Creative articles about quilting

Sugaridoo Quilt Along part 7 – ‘Around the corner’

It’s time for a a new technique. We are going to tackle curves in part 7 of the Sugaridoo Bernina QAL, it’s time to make row #6!

Row #6 ‘Around the corner’

Are you excited? A little nervous maybe when it’s your first time sewing curves? I get that! Curves can look scary when you’ve never done them. I avoided sewing curves for so so long. But now I have sewn curves, using a few different techniques, I am really starting to like them. The organic feel that they can give to a quilt it so nice.

So in this row we will be making curves. Allow yourself some practice blocks. Make some shapes to see what you like best. With the reverse applique method you will draw your shape first and then sew over the lines. This gives you a nice guide on where to sew. You can do it! Before you know it you will be sewing just a rounded corner 😉

Check out the video below to see all the steps to make this row. Sewing curves with this method is really not at all scary, I promise.

New here?

If you’re new here, welcome! On the 28th of November we kicked off a super fun quilting project. We started a quilt along, where thousands of quilters from all over the world are making the same quilt. Every four weeks a new part of the pattern, a new row, will be released. After 12 rows you will have a quilt of 70 x 90″.

Even though we started eight weeks ago you can still join us! You will have enough time to catch up. There are also still fabric kits available for this quilt along. You can make the quilt in rainbow colors on silver fabric, in rainbow on white fabric or with blue fabrics. Of course you can also pick your own fabrics or use what you have in your stash.

On this page your can find all the links to previous blog posts about this project. Hop over to this blog post to read all the general information about this quilt project. And also read this one to learn more about the materials we use and the fabric requirements.

Fabric + Material

For this row you will need some teabag paper or thin lining fabric besides your fabrics.

Did you order a kit for the quilt along? Than you’ll use the yellow fabric called ‘Canary’ for this row if you are making a rainbow quilt. Or the lightest blue fabric called ‘Capri’ if you’re making a blue quilt. We will make a few of the bobbles in accent color, so also get your accent fabric out. And of course your need your background fabric.

For those of you who want to play with the location of the accent color in each row, or add extra accent colors or just want to get a little more insight in the layout of the quilt. Here is a schematic of the rows and the placement of the accent colors. 

And this is what the schematic of the quilt looks like for the blue fabric kit. 

You will need the following to make this row.

  • Main fabric: 15 inch
  • Accent fabric: fabric for a few bobbles
  • Background fabric: 18 inch
  • Tea bag paper or thin lining fabric
  • Inch ruler (12 x 6 or 24 x 6 inch both will be fine)
  • Rotary cutter
  • Cutting mat
  • Iron + ironing board
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread (I use thread in the color of my background fabric)

Round shapes

For this row we are going to make round shapes with reverse applique. I love this for making rounded shapes. The sewing is very straight forward. You will sew over the lines that you draw on your tea bag paper. No complicated cutting of round shapes and no pulling and tugging at your fabric while you’re sewing.

With this method you can make any rounded shape and you will exactly know how it turns out. It’s nice and precise.

Cutting your fabric

Here is an overview of what to cut for this row. Before you start cutting all the fabric I would recommend making a test block. That way you can see if you like the size of the pieces listed below or if you want to cut your pieces a little bigger. 

Main fabric (Canary)
  • 26 x a piece of 5 x 3″

Cutting scheme for main fabric Canary

Background fabric (Silver)
  • 14 x a piece of 4 x 6″ (for block B)
  • 7 x a piece of 4 1/4 x 6″ (for block A)
  • 7 x a piece of 5 1/4 x 6″ (for block C)
  • 7 x a strip of 1 1/2 x 5 1/2″

Cutting scheme for background fabric Silver

Accent fabric (Titanium)
  • 2 x a piece of 5 x 3″ 

Cutting scheme for accent fabric Titanium

Tea bag paper
  • 28 x a piece of 5 x 4″

These cutting schemes can also be downloaded as a PDF:

Cutting schemes for QAL part 7 – Row #6 [Rainbow]

Here you can download the cutting scheme for the Blue fabric kit:

Cutting Schemes for QAL part 7 – Row #6 [Blues]

Some information before we get started

Let’s start with an overview of what we will be making. We will make three different sized blocks (A, B and C) for this row. To make the complete row you will need:

  • 7 x A, finished sized 3 3/4 x 5 1/2″
  • 14 x B, finished sized 3 1/2 x 5 1/2″
  • 7 x C, finished sized 4 3/4 x 5 1/2″

above measurements include seam allowance.

