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Artsy Made Easy

Okay, you guys are coming up with some great blog ideas for me! I heard from several of you wanting to know more about how I made last week’s art quilt… I can’t remake that whole quilt, but I can give you some smaller tutorials on different aspects so you can create your own design.

Let’s start with those lattice strips. Last weeks quilt had several bias-cut lattice strips pieced into the background. These curve slightly to give it a more organic look and add interest to my flower placement.

First, take a couple of pieces of fabric you wish to join together. I’m just making a pillow here so my pieces are about 17”-18” long by between 6”-10” wide.

With my rotary cutter, I freehand cut a gentle curve along the edge of one of the pieces.

Next, I cut some bias strips from fabric ( I already had the green ones I ended up using, so this is just an illustration of how to cut bias strips from a piece of fabric I had laying around). Lay your ruler diagonally on a single layer of fabric. Line up the 45-degree line along one of the raw edges to be sure it is a true bias. I cut my strips about 1¼” wide… You can make the strip wider at one end, then the other to add even more interest if you’re feeling edgy :)

Here are the green bias strips I ended up using. Notice how easily they are manipulated into curves with a steam iron. I laid the strip down along the gentle curve I had cut and pressed it into place.

Now for the piecing. I use a scant ¼” seam for these curves, it helps them lay flat once pressed.

Next, lay the second piece just under the edge of the strip. Use your rotary cutter to trim the edge of the second piece just beside the bias strip. This gives you a perfect matching curve line.

I marked several places with a fabric marking pen, on the “valleys and the hills” mostly. Put a little dot on both the bias strip and on it’s matching background location.

Now sew the two sides together. Starting at the top edge stitch little by little pulling the two sides to meet each other as you go, use those pen dots as a reference point to keep the two layers where they should be. I am only matching about ½” in front of the foot as I go, and I am careful not to tug too much on the top piece or the bottom piece, although from time to time it is necessary.

Now, press it out and use some Best Press or spray starch to get it nice and flat.

I did a couple more bias strips the same way and then thought a “moon” in the corner would look cool.

I used a bowl to draw a half-circle in the corner. I cut it out with scissors about ⅛” inside the drawn line.

I then used the cut out piece as a template for my “moon” shape. I cut this out about ⅛” outside the template piece, this way I have a seam allowance between the two pieces.

Once again the little pen dots come in handy, this time I also cut a little clip at the edge right where the dots are.

Now to sew these two together, put the concave side down (in this case that’s the orange). Align the two pieces together at the start and with ⅛” seam allowance gently ease the two sides together only matching up the next ½” as it gets to the needle. Here you see how that clip marking helps me know I am in the right spot.

Press it out flat and trim up the panel to get any serious wonks out of the edges.

Here it is after I did some straight line quilting. It’s ready for backing and a zipper to close!

And it’s done! A little freehand curved piecing to add interest to your artsy quilts :)

I hope you enjoyed that. Here are a couple of examples where I used this method in quilts, one has the black strips or “stems” and last weeks quilt with the lighter “lattice” strips.

Happy Sunday, everyone.


Follow all my quilty adventures on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Visit my website for free tutorials and tips. If you like my patterns, you can buy them on Etsy, and here on the website.

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