The Appliqued Curves Method- New Quilts & A Tutorial

Well, I finally got that Apple Blossom mini quilt that was featured in McCall’s Quilting a few months back, put together into a full quilt pattern for you!  One task down, 963 to go.  This had definitely been near the top of my to-do list for awhile, A) because I adore it, and B) because I received so many lovely comments and requests about it!  Thanks guys!!

Slide 7 with border

The full quilt measures 60″ X 60″, and it pays homage to the historic orange peel and drunkards path designs that I so adore…

Apple  Blossom Full Quilt Photo Edited

…BUT (here’s the kicker) without all the stress of what can sometimes feel like tedious, advanced techniques.  I know, I know, curves can be fun (they really can!) but sometimes you just need to mix things up a bit when it comes to construction techniques (or at least I do).  Just like the 2, 4, or 8-at-once half square triangle methods that are so much fun because they feel new and, well, different (than perhaps the traditional method many of us were taught), I think the same applies to curves.  Using different techniques to achieve the same piecing look is part of the fun of quilting- having the freedom to choose not only the look of the design, but the method in which you achieve that look, is exhilarating.

The traditional, most common method of piecing curves pairs a pie shaped piece with an L-shaped piece- opposite angling curves carefully matched, pinned, and stitched…tried and true, but sometimes it can feel a little awkward (or exhausting if you’re not in the mood to get fussy).

I decided to use a different applique-style technique to make my curves for this Apple Blossom quilt (which I chatted with Pat Sloan about on her American Patchwork & Quilting podcast last week).  Essentially it’s just the use of freezer paper machine applique to achieve curved piecing.  Other than some visible stitching along the edge of the finished curve seam, which I happen to love because it’s sorta folksy and adds pretty texture to the seam, the final result is identical to the traditional curved piecing method.

Let me show you what I’m talking about.  Here’s the Appliqued Curves Method in a nutshell:

Curved Applique Collage

1.  To start, you need 2 same-sized squares- one for the wedge and one for the background- in the size that you want your unfinished curved unit to be (so if you want a 5″ finished unit, your starting square size would be 5.5″).

Trace & cut out a wedge shape from freezer paper.  There’s no need to build the curved edge seam allowance in for this method as we’ll be adding it on in a later step.  You should simply cut the curve wherever you want the final seam to be.

2.  With a hot iron, press the freezer paper wedge, waxy side down, to the wrong side of the wedge fabric square so that the corners align.  Thanks to magic of freezer paper, the paper will stick to the fabric, but is totally repositionable in case you need to adjust (score!).

3.  Trim the fabric square to a generous 1/4″ outside the freezer paper curve (perhaps I should just say 3/8″ but I’m afraid monkeys might fall from the sky…let’s just go with a healthy 1/4″)

4.  Peel freezer paper off of wedge fabric piece and flip the paper over so the waxy side is facing up, and align the corners.

5. With the tip of the iron, press the seam allowance over the curve of the paper.  The seam allowance will stick to the waxy side of the paper (Ahhh…I like where this is headed).

6.  Now take your background square and wedge piece (including the freezer paper), both right sides up, and align the corners.  Press so the waxy side of the paper sticks to the background square.  You guessed it- it sticks.  Sweet.

7.  Time to applique.  Machine stitch the wedge to the background square along the curved edge, using the    finishing stitch of your choice.  I love a nice, neat blind stitch or a blanket stitch for this, though a zig-zag works too. Keep the stitch as narrow as possible, catching only a couple of threads on the finished curved edge.

applique stitches

8.  Trim away the backing fabric along the seam allowance with scissors (best done in bed while watching a good movie!).

9.  Carefully pull out freezer paper, supporting seam with fingers.  You can reuse these paper templates quite a few times before they start to lose their stickiness.

And that’s the appliqued curves method!  Fun right?!  It might be more steps than the traditional piecing method, but I’ve gotta tell you- it was a breath of fresh air for me.  I had just finished a project with a tons of curves, and was getting ready to stitch up the super curvy Scenic Route quilt from my new book, and just craving a different technique- just for the fun of it.  After playing around a bit, this is what I came up with for that quilt, and it was so much fun to make!






