Sew Let's Quilt Along: Final Quilt Setting

I can’t believe Sew Let’s Quilt Along is coming to an end! We just released block 13, so that means it’s time to share our setting ideas for the final quilt. But before I get to that, do you have all of the blocks? If you’re missing any of them, go get them before it’s too late! They’re only free until the quilt along ends on September 24, 2019.

I’m really thrilled to be able to share my finished quilt top with you. I know that many people struggled to get their blocks to all come out the same size, so I’ve designed a setting to account for that. All of the blocks get framed and trimmed to size. Even the sashing and cornerstones are designed to be trimmed down. There aren’t even any points to match between the sashing triangles.

If you’re looking for a nice sized quilt to snuggle up with or put on a bed, this is the setting for you. And if you had any trouble at all getting your blocks to come out the right size, this setting will make it all ok. I hope you’ll give it a try.

Get the Pattern

Just like the blocks in the quilt along, this pattern is only guaranteed to be free until September 24, 2019. So if you’re thinking about using this setting, make sure you download the pattern before then.

Tips For Success

Staying Organized

I really like to keep my pieces organized on a baking sheet. It makes it so easy to move around my sewing room without losing anything. For easy counting, I stacked all of my pieces in groups of 10 or 20. It also helps to label the stacks with sticky office labels.

Make Flying Geese Your Way

I didn’t want anyone to need special tools to make this quilt, so I wrote the pattern to use stitch-and-flip corners for the flying geese. But there are a lot of flying geese in the quilt, so if you prefer a different method, don’t hesitate to use it! Personally, I used my Easy Angle Ruler and Companion Angle Ruler to cut all of my geese pieces. You should do whatever works best for you.

Trimming Half Square Triangles

To trim Half Square Triangles (HSTs), line up the 45° line on your ruler with the diagonal seam in the HST. Trim the first two sides (making sure to leave enough space to trim the other two sides next).

Rotate the block 180°. Once again, line up the 45° line with the center seam. This time, you also want to line up the edges with the 2” lines on your ruler. Trim the remaining two sides. Now you have a perfectly trimmed half square triangle!

Spinning Seams on a Pinwheel

Spinning your seams will make the center of a pinwheel lay so much flatter! There are 8 different fabrics coming together in that point, so anything you can do to help the bulk will make a big difference. It’s easier to see in a video than a picture, so I recorded a tutorial for you.

Stitch and Flip Corners

My favorite tool for drawing the diagonal lines is a Sewline ceramic pencil. They come in several colors, but I just bought one pencil and change out the lead as needed.

The secret to making a successful stitch and flip corner is to stitch just outside of the drawn line. The line you drew isn't the stitching line - it's actually where the fabric needs to fold! By stitching just outside of the line, you give yourself the extra fabric you need to reach all the way to the corner when you flip it over. Just to be safe, I always test to make sure my corner is covered before I cut away the excess fabric from the back.

Make Your Own Non-Slip Ruler

The best way to instantly turn any regular ruler into a non-slip ruler is with clear bumpy bandage tape. Just put the tape on the back of your ruler, and you’re good to go! Since it’s clear, you can still see what you’re cutting. And if you don’t want to leave it on the ruler, it peels right back off without any trouble.

Trimming the Sashing

It’s so nice to be able to trim everything to size! It makes such a difference in how the final quilt goes together.

To keep the sashing centered, line up the 2 1/4” line on your ruler with the long center seam. Line up the 7 1/4” line with the tip of the middle flying goose. Once it’s all lined up, trim the first two sides.

Turn the sashing 180°. You can still line up your ruler the same way, but this time make sure the 4 1/2” and 14 1/2” lines are on the edges you just cut. Now you’re ready to trim again.

Voila! One perfectly centered sashing unit.

Enjoy the Process

I’m not going to lie - this setting has a lot of pieces. That’s part of what makes it look so cool, and most of what allows you to end up with a nice, big quilt. I hope you don’t let the piecing overwhelm you. Instead, grab a nice drink, and work on it just a bit at a time. (My sister made that tumbler for me!)