In the schematic you can see that some of the round shapes are placed closer to the edge of the block, some more in the middle block. Feel free to play around with this in your row.

I tried to place the rounded shapes on the left side of the row closer to the left edge of the blocks, the shapes in the middle of the row more in the middle of the blocks and the shapes on the right side of the row closer to the right edge of the blocks.

Border included

This row already has the border included at the top. So when assembling the quilt you will only need to add a 1 1/4 inch strip to the bottom.

To improv or not to improv

This row is great for improvising on the sizes, shapes and placement of the rounded shapes. But if you don’t want to, you don’t have to 🙂 Here are two illustrations of the different looks you can accomplish with this row. I also included a template in case you want to go for a more organized look and make all the blocks the same.

What I went for in this first version is random shapes. I didn’t use a template. That gives you this kind of row:

This second version of the row has a more symmetrical and organized feel to it. To make the row like this you can use the template from the link below to make all the shapes half circles of 2 x 4 inch.

Download your template for a 4″ half circle

Make your first block

Lets’s start with our first block. Take a piece of tea bag paper (or very thin lining fabric) and draw a half circle on it. Don’t make it too perfect if you go for the improv look.

Make your shape between 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 inch wide, there is no seam allowance involved in the width of the shape. And make it between 1 1/2 and 2 1/4 high, this includes a 1/4 inch seam allowance on the bottom of the shape.

Especially for the A and C blocks you don’t want to make the shapes higher. We need to leave 1 1/4 inch of the top empty as a border for this row.

Place the tea bag paper on a piece of background fabric. When working with print fabric, place your fabric with the right side up, then place your tea bag paper on top of that.

Now you sew over the line on the tea bag paper. Set your stitch length a little smaller then you normally use for stitching. I put my Bernina 770QE in the needle down position so my foot hovers just above the fabric when I stop to turn my fabric a bit when needed.

After sewing your shape you cut the inner fabric away. Also make little cuts in the fabric toward the sewing line.

Now you can turn your piece ‘inside out’. Flip the tea bag paper to the other side and press it flat. Make sure your tea bag paper isn’t peaking out on the front.

When this is nicely pressed you take a piece of main fabric and place it behind the background fabric. Also here, when you work with print fabric, place your fabric right side up.

Put in a few pins around the end and top stitch the background fabric on top of your main fabric. I set my stitch length a little bit bigger, to 3, for this. If you like, you could even go for a blanket stitch or a different decorative stitch. 

Now trim the excess fabric and teabag paper from the back.

Now you only need to trim the block to the correct size. I started with an A block, so I’ll trim it back to 3 3/4 x 5 1/2″.

Make the other blocks

When you’ve decided on the look of your row, when you’ve made your test block and are happy with it, you can go ahead and make all the A, B and C blocks.

When you’ve made all the blocks, lay them out on the floor or on a design wall and play around with them until you are happy with your row. 

Then start sewing together the columns of the row. Sew all blocks A to the B blocks to the 1 1/2 x 5 1/2″ strips. And sew all blocks C to the blocks B.

After that, sew the columns together to finish your row. 

Aaand then you’re done! How did it go? Was it your first time trying this method? Or have you done applique many times before?

This row is a bit different than the other rows we did so far. I’m super curious how it was for you and how your row will turn out!

