Curvaceous Rivers and Skies

 New Workshop Spring 2015

Create a panel of Curved Piecing which will be perfect for water or sky in your next quilt!

Intermediate level.

River II- panel by Amy Stewart Winsor, unfinished

River II panel by Amy Stewart Winsor, unfinished

Learn to create beautiful backgrounds representing rivers or skies, sewn with curved piecing using no rulers or patterns. Each unique river or sky will be cut freehand with gentle curves using a rotary cutter. Learn to judge where to add your next color, using solids or tone-on-tone fabrics.  Also, learn to make leaf shapes and kayak shapes from curved piecing, add curvy borders around the center panel, and apply bias binding to a curved edge.

These quilts might appear to be appliqued, but are completely sewn using curved piecing.

The River or Sky quilt panel will be approximately 26”x 34” including border, 20” x 30” without border.

Sewing machine required (needs only straight stitch).


Supply list:

Bring a minimum of 9 different fabrics. Each piece of fabric must be at least 20” wide. If you bring fat quarters, you will use strips off of each one, and be able to trade some of your leftovers to other students.


Please bring only good-quality quilting cottons. Other types fray too much. Batiks, hand-dyes, solid colors, or tiny prints that appear to be solid are the best choices. Prints or extremely blotchy batiks are not recommended.




River I- panel by Amy Stewart Winsor, unfinished

River I- panel by Amy Stewart Winsor, unfinished

For Rivers: Bring a large variety of blue, aqua and turquoise fabrics. It is important to bring bigger pieces of the palest values, and enough variety from pale to dark. The following is just a minimum suggestion of 9 different fabrics. (Or just bring 9 fat quarters.)


Pale color/ light values:  Two pieces.

19” x 20”

11” x 20

Medium value:   Four pieces.

10” x 20

8” x 20”

8” x 20”

8” x 20”

Dark value: Three pieces.

7” x 20”

6” x 20”

12” x 20”



Sky panel by Amy Stewart Winsor, unfinished

Sky panel by Amy Stewart Winsor, unfinished

For Skies: Bring a large variety of pale or very light blues. Look for printed “sky” fabrics which have a lot of wispy white “clouds” mixed with the pale blue. A few fabrics could include wisps of very pale pink, grey, or lavender. Bring a minimum of 9 different fabrics. The following is the amount I used on my Sky sample, your groups of fabrics may be different. (Or just bring 9 fat quarters.)


Palest values:

12” x 20”

15” x 20”


Light values:

11” x 20”

15” x 20”

20” x 20”


Still light, but a little darker than the above:


6” x 20”

6” x 20”

11” x 20”

16” x 20”


Border: 1 yard. You may want to wait until center panel is completed before choosing your border fabric.



Sewing machine , extra machine needles. (Optional: Foot for ¼”seam, straight stitch throat plate.)

Basic sewing supplies, scissors, thread, bobbins, pins, seam ripper

1” x 6” rotary ruler OR children’s school ruler (important to bring one or the other)

Rotary cutter and rotary mat 35” x 23” or larger

Several marking implements: Chalk marker or piece of white chalk, disappearing wash-out marker, or regular pencil

(Classroom must have iron, ironing board)




Morning demonstrations or First session: Discuss colors, what colors to use to make it look like a river or sky. Demonstrate normal way to cut with a rotary cutter and ruler, as opposed to the way we have to cut without rulers. Learn to cut gentle curves and learn to sew curved seams.

Afternoon demonstrations or Second session: Learn to attach curved borders, learn to apply bias binding onto a curvy edge. Students will make a sample of curvy bias binding.








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