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Thread: Foundation / paper piecing: curves in Judy Niemeyer patterns

  1. #1
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    Foundation / paper piecing: curves in Judy Niemeyer patterns

    Hi,

    Pardon the long post - I'm very new. However I have enough fabric to start a quilt store and tons of ideas without the skills to execute any of them! Actually I have done parts of projects - I have finished about half of the blocks for a drunkards path quilt, pieced by hand (and the curves didn't bother me a bit), and I made the pattern/templates for a castle wall block scaled to fit a gorgeous French border print fabric I spent way too much on - sample block (hand done) came out perfectly! But I long to FINISH SOMETHING and that means I need to use the sewing machine.

    I have the original fabric kit for Judy Niemeyer's "Hawaiian Star" and was scheduled to attend one of her retreats in Montana (with Judy as the teacher) a few years ago over my birthday. But I got really sick several days before the retreat and couldn't go. Now I just look at the fabric a lot, and also have added more special Hoffman batiks to the kit as I find them. Probably have enough fabric to make the quilt twice.

    I know virtually nothing about paper piecing and plan to either find some kind of class OR do a lot of practice before I ever touch that precious kit, but I was surfing the web and saw a statement in a preview of a book called "A Passion for Piecing: Breathtaking Quilts from Easy Paper-Pieced Units" by Claudia Clark Meyers. In the excerpt she says "I'm sorry to have to tell you, but it is virtually impossible to paper piece a curved line." She is telling people they will have to make plastic templates or use freezer paper for the curved part in her patterns.

    ?????? What ???? Don't almost all of Judy Niemeyer's patterns incorporate curved paper piecing?? If I had gone to the retreat I would have been taught how to deal with the various parts of my quilt pattern, plus I didn't know it was hard. They told me I could do Hawaiian Star, no problem. Now I am freaked out about all the curves!!

    What do you all know about foundation/paper piecing curved seams?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    My friend has finished 2 Judy N patterns with curved seams. She is an experienced paper piercer and she also took the workshop and still had difficulty with the second one. I suggest you get lots of experience or go to one of her workshops before attempting that pattern.

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    http://www.jodieandcompany.com/patterns.htm
    http://www.paperpanache.com/howto/machcurv.htm
    These are 2 good sites to learn curves. I have tried both, and have a long way to go to get it to look like I want it to. I think a workshop with hands-on would definitely benefit you for Judy's patterns. Hope you are able to attend one.

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    Welcome from Ontario, Canada. Start with some beginner paper piecing blocks off the web and get a feel for the process with some inexpensive fabric. Once you get a few blocks done, see how they look. Try to find some beginner classes at your local quilt shop too. You can learn most everything off the net nowadays so give that a try too. Judy patterns are, in my opinion for experienced quilters.

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    Thanks for advice!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by NanaCsews2 View Post
    http://www.jodieandcompany.com/patterns.htm
    http://www.paperpanache.com/howto/machcurv.htm
    These are 2 good sites to learn curves. I have tried both, and have a long way to go to get it to look like I want it to. I think a workshop with hands-on would definitely benefit you for Judy's patterns. Hope you are able to attend one.
    OK, thank you both for letting me know it is a real problem and not to get overly ambitious. Better to wait until I'm ready. I've waited this long! Maybe I can save up for a workshop next year and do what I need to to sign up before spaces are gone!!!

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    They definitely look like they are for experienced quilters! I guess they feel that with all their guidance and 5 or so days they can help you through it. It's an intimidating undertaking!

  7. #7
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Yes curves are the very hardest part of paper piecing. Do some basic , no curve , piecing before attempting the curvy ones. I prefer Carol Doaks method , and her instructions are very good. I think she had a tutorial on her site, along with some free patterns for you to practice.

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    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I'm working on a JN pattern right now, and it's the first one I've done with curved piecing. I've never done any curved piecing, in fact. However - IT'S NOT HARD!!! You don't actually paper piece the curved seams. Instead you paper piece each side of the curve, take the paper off the piece on the outside of the curve, and sew the two together. I use lots and lots of pins, but some people are able to do the sewing with just one pin at each end (at least I've heard that). I will take some pictures of what I'm doing and post them later (probably tomorrow) if you think that would help.