Different method, same result.  I’m hooked!  I hope you enjoyed this fun little tutorial, as well as the patterns for these fun new patterns!  If you end up trying this method out, would you post it on your social media with the hashtag #appliquecurvesmethod ?  I’d love to see what you stitch up!

You can purchase a downloadable copy of the Apple Blossom pattern HERE, and the Scenic Route quilt pattern is available in my new book, along with 15 other fabulous projects HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy sewing!


Join The For Keeps Campaign!

It’s a crazy exciting month over here, you guys!  My new book is finally coming out and we have some seriously fun things planned!  I can’t lie…I’m as giddy as a school girl!  AHHHHH!  What a thrill to FINALLY be able to share with you what I’ve been working on for the past 2 years.  What’s it all about?  Well, quilting, yes, but so much more than that.  It’s about building relationships, about preserving priceless memories, and sparking unforgettable family time.  It’s about making beautiful things, and infusing our patchwork with even more meaning and functionality.  After all, isn’t that what quilts are all about?  They’re a joy to make, a joy to give, and a joy to use.

SO, first things first– please join me this afternoon over on American Patchwork & Quilting Radio, where I’ll be chatting with the lovely Pat Sloan about what I’m up to!  The show starts at 4pm, EST, and you can listen in here (don’t worry- Pat always offers archives for each show, so you can catch past episodes even if you miss the live show).

APQ Podcast with Pat Sloan

Also, you’re officially invited to the book launch party!  Wohoo!  If you live here in the Denver area, pop on over to Fancy Tiger Crafts this Friday night for some light refreshments and a fun time to chat!  I’ll be signing books and all of the projects from the book will be on display.

FTC Launch Party Graphic

SO- what else is going on?  Well, I’ve launched an exciting new website —– packed with tons of inspiration, a place to share your projects and stories, and impactful ways to get involved.

Launch Post Inspiration Collage

This summer is all about the #ForKeepsPledge.  It’s a pledge drive, but not the kind where you pledge money or commit to give up sugar for a month.  Nope.  This pledge is all about refocusing our hearts when it comes to our sewing.  It’s about pausing, amidst our busy lives, bursting sewing rooms, and piles of unfinished projects, to take a quick look at why it is that we sew, and who we sew for.

The For Keeps Pledge sans sig line

So what does it mean to take the #ForKeepsPledge?  By taking the pledge, you are making a commitment to yourself, and a statement to this community that you want to refocus your heart and renew your intentions when it comes to your quilting and sewing.  It means that you will be more mindful about using your passion to bring people together.

Taking this pledge does NOT mean you won’t drool over designer fabrics or strive to make high quality items.  It doesn’t mean you won’t follow trends or enter competitions.  It simply means that you desire even more meaning in the making and use of your projects, and will try to be more mindful, when you’re designing and sewing, of how your process and/or project captures and spreads love & joy in your home and community.

Will you join me???  Will you make this statement to yourself and this wonderful community?  It only takes a few seconds- click here to take the pledge, then print a copy for your sewing room, and grab a button for your blog.

Grab a Button Image for Blog Post

But wait..there’s more!

Block Graphic for Blog Post

That’s right- when you take the pledge, you’ll get a free download of one of my favorite block patterns from the book. AND, if you want to get even more involved, join the charity block drive!  The pattern includes details about how to send in blocks to donate- I’ll be stitching them together, and donating quilts to an organization that is especially meaningful to me.  The ladies of People Comforters, of Evergreen, Colorado, taught me to quilt back in 1992 in the basement of a tiny mountain church.  They’ve not only impacted the lives of countless trauma and crime victims across the Rocky Mountain region by donating heartfelt quilts to families in need of encouragement, but they also took me in, shared their knowledge, and changed my life forever– and for that I am eternally grateful.  I’d be honored if you chose to participate by sending in a happy block to cheer a family in need!

Ah!  So much to share, so little space!  It’s such a big, big month for my family and I, and we are so blessed to be able to share it with you through the new website and these exciting events.  I do hope you’ll take time to pop on over to the Quilt For Keeps

site, take the pledge, and enjoy the free block pattern.

Thanks friends taking the time to stop by and read what I’m up to!


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