Creating Moonstruck — Accurate Curved Piecing for People Who Aren’t Precise

In my previous post I showed how I  selected all the fabrics for Moonstruck.  Here they are all pinned to the pattern template on my design wall.

The next step is to sew it all together.  There are no straight seams in this quilt–everything is pieced along a curve.  The good news is that each seam curves in only one direction , so there are no S-shaped seams.  As I said in the previous posts, I use the basic technique from the book Ruth B. McDowell’s Piecing Workshop.  However, I can’t cut an accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance nor can I sew an accurate 1/4 inch seam, but my technique allows for accurate (enough) results.

Here are my steps for piecing curved seams.

1.  Using a contrasting color of chalk, draw around each piece of freezer paper to outline the piece.  Also copy any registration marks onto the fabric.

2. Carefully remove the freezer paper, trying not to stretch the fabric.  Of the two pieces to be sewn together, clip the concave curve approximately every 1/4 inch.  The cuts should be just short of the chalk line.  Next, with this same piece of fabric, insert a fine pin into each corner at at each registration mark.  The pin should go through the fabric right on the inside of the chalk line (below).

3. Holding the fabric right sides together, insert each pin through the second piece of fabric, making sure the pins hit the same spot as on the first fabric.

4. Pull one of the pins so that the two layers of fabric are snug against each other.  Smooth the clipped fabric (green in the pictures) so that it lies fairly flat against the other fabric.  Insert a new pin perpendicular to the chalk line to hold the pieces together for sewing.  Repeat this for each pin inserted in step 3.

5.  Sew the seam along the inside edge of the chalk line.

6.   Here are the pieces after they’ve been sewed.

7.  And here is the joined fabric after ironing the seam.

Confession:  here’s a picture of the seam from the other side.  The seam line isn’t exactly on the chalk line, but it’s close enough.  When I sew this unit to other pieces, matching up the seams and the registration marks, no one will be able to tell that this seam is slightly off.

Here is the full quilt top pieced together.  I assembled it using the piecing order from this earlier post.  Even with my less-than-perfect piecing, all the circles look like circles.

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In my next post, I’ll finally get to quilting and finishing this quilt.

Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.
Wyatt Earp

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