Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bee in my Bonnet Row Along - Row One...


Good Morning!
Are you ready to row?
Yay!!!!

 let's get started on Row One of the 



The first row is easy peasy:)




 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!



I like to save time and thread by
 chain stitching.


Chain stitching means feeding fabric block segments
 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 them together....
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...
always press...
instead of ironing back and forth so that you will not distort your pieces.


Always take note where your seam is...
and cut accordingly.


See?...
this is what they will look like when you cut them apart.


Continue...


And 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.



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.




This is an extra piece...
save it for something else!


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 cut again...


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.
Sweet!!!!


Continue carefully cutting down the row...


When you are finished...
you're 4-patches should be accurate!

If they aren't...there could only be two reasons...either your cutting is off, 
your seam allowance is off
...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:)



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.


Scrappy happy 4 patch squares:)







When I am piecing tiny blocks together...I usually press my seam allowances open because I like them to be as flat as possible:)






Yay!!!
First row complete:)
Was it fun?
I thought sew!!!

Please share pictures of your first row on the flickr group...
to join!

I really like this method for sewing small squares together...
 It's much faster, easier and more accurate than cutting a larger number of 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.


If you don't want to miss any Row Along information...
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...
xx
Lori

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)

***update July 2013
The pattern and instructions for the 
Bee in my Bonnet Row Along Quilt
are in my new book
"Quilty Fun"

to get your copy!




Pin It!

60 comments:

Mary said...

Great quick tip for making small 4 patches. sew fun!

Carole Evon said...

I am very excited to be making a row quilt, thanks!

Nanna said...

lol! I was thinking 'strip" rows, may have to print this out & read read read till it sinks in lol!
Helen

leeanne said...

hi Lori
Excitied to be joining the Row Along ;-)
Do you have any hints for cutting the first 3" square? If I have a fat quarter I never know if I should trya nd cut a square out of one corner (and end up with small snips in the main part fo the fabric) or cut a 3" strip, square it off and hope i get to use the leftover piece at some stage?? Advice please!!

~ Julie ~ said...

I'm so excited for this row-along quilt! Thanks for the great tutorial on the first row! It's so easy to understand!

connieteasley said...

I am so excited and ready to go!

Mari Sol Perry said...

Piece of cake...u're so practical...Cheers from Saudi Arabia. Mari Perry.

Mari Sol Perry said...

Piece of cake...u're so practical...Cheers from Saudi Arabia. Mari Perry.

diane said...

oooooooh my gosh! i have been sewing scrap quilts for over 15 years, but i have not treated myself to any classes in a while. this tutorial is amazing -- thank you so much!!!! (i spent last evening making four design boards for my granny squares...if i participate in this project too, i'm going to need design boards everywhere!). this house may never get clean. :)

legato1958 said...

You make excellent tutorials! I made some of the design boards and love them!

Sewn With Grace said...

All my pieces are cut and I'm off to sew! Happy, happy, happy!

Mary Jo said...

Thanks for another great tutorial. Ive never seen this method for 4 patches. Looks like a fun quilt.

The Tulip Patch said...

Very neat trick. I have some small pieces and was wondering if there will be another opportunity to use 1.5" squares like this in the quilt?

Bev said...

I'm such a Lori Holt fan. I just recently succumbed to the great-granny quilt and am going to do this one too! When I blogged about the greatgrandmother quilt-along, it seemed like everyone who commented is also making these blocks. I so love your patterns and fabric! You are so talented! I buy your fabric for the shop all the time. I have some Polka Dot Stitches coming any day now. I really love how every line goes with every other line. I wish Riley Blake would re-issue Sew Cherry and so do my customers. I decided not to try to resist this little quilt. My ufo's can just wait! Thanks!

Cheery wave from Bev

http://44thstreetfabric.blogspot.com

Pat said...

Your tutorial is fantastic. I was going to wait to see the finished quilt but now I want to start it right away. What a great way to get a small 4 patch.

my happy bluebird said...

Thank you for this tutorial! I learned a ton of stuff that hopefully will improve my piecing. YaY!

my happy bluebird said...

Hi again, Lori. I have a question about the iron you are using. Is that vintage, or, can you still purchase it (or something similar)? One of the things I learned from your tutorial is "not" to use steam -- but the iron I have doesn't get hot enough unless I use steam. Thanks so much for any advice you can give.

Cynthia said...

You are a genius! I love the way you sew the squares together. My squares are all cut and today, I will sew the row. I don't know if I can wait two weeks for the next instructions!!!

•stephanie• said...

It seems like things are always cuter when they're tiny - puppies, babies, and four-patches!

Thanks for a well-written and helpful tutorial. I picked up a couple of new tips.

I wish I could start right this minute. But first I've gotta drive 600 miles, pick up my trusty, freshly serviced Bernina, and make a tiny blessing dress.

Then.…I'll be row, row, rowing along!

Sasha said...

This is so neat!!! I love your tutorial for making this row with the tiny tiny squares!!! I can't wait to try it out!!

PamKittyMorning said...

Cute tutorial from a cute girl! Love seeing a peek into your design and can't wait to see it unfold!

Heather said...

Dear Lori
Aren't you clever!
In all my years and years of quilting I never thought of your brilliant idea for making blocks this way...
thank you so much for sharing!! What a time saver!
I look forward to learning more from you.

Becky said...

