Monday, January 9, 2023

CALICO GARDEN Sew Along - BEE Prepared!!


Today is the day for the 
"Bee Prepared" 
post that I do in preparation for my
 appliqué sew alongs using my 
Sew Simple Shapes 
and my latest fabric collection.

This is the point to start gathering
your supplies and order
your quilt kits for the sew along.

This one is the 
Calico Garden SEW ALONG
and I'm so excited for it to start!

We will be making the 
Calico Garden Quilt 
which finishes at
 90" x 90"
It consists of several machine pieced blocks
 in the border and in the quilt center
and appliquéd blocks the border
and quilt center as well.
 For the applique we will be using my 
Sew Simple Shapes called of course...
Calico Garden:)
We will start with the applique blocks
 in the border and then move on to the
 pieced border blocks
and then start in on the center blocks! 

My Sew Simple Shapes Sew Alongs
 always take place here on my blog
 and they are on Monday's.

This one starts January 30th!

How do you join the sew along?

1.You simply grab yourself a
 Calico Garden Quilt Fabric Kit

2. You will need the
 Calico Garden Sew Simple Shapes and
 the Sew Along Guide

3. Gather up supplies needed 
to make the quilt

4. Come HERE to my BLOG every Monday 
during the sew along 
(starting January 30th)
where I will give you the 
free step by step tutorial 
for that weeks block or blocks.
*for week one block I'll be doing a
 video tutorial on my YouTube channel
 and I will also be doing a 
week one blog post here as well.

Please read ALL of the information 
within this post telling you all that 
you need to know about this sew along.

Once the sew along has begun...
each of my weekly posts will be 
tutorials about actually 
making the blocks and so I am
 telling you here all about the supplies
 and other things necessary to get started
gathering what you will need.

There is no pattern to purchase...
because basically the
 Calico Garden
Sew Simple Shapes
 are the pattern and the instructions on
 how to use them for each block 
are shown weekly here 
on my blog or YouTube channel
for week one 
during the sew along.

After purchasing the shapes you will 
need to download the handy dandy 
Calico Garden  
Sew Along Guide
for the free download.

The guide is not a pattern...
remember that the shapes are the pattern
 and the guide is simply a guide.
Why do I create a guide?
It has all kinds of info such as:

In the guide you will have
the schedule of what blocks
 we will be doing each week 
during the sew along.
This sew will go for 19 weeks!

Also in the guide you will find
 fabric requirements for the quilt...
and notion requirements for the quilt
 as well as suggested notions 
that I use when making mine.

You will also find instructions 
for cutting each and every 
piece of fabric in your kit!

It will tell you what that piece is for...
which Sew Simple Shape it is used with
 and what block it belongs to.

This way you can cut ahead of time
 and make individual block kits for
 your quilt and have them all 
ready to go each week!

As with any sew along...
organization is really the key.

I like to have this information 
ready for you ahead of time 
so that you can have each block cut 
and ready to go ahead of time...
So that each week you can 
simply make the block or blocks!!

You will also find the cutting 
measurements of the Sew-In Interfacing 
that goes with each Sew Simple Shape 
so that you can have that all cut
 and ready to go as well:)

You will also find a diagram of the 
 block sections and quilt borders
for when it is time to finish the quilt 
and sew it all together.

And as always there is a page
 for "Calico Notes" 
so that you can 
jot anything down from my blog posts
or video tutorials 
 during the sew along.
I recommend using these pages to 
write down the piecing tips 
that I will be giving you during
 the tutorials for each of the 
pieced blocks in the quilt:) 

You can print as many
note pages as you would like 
to take as many notes as you want
so you could print a page for each.

So now you know what the guide includes.
The instructions to make each block
is NOT in the guide. 
The instructions are a detailed 
step by step tutorial
for EACH applique block
EACH pieced block
 and I show you those here each week
 during the sew along:)

As per usual I used my 
Bee Keeper Binder Pocket Inserts
  to hold my set of 
Sew Simple Shapes....
for easy access during the sew along!
This time I used two of them
and separated the large pieces
from the smaller pieces.
This is a set with many shapes:)

I even went one step further 
and placed the circles and ovals
 in a baggie
and all the leaf shapes in a baggie
and placed those in the one 
with the smaller shapes...
for even faster sorting time! 

I also added one of my 
Calico Enamel Charms 
to each zipper pull for the 
cuteness factor:)

I am using my new
CALICO Crafting Paper Pad 
to create and decorate a binder 
for this sew along...

