Love Patchwork & Quilting


Amanda Carye challenges us to step outside our angular comfort zone as she shares her handy checklist to master those curves…

- Broadcloth­ broadcloth­studio

Step outside your angular comfort zone and get curve confident with Amanda Carye’s five top tips

We all have our favourite patchwork skill, one we’re most comfortabl­e with, the one we excel at. For me, curves tick none of these boxes. Sure, technicall­y I know how to sew curves – I understand the basic mechanics – I even dip my toes into the world of curves at least once a year. And while I love the end result, whenever I’m faced with a decision between angles and curves, I will go with angles. And yet, I always feel like I’m missing out because I love how curved patchwork looks. Here are my five steps to tackle curves:


Whether it’s EPP, appliqué, or good old patchwork by hand, removing myself from my machine and removing the temptation to just ’rush through it’ is a great way to get back to the functional basics. Slowly stitching outer and inner curves together, you’ll discover it’s a crash course in the mechanics of curves.


Then to get back into the swing of things, I love to warm up the process with some improv quarter circle curves! Making these are so much fun and because there is no template to follow, it’s a pretty freeing exercise all around. I like to dive into my scrap bin and make pairs of curves (cutting inner and outer curves to match) before turning them into a super wonky quilt top.


Here’s a thought… instead of thinking perfect circles, what about ovals or rainbows? There are a ton of amazing patterns out there that think beyond the circle into the wider world of curves. Designers have reimagined the Drunkard’s Path, Wedding Ring, Snake Trail blocks and more, and will get you itching to sew!


Invest in a set of acrylic curve templates and an 18mm rotary cutter. These are a game changer! One of my biggest annoyances with curves is having to cut out paper templates and trace them onto my fabric before cutting. With acrylic templates, you can cut down on the prep time from the get-go and the 18mm rotary cutter makes your cutting more precise in a snap.


And what if I’m really not feeling up to curves? If none of the above are firing up your enthusiasm right now, there’s always my cheat plan: how about making a Log Cabin or Storm At Sea quilt? Isn’t it satisfying to see how those angled pieces somehow manage to create the optical illusion of curves!

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