Monday, October 25, 2010

Scrappy is my M.O. (means of operation)

Well hello again Stash Manicurists! It's Penny from sewtakeahike. I appreciate Stash Manicure for having me here today. Always nice to share something with all of you.

As you may know, scrappy is my M.O., and today, I would like to share with you how to organize, and then how to pare down that scrap pile with a great improv project.

First, here's a shot for you of my "organized" scraps. I have a separate cubby for each color (except black and purple, which I don't use often). And do you see that green bag hanging there? It contains my very small scraps that I can't bring myself to toss.

And now on to the curved piecing tutorial.

I made this pillow from my first set of 4 improv curved pieced blocks.

But really, the possibilities are endless, you could make so many things with these blocks!

Here's how to make them!

Step 1: choose your fabrics

Step 2: Cut a 90 degree angle on one side and a gentle curve on the other side of your first (and) corner piece of fabric and lay it on top of the second piece. Cut along the curve, with the right side of both fabrics facing up.

Step 3: Flip the first fabric over and align the beginning of the curve of the first piece to the area of the curve of the second piece where they fit together, with right sides facing.

Step 4a: Using a 1/4 inch foot with a guide (do you see that metal plate on the right side of the foot? That's the guide. My Bernina dealer sells the 1/4 inch foot with or without the guide), start sewing a 1/4 inch seam , bringing the edge of the fabrics together as you move down the curve. (think about how a pair of scissors works. As you pull the handles together, the edges of each blade come together, but only at one point. That's how the edges of the curved fabrics will be sewn together.)

Step 4b: This is how the fabrics will look after the seams have been sewn, but before pressing.

4c: Seam after pressing.

Step 5a: Lay your square template on top of the newly pieced fabrics so the square tip is placed over the square tip of the fabric.

Step 5b: Trim your fabric edges so they overlap the square template by about 1/4 inch (I do this to make sure I have a big enough square to trim it precisely in the end) and cut an improv curve along the edge of the second piece.

Repeat the last part of step 2 with your next fabric:

Repeat steps 3-5b over with new scrap pieces until the pieced fabric is big enough to cut the size square you'd like.

Once you have pieced enough scraps together, trim your square to the size you'd like.

And there you have it. Improv curved seams are really simple and forgiving.
You could make several of these and make a quilt, or make a tiny set of 4 for a potholder, so many possibilities!
Happy, happy Monday to you!! Love to hear from you. 


  1. OOOH, I just started curved piecing using the Curve Master. I've been looking for a fun project to whip up. Great tutorial, thanks so much for sharing!!!

  2. I've not tried curved piecing yet, but this looks like a very doable project and a great way to start. Thank you for sharing a nice tutorial.

  3. That is a really cool block. Your fabric choices are Fab.

  4. Good Morning this a delightful colorful tutorial to start off our Monday... Ok no fancy tools were used..just a great eye..which you have...I love this...ok. now I best start collecting my ladies sew inspire me... Your bin reminds me of a cd unit?? looks terrific...
    Thank you sew much for inspiring us all.
    piece(s) be with you madame samm

  5. I love your stash bin....and that cushion and tutorial has me heading to my scrap bin!

    :) Sue

  6. Wow - you make those curves look soooo easy. Think I might just give it a go - and make sure I'm holding my tongue right!!! Ciao

  7. I will certainly try this method. Thanks for the instructions... they're GrEaT!

  8. Wow! Nice tutorial...and a gentle project to experiment with!

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

  9. Thank-you so much ladies for your sweet comments!!!

  10. That is very cool! I love the look. I will certainly be trying this out. :)

  11. Nice tutorial and I would love to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

  12. This is such an awesome tutorial. Can't wait to try it!

  13. Really cute idea! Thanks for the tutorial!

    Jennifer :)

  14. What a great idea for scraps! I keep mine in plastic tubs, so they are "out of sight, out of mind". Your way, they are visible and easily remembered to use. Thanks!


  15. I love your scraps! The technique is similar to crazy quilting, which I love to do. This block you just made would look really cute if embellished with rick rack. :-)

  16. What a great idea! I've always been wondering how to sew curves - this makes it look easy! Thanks for sharing!

  17. What an interesting tutorial. I've only just begun to play with curves...

  18. Just the tutorial I'd been hoping for, and especially well done. If you don't teach (formally), you should. You laid the steps out so clearly. Your example of scissor blades was just right. Thanks for sharing!

  19. When I saw this...I just HAD to do one....
    like I am....I've nearly finished one of these cute little curvy squares....Thanks Penny!!! I LOVE THESE!!


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