To applique curved stems, we usually recommend fabric strips cut on bias grain; it is easier to bend.
However, this antique quilt shows that applique stems CAN be curved with fabric cut on straight grain, and uses less fabric. However, it is more challenging.
It can be done beautifully if the curve is gentle enough or narrow enough, and the quilter is determined enough.
Maybe this quilter of long ago had to be frugal with her fabric, or there just was not enough yardage to cut on bias, so she had to use straight grain strips.
Binding with straight grain can also be made to curve gently around corners, with a bit of encouragement.
To learn a technique for curves on straight grain and more about applique stems and vines, I offer a helpful booklet, “Applique Stems and Vines, So Many Ways,” now also available as an eBook.
Barbara M. Burnham
(c)2020 Barbara M. Burnham. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any kind is expressly prohibited without prior written authorization.