See you in four weeks 🙂


Related content you may be interested in

Comments of this post

53 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Required fields are marked *

  • Brooke

    Maine Coast, USAI finally got ‘out of the woods’ and “Around the Corner” to complete Row 6. I can happily report that I’m all caught up now. Phew! 😅Tips: 1. Break this row down into tasks, and do one task at a time: cut pieces, draw circles, cut *teabag papers*, etc… 2. If you have one, use a walking foot for topstitching. 🧵    * I used featherweight sew-in interfacing.

  • reneenee84

    This was definitely less scary than I thought it was going to be. I finally got the tea bag paper out and just went with it. I did a mix of freestyle and structured circles.

  • aimeeh

    I made this row more complicated than it needed to be (scrappy and layered) but in the end I like it

  • jingysaurus

    I went wild with the bobbles. I have really enjoyed the improv – not one is the same! My improv teabag paper is upcycled thin tissue packing paper which seem to work well. I’ve been saving these whenever I come across them (from the packaging of new shoes/garments etc). 

  • Debbie Hodge

    So fun learning new techniques. Part 7 Row 6 complete! Waiting for the next one!


  • ippy

    Again a new technique for me.  Could not get teabag paper, tried a few other options, but wasn’t happy.  Had a good think and decided I’d try to do the curve without paper and after a couple of trials, decided to give it a go.
    Took my time and actually enjoyed the row better then I thought I would.

  • Karen Holtgrewe

    I tried different methods using coffee filters.  In the end, I used a protractor to draw a circle a bit over 4″ diameter in the center of the coffee filter.  Then, I cut the coffee filter in half to have two patterns for the half circle design.  I also cut my main fabric (canary) in 3″ x 6″ to help line up as I pinned to the background fabric part.  I wanted to have more control of my design and not improvise.

  • Florence Matthews

    Used freezer paper, but it is too thick and hard to tear out because it is so close to the stitching.  Curves intimidate me, (actually the whole project did, but that’s why I’m learning here), but after the first one, oh so easy. I’m so glad that you make these so simple and fun. Tissue paper although vcry fine works well. Each time a new row comes out, I get intimidated as I’ve never quilted before, but it lessens with each row. By the time I’m finished, I’ll be happy to see another  row and sad that it will be over. Thank you Irene for being so cheerful, upbeat and fun. Love the color change with the nails.  Will take me some time to complete (so many pieces) because I work full time. Thank you for your energy that comes across so clearly. You love what you do.

  • Marilyn Crawford

    This was very easy to do. I used interfacing (as I did not have teabag paper) and

    this worked.  I did do the improve. It turned out great

    thanks Irene   Your instructions were so easy to follow

    cheers from Canada 🇨🇦

  • anderkat

    Finished. This one was a challenge and I am not sure I like sewing curves. But, I learned some new techniques.

    I used Swedish tracing paper, as I have not found a source of tea bag paper in Canada. I also used a fabric glue stick to attach the yellow fabric to the background fabric, which made it a bit easier to sew.

    I have 3 accent colour blocks, as it made for more efficient cutting of my yellow fabric.

    The finished size is 7 1/2″ high by 70″ long.

    Thanks Irene, for this great QAL project. Stay safe.

  • Cathy White

    Irene says what to trim Block A to after it is completed but doesn’t give The measurements for Block B and Block C.   Could you tell me what these measurements are?  Thanks Cathy

    • anderkat

      Let’s start with an overview of what we will be making. We will make three different sized blocks (A, B and C) for this row. To make the complete row you will need:

      7 x A, finished sized 3 3/4 x 5 1/2″
      14 x B, finished sized 3 1/2 x 5 1/2″
      7 x C, finished sized 4 3/4 x 5 1/2″

      above measurements include seam allowance.

  • ippy

    Hi Irene,  I don’t have teabag paper but not sure if the freezer paper will work the same way with the curves?  Wondering if tissue paper would work as that’s very thin? Another new technique for me doing curves.  Do like how you say they can all be different as I know mine definitely will be 🙂

Dear BERNINA Blog readers,

if you want to publish pictures via the comment function, please log in to the blog first. Click here to sign in.

You haven't registered for the BERNINA blog yet? Click here to create your free account.

Thank you very much

Your BERNINA Blog Team