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February 03, 2011


Angie Helman

Here's a link to a video that might help your curved piecing technique:


If your Winding Ways templates don't have a 1/4" seam allowance, this technique may not help. It's a handy thing to have in your quilting playbook, though!


I am laughing with you right now, because I have had quilt moments like this too. Sometimes if I set it aside and come back later I have better luck. Other times I use the same filing system many a quilter has used. Ha! Can't wait to see Belle Meade!


Nicole, check this foot out Julie @ did a review and tutorial on this foot a while back with a video. It's looks a bit complicated but at the same time, easy. If I find her blog post, I'll comment again with the link


Oh hells bells!!! I think Jennifer said it best.


Here it is!

At least I got the right blogger! Just not the correct blog it was posted too.

Barbara Anne

Oh, phooey! Hugs to you as I know this frustration and was hoping you'd managed to skip the aggravation step.

Applause for accomplishing so very much on Belle Meade! ALL the blocks together AND the first border. You and your sewing machine must have been smoking from the speed of the motor and presser foot.

I plan to check out these links to what could be an easier way to do curves.



I've managed curved piecing ok but understand your pain. My problem is the kaleidoscope block - 8 points coming together in the center - not working for me! That project is playing with your blocks in the circular file.

Helen in Switzerland

I'm sure that just the same thing would happen to me if I ever got brave enough to try!! I feel your pain!


I almost feel that way whenever I start something. Start with a small project. I know you'll make it beautiful, once you figure it out!! :-)

Wendy P

Like you, I have the templates to make pretty much the same pattern, but my set is called Wheels of Mystery, and I made ONE and then put it away. It turned out pretty well, I just didn't want to pursue a whole quilt with curves at that time.

Anyway, I found this video very helpful. I kept it bookmarked for that someday when I want to do curves in a quilt. Let me know what you think!


hi nicole!
oh, i'm sorry your curved piecing wasn't a success.
did you pin? if so - DON'T do it!
really, you don't need to.
when you get your bernina back you could try again with the #57 foot (the 1/4" with the built in guid, works like a charm esp. for curves; it's like the 'curve master foot' many are raving about)
then put the the convex on top of the concave curved piece and guide your pieces with your hands just a few cm each.
pictures are better than words, maybe you'll want to have a look on my apple core tutorial (it isn't WW, but the principle is the same)


Nicole, didn't you have a special foot you used for your machine when you did your Garden Fence quilt? Glad you had success on your Belle Meade.

Becky in KCMO
Try Ruth MacDonald's book. After about 2-3 blocks using her method, you will have it down. Her method and Marti Michell's templates can be used together, just note that they label the templates differently. Hope it helps - I love WW quilts, could look at them for hours, finding the circles in them.


It was a grand day for me when I finally let myself toss a quilt I didn't like making, and move on to something enjoyable. After all, isn't that why we quilt?

Too bad on the Winding Ways, but you have plenty more beautiful quilts waiting in the wings.


Why is it that we quilters can never bring ourselves to throw away a "mistake". We'll let that pile of blocks that we know darned well we'll never, ever work on again, sit in a pile sopmewhere, secretly nagging at us. I just tossed something over the weekend and I felt good.

Susan Ramey Cleveland

The only way I can make a half-way decent curved seam is to sew it by hand. There are just too many great straight seam quilts to make to torture myself with curves.


What a fun and informative post and comments! Thanks for tackling the project and letting us learn along with you, Jo :)

Lisa Vancor

Nicole: That block is also out of my resume. It was a block of the month at our guild and I thought, Piece of cake, me being a quilt teacher and all .... WRONG.

It took me three tries to make one that was passable and I did not put my name in the box to win them as I just knew they would draw my name and I would have to make a bunch more.

I am sticking to Miss Rosie's patterns.

Lisa in San Rafael


Sorry Nicole! The phone rang at the end of my comment and I hit post before I finished it!! Oops!!


I've long wanted to do a curved block like this, but now I'm thinking twice!! I'm glad you weren't afraid to round-file it and say "not for me!" There are so many beautiful quilts to be made, and while it's nice to learn a new technique, sometimes it's not worth the frustration. I'm going to check out the tutorials mentioned tho...thanks for posting these, ladies!


I took a class years ago from Sally Collins. You know the teacher who does the wonderful tiny, teeny blocks? She told us that you have to give yourself permission to try a class or technique and if you don't like it, to chalk it up to experience and move on.

Lisa D.

How disappointing, especially after the perfect block you made the day before! Sounds like you have some good sites to check out for tips. Maybe come back to it another day - I have to do that sometimes with things I don't attempt often, like mitered borders.


Also check out Debbie Bowles patterns at I took a class from her and have had a great time with curves!


I bought templates and am doing the same quilt you are. I have one square totally put together and it looks great. I'm chain piecing the other 35 squares and it seems like it should be good. I hope so. Mine's batiks. It should be fun how it turns out.

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