The secret behind sewing curves without using pins

I’m so excited to be hosting the blog this week! I have prepared a special Christmas treat just for you to make in a day: Sewing curves without having to use pins!

Easy curves table runner project just in time for the Holidays

It has been a real treat to be part of QUILTsocial this year and experimenting using the wonderful PFAFF creative icon. Did you get yours yet? I can’t believe I managed to make so many projects. I don’t think I could have done all of this without the icon and can’t decide what I love the most: its precision piecing, perfect lighting or big work space. If you haven’t gone to see this machine, do it today! Perhaps you’ll find it under your tree tomorrow(?)

Sewing the project with the PFAFF creative icon

Now here’s my gift to you. If you don’t have to cook all day, please take a few hours to make this project, you’ll love how easy it is to make. It starts with the Omni Arc, a 28mm rotary cutter and three 6” squares of four different fabrics. Note that there are NO PINS necessary!

Pick four different fabrics and cut three 6″ squares.

Aligning the Omni Arc ruler on the squares, cut using the small rotary cutter on the 4” arc. You need the smaller cutter to be able to cut continuously along the curve. Once you’ve cut all the squares, align them and mix and match as you wish before sewing them up together.

The perfect tools for curved blocks

Here are the simple steps to sew a curve:

Align the needle ½” inside the concave curve

  1. Take the concave (inward curve) unit first to position carefully under your foot. Using the red lines on the ¼” foot, align your needle ½” inside the concave curve. Place the needle down so that the needle is also positioned at ¼” from the edge.
  2. Take the convex (curved outward) unit and align the curve so that it sits perfectly in front of the needle.

The convex (curved outward) unit aligned perfectly in front of the needle

3. Start stitching while pulling (not too much) the concave unit so that it is straight and aligning the convex unit to the edge.

Stitch along while gently pulling the concave unit.

4. Your convex piece will end at about ½” from the edge of the concave unit.

The convex piece will end about ½” from the edge.

5. Press the seams towards the concave unit. If it looks a little bit distorted, don’t sweat it, you will be able to fix that in the next step. If it’s too distorted, don’t pull as much on the concave unit when stitching.

Press the seams towards the concave unit.

It’s now time to square up your blocks to a 5” square while ensuring that your seams are aligned at 1½” from the edge on both sides. You can rotate your ruler until it all fits! Cut.

I suggest to start with the concave unit first (see photo). Then rotate the block and cut the convex unit to have a 5” block.

Aligning step 1

Aligning step 2

You should have 18 blocks made and can now spend all the time you want playing with the blocks and making whichever design you love the most. But if you’re not inspired, find six 5” squares of fabrics that match the rest of your fabrics and combine 3 units of your curved piecing with one square.

Playing with the blocks

I opted for a more organized look, but you could mix and match as you want.

Placing seam allowances in opposite direction is the best way to ensure that they do not overlap and prevents bulking.

Sewing four blocks together to create one block.

Realigning the blocks to 9″

I sewed the blocks into six 4 units blocks, ensuring that the seams would not overlap to prevent bulking. I then cut them into 9” blocks, just to make sure that my blocks were all even. Then I sewed them together for a final piece measuring 26½” x 17½”.

Combining with six 5” squares

Hope you’ve enjoyed my secret to sewing curves without having to use pins! Come back tomorrow to see how I quilted my project using the wonderful PFAFF creative icon.

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2: How to center a quilt section in a PFAFF creative icon hoop

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Mary Gardner January 12, 2019 - 11:34 am
Thanks for this. I have never tried without pins so this is great!
Claire Haillot January 14, 2019 - 12:11 pm
You're welcome Mary! Enjoy
Delaine January 6, 2019 - 6:10 am
What a great idea! I hate pinning, but I never thought to make the blocks oversized and trimming them down to the correct size. Thanks for sharing it!
Claire Haillot January 7, 2019 - 4:22 pm
Thanks Delaine for your comment! I love it!
Linda Williamson January 5, 2019 - 11:21 am
I've always wanted to make a Drunkard's Path quilt. Thanks for the tips.
Claire Haillot January 5, 2019 - 11:53 am
You’re welcome Linda! Enjoy
Nicole Sender January 4, 2019 - 7:26 pm
This is a great tutorial! Thanks so much!!
Claire Haillot January 5, 2019 - 11:50 am
Thanks Nicole Enjoy!
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