Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday Tool

Quick Curve Ruler

Today's Tuesday Tool should convince you that sewing curves is easy.


This ruler was designed by Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful.  I recently tested a quilt pattern. "Deco Tumbler," designed by Jenny's sister, Helen, of HGMR Deco Quilting.   

Many quilters may look at the quilt and say "Oh, I can't sew curves."  I'm here to tell you, you can, and without using any pins!

1.  First, cut your fabric to the dimensions named in the pattern.  In this case, I am cutting a fat quarter into rectangles 8 1/2" by 10".

Why do I have two rotary cutters?  Because if you can master cutting with either hand, you can cut without moving your fabric and you'll get a more precise cut.  The yellow cutter on the left is set up for cutting left-handed.  The pink one is for the right hand.  It will take some practice to learn to cut with either hand, but it is worth it, I promise.

2.  Once you've cut the rectangles, place the Quick Curve Ruler as directed and cut across the curve.  The ruler had a curved slot that guides your rotary cutter and makes cutting the curve, well -- quick!

I cut two layers of fabric at once in this example.  When I cut for a quilt, I usually cut six layers at once.  More, and the fabric shifts.  Less is just a waste of time.

Jenny has a tutorial on how to use  the Quick Curve Ruler at www.sewkindofwonderful.blogspot.com. Scroll down the page and the tutorial links are on the left-hand side.

Now for the magic!  We're going to sew a curve without using a single pin!  

3.  First, place the convex curve on top of the concave curve.  (Remember, concave curve curves in.)

4.  Line the two pieces up so that just a 1/4" triangle of the concave piece extends beyond the corner of the convex piece.

5.  If your machine has a "needle down" setting, engage it.  Place both pieces of fabric under the presser foot with the needle down and in the "v" formed by the two pieces of fabric.


6.  Continue to sew across the block, stopping about every 1/2" to 1" to readjust the two pieces so the edges are flush.  As you approach the end of the seam, you may need to slightly stretch either the top or bottom piece so the end has a 1/4" triangle just like the one you started with.

See?  You will end up with the same tiny "dog-ear" as at the beginning.

7.  Press the seam toward either side.  I generally press toward the dark.  On my Deco Tumbler quilt, I pressed always toward the print so the blocks would nestle together.

See?  Nice, flat block and smooth seam!

Jenny has designed several quilts using the Quick Curve Ruler.  Click here to see them and order your own QCR.

From the desk of your auntmartisignature


  1. You are UH-MAY-ZING, my dear!!! You make even a novice like me have more self-confidence in that I can quilt just about anything. :) Just love ya!!! Thanks for the tutorial. And thank you for the clarification on the two rotary cutters. I was sitting there wondering why in the world you had two out! LOL

  2. Great post and instructions...couldn't have done it better myself! ;o)

  3. Very clever - but I think I will pass on this one!!!

  4. If you are cutting more than four layers, make sure your blade is very sharp! I'm sure it always is, but I recently had a blade skip on me and umm, horrific thumb injury - I've been using a rotary cutter for more than 10 years but was on all kinds of cold medicine... Has made me a bit more cautious...

    Love your curves! I have a curved piecing foot which makes it even easier.


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