Or dive right in! I find chain piecing to be meditative. No thinking; just sewing. Perhaps you feel the same way. It can be so satisfying to power through a whole bunch of pieces at once while you let your mind wander. Nothing beats a few hours of blissful sewing time.

Other Ideas

The center medallion in my quilt top would make a gorgeous wall hanging all on it’s own.

If you would like a little bit smaller quilt, you could use the medallion as a wall hanging, and make a quilt with the rest of the blocks. My setting from our last quilt along is amazing for a 12-block quilt! It has all the same advantages of the setting I’m sharing this time - All of the blocks get framed and trimmed to size, and the sashings are also designed to be trimmed down. What’s more, the sashing points all float away from the seams, so there’s no chance of chopping them off!

More Quilt and Project Ideas from Our Lovely Hosts

Just like you, our hosts got to choose whether they would make small projects or one big quilt. All of them have wonderful ideas to share. Be sure to check them out for inspiration! And if you love what you see, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Your appreciation is why we do this.

Small Project Hosts

Quilt Hosts

Prizes

It’s time for our final prizes! We have a prize package for segment 3, as well as a grand prize package for the whole quilt along. The giveaway is open to all participants that are at least 18 years old.

How to Enter for the Segment 3 Prize Package

To be eligible to win a segment prize, you need to make all of the blocks from that segment. Share a photo or photos of your blocks (in a single post) to be entered. The segment 3 blocks were the buttons, bolts, rotary cutter, and thimbles.

For segment 3, entries will be open from 12:00 am August 27 to 11:59 pm September 9, 2019 (Eastern time). There are three places you can share your blocks to be entered in the drawing:

  • Facebook - share in the Partners in Design Facebook Group

  • Instagram - share with the hashtag #SewLetsQAL

  • Blog Linky - Scroll down to the Segment 3 Linky near the bottom of this post

Segment 3 Prize Package

We have a wonderful array of prizes for each segment! Here’s the prize package for segment 3:

How to Enter for the Grand Prize Package

To be eligible to win the grand prize, you need to make all 13 blocks from the whole quilt along and turn them into a quilt or other project(s). Quilt tops don’t need to be quilted, but projects do need to be finished. Share a single post that shows all of the blocks in a quilt or project. It doesn’t matter how many projects or what projects you make, or how many blocks you use in each project as long as you show that you’ve used all 13 blocks in a finished project or projects.

For the grand prize, entries will be open from 12:00 am August 27 to 11:59 pm September 23, 2019 (Eastern time). There are three places you can share your quilts and projects to be entered in the drawing:

  • Facebook - share in the Partners in Design Facebook Group

  • Instagram - share with the hashtag #SewLetsQAL

  • Blog Linky - Scroll down to the Grand Prize Linky near the bottom of this post

Grand Prize Package

We really have an amazing grand prize package for this quilt along. Thanks to some truly amazing sponsors, we’re able to offer you this bundle that retails at $300.

  • Color My World Quilt Kit by Nancy Smith featuring Boundless Blenders Ombre fabrics from Bluprint! This kit includes the quilt top and binding fabric with the printed pattern. Quilt size 58” x 70”.

  • Plus 4 yards of 44” Warm White Boundless Solids fabric for backing!

  • A fat quarter bundle plus a 24” panel from Timeless Treasures “Moon and Stars” collection!

  • A fat quarter bundle from the "Jungle Cruise" collection from Island Batik!

  • Two Vintage Blessings table runner patterns; October and November and two packets of l2 piece laser-cut appliqués; Butterflies and Pink Ribbons from Shabby Fabrics!

I’d like to include a special thanks to Timeless Treasures and Shabby Fabrics for supporting us throughout the entire quilt along.

Important Note

To keep the contest portion of the quilt-along fair and fun for everyone, only quilters that use all of the designers' blocks [in a quilt or project(s)] will be eligible for the grand prize. Likewise, our segment prizes will only be open to those that make all of the designers’ blocks for that segment.

