Block Construction and Piecing a curve

I have been working on hand piecing blocks and I thought that you might like to see how I put them together.

The block is called Lansing


First I piece together these

Lansing Block Construction 001

here is the back

Lansing Block Construction 002

then I add the curved pieces

Lansing Block Construction 003 Lansing Block Construction 004

here is the back

Lansing Block Construction 005


Lansing Block Construction 006

make 4 of these units and join together

Lansing Block Construction 008

here is the back

Lansing Block Construction 009

It is a fairly simple construction.  the part that scares people is the curve….  I did a post about how to piece a curve a bout a year ago  here it is again, the post is about a Drunkards Path but the Idea is exactly the same.

Curved Piecing a Drunkard’s Path….Don’t be afraid

This is a Drunkard’s Path quilt I finished last year.  The top is from the late 1800′s. I cleaned up the fabric and hand quilted it.

I have seen articles written and patterns designed to avoid the “scary” curved piecing required to make the blocks.  I thought I would show how I do curved piecing.  I am beginning a red and white quilt so I will use it as an example.

First I have templates to cut the fabric.  In the old days they would make their own template (with cardboard or sandpaper).

The secret is to line up the pieces that don’t look like they would ever fit together. Fold the pieced in half and finger press the center of each curve .

line up the creases and pin in the center (If you hate to pin this is not the block for you!)

Now add a pin to each end lining up the straight edges

Looks like a mess and you did something wrong?  perfect, then its going fine.

Now starting at the pin sew a 1/4 in seam….go slow and keep lining up the 2 layers….sew with the small wedge-shaped piece on top

When its done it looks like this

Notice there is no clipping needed.  Now press to the dark

That’s all there is to it.  If you prefer to hand sew the idea is the same but I start sewing at the center pin and sew to one edge, then go back to the center and sew to the other edge, I do this because to me it is easier and keeps me from pushing the fabric to one end as I stitch.

Here is a top I made where over 1/2 of the blocks are hand pieced and half machine pieced.  The design is my own variation on the drunkards path and  it is on my list to hand quilt.

One of the silly “tricks” that I have seen (popular quilting magazine name withheld, but think pbs ) is to sew the 2 pieces together just stacked on top of each other and then cut out the extra fabric and then make coordinating bias tape, and then top stitch the bias tape over the raw edge seam.  Sounds like 4 more steps than just sewing the curve the right way!

Anyway Its noting to be afraid of, either by hand or machine it’s actually an easy block to make.

Happy Quilting



12 thoughts on “Block Construction and Piecing a curve

  1. ginny says:

    love that drunkards path lay-out!! I dont think I have seen that one before….

    • timquilts says:

      I havent seen it before either….I made it up myself…but there are so many different ways to layout that block that there could be hundreds of variations….so someone else may have come up with the same

  2. Cathi says:

    Your Lansing block is intriguing. That quilt will be another Tim masterpiece.
    Curved piecing is such fun! I’m always amazed when people seem to be afraid to try it.

  3. Joana says:

    Excellent instructions–the pictures are so helpful. Wish I had had them to supplement when I made my Double Wedding Ring! Thanks, Tim!

  4. Ann says:

    Hi Tim, I enjoyed reading your instructions on curved piecing. I have always enjoyed stitching curves by hand. After reading your machine stitching instructions, I will give it a go. Is the Lansing block pattern available today or do I have to try and draft it up?

  5. Louise Winchel says:

    I am enjoying the fact that you share your knowledge of the “old methods” of quilting with all comers. I have a similar friend who shared with me about 15 yrs ago as the leader if the Fort Walla Walla Quilters. I mentioned the experience earlier to you. She is now in a wheel chair as her mode of movement but still quilting. One of her goals is to use everything in her large fabric collection. I should also mention that she had 60 some vintage sewing machines when last I saw her. I will forward your interests to her, Gayle. from Louise W

    • timquilts says:

      the “old methods” are what I enjoy…to me it is the whole appeal of quilting….hand work….I don’t want to see that die out…which isnt to say that the new methods aren’t good, I just like the historic

  6. I love to read your blog, it picks me up, motivates me to get working, and I don’t have to start a new stack someplace to read you again!


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