Written by Natalie Crabtree
Month 5 is a fun month! It features one of my all time favorite things to sew, curves! For those of you who haven’t tried curved piecing, you will get to learn a new technique! For those of you who have tried curved piecing, I hope you love it and enjoy making this simple month.
The Think Happy Thoughts Quilt was really designed to be a simple, easy to piece quilt with a few hints of intermediate techniques. Curves, foundation piecing, applique and template piecing are a few of the techniques that require a bit more attention to detail.
I absolutely adore curved piecing. I love the movement and I love the technique. In a world full of straight line stitching, it’s nice to switch it up from time to time with some fun and funky curves.
Now I will admit that smaller curves, such as what is featured in Month 5, are a bit trickier. So I do recommend practicing these curves units using some scraps before diving into sewing with your BOM fabrics. We have included thorough graphics for Month 5 to demonstrate curved piecing. My hope is that between the pattern and the photos of my process, you will conquer it in no time! If you are more of a visual learner and do best with demonstration, browse the internet for the dozens of video tutorials out there!
Now let’s get started. This month is so easy to cut! I had a nice morning cutting this month’s pieces and sipping my coffee.
The next step is crucial for accurately piecing your curves. I always recommend folding curved units in half and pressing a crease to mark the exact centers of the curved units to ensure you have accurately lined up the curves for sewing. It’s very easy to get lost when lining these pieces up if you don’t pin properly. You may come up short on one end or the other. Pinning that center crease first, then moving to lining up and pinning the ends together ensures that they are precisely lined up.
After pinning, both pieces may appear bunched up. You may wonder, how in the world will this become a smooth seam? Don’t worry, it will! It takes patience, slow sewing and precision.
When sewing the curves together, let your fingers align and the straighten the fabrics. I always sew curves with the larger piece underneath the smaller piece. Ensure that the bottom piece is lined up properly with the top piece. The bottom piece tends to move to the left, causing a really unstable seam. So stop frequently to make sure both pieces are included in a full ¼” seam.
Let your machine do the work, guiding the fabrics through for sewing. Keep your machine in the needle down position, that way if you need to, you can stop sewing and realign without loosing your place.
Once all of your curves are done, press. Press thoroughly using steam or starch! You may press either on the back or the front side, whatever you feel gives you the best results. Follow the pressing instructions given in the pattern, they will allow you to nestle seams and create seamless transitions between curved pieces when sewing the blocks together. If your curved seam has a pucker, which sometimes happens, determine if it’s severe enough to use the seam ripper. When in doubt, just rework that seam!
Sew your blocks together using pins to ensure those curved seams line up perfectly! Pin in three places.
Sew all blocks together to complete Month 5.
Curved seams are so fun to conquer and figure out! We hope that you enjoyed Month 5! We look forward to sewing with you again next month. Take care, enjoy the beautiful weather and Think Happy Thoughts!