Fabulous Sponsors

We are really lucky to have some amazing sponsors on board for this quilt along! Please check them out as thanks for supporting us. Bluprint, Dear Stella, Everything Mary, Island Batik, Paintbrush Studio Fabrics, Prym, Shabby Fabrics, Timeless Treasures, Warm Company Additionally, many of the block designers are donating their quilt patterns.

Segment 3 Linky

Link up here for the Segment 3 prize. Make sure your post includes all 4 blocks from segment 3 - the buttons, bolts, rotary cutter, and thimbles.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Grand Prize Linky

Link up here for the Grand Prize. Make sure your post includes a quilt top or combination of small projects that use all 13 blocks from the quilt along. Quilt tops don’t need to be quilted, but projects do need to be finished.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

How Will You Finish Your Blocks?

Have you been making small projects all along, or have you been hoarding your blocks for one big quilt? If you’re making a quilt, what kind of setting do you think you’ll use? I’d really love to hear your plan in the comments!

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Sew Let's Quilt Along: Thimbles

It’s bittersweet to realize that we’ve come to the end of Sew Let’s Quilt Along. Today marks the final block of our journey. If you missed any of the previous blocks, you can find links to all of them on my quilt along page. Don’t wait too long, because they will only be free until the quilt along ends on September 24, 2019.

Since this is the last block, it’s also time for me to share my quilt setting! You can find that post here.

This week’s block features shelves of decorative thimbles. It was designed by April Adams of JANDA Bend Quilts. Head on over to her blog post to get the pattern.

You may notice that the lines in my thimbles are all at different angles instead of straight across. If you would like to make your thimbles wonky like I did, I’ve included a tutorial a bit farther down.

Tips for Success

Seam Test

It’s essential to test your seam allowance to make sure the rows of tumblers will come out the right length.

To test your seam allowance, cut two 2" squares and sew them together. Press as desired, and measure the resulting rectangle. The rectangle should be 3 1/2" long. If your rectangle is shorter, you need a narrower seam allowance. If your rectangle is longer, you need a wider seam allowance. Adjust your seam and try again. Once the rectangle is exactly 3 1/2" long, you're good to go.

Use Starch

It’s easy things to get wonky, especially when you’re working with narrow strips and bias edges. To help prevent that, I starched my fabrics with Best Press before cutting. It adds a little bit of stiffness to the fabric to help keep it from stretching. You still need to be gentle, but the Best Press makes a big difference.

Design Board

When I was ready to assemble the block, my design board really came in handy. It’s foam core covered with batting so that fabric sticks to it. I used it to lay out my pieces so I could be sure I kept them in order. I did have to overlap the tumblers a bit so they would all fit, but that wasn’t a problem. If you would like to make some design boards of your own, check out my tips here.

Lining up the Tumblers

It takes a bit of practice to get tumblers to come out right. I recommend sewing them one at a time (instead of chain piecing) until you’re confident.

The biggest thing to remember is to offset the tumblers just a little bit when you sew them. It may take a few tries to get the offset just right. If this is your first time sewing tumblers, you may want to practice with scrap fabric first so you don’t have to do as much seam ripping. Ask me how I know!

After every seam, check that your tumblers are lining up. You want a nice straight edge along the top and bottom. Don’t be discouraged if you have to redo a few of them. I certainly did!

Pin Long Seams

It’s so easy for long seams with narrow strips to get out of whack. To help keep them under control, I pinned the long seams in the block.

Centered Thimbles

I decided that I wanted the tumblers to be centered on the middle shelf rather than leaving room for a missing one. To center them, I simply used two background tumblers on each side (instead of having one background tumbler on the left and three on the right).

I made sure to center my thimbles when I trimmed the row.

Wonky Thimble Tutorial

The two-tone thimbles remind me of dipped pottery or ceramics. Since dipping always makes lines that are a little bit off kilter, I decided I really wanted my thimbles to be a little bit wonky. Here’s how I made them:

Start by cutting both thimble pieces 3” by 4”.

