My rotary cutter blade is sharp (thanks to the TrueSharp I used yesterday) my fabric is cut into pieces and I’m ready to move onto the curved section of my project today. If you have never sewn curves before after reading this you’ll ask yourself, “Why haven’t I tried this before?” Onward and forward to this sure fire method for sewing curves – no pins or clipping required.
I don’t think I gave you any measurements in my post yesterday. The placemats will be 15½″ x 20½″ when finished. The cutting instructions below are to make 2 placemats.
- Cut 4 border pieces 3″ x 20½″
- Cut 2 blue pieces 8½″ x 21½″
- Cut 2 cream pieces 4″ x 21½″
Cutting the curve
The key to cutting the curves is to cut a nice gentle curve. By doing this the pieces will sew together without pins or clipping.
I also find that a 45mm blade or larger work better for cutting curves than a 28mm blade.
Also note the pieces are cut 1″ longer than the finished size as there’s inconsistency when sewing curves together – they definitely don’t come out matching at each end.
With the TrueCut rotary cutter I’ll have to remove the ruler guide otherwise I won’t be able to do any free hand cutting with it. The same thing if you want to use this cutter with other rulers then the guide will need to be removed. It’s easy enough to do – just take the cutter apart like you were changing the blade, take out the guide section and put everything back together.
The guide is the piece with the red line on it.
To cut, place the cream fabric right side up on top of the blue fabric which is also right side up. Overlap the two at the bottom of the blue fabric by an inch or so. This is where the curve will be cut. I have 4 layers of fabric to cut through so am very happy for that sharp blade.
Cut a gentle curve along the length of the fabric and discard the off cut pieces. Having a sharp blade makes cutting curves much easier giving a nice smooth edge to the cut.
Sewing the curve
Place the first two pieces together matching the corners and place under the sewing machine foot. I use a quarter inch foot to sew the pieces together but you can purchase curved piecing foot for some machines. I have no idea how well they do or do not work as I have never used one.
Make sure your needle is in the needle down position because you’ll be stopping a fair bit while sewing the pieces together.
Hold the ends of the 2 pieces up off the machine bed. This allows for better control of the pieces under the foot and to maintain a ¼″ seam allowance as they’re sewn together. But if you miss the ¼″ seam allowance by a smidge, that’s okay.
Sew slowly easing the 2 pieces together as you go.
Pressing the curve
This is the one time that I do use steam when I’m pressing. It helps to make sure that the seam lies nice and flat. If the pieces distort slightly with the steam that’s okay as they’ll need to be squared up to the right size anyways.
Don’t worry about pressing to the darkest fabric just press the way in which the fabric and its seam wants to go, this will make for a nice crisp seam line.
Now that the curves are sewn I’ll square off this section to be 10½″ x 20½″ then sew the borders to the top and bottom.
See curves aren’t so bad. Give it a try with this sure fire method for sewing curves – no pins or clipping required. I think this is a great backdrop for a ‘snowman scene’. Join me tomorrow as I continue with the Rolling Snowman Placemats.
This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: Excellent tool for quilters: no more dull blades with TrueSharp
Go to part 4: 10 easy steps to a no binding finish for small quilted projects
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