Posts tagged #sampler quilt

Sew Let's Quilt Along: Introduction

I can’t believe our next quilt along is finally here! I’m really excited to bring you the third mystery quilt along from Partners in Design. We had a blast with I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long and Fall into a Quilt Along, and I can’t wait to start sewing with you again.

Speaking of sewing, that’s our theme! I hope you love it as much as we do. We are doing a few things differently this time around, so you’ll want to keep reading to get the details.

The best part of this quilt along is all of the support you can expect. We have 11 Partners in Design working together to make this a success, and we're all here to answer your questions and cheer you on. Not only that, but our Facebook group is full of friendly quilters that are always happy to jump in if you’re feeling a bit stuck. I hope you’ll join us!

Who Are the Partners in Design?

We are a group of 11 pattern designers that are teaming up to bring you a fabulous quilt along. Allow me to introduce the people that are working so hard to make your experience amazing:

Abbie Danahy @ Sparkle On!
April Adams @ JANDA Bend Quilts
Becca Fenstermaker @ Pretty Piney Quilts
Bobbi Bridgeman @ Snowy Days Quilting <— That’s me!
Jennifer Fulton @ Inquiring Quilter
Karen Thurn @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Kathleen McCormick @ Kathleen McMusing
Laura Piland @ Slice of Pi Quilts
Sandra Healy @ Sandra Healy Designs
Sandy Maxfield @ SandyStar Designs
Sherry Shish @ Powered by Quilting

How Does This Work?

We’ve added some new options this time around. We thought it would be fun for you to be able to choose between using your blocks in one big quilt or using them in several smaller projects. To facilitate the smaller projects, we’ve broken the quilt along into segments. But don’t worry - we’ll still provide ideas for a whole quilt at the end of the quilt along.

We will be releasing a new sewing-themed block every other Tuesday at 12:00 am Eastern time. Our lovely hosts will share their versions of the block along with tips for success. After each segment, some of our hosts will share a small project idea. At the end, the rest of the hosts will share a full quilt. We will have prizes after each segment, and a grand prize at the very end (more details on that below).

Where Do I Get the Patterns?

If you follow my blog, you will get an email when each new block is released. The email will include my take on the block, any tips or tricks I found to help you succeed, and a link to the tutorial. Sign up here to stay in the loop!

I have also created a page just for Sew Let’s Quilt Along. As each new block is released, I will add a link to it on that page. You can bookmark it for easy access, or find it by clicking the Quilt Alongs tab at the top of the blog.

What’s the Schedule?

Since it’s a mystery, each block will be a surprise. Stop by the designers’ blogs to see the new block at 12:00 am Eastern time on release dates. All of the block patterns will be free until September 24, 2019.

Segment 1: March 12 to May 21

Segment 2: May 21 to July 16

Segment 3: July 16 to September 10

The End: September 24

  • Grand Prize Winner Announced

  • Last Day for Free Block Patterns

Wait…There’s 13 Blocks?

Yep! We will have 12 blocks that each finish at 12”, and we’ll also have one larger block that finishes at 18” by 24”. That gives us a lot of options for how we use them!

For a big quilt, you could put the large block in the center, and the 12 smaller blocks around the outside. Or you could put the large block off to one corner or side, and fill in with the smaller blocks. At the end of the quilt along, several of our hosts (including me) will provide layouts that use all of the blocks.

Don’t want to make a whole quilt? No problem! The rest of our hosts will be sharing small projects as we go. Their projects will use all of the blocks from each segment, so there will be no shortage of ideas.

Who Are the Hosts?

This is another way we’re changing things up a bit. We will have 7 full-time hosts that will be quilting along the whole time. We will also have three part-time hosts that are just joining us for a segment or two. Whoever is hosting will share their versions of the blocks along with tips for success.

Quilt Hosts

These ladies will share their blocks and tips every week for the whole quilt along. At the end, they will share a quilt layout that uses all of the blocks.

April @ JANDA Bend Quilts

Becca @ Pretty Piney Quilts

Bobbi @ Snowy Days Quilting <— That’s me!

Sherry @ Powered by Quilting

Project Hosts

We have three full-time project hosts. They will share their blocks and tips every week for the whole quilt along. After each segment, they will share a project idea that uses the blocks from that segment.

Abbie Danahy @ Sparkle On!

Karen Thurn @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

Sandy Maxfield @ SandyStar Designs

We also have part-time hosts joining us for individual segments. While they are hosting, these ladies will share their blocks and tips. They will also share a project idea at the end of their segment.

Segment 1 (March 12 - May 21): Kathleen McCormick @ Kathleen McMusing and Sandra Healy @ Sandra Healy Designs

Segment 2 (May 21 - July 16): Jennifer Fulton @ Inquiring Quilter

Segment 3 (July 16 - September 10): Kathleen McCormick @ Kathleen McMusing

How Much Fabric Do I need?

