Are you ready to row?
Grab your 3" squares...
(you will need 28 of them)...
and let's get started on Row One of the
The first row is easy peasy and consists of 50 squares total.
Each little square finishes at the cute little size of 1" x 1"!!!
(which is why I recommend using small prints for this row)
I hear you asking how are we going to get 50 one inch squares out of 28 three inch squares?
But first let me tell you that this row is a small "filler row" in between the larger rows.
This is a beginner project so of course we will be starting out with squares.
I snapped a picture of the rough draft that I drew up when deciding how many rows would fit.
You can sort of get a little better of an idea of the layout by my drawing.
It shows how many rows...but not necessarily the order that they will be in.
Also...it doesn't show it here...but the border will be pieced:)
I hope this little sneaky peek takes a little of the mystery out of it for you!
*REMINDER...we will talk about background next week. We won't use any for this row.
Okay...let's get started!
Let's go through my important
6 step quilting checklist together.
1. Make sure that you have a sharp blade in your rotary cutter and that your cutting mat and rulers are cute, clean and ready to use.
2. Plug in your iron..no steam please...especially when piecing small items.
(A hot iron with steam tends to distort and to shrink 100% cotton fabric)
3. Make sure that your sewing machine is clean, oiled and running well....
it also wouldn't hurt to put in a new needle:)
4. Use 100% cotton thread in a neutral color
(I usually use white, cream or gray).
Wind your bobbin in the same thread and then wind a few more for backup:)
5. Make sure that you will be using an exact 1/4" seam allowance when stitching so that your seams line up correctly and your blocks turn out the right size.
Take note that you will ALWAYS sew with a 1/4" seam allowance throughout this quilt...unless I state otherwise.
6. Turn on some groovin' tunes...and by all means make sure that there is a doctor in the house...
(of course I mean Diet Dr.Pepper...haha:)
When you have successfully checked off the 6 steps...you are ready to row!
Start by pairing up your squares with right sides together...different fabrics per pair.
Line them up on your design board and take them to your sewing machine for chain stitching.
Chain stitching means feeding them through your machine one right after the other without clipping your thread in-between....
a real time saver.
(not to mention thread saver too)
After you have stitched the 14 sets together down one side....
remove them from the machine and they will look like they are hanging on a clothesline.
Normally at this point ...
you would clip them apart...
BUT NOT THIS TIME!!!
Scroll down to the next step please:)
Feed them through your machine again...
sewing down the opposite side of each square.
Now they should look like this!
Now go ahead and cut them apart by snipping the threads in between with a small pair of sharp scissors.
I don't recommend using your large sewing scissors for this because it is too easy to snip into the fabric on accident.
Now set the seams with your iron by pressing the squares...
instead of ironing back and forth so that you will not distort your pieces.
Now grab a square set and cut it in half by carefully measuring in 1 1/2".
Take note in the photo where your seam is...and cut accordingly.
this is what they will look like when you cut them apart.
Continue until you have cut apart all 14 sets.
Now press all of the seam allowances going one direction...normally you would press them towards the darkest fabric if possible...but it really doesn't matter for these.
Now randomly stitch them all together end to end in one long strip just like the picture.
Don't sew the same color next to each other and...
before sewing them together...make sure that your already pressed seams are going the opposite direction so that they will lay flat.
***IMPORTANT...after your strip is all sewn together...DO NOT press seam allowances yet.
First you will measure in 1 1/2" from the end and cut...
This is an extra piece...
save it for something else and scroll down to the next step.
Now because you have not pressed the seam allowance...the other half will naturally fold back down...which is good...
because you are going to measure in 1 1/2" again and cut...
but this time you will be cutting 2 layers at a time and a segment of 4 squares already sewn together will appear when you unfold it.
Continue carefully cutting down the row...
with the other half of the previous cut segment folded over and measuring in 1 1/2".
When you are finished...
you will end up with 27 - 4 squares segments that should measure 2 1/2" x 2 1/2".
If they don't...there could only be two reasons...either your cutting, your seam allowance...or both.
Your 4 patches will need to be accurate to fit into the quilt.
You will have another 2 square segment leftover at the other end after cutting them all:)
Don't bother to sew them together because you won't need them.
Use your fingernails to open the center seam allowance...
and then press them open with your iron (from the back)so that they lay nice and flat.
27 scrappy happy 4 patch squares:)
You will only need 24 but it's always a good idea to make a few extra if you need some to play with as needed.
Lay 24 of them out in a row on your design board to chain stitch together.
You will need 24 total stitched together for the row.
When you stitch them together...join the sides with the open seam allowance and then press that seam allowance open as well.
When I am piecing tiny blocks together...I usually press my seam allowances open because I like them to be as flat as possible:)
Join them together in sets of 2 at first...then sets of 4...and so on...until you have 24 total joined together.
A row that measures 2 1/2" x 48 1/2"
First row complete:)
Was it fun?
I thought sew!!!
Please share pictures of your first row on the flickr group...
I really like this method for sewing small squares together...
It's much faster, easier and more accurate than cutting 50 - 1 1/2" squares and sewing them together individually...right?
Of course if you are doing another project...you can cut the original squares larger for bigger finished squares.
I will be posting the next row tutorial 2 weeks from today...
but I will be posting row along updates in-between as needed.
If you don't want to miss any of them...make sure that you scroll up...and on the right side of my blog in-between the camera and the typewriter...you will see where you can subscribe to get my posts directly into your email inbox...very convenient:)
Thank you all for rowing along with me:)
Until next time...
P.S. If you are new to my blog and my teaching methods...and you are wondering what the heck a design board is...
for my explanation and tutorial.
I promise...this quilt will be alot easier and more enjoyable if you use one.
I made 2 of them to use when sewing the blocks for this quilt.
I cut one foam core board in half and made 2 the same size...
(so that I can sandwich my blocks in-between them for protection while traveling to class)