Adding curved inserts to your sewing projects is a perfect way to dress up basic or plain designs, and can be used for bags and purses patterns, and even art quilts or quilted backgrounds.
In this sewing tutorial I’m going to show you how to make curved checkerboard which is a fun alternative to straight checkerboard. Curved checkerboard may look impossibly difficult to make, but it is in fact a very simple process.
What You’ll Need
- Two pieces of fun fabric in contrasting colors approx 40″ wide by approximately 1/8 yard.
- Quilters’ ruler
- Rotary cutter
Fold your fabric in half lengthwise so that it measures approx 20″ in width.
Using a rotary cutter and ruler, cut a wedge strip – one end with a minimum width and the other end with a maximum width (see note below).
Note About Widths
The size of your wedge strips will depend on the finished size of your project.
– For smaller checkerboard, try a minimum width of 1″ – 1-1/2″; maximum width of 2″ – 2-1/2″
– For larger checkerboard, try a minimum width of 1-1/2″ – 2″; maximum width of 3″ – 3-1/2″
Repeat for the contrasting fabric varying the minimum/maximum width sizes.
Cut the strips in half so that you have four wedge pieces approx 20″ in length.
With right sides facing, place one wedge strip on top of a contrasting wedge strip, with short/long ends in opposite directions.
Sew the strips together using a 1/4″ seam.
Trim the ends, open the wedge strips and press the seams to one side.
Stack the wedge strips on top of each other with alternate colors laying on top of each other; i.e. place color #1 on top of color #2 and so on.
Cut the wedge strips into wedge slices varying the angle of the cut and alternating the width of the edges, i.e. narrow/wide. Cut at a gentle angle.
Randomly select the wedge slices and lay out the pieces next to each other ensuring that the center seams are aligned. Move the pieces around until you are happy with the design layout.
Using a 1/4″ seam, sew the wedge slices together. Make sure that the center seams are aligned and don’t worry about the top and bottom edges being uneven.
Once all the wedges are sewn together, make a freehand cut using a rotary cutter and trim the edges so that you have a nice smooth curve. The curved checkerboard is now ready to be sewn into your project.
Using curved checkerboard was the perfect design option for this art quilt.
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