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Curve Piecing with Quiltsmart’s Quarter Circle Interfacing

Come on a quilty adventure with me and let’s discover a different way in piecing curves.
 
With Quiltsmart’s quarter circle quilt interfacing, the curved pieces are appliqued instead of pieced. Thereby making curved piecing more accurate and easier. It also allows more creativity and control over where the curve pieces are placed on the project.
 
This is Quilsmart’s Snowball Stars quilt block. It’s bursting full of energy. If it wasn’t for their 4" Quarter Circle interfacing, I would have overlooked the design because it looked difficult to assemble.
 
Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter
 

The following tutorial takes you through how to make one of these blocks. One block measures an 8" square unfinished, 7½" finished.  Don’t worry there are plenty of photos throughout the tutorial to follow along and if you need more visual support, check out my Instagram Reels. Be sure to also follow my Instagram account (@the.weekendquilter). I’m going to be making more of these blocks for my FreeSpirit Quilt Coat Story Challenge.  

 Before you commence, be sure to read through all the instructions to identify the tools you’ll need and what to expect.

What you'll need

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

  • Five different fabrics – one fabric at least 10" square for the background and four different fabrics, each at least 4" square for the four-patch in the centre. I used prints from Tula Pink’s True Colours collection for Free Spirit Fabrics (Tiny Stripes in Spark, Tiny Dots in Bluebell, Tiny Dots in Flare, Tiny Dots in Cosmic and Tiny Dots in Candy).
  • One panel of Quiltsmart’s 4" Quarter Circle interfacing – one panel makes seven Snowball Star blocks
  • Rotary cutter
  • Quilting rulers
  • Cutting mat
  • Fabric scissors
  • Sewing pins
  • Coordinating thread, 50wt cotton – for piecing and applique.
  • Iron
  • Basic sewing machine

Cutting directions

In preparation for piecing, cut the following:

  • One circle from Quiltsmart’s 4" Quarter Circle interfacing panel
  • One 9½" square for background
  • Four 3" squares for four-patch centre

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

Directions

Step 1: Sew together four 3" squares to create one four-patch block. Press the seams as you go. Four-patch block measures 5½" square once sewn and pressed.

Set four-patch block aside for step 9.

Step 1: Sew together four 3" squares to create one four-patch block. Press the seams as you go. Four-patch block measures 5½" square once sewn and pressed.   Set four-patch block aside for step 9.   Step 2: Identify the wrong side of one Quiltsmart interfacing. The wrong side is the rough side of the interfacing. Another way to identify the wrong side is by looking at the white dots of the interfacing. The side with the darker white dots (photos on the right) is the wrong side.   Step 3: Place one Quiltsmart interfacing on top of one 9½" square, wrong side of the interfacing touching the right side of the 9½" square. Yes, it’s not a typo… wrong side of interfacing touching the right side of the fabric. Trust me on this one.   Use a dry iron and on cotton setting, press to set the interfacing in place. Hold the iron down a few seconds to allow the interfacing adhesive to activate.  Step 4: Adjust the stitch length on the sewing machine to 2.0 and use thread colour to coordinate the background fabric. Sew on the solid circular line on the Quiltsmart interfacing.   For the purpose of this tutorial, I used a darker colour thread to show where to sew. Otherwise, I would have chosen an off-white thread as shown above in the What you’ll need section.  Step 5: Use a pair of fabric scissors and cut on the dotted circular line. Then use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut on the dotted lines going down and across the middle of the circle to create four quarters of a circle.   Step 6: Use a sewing pin and slide it between the Quiltsmart interfacing and fabric to separate the two from each other. In doing so, it’s going to help with setting the seams, and getting more curved and crisp lines when turning the quarter circle right side out.   Repeat this step with all four quarter circles.   Step 7: Peel the interfacing from the corner of the quarter circle but do not remove the interfacing. This is going to be done in a later step. Turn the quarter circle right side out and then use an iron to set in place.   Repeat this step with all four quarter circles.   Step 8: Take one quarter circle. Create a guideline by folding it in half (make an ⅛th of a circle), right sides facing each other and finger press.   Repeat this step with all four quarter circles.   Step 9: Match central guideline on the quarter circle from the previous step with seam on four-patch created in step 1 (see red circle in the example) and line up the curve edges with the two corners of the four-patch (see two blue circles in the example). Pin quarter circle in place.  Repeat this step with all four quarter circles.   Step 10: Change thread to coordinate the quilt block and adjust to zig zag stitch (or any other decorative stitch of your choice) on the sewing machine. Following the round edges of the quarter circles, sew to secure the quarter circles to four-patch.   Then press to set the seams.   Step 11: Flip the block the other way, wrong side facing up. From one corner, carefully peel the interfacing back and with a pair of scissors, following the zig zag (or decorative stitch) seam, remove the excess interfacing and fabric. Take extra when performing this step as you do not want to cut the zig zag (or decorative) stitches and unravel things.    The remaining steps are optional. They are there to guide you through squaring up the block. Personally, I would follow them to ensure straight and accurate piecing when assembling multiple blocks together.    Step 12: Square up the block to 8" square by matching the intersection of 4" lines on the ruler with the center seams of the block (red circle in the example) and the 45-degree mark on the ruler with the diagonal seam line (as shown in the blue in the diagram), trim the top and right edges of the block.   Step 13: Rotate the block 180-degrees and repeat step 12 on the remaining sides to complete the block.    Quiltsmart is a company based in Bend, Oregon and they develop and sell printed interfacing to explore different ways in making quilt blocks and quilts. Be sure to check out their online store for other printed interfacing. There’s also a blog post on Quiltsmart’s blog on how to create a Snowball Star table runner with the quarter circle interfacing.   Quiltsmart sponsored the interfacing and FreeSpirit Fabrics sponsored the fabrics for this tutorial.