On the back of the pad it 
shows all of the papers included 
(papers are 8 1/2" x 11"
very nice quality scrapbook paper)
and the 2 pages of clip art that 
I designed for binder decorating:)

Here are 5 of the papers 
and the two pages of clip art so that 
you can see what they look like.
If you are not familiar with the term
 "clip art"
It simply means you cut the art out
 with scissors and use a
 glue stick to apply:)

I'm going to have so much fun decorating 
and creating my binder and 
I'll show it to you 
in my week one video:)
I'll probably use a 2" binder
or even my binder from Prairie
I'll decide which one when I do it
and of course will let you know!
I'll put my guide pages into individual 
sheet protectors as per usual.
 I will have my Sew Along Guide 
and my shapes all in one place 
and I'll bee ready to go!

enough about the guide and 
that I'm going to decorate the binder...
let's talk about the fabric!

The collection that we are using 
for the Calico Garden Quilt is of course...
Designed happily by me... 
and produced and distributed 
to quilt shops everywhere 
by the amazing Riley Blake Designs:)

I'm really excited to be working and 
playing with the Calico collection:)

There are 42 prints in the collection...
and 4 backgrounds that I designed
 to coordinate with the prints:)

I hope my Calico collection speaks 
to you and finds a place
 in your gardening heart
like it has in mine:)

So let's talk about the
Calico Garden Quilt Kit.

Several shops are stocking the kit...
both brick and mortar shops
 as well as online quilt shops.

The Calico notions as well as the
 fabric have begun shipping
to quilt shops everywhere 
and will continue to ship as 
each item arrives at the warehouse!

So of course if you have not 
already pre-ordered 
your fabric kit and need one...
it is not too late at all!

The sew along does not begin
 until the end of this month...
and when I say "BEGIN"
that just means it's when I begin
to do the weekly tutorials.
As always...
everyone sews at their own speed,
at their own time and so it simply 
does not matter when you start.
Do what makes you happy 
and do what works for you...
because I always keep 
each and every tutorial right here
 on my blog and it never goes away.

The schedule is NOT to keep 
on a deadline or stress you out ...
it is simply the schedule for 
to do my tutorials.
If you will look at my sew alongs that way
hopefully that relieves any stress.
Sewing is FUN!

 So again...
if your kit has not arrived
just know that it's coming.
And if you are just deciding to join in 
Just do a quick google search of
 "Calico Garden Quilt Kit" 
to find one...
google is your best friend lol...
easy peasy!!

With each collection that I design...
I also design wide back prints 
(108" wide)
 to use for the backings on any and all
 of your Calico projects...
it's so nice when you don't have to 
piece the back!
It comes in 3 colors...
Alpine... Coral and Milk Can

I also designed this
 "Grandmas Calico Garden" 
print for the collection.
It's not used in the quilt 
but I just had to show it to you 
because I love it so much!

If you would like to see
all things CALICO
to view the story board!

If you would like to watch my 
Virtual Spring Market Video 
where I show you everything 
that is coming this year...(so far)
We will be using the small Vintage Trim 
in the color Pebble for the 
smoke in the Potting Shed Chimney

And large Vintage Trim in Denim
 to use in the binding:)


Because I am a visual person...
I thought you might like to see 
a photo of each of the supplies
 and notions that are listed in the guide.

 ***The following photos are some
 of my notions and other of my
 favorite notions that I am using 
to make my Calico Garden Quilt.

Some are listed in the guide
 and some are not ...
but I will explain each one!

You will see me using them in the
 tutorials during the sew along...
 so I thought I would tell you about 
each of them here...
 to answer any questions that 
you may have about them.

You can of course use what 
you would like...
these happen to be my favorites:

You will need several sizes of the
 Cute Cuts Trim - It Rulers 
to trim up the Blocks
 after they are appliquéd
and during the piecing process.

I have several sizes 
of my Trim-It Rulers 
that come in handy for every 
applique and pieced blocks that I make.
The sizes that I will be using
for this sew along are
3 1/2", 4 1/2", 5 1/2", 6 1/2",
7 1/2", 8 1/2", 12 1/2", 14 1/2"
16 1/2" (shown in photo)
and the 20 1/2"

(Background fabrics are cut larger 
to allow for working the block and 
then trimmed up later using these rulers)

You will need my Sew-In Interfacing
for the appliqués.
Since starting my sew alongs that use
 my easy applique method...
 I have developed what I think is the 
perfect strength and thickness of 
interfacing for shaping the appliqués.

I also use the
 Point to Point Turner by Clover 
to shape each of my pieces...
I could not do without this handy tool!