The perfect tutorial and looks like it's going to be such a fun quilt. I will be away from the sewing studio for a month though, so will have to refer back to this and then play 'catch-up' later.

Carrie P. said...

what a cool technique. I will be picking out my fabrics this weekend.

Sharon said...

VERY cute!! I've gotta get cracking. I wanna make this. Thanks so much for doing it.

chicken lover said...

Great tutorial - I'm very tempted to join in though I'm not sure my stash is extensive enough. x

Carol Stearns said...

I've got my tiny 4 squares ready to sew together! What fun and thank you for the easy technique. Your tutorials rock1

Elizabeth and Gary said...

What fun...I will be reading and waiting to see everyone's quilt project.
Have a sweet day, Elizabeth

Tanya said...

Fantastic...of to sew my little squares

Kate/Massachusetts said...

I, too, am wondering about the most frugal way to cut 3" squares from a fat quarter. Newbie, ya know? I will be joining this row along, too! Your tutorials are just too good to not make this quilt. Today's squares trick is terrific. Mostly, I am a knitter but love quilts and have been too intimidated to try making one until now! Thanks so much for doing this!

Michelle C said...

This is the first QAL I've ever started....let's cheer for the finish! I cut out a rainbow of 3 inchers this morning and I'm dropping off the kids for two days starting tomorrow. Happy me!

Stephanie said...

What a clever way to make 4-patches. I will definitely be giving this a try with other sizes. Have my fabrics all picked out, now just need to go do some cutting.

Also, wanted to find out if there will be a flickr group for this?

Susie said...

Unfortunately I am not doing this with you (now) but am following along. I love this tute!

Sherri said...

Just finished my row...Lori...you are amazing! These tiny squares are so cute, and they were so easy to put together!

desertskyquilts said...

Very tempting. I would never sew 1.5" squares together, but I just cut a bunch of 3s from batik scraps from another project ....

Maria said...

Hi, Lori and thanks for this row along. I've just finished making a cot quilt so am free to start. Is there a minimum number of fabrics that can be used for this pattern to work?

pandchintz said...

What a great method! Thanks for sharing and I look forward to seeing how this grows......!!

LaLa Kids said...

Ok quickly clean up the house and I am starting this today..... So exciting....

LaLa Kids said...

Ok....quickly finish cleaning up the house and I'm starting this today....... can't wait... do I have to clean it is my day off.....

trelly said...

I want!!!!! I'll start next week, thanks a lot fir this wonderful project :)

trelly said...

I want!!! I'll start next week, thanks for this beautiful project :)

Mack and Mabel said...

Thank you so much for this! I've just made my first row and they are the most accurate four-patches I've ever made. What a fantastic method :)

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

what a great way to make patchwork this size. great tutorial

Frances said...

What a wonderful way to stitch tiny squares. Thank you. I was not going to begin any more stitch alongs but this was too tempting.

Judith Blinkenberg said...

The first set I did were a little small so I sewed a second set. I think for me 3.25 for each square would have worked a little better. I am sure it's my inaccurate 1/4 in. seam. Thanks I'm on my way to the next row.

Glenna @ Hollyhock Quilts said...

This is SO cute, Lori! Creating quite a buzz in the blog community!!

jude said...

So because I am using up scraps, I am going to cut some 1 1/2" squares out separately, it looks like I need 96 total, is that right? Or what am I missing here? Thanks if you have time to comment....appreciate it...fun tutorial...Jude

jude said...

So because I am using up scraps, I am going to cut some 1 1/2" squares out separately, it looks like I need 96 total, is that right? Or what am I missing here? Thanks if you have time to comment....appreciate it...fun tutorial...Jude

Pots and Pins said...

I'm doing this, I am! I don't know when or how but it speaks to me! Love the tip on how to make the little squares - you are a genius! A bonafide/certified/qualified quilting genius! Love the fabrics, too...so, SEW pretty! xo, Nan

Elsa said...

I've done a lot of quilts and even tho this is a beginner quilt (so you say) I think it's just the thing I need to do to get me back in the swing of all things quilty!
Oh, found your blog on the Jolly Jabber!

Denice said...

Clever! This looks like just the project I need. I've been in a quilting funk for a few weeks. Something new should pull me out.

Darlene D said...

What a great technique. I think I may have to get busy and give your row along a try! Thanks for sharing.

Baú da Dadá said...

Piece of cake! I love it! I´ll try it just now! Tranks!
Renata (Brasil)

tubakk said...

Came over your blog by chance. I've been working on Red Pepper Quilts' butterflies for a while, because I love butterflies. Hope it isn't too late to join this group.

Wendiq said...

I've been watching this project since it started, but just today decided I "have" to join in. I've got a ton of 30's fabric I will use.
Question....is there a print option to get just the tutorial?

elnorac said...

Wow! What a great way to piece tiny squares!!!! I'm so going to try this... Thank you!

Kim said...

I am starting really late! I had the fabrics pulled, but haven't started. I am confused, usually I read to use a scant 1/4 inch-that isn't what we should use?

elenor said...

thanks for your great and clear explanations and the lovely pictures! found you via pinterest!

mary pat van schyndel said...

How cool is that......a scrappier look to your quilt for sure. Thanks for sharing....

Laura B said...

Great tips for making small 4-patches. If I didn't already have so many projects on the go, I would join in...

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