Keep in mind that everyone’s needs with vary depending on what they do with their blocks. There’s a huge variety in the fabrics that are needed for different quilt settings and small projects. With that said, I can give you a good idea of where to start for the blocks themselves.

Background - I recommend getting at least two yards of this for the blocks. If you’re planning on using it in your quilt setting or small projects, you will want some more.

Main Fabrics - I recommend going scrappy. Since we’ll only need little bits of fabric in each block, this is a great chance to use up some scraps. The more variety, the better!

If you prefer to select specific fabrics, I would get 1/2 yard each of 8 different fabrics. Once again, you may need more depending on what you do with your blocks.

Brown, Black, and Grey - If you would like to keep the blocks looking realistic, you’ll want a half yard each of brown, black, and grey. Of course, it’s also fine to leave those out if they don’t fit the color scheme you prefer. Your quilt will still turn out well.

My Fabric Choices

For my background, I’m going with Bali Watercolors 1895-597 December by Hoffman. In the picture below, it’s the lovely mottled grey that the other fabrics are resting on.

The foreground of my quilt will be scraps of bright blue, green, and purple batiks. The picture gives you a good idea of the variety I’m going for. I decided to stick to a specific color palette rather than trying to make the colors be realistic for the items in the blocks. I will have enough variety in colors and values to make the blocks come out well without worrying about realism.

For more fabric ideas, check out this post.

What Techniques Will We Use?

One of the best parts of the quilt along is getting to practice different techniques. Our blocks will be made with traditional piecing and fusible applique. We will also have small amounts of hand embroidery and other embellishments.

Don’t be afraid to try something new! We know we will have beginners quilting along, so we’re planning to provide plenty of support. There will be tutorials for anything out of the box, and the hosts will give tips to make each block as easy as possible. The hosts and participants in the Facebook group are great at answering questions. And you’re always welcome to tweak a design to fit your comfort level. Everyone’s creative interpretations are welcome.

How Do I Share My Progress?

I’m glad you asked! My very favorite part of a quilt along is seeing what everyone is making. We have several great ways for you share your work:

Facebook - The Partners in Design Facebook group is open for all of our quilt alongs. There you'll find a great community of fellow quilters ready to cheer you on.

Instagram - Please use #SewLetsQAL on all of your posts so we can see them. If you follow the #SewLetsQAL hashtag, you will also see what everyone else is making.
You can find me on Instagram as @snowydaysquilting

What About 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.

Where to Enter

There are three places you can share your blocks to be entered in our prize drawings:

  • 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 wrap-up posts at the end of each segment

See below for specific instructions for the different prizes.

Segment Prizes

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.

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 prizes. 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
Prym
Shabby Fabrics
Timeless Treasures
Warm Company

Additionally, many of the block designers are donating quilt patterns.

How Do I Join?

Easy peasy! Just follow my blog (or any of the other hosts' blogs) and you will see when each block is released. Make the block with your own fabrics and share it so we can all cheer each other on.

The more people that participate, the more fun it will be. If you decide to join, please tell your friends. If you're on Instagram, save the quiltalong graphic and share it with #SewLetsQAL. If you're on Facebook, share this blog post or a post from the Facebook group with your friends. If you're a blogger, tell your followers and link back to this post. And most of all, leave me a comment so I know you're in!

I can't wait to get started. I hope you'll join us! It's going to be a blast.

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Fall into a Quilt Along: Setting Tutorial

The grand reveal of our Fall into a Quilt Along mystery quilt is here! I had a bit of trouble with the lighting for the pictures, but I’m thrilled with my quilt. If you missed the final block, it’s this adorable owl. To find links to the rest of the past blocks and general information, visit my quilt along page. Remember, all block patterns will be free until the quilt along ends on November 12, 2018.

I’m really excited about my setting for this quilt. My goal was to create something stunning that’s way easier than it looks. I know some people struggled with getting the blocks to come out the right size. I’ve compensated for that by framing then trimming every block. The diamond sashings are also trimmed after piecing, and the points float away from the seam (so you don’t have to worry about losing your points!). With the blocks and sashing all the same size, the top sews together like a dream. I hope you’ll give it a try!

For this layout, you’ll need 4 1/2 yards of background fabric to complete your quilt (not counting what you’ve already used in the blocks). Of course, you could also get creative and use different fabrics. I’m excited to see what you make!

Framing the Blocks

To frame the blocks, cut 18 strips at 2” by the width of fabric. You’ll use 12 strips to frame the sides of the blocks, with the leftover fabric used along the top and bottom.

Important - Don’t use the leftover fabric on the side of another block. If you do, you won’t have enough for the tops and bottoms. If you forget this, you can sew some of your scraps together and make it work.