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    Super Member seamstome's Avatar
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    Be very careful with a JN quilt. Have done a couple and have two in my UFO pile. I WOULD NOT do the curves the way she says unless you are a professional quilter. She has you trim then piece. Take my advice....you can see the piecing in my avatar....piece then trim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    I use lots and lots of pins, but some people are able to do the sewing with just one pin at each end (at least I've heard that). I will take some pictures of what I'm doing and post them later (probably tomorrow) if you think that would help.
    Interesting! Haven't looked at video links from NanaCsews2 yet so don't know if others do curves a different way -- I have read through the JN pattern (it's been a while though) and I know she advocates using a glue stick (not sure if that means zero pins) - but of course if you are removing the paper before sewing the curve, you would need pins there. If you get the time to take pics I would love to see, I think it would be helpful! (And with or without classes I will be practicing, need to find some fun learning projects!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    I prefer Carol Doaks method , and her instructions are very good.
    I have a book of hers and am thinking of ordering the DVD! Was wondering how much her method differs from JN's, and if it would be tricky to adapt a JN pattern (with such specific instructions) to another method. Haven't found anything on web about how their methods differ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seamstome View Post
    She has you trim then piece.
    YIKES!!!! Why trim first and take the risk, is it a time saver? A fabric saver?

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    I agree with Tartan...start with a basic pp pattern off the net (quilterscache.com) and then attempt the more complex patterns. I had a hard time understanding the basic concept at all with only book/online references and took a pp'ing class at my LQS. Piece of cake and it was a NY Beauty pattern with many curved pieces. Not a problem. Granted, I come from a garment/home dec sewing background so I think that helped with the curves, but still not a problem. Start small on inexpensive fabric and work up to it. You'll do great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seamstome View Post
    Be very careful with a JN quilt. Have done a couple and have two in my UFO pile. I WOULD NOT do the curves the way she says unless you are a professional quilter. She has you trim then piece. Take my advice....you can see the piecing in my avatar....piece then trim.
    Yikes! Can't imagine why you would trim first - to save fabric? Trimming first sounds like recipe for disaster. If it is a fabric issue I would rather buy more fabric (although that is painful) than risk messing whole thing up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Quilter View Post
    I had a hard time understanding the basic concept at all with only book/online references
    I can relate. I know it isn't hard, but I don't do well at spacial/3-D thinking, and as much as I want the result of this method have wondered if I can get it. Could see myself putting fabric wrong side up, etc, then having to rip out those tiny stitches.

  16. #16
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I don't understand what you mean by trim then piece. Trim what?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    I don't understand what you mean by trim then piece. Trim what?
    Does she mean trim piece to shape of foundation, then sew?

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    I am currenctly working on Judy Niemeyer's double wedding ring that has a lot of paper pieced curves. When you actually sew the pieces together, you take the foundation piecing off one of the parts that you are sewing together. I have done a couple of the curves, and I did not have a problem. I do have to say with this pattern I probably have at least fifty more to do, but so far it has not been a problem.

  19. #19
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I promised to post some pictures of how I am sewing the curves on my JN quilt. Keep in mind this is the very first time I've ever sewed curves, so there may be better ways to do it, but this seems to be working for me.
    First picture - the two pieces that need to be sewn together. The top piece has a curved seam that has already been sewn, but not pressed. It will lay flat when pressed, but wanted to show that it isn't flat when first sewn.
    Second picture - I match the center and the two ends of the two pieces and pin. The inner piece still has its paper, but I removed the paper from the outer curve. If the curve is longer I match more points on the curve by folding both parts into 1/4's to see where they should match up.
    Third picture - stitching the two together along the line on the inner curve. You can see all the additional pins I put in before start to sew. They're about 1/2 inch apart. You may not need as many pins as I do.
    Fourth picture - the end result of a different block after pressing.
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  20. #20
    Junior Member frannella's Avatar
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    Dunster--thank you so much for your comments and pictures! Would love to put you and Gracielet on speed dial! My youngest son is getting married in August (our first wedding, finally...) and I have my heart set on JN's "A Garden for My Wedding Ring" to mark the occasion. I have absolutely ZERO experience in fdn paper piecing. Crazy, right? Thought I would start off with JN's "Indian Summer" pattern, the description for which suggests it's a learning project designed to be completed in a couple of days. Not likely, in my case, but I will soon know.

    What is the resolution, if any, of the trimming, then piecing versus piecing, then trimming issue?

    Thanks again and keep us posted on your progress. I will try to do the same with questions about /results of my Indian Summer project once I clear the decks of a couple of UFOs.
    I didn't make this beautiful GFG quilt but it's on my wish list to do

  21. #21
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Indian Summer is indeed much easier than the other JN patterns. It's the one I started with too. It's the quilt I cuddle under while watching TV (red flannel on the back).

    I didn't understand the comment about trimming. With the JN patterns you cut pieces that are about the right size. For each piece to be added to the block, you line the edge up with the edge of another piece that's already been sewn and trimmed, sew it onto the paper, press open, and then trim the next edge to be sewn. Everything gets trimmed that way. The add-a-quarter ruler is really helpful.
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    Thanks for those photos, they really help clarify the explanation. love the fabrics you chose.

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