 

Step 2: Identify the wrong side of one Quiltsmart interfacing. The wrong side is the rough side of the interfacing. Another way to identify the wrong side is by looking at the white dots of the interfacing. The side with the darker white dots (photos on the right) is the wrong side.

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

 

Step 3: Place one Quiltsmart interfacing on top of one 9½" square, wrong side of the interfacing touching the right side of the 9½" square. Yes, it’s not a typo… wrong side of interfacing touching the right side of the fabric. Trust me on this one.

Use a dry iron and on cotton setting, press to set the interfacing in place. Hold the iron down a few seconds to allow the interfacing adhesive to activate. Don't worry, the Quiltsmart interfacing does not leave a residue on the fabric or pressing surface.

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

 

Step 4: Adjust the stitch length on the sewing machine to 2.0 and use thread colour to coordinate the background fabric. Sew on the solid circular line on the Quiltsmart interfacing.

For the purpose of this tutorial, I used a darker colour thread to show where to sew. Otherwise, I would have chosen an off-white thread as shown above in the What you’ll need section.

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

 

Step 5: Use a pair of fabric scissors and cut on the dotted circular line. Then use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut on the dotted lines going down and across the middle of the circle to create four quarters of a circle.

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

 

Step 6: Use a sewing pin and slide it between the Quiltsmart interfacing and fabric to separate the two from each other. In doing so, it’s going to help with setting the seams, and getting more curved and crisp lines when turning the quarter circle right side out.

Repeat this step with all four quarter circles.

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

 

Step 7: Peel the interfacing from the corner of the quarter circle but do not remove the interfacing. This is going to be done in a later step. Turn the quarter circle right side out and then use an iron to set in place.

Repeat this step with all four quarter circles.

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

<img src="https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0168/9786/7830/files/The_Weekend_Quilter_Curve_Piecing_Quiltsmart_Tutorial_14.jpg?v=1642909264" alt="Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter" /> 

 

Step 8: Take one quarter circle. Create a guideline by folding it in half (make an ⅛th of a circle), right sides facing each other and finger press. 

Repeat this step with all four quarter circles.

<img src="https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0168/9786/7830/files/The_Weekend_Quilter_Curve_Piecing_Quiltsmart_Tutorial_15.jpg?v=1642909352" alt="&lt;img src=&quot;https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0168/9786/7830/files/The_Weekend_Quilter_Curve_Piecing_Quiltsmart_Tutorial_14.jpg?v=1642909264&quot; alt=&quot;Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter&quot; /&gt;" />

<img src="https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0168/9786/7830/files/The_Weekend_Quilter_Curve_Piecing_Quiltsmart_Tutorial_15.jpg?v=1642909352" alt="&lt;img src=&quot;https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0168/9786/7830/files/The_Weekend_Quilter_Curve_Piecing_Quiltsmart_Tutorial_14.jpg?v=1642909264&quot; alt=&quot;Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter&quot; /&gt;" />

 

Step 9: Match central guideline on the quarter circle from the previous step with seam on four-patch created in step 1 (see red circle in the example) and line up the curve edges with the two corners of the four-patch (see two blue circles in the example). Pin quarter circle in place.

Repeat this step with all four quarter circles.

<img src="https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0168/9786/7830/files/The_Weekend_Quilter_Curve_Piecing_Quiltsmart_Tutorial_15.jpg?v=1642909352" alt="&lt;img src=&quot;https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0168/9786/7830/files/The_Weekend_Quilter_Curve_Piecing_Quiltsmart_Tutorial_14.jpg?v=1642909264&quot; alt=&quot;Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter&quot; /&gt;" />

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

 

Step 10: Change thread to coordinate the quilt block and adjust to zig zag stitch (or any other decorative stitch of your choice) on the sewing machine. Following the round edges of the quarter circles, sew to secure the quarter circles to four-patch.

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

Then press to set the seams. 

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

 

Step 11: Flip the block the other way, wrong side facing up.

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

From one corner, carefully peel the interfacing back and with a pair of scissors, following the zig zag (or decorative stitch) seam, remove the excess interfacing and fabric. Take extra when performing this step as you do not want to cut the zig zag (or decorative) stitches and unravel things.

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

 

The remaining steps are optional. They are there to guide you through squaring up the block. Personally, I would follow them to ensure straight and accurate piecing when assembling multiple blocks together.

Step 12: Square up the block to 8" square by matching the intersection of 4" lines on the ruler with the center seams of the block (red circle in the example) and the 45-degree mark on the ruler with the diagonal seam line (as shown in the blue in the diagram), trim the top and right edges of the block.

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

 

Step 13: Rotate the block 180-degrees and repeat step 12 on the remaining sides to complete the block.

Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter Quiltsmart x Free Spirit Fabrics Quilt Coat Story Challenge Tutorial on how to curve piece with Quarter Circle Interfacing by the weekend quilter

 

Quiltsmart is a company based in Bend, Oregon and they develop and sell printed interfacing to explore different ways in making quilt blocks and quilts. Be sure to check out their online store for other printed interfacing. There’s also a blog post on Quiltsmart’s blog on how to create a Snowball Star table runner with the quarter circle interfacing.

 

Quiltsmart sponsored the interfacing and FreeSpirit Fabrics sponsored the fabrics for this tutorial.