Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Quilting Day 2023 Sew Along {Photo Heavy}

 Last Saturday was World Wide Quilting Day and I celebrated by hosting a Sew Along through my Alamosa Quilt Company Sew Along Group page on Facebook. It's a private Facebook page so you have to join to see the posts. There are a couple of questions you need to answer to be allowed into the group. If you answer them all then Facebook will automatically allow you into the group. If you don't answer the questions then you aren't going to be allowed into the group - no exceptions. If you only answer some of the questions you may or may not be allowed into the group, but you will have to wait for me to get around to checking on the join requests which could take several weeks.

However, I'm going to post all the instructions for our latest project right here. So just keep reading. For my version of this I used 10 fat quarters, 5 of them were light fabrics and 5 of them were "dark" bright colored fabrics. You just need good contrast. The blocks finish at 8" by 8" and each pair of fat quarters will make 6 blocks. So 10 fat quarters makes 30 blocks.

Clue 1: First let me apologize for using different fabrics for these first few photos. I got so excited to start my version that I neglected to take some important photos BEFORE I started cutting and sewing.

how to cut your fat quarters

The first photo above shows how to cut your fat quarters. You need to fold the fat quarter so that it is 18" wide by half the length of the fat quarter (about 10" - 11"). Cut your fat quarters in 1 1/2" by the length (20" - 22"). You should get twelve 1 1/2" strips per fat quarter.

Tip: Make sure that your fat quarter is actually 18" wide before you start cutting. If it isn't 18" wide then you won't have enough fabric to get twelve 1 1/2" strips. DO NOT CUT these down any further. You are going to do some sewing before cutting these further.

example of cut strips

The photo above is just an example of two already cut 1 1/2" strips. Yours should look the same.
If you are using scraps, (that is NOT using fat quarters), then you need to cut everything into 1 1/2" by 2 1/2" pieces. This is the only size piece you need to cut.

Clue 2: Take your 1 1/2" strips and pair them up, one light with one dark. I paired up my fat quarters and used the same two together for all of my strip sets. But you can mix them up if you want a scrappier look. Sew the strips together along a long edge. Press the seam towards the darker of the two fabrics.

one strip set sewn

Then cut your strip sets up into 2 1/2" by 2 1/2" squares. Do this for all of your strips.

cutting the segments

Those of you using scraps, just start sewing your 1 1/2" by 2 1/2" pieces together, one light and one dark, to make 2 1/2" by 2 1/2" squares. Sew all of your pieces together into pairs. Each block will require 16 of these pairs. Press the seam toward the darker of the two fabrics.

Clue 3: For each block, you need to make four of Set One and four of Set Two. Pay attention to the fact that the two sets are similar BUT different. There are instructions included on the last two photos for how to press your seams.

sewing set one

sewing set two

how to press set one

how to press set two

Clue 4: The blocks are going to start coming together now. Take all of your Set One units and your Set Two units from Clue 3 and sew them together. Make sure that you pay attention to orientation and placement of the individual units.

sewing the unit

front of sewn unit

back of unit to show pressing

For best construction, you should spin your seams when you press. If you don't know what this means then don't press until you watch the video below on how to spin your seams on the back.

You don't have to do it this way, but I did this for all seams where four seams come together in each block AND in the entire quilt. In each clue I am including a photo of the back of the unit to show you how I pressed everything. Pressing all your seams to one side or open is also fine. Do what works best for you.

Clue 5: Take your units from the previous clue and sew them together in pairs. Again, spin the seam when you press.

sew two units together

back side to show pressing

The photo above shows the back so you can see how I spun the seams for this part, (sorry it's a different set of fabrics). You can mix things up or stick with just two fabrics per block like I did. This is YOUR project so do what makes YOU happy.

Clue 6: Here is the final block. To make it, sew two of the units from the previous clue together. Again, spin all the seams on the back.

completed block front

Again, I am showing you the back of my block so you can see how it is pressed.

completed block back to show pressing

The block should measure 8 1/2" by 8 1/2" unfinished. When the blocks are sewn together they will finish at 8" by 8".

Here is my finished quilt top. It measures 40" by 48".

finished quilt top

The two photos below show how I pressed each row, spinning all the seams. I sewed the blocks together in rows, then sewed the rows together.

close up of how to press seams for each row

how to press seams for each row

If you are doing a scrappy version, just pay attention to where the dark fabric and light fabric goes at each step and don't worry that your units are scrappy. The finished quilt will still look great. And if you do a scrappy version please post a photo of your version in the comments or email me a photo to AlamosaQuiltCompany at gmail dot com.

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