I pin and then glue baste 
each block for applique prep.
I love love love this glue
 by Sue Daley
 and affectionately nick named it
 "Sue Glue"
It is water soluble...
dries clear...
keeps my pieces in place for 
applique but can be 
pulled off if I need to reposition
...its a win win!
I will use my other Cute Cut Rulers 
and my readers and these are all
pink so I had to take a picture 
of them together for you lol

Here is the Clover Bias Tape Makers 
that you will need for this quilt.
Some fabrics are cut on the bias
 and most are not.
I always like to keep my cut
and prepared bias rolled up 
on one of the empty spools 
from my large Vintage Trim.
It's very handy!

You can watch any of my week one in any
 of my sew along videos if you have not 
seen how I prepare my bias strips for applique.

If you have never cut strips on the bias
 you can watch how from this weeks tutorial
from my Sew Simple Shapes ReMix Series. 

Here is a photo of my NIFTY NEEDLES...
they come in a card with several
 of each different kind...
and also come in 
individual needle tubes as well.

There are 6 different kinds 
for all stitching tasks...
shown in the tubes are 
Embroidery...applique and binding.

You can also use the sewing needles
 in one of the smaller sizes 
if the applique needles are 
too small for you.

It's really a personal preference...
they both work just as well and 
there are several sizes 
to choose from within each tube.

Now let's talk thread.
I have a Aurifil thread set
called Bee Happy
and it will work for most of the colors
 in my fabric collections including

The thread is 50 wt. and 80 wt. 
and is used for
 APPLIQUE and NOT embroidery.

Since then I have introduced several
 new colors in 
that will also match 
other prints in CALICO as well:)

You can decide if you would like to 
machine applique or hand applique...
either way you will need to 
have matching thread for each applique.

These thread sets work for both 
machine and hand applique!

If you are machine appliquéing
 you would use it for the top thread
 but you would not need to change 
your bobbin color as it would 
not show on the top.

to watch my tutorial on both 
machine or hand applique.

Then you can decide 
which you would like to do! 

I use my washi tape to tape my 
Seams Sew Easy Guide 
onto my sewing machine.
For those of you who may not know
 what washi tape is...
it was developed for paper crafting 
and packaging but I also use it 
for sewing and quilting!
You can bet I'll be using it for 
decorating my sew along guide binder!

Just think of it as cute 
miniature painters tape.
It has a low adhesive so that it 
can hold temporarily and can be 
easily peeled off without leaving 
a residue on fabric or your sewing machine.

I do a set of washi tape designs 
with each fabric collection 
and these are from my Calico set:)

I use my Seams Sew Easy Guide 
to piece all of the blocks in the quilt.
It's used as an accurate
 1/4" seam allowance and also when 
piecing all of the easy corner triangles 
in my quilt blocks.

I have several different sets of 
Pretty Pins and these are the two
 that I use when making this quilt.

The Double Pins are used when 
piecing blocks to match up seams.

The Applique Pins are used for 
pin basting into the design boards 
and are essential to me!
These are just the right length 
for this task...
which is why I call them appliqué.

I also have "mini applique" Pretty Pins 
that are short and tiny and are 
used for hand applique 
when I don't glue baste.

I'm excited that I will get to
 use my brand new 
Flower Power Magnetic Pin Holder
 to make my Calico Garden Quilt:)

I use the Bee in my Bonnet Design Boards 
when cutting and for pinning and
 glue basting each applique block.
The new Calico ones will come in
 four sizes...7" - 10" - 14" and 18"
There are 2 prints for each size.

Besides my Trim-It Rulers 
for laying out and trimming blocks...
You will need all sizes of 
cutting rulers and of course a cutting mat...
I have a variety of Cute Cuts Rulers 
in 4 different colors and shapes and sizes
and the same goes for my cutting mats.
I have a big variety for cutting and of course
to make your sewing room look cute!!

These rulers are the ones that I use
 to cut all of my fabrics for everything...
including all of my pieced quilt blocks.

When I am cutting I use my 
Sew Handy Stickers for labeling 
my cut pieces and blocks etc.

They come in 5 different colors 
and are letters and a few
 number pages as well:)

These stickers adhere well...
can be ironed over...sewn over too...
but then they easily peel off 
without leaving any residue.

You can use them to help label your 
appliqués or blocks as you cut them.


And speaking of sewing...
you do not need a 
fancy shmancy sewing machine
 to make the applique pieces from the 
Sew Simple Shapes 
or to piece the quilt blocks.

Just a good straight stitching 
machine is all you need...
at just a bit shorter than 
regular stitch length.
 It really is a matter of 
personal preference and what works 
best for you but I would suggest 
doing a smaller stitch
 rather than larger.