Step 1 - Smooth a 2” strip along the center of your block from top to bottom. Make sure it is square with the block, then trim the excess even with the bottom of the block. This makes sure the strip is the same height as your block, no matter what size your block ended up being.

Pin the strips right sides together with the sides of your block.

Tip - If the strip isn’t exactly the same size as the block, sew with the longer piece towards the feed dogs. This will ease in the excess fabric.

Sew with your normal 1/4” seam and press towards the framing strips.

We repeat this process to frame the top and bottom of the block. To finish all twelve blocks, you will use the fabric leftover from framing the sides of the blocks, as well as the 6 remaining 2” strips.

Gently smooth the strip along the center of your block from side to side. Make sure the strip is square to the block, then trim the excess fabric even with the side of the block.

Pin the framing strips right sides together with the top of the block.

Sew and press towards the framing strips.

Trim the block to 14 1/2” square. I used a large square ruler. The seams for the framing strips should be at about the 1 1/4” lines and the 13 1/4” lines. Center the block as best as you can, and trim the excess fabric from the top and the side.

Rotate the block and trim to 14 1/2” square.

The block is framed! You want to frame all 12 of your blocks.

Making the Sashing

Tip - I recommend completing one sashing unit before chain piecing the rest of them.

Extra Important Tip - Starch is your friend. The fabric will be on the bias in the finished sashing unit. To help prevent the fabric from distorting while being handled, I starched it heavily prior to cutting.

Place a 5” by 7” background rectangle face up. Make a mark 1” in from opposite corners on the long edge as shown. (I circled my marks in the image below.)

Line up a ruler with the marks you just made and cut the rectangle diagonally.

Do this for all 31 5” by 7” background rectangles.

For each sashing unit, you will need:

  • Bright Colors for Diamonds

    • 2 – 1 1/4” squares (matching)

    • 2 – 2” squares (matching)

    • 1 – 2 3/4” square

  • Background

    • 4 – 1 1/4” by 3 3/4”

    • 4 – 2” by 3 3/4”

    • 2 – 2 3/4” by 3 3/4”

    • 1 – 5” by 7” rectangle cut diagonally 1” in from the corners

We will make 31 sashing units. I recommend finishing one before chain piecing the rest.

Lay out the bright squares with the corresponding background rectangles as shown.

Sew and press towards the bright squares. These are the diamond strips.

Lay out the diamond strips and remaining background fabric as shown. It is essential that the direction the diamond strips tilt matches the angle you cut in the large background rectangle.

Set aside the large backrgound pieces and sew the diamond strips together. Nest the seams where the bright fabrics meet.

Press all seams towards the outside of the sashing unit as shown.

Now we will attach the remaining large background pieces.

Line up the background pieces with the outer diamond strip. The final background piece should be evenly spaced from the corners of the diamond strip.

Sew and press towards the large background pieces.

We will be trimming the sashing to 4” by 14 1/2”. Line up the 2” line on your ruler horizontally through the centers of all of the diamonds. Line up the 7 1/4” line on your ruler vertically through the center of the large diamond.

Trim along the side and top of the sashing unit.

Rotate the sashing unit. Trim to 4” by 14 1/2”.

Your sashing unit is complete! You need 31 of them for the quilt.

Assembling the Top

Lay out the blocks, sashing units, and cornerstones as desired.

I like to use small sticky labels to mark each of my pieces before I start sewing them together.

Each piece has a grid position marked in the upper right hand corner.

Sew into rows. Press all seams away from the sashing.

  • For the sashing rows, press towards the cornerstones.

  • For the block rows, press towards the blocks.

Sew the rows together, pressing towards the blocks.

Adding the Borders

Cut 7 – 2 1/2” by width of fabric strips and sew them end to end for the borders. I’m planning to trim down the border after quilting so it finishes at 1”, but the wider border gives the quilt top much needed stability.

I measure and attach my borders in much the same way as I framed the blocks. Gently smooth the border strip along the center of the quilt, taking care to keep it straight and not to pull on it. Trim the excess fabric even with the bottom edge of the quilt.

Since borders are long, I always anchor one end with pins. I put the pins straight down into my carpet. This ensures that the border strips don’t get pulled and end up too short.

After carefully smoothing the fabric along the center of the quilt, I trim the excess even with the bottom. Make sure the border strip is straight and square with the quilt before trimming.

Pin the border strips right sides together with the quilt top. Sew and press towards the border strips.

Repeat this process to add the top and bottom borders. Pin the border strip to the center of one side of the quilt. Carefully smooth the fabric, making sure it stays straight, and trim the excess even with the other side of the quilt.

Pin the border strips right sides together with the top and bottom of the quilt top. Sew and press towards the border.