Sew the rectangles together along the long edge and press to one side.

Lay the ruler at an angle, making sure the 3 1/2” lines fit entirely on the fabric. Vary the angle each time to make all of your thimbles unique.

Trim the first two sides.

Rotate the block and line up the 3 1/2” marks with the sides you just cut.

Trim the remaining two sides. You should now have a 3 1/2” square with a wonky angle between the fabrics.

Use the measurements provided in the pattern to turn the square into a tumbler.

Now you have a wonky thimble!

Our Lovely Hosts

We have eight hosts for segment 3, and we all made our very own thimble blocks. Be sure to visit all of the lovely ladies below for more tips and inspiration. If you like what you see, leave a comment! We all love a bit of encouragement from our fellow quilters.

Prizes

We will have a prize package at the end of every segment, as well as a grand prize at the end of the quilt along. The prizes are open to all participants that are at least 18 years old. If you don’t remember what I mean by segment, check out the intro post for a refresher on how this quilt along is structured.

How to Enter

To be eligible to win a segment prize, you need to make all of the blocks from that segment. Share a photo or photos of your blocks (in a single post) to be entered.

For segment 3, entries will be open from 12:00 am August 27 to 11:59 pm September 9, 2019 (Eastern time). There are three places you can share your blocks to be entered in the drawing:

Segment 3 Prize Package

We have a wonderful array of prizes for each segment! Here’s the prize package for segment 3:

Grand Prize

To be eligible to win the grand prize, you need to make all 13 blocks from the whole quilt along and turn them into a quilt or other project(s). Quilt tops don’t need to be quilted, but projects do need to be finished. Share a single post that shows all of the blocks in a quilt or project. It doesn’t matter how many projects or what projects you make, or how many blocks you use in each project as long as you show that you’ve used all 13 blocks in a finished project or projects.

Important Note

To keep the contest portion of the quilt-along fair and fun for everyone, only quilters that use all of the designers' blocks [in a quilt or project(s)] will be eligible for the grand prize. Likewise, our segment prizes will only be open to those that make all of the designers’ blocks for that segment.

Fabulous Sponsors

We are really lucky to have some amazing sponsors on board for this quilt along! Please check them out as thanks for supporting us. Bluprint, Dear Stella, Everything Mary, Island Batik, Paintbrush Studio Fabrics, Prym, Shabby Fabrics, Timeless Treasures, Warm Company Additionally, many of the block designers are donating their quilt patterns.

Wonky or Straight?

How do you think you’re going to make your thimbles? Do you like the different angles I used, or would you rather keep them all nice and straight like the pattern? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Whatever you do, your block will be wonderful.

Sew Let's Quilt Along: Rotary Cutter

I can hardly believe that the penultimate block of Sew Let’s Quilt Along is already here! Our final block and setting ideas will be released in just two short weeks. If you’ve missed any of the previous blocks, make sure to check out my quilt along page to get the links. Remember, the block patterns will only be free until the quilt along ends on September 24, 2019.

This week’s block features an indispensable tool of the modern quilter - a rotary cutter. I’m forever grateful the rotary cutter was invented. And even more grateful that I started quilting after it became ubiquitous! Our rotary cutter block was designed by Sandy Maxfield of SandyStar Designs. Head on over to her blog post to get the pattern.

Tips for Success

Seam Test

Any time a block has different sized pieces coming together, it’s essential to test your seam allowance. It’s the only way you can be sure everything will fit together nicely and your block will come out at just the right size.

To test your seam allowance, cut two 2" squares and sew them together. Press as desired, and measure the resulting rectangle. The rectangle should be 3 1/2" long. If your rectangle is shorter, you need a narrower seam allowance. If your rectangle is longer, you need a wider seam allowance. Adjust your seam and try again. Once the rectangle is exactly 3 1/2" long, you're good to go.

Pin Long Seams

I don’t often go for pins when the seams are short, but they really make a difference on long seams. It’s just so easy for the fabric to shift on longer seams, so it’s worth the few extra seconds it takes to pin.

