Ok this is the week I have been waiting for. Now I get to see all your gorgeous tops assembled and celebrate a month of sewing beautiful things!
The world is a bit crazy right now and, I don’t know about you guys but escaping to my sewing room to spend a few hours with pretty things is becoming higher and higher on my list of priorities.I always talk about the benefits of sewing for mental health and it is in these moments we see its true value. I am even wondering if quarantining and self isolation will see an increase in the return to crafting in general. After all there is only so much netflix we can watch and Words with Friends we can play hahahaha.
Anyway I, as usual, digress. Today is too good a week in our Quiltalong to talk about sad and stressful things – its time to focus on the pretties!
First up though a peek at last weeks makes from some of my fellow Quiltalongers (I am still maintaining that is a word). Look at what an amazing job they have done with their Block Bs from last week. Some are overachievers and have finished their tops already – they are amazing.
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So this week is all about laying out and assembling our quilt tops. I always lay out on the floor but rarely leave it there due to Daisy and Charlie who really like to nap on freshly made quilts. So once laid out I pack it up and then assemble row by row, pressing seams as I go Again there is no right way to do this, you need to find your process. I hate double and triple handling so will assemble the rows and then attach to each other as I go. I find it also helps me to keep track of where I am too.
For those of you new to making a quilt top here are a couple of tips from me.
- There is no right or wrong way to do this. Obviously the idea is to lay out your blocks alternately and try to keep like fabrics from touching but if that doesn’t happen it doesn’t happen. You could lay the quilt out a hundred times and always find something you don’t quite like so don’t panic about perfection here. I find the best way to do it is to lay it out and then walk away for an hour or so. If you walk past have a quick look and see if anything sticks out as wrong, change that. But even if that all happens there will still be something you think you should have changed. When your beautiful quilt is finished and bound you wont care I promise. It is hard to get out of the habit of only seeing mistakes but it is necessary in the creative process sometimes.
- Use a short stitch length. I use a 1.8 stitch length to assemble blocks and tops. It removes the need to lock stitches at beginning and end of each row which makes me happy.
- Keep your iron at table height right beside you. Honestly nothing is more time consuming than going back and forth to an ironing board, I literally swivel my chair.
- Not every square will line up perfectly. And that is ok. The world wont end I promise. Which brings me to the next tip…
- Points Schmoints. It always saddens me when people say they are scared to make a quilt because they are worried it wont be perfect. A quilt doesn’t need to be perfect. It can be just as beautiful even if you look closely and see things don’t quite line up. In fact every single quilter makes a mistake at some point or another in their quilt, they may just photograph it strategically so you don’t notice. Never compare your attempt to someone else’s. Fun fact too – there is a glaring error in my original Lemon Squeezy quilt (and no I’m not going to tell you what it is lol) yet it is my most popular pattern, most liked quilt ever and still one of my favourite makes. So don’t sweat the small stuff, enjoy the process and celebrate your make.
So I think it is time to show you my completed top – I am so happy with how it all came together. I used the coordinating panel for that centre square and it will be brilliant once the quilt is finished.
I look at this and think of the million ways I could have laid it out differently of course but I am choosing to let that go and focus on the overall gorgeousness. Also I am finding it strange to photograph unfinished quilts – it is only a new thing for me this past few months. I really do prefer a finished quilt to just a top – there is just something about the way quilting makes everything better.
Next week we will talk about pinning and quilting our quilts I am going to share how I pin on a table to save my back and also talk all about wavy quilting which most of you would know I am OBSESSED with. In the meantime though make sure you show me pics of your finished tops using the hashtag #lemonsqueezyqal
Finally lets talk prizes! Last week was the gorgeous bundle from My Fabricology and the winner has been chosen. Congratulations Suesews Too – you are the lucky winner this week. Please contact Susan directly and she will arrange to get your bundle on its way.
The week 5 prize is a beauty. My lovely friend Sedef from Down Grapevine Lane has donated the pattern to make this gorgeous mini quilt and 3 fat quarters from her private fabric collection too. Sedef is a highly regarded talent in our industry and the creator of fabrics lines for fabric house Riley Blake, as well as an author, surface designer and pattern designer – there is no end to her talents and business acumen. And even better – she lives not even 10 minutes from me which is great for midnight stress fabric runs and quilt holding photos.
To be in the running for this week’s prize simply share a pic of your completed quit top with the hashtag #lemonsqueezyqal. It is not imperative you follow Down Grapevine Lane to be eligible but it is definitely a nice thing to do and will make me happy. I will share the lucky winner in my Week 6 blog post next Sunday so make sure you pop in and check.
And now for a giggle for everyone. I thought I would get a bit fancy and try to get a cute photo of Daisy in front of the quilt – no idea why the mood struck me but it did. She is not a very cooperative supermodel that is for sure but she really is a beautiful dog – who is thoroughly focused on the cheese she is looking at. You should see the outtakes!
Our Quiltalong runs for 6 weeks to the following timetable:
Introduction Post: Sunday 2 February – What are our plans?
Week 1: Sun 16 February – Welcome to the Quiltalong and Fabric selections
Week 2: Sun 23 February – Cutting our fabrics
Week 3: Sun 1 March – Making our first lot of blocks (Block A)
Week 4: Sun 8 March – Making our Block B blocks
Week 5: Sun 15 March – Laying out and assembling our quilts
Week 6: Sun 22 March – Finishing off