I can hardly believe it’s already time for the final block of segment 2! If you’ve missed any of the past blocks, you can find them on my quilt along page. The end of segment 2 means it’s time to share all of your blocks to enter the giveaway! It’s also time for the hosts to provide ideas for small projects. All of the info can be found on my segment 2 wrap-up post.
Our final block of segment 2 is this sweet little “I Love to Quilt” block designed by Kathleen McCormick of Kathleen McMusing. Head on over to her blog post to get the pattern. Remember, all block patterns will be free until the quilt along ends on September 24, 2019.
Tips for Working with Small Pieces
These tips are important if you’re going to piece your stitches like I did. If you’re planning to applique your stitches, you won’t have to be quite as careful with your sewing.
It’s easy things to get wonky, especially when you’re working with small pieces. 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.
Some of the pieces in this block are only 3/4" wide. To keep those short seams from pulling apart, I recommend using a pretty short stitch length. I set the stitch length on my Viking to 2.0, which is about 16 stitches per inch.
I usually only pin the long seams, but with the narrow strips for the stitches, I did a lot more pinning on this block. It’s so easy for narrow strips to get wonky, so the pins were super helpful.
Tracing the Shapes
I always use a fine-point pencil for tracing so I can fix any mistakes. My favorite fusible web is Lite Steam-A-Seam 2. Because it’s a little bit tacky, you can get all of your pieces placed just right without them wanting to move around before you iron them. I drew little up arrows inside the I’s and the O’s so I could be sure to get them facing the right direction in the block.
Make a Light Box
I had a brilliant idea this week! I used the extension table from my sewing machine and a small lamp to create a light box. It worked really well!
With a light box, you can use the block guide to place your letters. If you use this method, I very much recommend using Lite Steam-A-Seam 2. Since it makes the fabric a little bit sticky, your letters won’t get messed up when you move to the ironing board.
You can also just place the letters by hand in a way that pleases you. This is what I ultimately decided on. Just make sure the letters don’t end up inside your seam allowance!
To avoid catching my letters in the seam, I placed rulers around the edge of my block to mark off the seam allowance and make sure my letters were evenly spaced inside where the seam would land. I started by cutting my center 1/2” too big to give myself some wiggle room, so I placed my rulers at the 1/2” marks. If I had cut the center at the size the pattern called for, I would have placed the rulers at the 1/4” marks.
I fussed with the placement until I was happy, then removed the rulers and pressed the block. It worked great!
Secure with Stitching
With the narrow pieces in this block, I recommend using a straight stitch in matching thread to secure the applique. I go slowly, lifting the presser foot often to readjust my fabric. When you need to adjust, stop with the needle down so you can pivot the fabric without losing your place.
If you find that your fabric is puckering, you may need to adjust your presser foot pressure or your tension. I had to adjust both! Play with some scrap fabric until you get it to behave.
Cut the Center a Little Bit Big
Applique has a tendency to make the background shrink a bit, so I cut my center square 1/2” bigger than the pattern calls for. I stitched around all of my letters then pressed the center before trimming it to size.
Our Lovely Hosts
We have eight hosts for segment 2, and we all made our very own “I Love to Quilt” 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.
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 2, entries will be open from 12:00 am July 2 to 11:59 pm July 15, 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 2 wrap-up post on July 2, 2019
Segment 2 Prize Package
We have a wonderful array of prizes for each segment! Here’s the prize package for segment 2:
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.
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.
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.
What Will Your Block Say?
Do you think you will go with the “I Love to Quilt” saying on your block, or will you make up a phrase of your own? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! It will be fun to see the variety of everyone’s blocks.