Avoiding Stiffness in the Applique

It can be easy for applique blocks to become stiff, especially when multiple pieces are fused on top of each other as they are here. To keep my block supple, I like to cut the centers out of the larger pieces of fusible web prior to fusing it to the fabric. Try to leave about 1/2” of fusible web around the edges to fuse the fabric in place.

Make a Hole in the Handle

I decided that I wanted my rotary cutter to have an actual hole in the handle rather than a circle of fabric laid on top. I started with my handle already cut out.

I used the small circle that’s included in the pattern, but I fused it to the rotary cutter handle instead of a separate fabric. I was extra careful to make sure I got it right where I wanted it prior to fusing.

Once the circle was fused in place, I cut out the center.

And I had a wonderful handle with a hole in it! When I placed the rotary cutter on my block, I made sure the hole overlapped the fabric and the background so you could tell it was there.

Secure with Stitching

You can secure your applique with any stitch that appeals to you. I like the clean look of a straight stitch just inside the edges, but a lot of people go for a zigzag stitch or blanket stitch. No matter what stitch you choose, I recommend using matching thread. For my block, I used 50 weight Aurifil in Light Leaf Green, Light Blue Violet, and Dove.

My biggest tip to make the stitching look nice is to take your time. When I get to a corner, I stop with the needle down, lift my presser foot, and pivot. Then I lower my presser foot and continue. When I’m sewing around circles, I take just a few stitches at a time before lifting my foot to pivot. Slowing down makes all the difference on those curves.

Our Lovely Hosts

We have eight hosts for segment 3, and we all made our very own rotary cutter blocks. Be sure to visit all of the lovely ladies below for more tips and inspiration. If you like what you see, leave a comment! We all love a bit of encouragement from our fellow quilters.

Prizes

We will have a prize package at the end of every segment, as well as a grand prize at the end of the quilt along. The prizes are open to all participants that are at least 18 years old. If you don’t remember what I mean by segment, check out the intro post for a refresher on how this quilt along is structured.

How to Enter

To be eligible to win a segment prize, you need to make all of the blocks from that segment. Share a photo or photos of your blocks (in a single post) to be entered.

For segment 3, entries will be open from 12:00 am August 27 to 11:59 pm September 9, 2019 (Eastern time). There are three places you can share your blocks to be entered in the drawing:

  • Facebook - share in the Partners in Design Facebook Group

  • Instagram - share with the hashtag #SewLetsQAL

  • Blog Linky - the hosts will include a link-up on their segment 3 wrap-up post on August 27, 2019

Segment 3 Prize Package

We have a wonderful array of prizes for each segment! Here’s the prize package for segment 3:

Grand Prize

To be eligible to win the grand prize, you need to make all 13 blocks from the whole quilt along and turn them into a quilt or other project(s). Quilt tops don’t need to be quilted, but projects do need to be finished. Share a single post that shows all of the blocks in a quilt or project. It doesn’t matter how many projects or what projects you make, or how many blocks you use in each project as long as you show that you’ve used all 13 blocks in a finished project or projects.

Important Note

To keep the contest portion of the quilt-along fair and fun for everyone, only quilters that use all of the designers' blocks [in a quilt or project(s)] will be eligible for the grand prize. Likewise, our segment prizes will only be open to those that make all of the designers’ blocks for that segment.

Fabulous Sponsors

We are really lucky to have some amazing sponsors on board for this quilt along! Please check them out as thanks for supporting us. Bluprint, Dear Stella, Everything Mary, Island Batik, Paintbrush Studio Fabrics, Prym, Shabby Fabrics, Timeless Treasures, Warm Company Additionally, many of the block designers are donating their quilt patterns.

When Did You Start Quilting?

I mentioned how grateful I was to have started quilting after the rise of the rotary cutter. What about you? Did you start quilting before or after the rotary cutter was common? If you started before, I’d love to hear about your first experiences using one. I bet it was incredible!

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