As usual...
I am using one of my vintage
 Singer Featherweight machines
 for making this quilt.

You can see my 
Seams Sew Easy Guide
 washi taped to my machine...

Also...a note about washing and ironing.
I do NOT prewash my fabrics.
I used to years ago 
but now we have such nice 
quality fabric available to us
I do not find it necessary.
I do not use steam in my iron 
and you want to make sure not to
 after you have sewn your shapes
 and are pressing them.

Just a good and dry hot iron works well
 and I have found that a 
seam roller works fabulous for
 pressing my shapes after shaping as well.
Use a seam roller that is flat and not rounded
so that it will not distort the shape.

I don't like to "smoosh" my shapes down
 and iron them too flat.
I like a little poof in my shapes 
because it gives my applique 
a nice handmade finish.

to watch my video about why and how 
I use vintage irons and where to
 find them and what to look for!

So here is a sneak peek
of what is to come!
A few Calico Blocks...
both pieced and applique:)

Again...during the first week I always 
do a video tutorial.
The first block is the Coneflower 
and I'll be doing that tutorial on my 
YouTube Channel
and the Starflower Pieced Block
here on my blog.

I'll of course also be posting 
all about week one here on my blog 
and will have a link to my 
YouTube video here for you 
on my week one blog post.

while ago blogger changed their format
and since then I have not been able
to put a button on my blog
for you to get email notifications
or to follow me here.
But remember that google is your 
best friend and all you have to do
 is type in the name of my blog 
or the name of my sew along
 and it will bring you right here!

I have been using my blog exclusively
for my sew alongs for several years now
except for the week one video.
I like to be able to write everything 
down here for you such as the pieced 
block measurements and applique shape needed
but I also like the visual of 
actually showing you how I do my 
Sew Simple Shapes method of applique.
That's why I do the first week
 on my YouTube Channel.
Using both my blog and my channel
for these sew alongs is a perfect pair!

I do many other tutorials 
on my channel as well.
So...If you would like to know
 what I am up to on a weekly basis...
check out my weekly videos on my
 YouTube channel.
There I talk about what I've been doing
and new things happening:)

If you are new to my 
Sew Simple Shapes Sew Alongs...
I suggest that you watch a few 
of my previous week one video tutorials
  because I know that 
they will help a you a lot!!

to watch week one tutorial for
Chicken Salad Sew Along
to watch my week one tutorial for 
My Happy Place Sew Along
to watch my week one tutorial for my
 PRIM Sew Along and 
to watch week one tutorial for my 
Flea Market Flowers Sew Along
to watch my week one tutorial for my
Prairie Meadow Sew Along
to watch my entire playlist 
of each and every one of my 
Sew Simple Shape tutorials:)

That is a lot of information 
but it's all very important and meant 
to be informative and answer all questions
so that you can Bee Prepared
as much as possible.
As for me...
I will be doing what I always do 
while preparing for a 
sew along which is...
Cut my fabric and make kits for each block 
so that every week I am ready to go!

I am SEW excited to make the 
Calico Garden Quilt with you:)

I will meet you right back here 
on Monday January 30th for the
Week One kick off!!

Sew with you soon...


Gina said...

This will be am ambitious project for me but I'm looking forward to it, just waiting on the finalized guide and my kit to arrive. Thank you especially for the pretty printable notes pages you have been doing, they're a treat to use.

Anonymous said...

Can’t wait to get started on this one! Gardening is a new to me (since the 2020 pandemic) passion & as soon as I saw this quilt, I knew I had to make it.

Yvonne said...

I ordered the Galico bundle and will be picking it up when I visit Utah next month.
Will be traveling to Utah with 7 quilter friends and I am sure we are going to enjoy a lot of your beautiful patterns, notions and fabrics in stores!

Lynn McGraw said...

So excited to start this!!! Thanks Lori. Am using my scrap collection. I did Chicken Salad and loved it!!

Robin Gaffney said...

Can’t wait to get started! I think I needed to start a week ago. I just love all your patterns. This is a big challenge for me but I’m excited and thrilled to start it. Thank you, Lori for all the work you put into this and all your quilts.

Grammy Dana said...

I’m late to the challenge or as my grandma would say as I dashed in to most things a little late… with a smile she would say your late ( a day late and a dollar short ) and we would both laugh …lol so incredibly happy to discovered Lori Holt I of course knew of her and have bought many of her fabrics but since I have retired I have really been able to enjoy her content and the fabulous stories behind many of her products… everything she creates sparked joy thank you thank you

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