This tutorial is for those of you that have never tried sewing circles and quarter-circles and would like to give it a try without purchasing a template. Making your own template is actually quite easy. If you find that you love sewing curves and want to do it all the time, I'd probably invest in a nice template set. I think this is perfect for those of us that just want to try sewing curves so we can check it off the quilting "bucket list."
First, decide what size you want your finished square to be (this will only be a quarter of the whole circle). The larger the square, the easier the curve will be to sew. At the retreat in February, our teacher started us with 9-inch blocks. I thought they were a bit big, so today we are going to do a 6-inch block.
Use a ruler or grid to draw a square on a piece of paper.
Since we are making a 6-inch block, I decided to make a circle with a 5-inch radius. (This would be a good time to pull out your protractor if you have one. I don't think I've even seen a protractor since seventh grade.) Use your ruler or grid to draw several marks on your paper that are all 5 inches away from the corner of the paper.
Connect the dots.
Cut out your two shapes.
Now, we need to account for seam allowances. Take your two circle pieces and lay them on top of a sturdier material, like card stock or cardboard. We need to add a quarter-inch to all sides of both circle pieces. The straight sides are easy enough to add a quarter-inch to, but the curve is a bit trickier. I used my grid and moved it along the curve, making little marks all along the way.
Do the same for your second piece.
Cut out. Note: Your two template pieces should NOT fit together. Because of the seam allowances, they look like they could never make a perfect curve together, but they do!
Tomorrow, I'll show you how to use your new template pieces.