Quilt Almanac 09 – Curved Piecing Made Easy

By Cate Tallman-Evans for the Eye of the Storm quilt featured in Quilt Almanac 09, Issue #98.

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Probably no technique intimidates quilters more than curved piecing. Just the mention of it is enough to send all but the most adventurous sewers running in the opposite direction. Curved piecing’s bark is definitely worse than its bite. Armed with the steps given below, you may find that curved patches are your new best friends. Curved piecing seems difficult mainly because two dissimilar pieces: a concave piece and a convex piece, are being sewn together. Think of the concave pieces as “valleys” and convex pieces as “hills.”

Curved Piecing Made Easy


1.Finger press the valley piece right sides together to find the center point. Then, finger press the hill piece wrong sides together to find its center point.

2. Right sides together, layer the valley piece on top of the hill piece, matching the center points. The creases made in the two pieces should nestle together. Pin the two pieces together at the center point.

3. Pin the two pieces together at each end. Some people proceed directly to the sewing machine at this point, matching the edges as they are fed through the machine.

4. Place pins about 1/2″ apart in the spaces between the pins already in place. Again, be sure the valley piece is on top. If the valley piece is not stretching enough to fit easily around the hill piece, clip 1/8” into the seam allowance at several points.

5. Using a 1/4” seam allowance, sew the two pieces together just as you would for any other quilt patches. The seam allowance will naturally tend to fall toward the concave, or valley, piece. Press the seam allowance in that direction.

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