First here is my design for the Sea Turtle quilt. It took me some time before I finally got to this stage. I had another design but I wasn't happy with it so it was back to the drawing board. This one I like and I'm looking forward to working on this quilt.
So next was testing the curve piecing for the top layer. There is the traditional method where you take two fabrics, lay both of them right side up, have a section overlapping and in that area take your rotary cutter and cut your curve. Then you place the right sides together along the cut curve and carefully stitch along the curve. Here is a blog with a tutorial showing this method: http://www.cherylmalkowski.com/blog/?p=6
Then there is another method that I discovered in a book by Karen Eckmeier called "Layered Waves" where she basically cuts a curve, presses the edge under 1/4" and then top stitches it to her layer of fabric. http://www.kareneckmeier.com/patterns.htm
I figured it was worth testing out both methods to see which would be more suitable for my Sea Turtle quilt. I started with the traditional method and came up with some issues fairly quickly. I had some pieces of fabric develop waves and didn't want to lay flat as you can see at the top of the piece in the picture below. When I tried to add pieces that didn't go from edge to edge there were puckering issues as is evident on the left hand side of this piece.
Then I tried Karen's method. The challenge here is getting the curved edges ironed under so that they lay flat and you don't burn your fingers. A long tweezer tool does come in handy. The end result is quite nice, the piece lays flat and I can get more curvy shapes and do all kinds of inset pieces.
Next I went and did a sample design for the reverse applique and here is what that looks like. You will have to click on the image to see the stitching since it is done in a beige thread. One other thing that I did this time was add a layer of Misty Fuse to the back of the top layer to see if it would help with the fraying that I experienced while cutting out the design when I was doing the Wild Mustang quilt.
Here is the cut out for the first curved piecing method. The Misty Fuse did make a big difference in stabilizing the fabric and kept things from fraying excessively.
This is the cut out for the second curved piecing method. When I actually go to do this on my Sea Turtle quilt I would have to make sure that I pick a different colour thread for stitching out the design from what I use to do the top stitching of the curves. Here I used the same thread and at times it was a bit of a challenge to figure out where to cut the fabric.
Finally I wanted to test out a new stitch for finishing the applique and on the Janome it is called a shading stitch. I found that this stitch was easier to sew around the applique shapes than the standard applique stitch and not as intensive as a satin stitch.
My pick for the curved piecing is to use the method that Karen describes in her book. I find it gives me more flexibility in terms of the types of curves I can create and I don't get things like puckering and waving happening with her method. I will also use this new stitch that I found called the shading stitch for finishing my applique design.
My next step is actually going to be designing the wave top layer for this project. Initially I thought it would be easy just to wing it and cut curves as I go and sew them and I would have my top. But as I was doing my sample it became apparent that I can get myself into a rut fairly quickly and start cutting shapes that look too much alike. Thus I figure it's best for me to design the wave top on paper first so I have a guide for my curve cutting.