Are you ready to row?
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 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...
instead of ironing back and forth so that you will not distort your pieces.
Always take note where your seam is...
and cut accordingly.
this is what they will look like when you cut them apart.
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.
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
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:)
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 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...
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
to get your copy!