This is where the fun begins!
You will need :-
Template A (see here for details)
Newspaper or thin copy paper
Fabric scraps or yardage
pencil, paper scissors
rotary cutter, plastic ruler and cutting mat or scissors
The fabric strips for piecing the arches need to be roughly wedge shaped.
I cut my wedges by eye to be approximately :-
4" high x 1 1/2" wide along the bottom x 2" or so wide at the top
Cutting them this size allows you to comfortably fit eight strips along an arch.
I also chose to cut mine from a mixture of scraps and yardage. To cut from yardage, cut 4" long strips across the width of your fabrics. Taking 4 strips at a time, lay them neatly on top of each other, then cut each strip into wedges along the length of the strip.
We are going to be paper piecing the arches to make sure they all end up at the correct size. So, using template A cut foundation paper pieces from either newspaper or thin copy paper. The quickest way to do this is to pile papers four or so at a time, draw the template onto the one on the top and cut all the papers in the pile at the same time.
Place the strip right side upwards onto the paper, just to the right of the centre. Ensure there is at least a little fabric above and below the top and bottom edges of the paper arch.
Take your second fabric wedge and place onto the first, right sides together. Align the right hand edges of both fabrics so that they are exactly flush/level.
Set up your sewing machine and reduce the stitch length to around 1.5.
Stitch both fabrics and the paper together by stitching with a quarter inch seam allowance down the right hand edge of the fabrics.
Place a third fabric strip, right sides together onto strip number two, aligning the right hand edges.
Holding the fabrics in place with your right hand, fold the right hand edge of the paper back to the left, so it is out of the way.
Stitch fabrics two and three together (but not the paper this time), down the right hand edge.
This is how the arch will look so far from the reverse, with paper still folded back.
This is how it should look with paper unfolded.
Only the first line of stitching will be through the paper, all subsequent seams will be through fabric only.
Continue adding strips, right up to and over the right hand edge of the arch.
Then begin piecing from the centre out to the left in the same way.
Make sure all edges are completely covered in fabric.
Turn arch over and using the edge of the paper as a guide, carefully cut away the excess fabric.
Ta da! - a finished paper pieced arch.
Working out how many arches to make
Finished quilt blocks will be ending up a nicely sized 20 1/2" unsewn, so they finish up at 20" each once made up into the quilt.
Use this measurement to work out how many blocks you will need for the size of quilt you wish to make.
Each block will need 8 pieced arches - so multiply the number of blocks you need by eight to give you the total number of arches you need to make.
If you wish to work out the approximate number of wedge shaped strips you will need - simply multiply the total number of arches needed by eight.
I am planning on making a red, aqua and grey bed sized quilt of 80" square, which means I need to make 16 blocks, 128 arches and cut around 1024 little wedge shaped strips!!!
Better get cutting!
Working out how much fabric yardage you will need
It is best to use a large variety of different fabrics for the pieced arches to give the most interesting effect. One yards worth of scraps will give you enough fabric to cut all the wedges for at least three of these large blocks.
It is going to be very hard to estimate an accurate amount of fabric for the solid parts of this quilt as I am nowhere near the stage of cutting them out. Being curved in shape makes them much more difficult to work out on paper. Very approximately, I will say that one yard of solid fabric will be enough to cut out 3 - 4 blocks.
Once you've made your arches, go to part three - making the ovals
If you enjoyed this tutorial, you can find more of my patterns here :)