Leanne for a really great video. After seeing your gorgeous butterfly blocks I've been really wanting to try them. As soon as I get back home I'm going to have a go.
    Love hearing your voice too.

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  24. Awesome! Trying this now for sure. Your son did a great job producing this as well :)

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  26. Well you make that look easy, I will try give it a try, I had written off piecing curves for a while ( my first attempt caused me more stress than sewing should =P

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  27. First off you have a lovely voice and it was so nice to hear it! What a great video, and it seems so simple! I really want to make a drunkard's path now! Awesome Leanne! Tell you son thanks too!

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  28. What a fantastic way to do this! You make this look easy. I can't wait to try it.

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  29. well, you sure did make that look easy- makes me want to try it
    thanks

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  30. Thank you for a great video. I have had pile of Drunkards bath blocks waiting forever to be pieced.I will definately try your method tomorrow.

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  31. Great video! This makes so much more sense than lots and lots of pins.

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  32. well that is easy!!

    Does your foot have a lip to keep your fabric at 1/4 inch or are you just that awesome to keep the fabric in one spot??

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  33. Just found this...I am about to conquer the drunkard, and this made sewing a curve simple. I have been hit or miss in the past, so I hope it is more hit from here on out!

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  34. Fantastic!! I can't wait to do it! Showing me how via video is exactly what I needed! Thank you so very much - you are a life-saver!

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  35. i've never tried a curve on the machine, but your tutorial makes me want to give it a go! New follower here...

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  36. WOW, Leanne! I wouldn't have believed it unless I saw it. No pins! Thanks so much for doing this video. I just discovered it. I'm going to give this a try.

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  37. Thanks for a fabulous video. Short, to the point, clear, great camera work. I came over from The Quilting Edge blog. I will go attack a curve right now!
    Pam
    London, ON

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  38. Amazing! Thank you for posting x

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  39. Amazing, thank you so much for posting! x

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  40. Super helpful post, I sewed my curves pretty easily. Wish I would have tried this before I spent 30 bucks on a "special" foot. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. I bought a Curvemaster foot but only used it once, I found curves to be quite easy and enjoyable without the special foot, I wish I'd saved the money as well..

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  41. Thanks for taking the trouble to post this video. I was thinking about doing some curved patchwork on a round robin piece I have, but didn't feel adventurous enough. I'll certainly try it now.

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  42. Thanks so much for this video! It saved me buying the Curve Master foot, when I didn't really have the "extra" money. This definitely worked for me. I just finished sewing a whole stack of these blocks for a Retro Flowers Quilt!

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  43. Just the video I've been looking for. Working on the Craftsy BOM and doing curved seams. I've heard of this method before and wanted to try it. Holding the top piece up is the key to this method. Thanks for your help. As someone else commented earlier, you do have a soothing voice that's easy to listen too.

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  44. Great video which I should have watched before starting Mod Pop, onwards and upwards.

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  45. Thank you! Now I must try curves, it looks so easy!!

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  46. You. Are. Amazing.
    I'm going to give it a try right now with two blocks I've been avoiding just b/c they're curved. Thank you!!!

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  47. Thank you! Thank! Thank you, Leanne! Your simple video tutorial on sewing curves was so very helpful! I did not have the first clue on how to sew curves. I fell in love with a tessellating butterfly pattern, and I individually traced and cut out 126 curved pieces (9 per block X 12 blocks, plus a few spares) and then realized that I didn't know how to sew them together!

    I have 9 out of 12 blocks done now thanks to you! :)
    Carola D

    Carola.Dovbniak@gmail.com

    carolasquilting.blogspot.com

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  48. It works! Thank you so much. Now I am well on my way with my ModPop! Hurray! Thanks again :-)

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  49. I totally ruined a quilt with curves, not having a clue what I was doing. That quilt is on my bucket list, I must conquer that pattern! Now, thanks to you, I finally feel like I might be able to attempt it with practice. (And my mom will finally get her long awaited quilt!!)

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  50. interesting, i just learned curves but i put the outer curve on top - also start out with pins in the middle and both ends. but i was amazed out how easy it was. of course these were 6" circles, so rather gentle. i did do a Snowdrop for a bee block once, and struggled with that one for sure. i think the larger curve helps a lot. but i should go back and see whether i can do a smaller one, now that i "kind of" know the technique. anyway, a week ago i was terrified, and now i think i have a curved block quilt in my future (:

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  51. Wow! That makes excellent sense! I am no longer afraid of curves and will proceed bravely the next time I start working on a curvy pattern. Thank you very much for posting this video!

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  52. Thank you so much for this wonderful video!! Makes it so easy!!!!

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  53. OH Yeah! Just tried this and even my first try is SO much better than my pinned effort! I have read stuff that says the concave piece should be on top, but your way worked better for me. Thanks!

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  54. Cool video! The only thing I do differently because I learned it in a class is to put in one pin at the very end with the pin point facing in toward the piece and taking two tiny bites of the fabric right on the sewing line, then swing the curved piece up to start the sewing. My fingers on my left hand are between the two pieces guiding the bottom piece and my right had guides the curve, just as you show. Having the end pinned means I don't stop, I just guide it under and then put one finger on the pin as the piece goes under the needle so that the pin slides out as I sew.

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    2. I do the same thing, putting a pin at the end means no stopping and fiddling with a stiletto. I made my first DP and thought it was going to be tough but it was very easy and quick with just the one pin. I have also made a Deco Fan that was easy and enjoyable (quilting is supposed to be a pleasurable pastime after all). My big challenge is going to be a Winding Ways, I've done a couple of samples that are OK but could be better - I eliminated one seam from the centre and it works much better that way..

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  55. I have avoided "planned curves" like Drunkard's Path because I never get them to look right. However, this is very similar to how I sew free cut curves. I will have to try it. Thanks.

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  56. I actually just used your method for the first time and it works SO WELL! Thanks Leanne, my days with pinning curves are over! It took a few tries to really get the hang of it, but once you do, wow, so easy. Thanks!

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  57. THANK YOU! You make it look easy and I will give it a try!

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  58. THANK YOU! You make it look easy and I will give it a try!

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  59. How'd I miss this one? Fabulous!

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