Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Curves Made Easy! Quick Curve Ruler Tutorial

Have you heard of the Quick Curve Ruler?  It’s a pretty slick tool that makes cutting, piecing and sewing with curves a breeze!  We carry the Quick Curve Ruler here at The Fabric Mill, and so I thought I’d do a quick walk through to show you just how easy using this ruler is!

Quick Curve Ruler table runner

This table runner pattern (called Urban Runner) is free and included with the ruler – it’s actually the back and the inside of the ruler’s label.  There are also other quilt patterns available that use the ruler (we carry several!).  Oh- and for a limited time, we have kits for this runner too!

Let’s get started!  First of all, we need to cut the curves.   The instructions for this runner do a great job of explaining these steps, including diagrams but I’m a visual learner and step by step photographs are helpful. 

QCR tutorial 1

You’ll need long, 8.5” wide strips of fabric.  For the first curve, line up the top and bottom edges of the fabric with the dashed lines on the ruler.  Then move the cutting slit (where your rotary cutter fits into the ruler) all the way over to the left edge of the fabric.  Use your regular rotary cutter to slice right along that curved slit. 

QCR tutorial 2

Look – you did it!  Next, move the ruler over so that the top and bottom edges of fabric still line up with the dashed line on the ruler.  The curved dashed line on the left will now line up with the curve you just cut.  You’re now ready to cut the next curve -

QCR tutorial 3

Just like this! 

QCR tutorial 4

Now continue moving the ruler over and cutting curves until you get to the end of your fabric strip -

QCR tutorial 5

Repeat these steps for the other fabrics you’ll be using.  For this table runner kit, there are four main prints. 

QCR tutorial 9

That wasn’t so bad, was it?  Next we’ll cut the background (white) pieces.
These 3.5" x 8.5" background pieces can be stacked and cut two or three at a time.  Line up the top and bottom edge of the fabric along the same dashed line like we did with the main prints.  The right edge of the fabric will line up with the right edge of the ruler.  Now just cut along the curved slit.

QCR tutorial 6 

Voila!  Really, once you get the hang of this, it goes pretty quickly.

QCR tutorial 7

Repeat until you have cut all of the background curves.

QCR tutorial 8

Now we are ready to sew!  At this point I highly recommend you cut two test blocks out and sew them first.  After two blocks you’ll get the feel of it and your blocks will improve.

Grab one main fabric piece and one small background piece (concave curve).  Line them up, right sides together, with 1/4” bit of the background fabric peeking out at the top.

QCR tutorial 10

Place fabrics under the presser foot and using a 1/4” seam…

QCR tutorial 11

…start sewing.  It helped me to lift the top fabric up as I sewed.  Keep the right edge of the fabrics lined up at the 1/4” seam as you sew.  Go nice and slow at first – and you’ll get the hang of it – I promise!

QCR tutorial 12

When you get to the end, the bottom the white fabric should peek out about 1/4” again like when you started.  We will trim these blocks down a bit when we square them up later so if they’re not perfect that’s okay!

QCR tutorial 13

Open up your block and pat yourself on the back because you just sewed a curve! 

QCR tutorial 14

We need to add the other side of the block now.  Grab the second piece of background fabric and line it up as shown below:

QCR tutorial 15

Sew as you did before, with a 1/4” seam, and lifting the top layer up a bit as you sew.

QCR tutorial 16

Repeat until you have made all 28 of these.

QCR tutorial 17

Press the blocks and then we will trim and square them up.

Place the ruler with the top and bottom edge of the curve lining up at about the 1/4” mark on the ruler (see red circles).  The top and bottom left edges of the curve should line up at about the 2-1/4” mark on the ruler.  Trim the top and right edge of the block.

QCR tutorial 18

Rotate the block so we can trim the other two edges.  This time just line up the left edge with the 4” line on the ruler, and the bottom edge with the 8” line on the ruler.  Trim off the top and right side of the block.

QCR tutorial 19

Repeat to trim and square all blocks – don’t they look great? 

QCR tutorial 21

You’re now ready to sew the blocks together -

QCR tutorial 22

You will need 14 of these for the runner.

Quick Curve Ruler table runner 3jpg

This was my first time trying the Quick Curve Ruler and I’m glad I tackled this smaller project first.  I feel like I’ve got the hang of it though and I’m ready to tackle a whole quilt pattern!

If you’re needing a little more encouragement, the designers of the ruler have three online video tutorials to show you how to cut curves, sew curves, and square up blocks.  You can find the videos here.

The kits for this runner are $15.50 and available while supplies last!


  1. Very nice tutorial! Thank you.

  2. Thank you for the great tutorial.

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