The quilt top is finished! Now I just need to figure out a backing so I can quilt and bind it. I really can’t wait to use this quilt.

More Setting Ideas

All seven quilt along hosts are sharing their own finished quilt tops with setting tutorials. Be sure to check them out!

Abbie Danahy at Sparkle On
April Adams at JANDA Bend Quilts
Bobbi Bridgeman at Snowy Days Quilting <--- That's me!
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Karen Thurn at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Sherry Shish at Powered by Quilting
Vanda Chittenden at Quilting with Vanda

A Special Announcement

Many have asked if we will be doing another quilt along, and the answer is yes! We’re still hashing out the details, but you can expect a quilt along in 2019. We’ll be posting as soon as we know more. Follow the blog, keep an eye on our Facebook group, or check out the Instagram hashtag #quiltypartnersindesign to catch the announcement.

Grand Prize

We have an incredible grand prize package that’s worth $200! Anyone over 18 is eligible to win, including international participants.

To be entered in the drawing, you need to make a complete quilt top with all 12 quilt along blocks. There's no need to have it quilted. Simply share your finished quilt top on Instagram with the hashtag #fallintoaqal, in the Partners in Design Facebook group, or in the linky party below. The deadline for entry is 11:59 pm Eastern time on November 12, 2018.

What are the prizes? I’m so glad you asked! Our grand prize winner will recieve:

  • Exclusive Shabby Fabric quilt pattern “Blessings of Spring” designed by Jennifer Bosworth. The pattern set includes patterns for all 9 blocks to finish to 56" x 62".

  • An Omnigrid zipper pouch containing an Omnigrid 4” square ruler and a

    pair of 4-Inch Needlecraft scissors

  • A six month subscription to Make Modern Magazine

Link-Up

Please link up your finished quilt tops here! I can’t wait to see what you make.

Question for You

There are so many great ways to finish this quilt. What kind of setting are you planning to use? I can’t wait to see what you do!

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Fall into a Quilt Along: Barn

Welcome to block 11 of Fall into a Quilt Along. We only have one block left! On October 16, we will release the final block, as well as setting ideas for finishing your quilt. I’ll be sharing a fun setting that works well even if your blocks didn’t all come out the same size. I can’t wait to show you!

This week we have a lovely barn designed by Abbie Danahy of Sparkle On. You can find the free pattern on her blog post. Remember, all block patterns will be free until the quilt along ends on November 13, 2018.

Tips for Success

Seam Test

I always recommend testing your seam allowance before you start. That way you can be sure your block will come out the right size.

To test your seam allowance, cut two 2" squares and sew them together. Press to one side, 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.

Stitch and Flip

Stitch and flip corners are super versatile for making all sorts of blocks.  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.

Choosing Colors

I don’t know about you, but choosing fabrics often takes me as long as making the block. One technique that helps me visualize my choices is to place the fabric roughly as it will appear in the block. That way I can see how everything will play together.

Trimming the Pinwheels

I love that Abbie has us make our pinwheels and then trim them down. I usually trim the half square triangles before sewing a pinwheel, but this saved a lot of time! For best results, line up the 45 degree line on your ruler with the diagonal through the center of the pinwheel. Line up the 1 3/4” lines with the horizontal and vertical centers of the pinwheel. It should come out perfectly!

Spinning Seams

I love to spin my seams whenever possible. In this block, I spun the seams of the pinwheels to avoid bulk at those center points.

I just love my Autumn Harvest Barn. I can’t wait to see yours!

My Fellow Hosts

I am joined by 6 other wonderful ladies in hosting this quilt along. They’ve each made their own barns and are sharing tips on their blogs. Be sure to check them out!

Abbie Danahy at Sparkle On
April Adams at JANDA Bend Quilts
Bobbi Bridgeman at Snowy Days Quilting <--- That's me!
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Karen Thurn at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Sherry Shish at Powered by Quilting
Vanda Chittenden at Quilting with Vanda

Prizes

As always, we have some fabulous prizes this week. Anyone over 18 is eligible to win, including international participants. To be entered in the drawing, simply share your completed acorn block  by 11:59 pm Eastern time on October 15, 2018. You can share on Instagram with the hashtag #fallintoaqal, in the Partners in Design Facebook group, or in the linky party on Abbie’s post.

Our prizes for this block are the Christmas Tree Farm table runner pattern by April Adams of JANDA Bend Quilts, and 1/2 yard each of 4 Boundless solids by Craftsy.

quilt along prizes

At the end of the quilt along, we will have a grand prize drawing for anyone that has made a complete quilt top with all 12 blocks. There's no need to have it quilted for the drawing. To be eligible to win, finished quilt tops must be posted by 11:59 pm Eastern time on November 12, 2018.

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