more on inserted curves! :: Okan Arts
more on inserted curves!

more on inserted curves!

By Patricia Belyea

SEATTLE WA  Late last summer, I made three samples for my Inserted Curves Workshops. The technique involves inserting curved design elements into a quilt top.

The workshop samples are three variations of an idea for students to consider when designing their first Inserted Curves project.  All the curved elements are pieced and the final composition is completely flat! Here’s a peek at the back of one of the unfinished samples.
The blue fabrics used in the samples are indigo over-dyed yukata cottons. (Some of the vintage fabrics that Okan Arts imports show their age. We collected these minimally damaged fabrics for a commercial run of natural indigo dyeing.)

This summer Victoria and I worked with Kathy Hattori of Botanical Colors to over-dye hundreds of yards of yukata cotton. We washed the cottons, over-dyed them, washed them again, pressed them, and then packaged them. I’ve been continuing on my personal projects working with Inserted Curves. Since early July when I wrote about my Big Grid with Inserted Curves series, I’ve made two more tops. (To read about the first quilts in the series +click here.)

The background grid of Blossoming, made with classic indigo and white yukata cottons, glows with the minimally changing values of blue. There are triple Inserted Curves in the circular elements—first there’s a curved line inserted into each circle, then each circle is inserted into the quilt top, and then another curved line is inserted across each circle. Whew!
HHHH (Hurricane Harvey Hits Houston)
This quilt design is my response to last year’s disastrous hurricane that devastated Houston two months before Quilt Festival. The background grid combines high-energy yukata cottons in red, pink and plum. To make a large swath of fabric for the hurricane swirls, I pieced together a gold yukata cotton in a starburst-like configuration. Once the big swirls were inserted into the background, I opened seams and tucked in more curves—in turquoise and orange. A few more curved bits will be added before I finish this quilt top. 

I’m working toward completing a suite of 21 quilts in this series. Right now I’m just finishing up the first one-third. I’m enjoying leap frogging from one idea to the next and not knowing what the outcome will be!

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14 comments to “more on inserted curves!”

  1. Janet Wright says:

    I love “Blossoming” But then I am a fan of black ( I know–I know–you aren’t).
    You have been one busy girl. JANET

  2. Rachel James says:

    This new work is stunningly original and beautiful!

  3. marlene barkley says:

    you have inspired me…I love the inserted curves loo, wish that I could take the class. I so enjoyed my week with you and it motivated me to try indigo dying. I am in the process of moving but plan to try it when settled. I hope to see you in Jan

    • Patricia Belyea says:

      Marlene, It would be great to see you again! I hope you can make it to La Conner next September for the Inserted Curves workshop. It will take your curves expertise to a whole new level. PB

  4. Renee Rivard says:


  5. Kathy Schaffter says:

    Wow! I love your inserted curve projects. We used to live in Oak Harbor when my husband was stationed there and often visited LaConner. Now I wish we still lived there so I could visit your shop and take a class!

    • Patricia Belyea says:

      Hi Kathy—Many folks come from across the country to attend a La Conner Workshop. You could too! Think about it. PB

  6. Helen Wilson says:

    Hello Patricia, I wish to tell you how besotted I am with the fabric prints from Japan and how I have come to appreciate them and how they can be used through your website and your book. I heard your interview on Pat Sloan’s podcast.
    As I’m in Australia, a trip to Seattle and La Conner with some special quilting friends will happen only after ‘The man with the Lottery money’ comes by someday .
    Till then I’ll enjoy responding to your newsletter stimulation.
    Thank you so much.

    • Patricia Belyea says:

      Helen—Well, my hope is to travel to Australia one day and teach there. So maybe we will get together one day! Best, PB

  7. Deborah says:

    Perhaps you could make it to Paris too!

    • Patricia Belyea says:

      Deborah—Wouldn’t that be nice. I haven’t been in Paris since October 1999—before the new millennium. I remember there was a countdown on the Eiffel Tower! PB