Monday, August 28, 2023

Home Town 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 new fabrics and new sest of
Sew Simple Shapes 

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

This one is the 
and I'm so excited for it to start!

We will be making the 
Home Town Quilt 
which finishes at
 75" x 84"
It consists of 12 applique house blocks
 and 40 pieced quilt blocks.
(4 each of 10 different blocks)
Each applique block finishes at 14" x 14"
and each pieced block finishes at 5" x 5".
The sashing and borders are a 
simple machine pieced setting 
to compliment the blocks!

To make the blocks we will be using my 
Sew Simple Shapes called of course...
Sew Simple Shapes 

There is no pattern to purchase...
because basically the
 Home Town
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...
but of course there is a 
free cutting guide and I'll talk 
more about that in a minute:)

My Sew Simple Shapes Sew Alongs
 always take place here on my blog.
 For this sew along each tutorial 
will be on Monday's and Friday's!
and I will do a video on my 
YouTube Channel 
for week one.
I'll also be doing videos on my
 YouTube Channel for the 5" pieced 
blocks during the sew along:)

The Home Town Sew Along starts 
September 18th and you are invited!

How do you join the sew along?

1.You simply grab yourself a
 Home Town Quilt Fabric Kit

2. You will need the
 Home Town 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 and Friday 
during the sew along 
(starting September 18th)
where I will give you the 
free step by step tutorial for one of
 the house blocks on each of those days.
*remember 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 blog posts here 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.

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

I will be keeping mine in the
to keep everything organized
and handy all in one place.

I use sheet protectors to
 hold each page of the guide
for easy peasy reference!

Once again... the 
Home Town  
Sew Along Guide
 is not a pattern!! is very handy and very full
of information but to find out 
make the blocks during the sew along
is when you come here on my blog 
and/or my YouTube channel
depending on the week. 
So to re-cap... 
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.

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 several pages of 
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.
All of this is very helpful information.

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

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

I like to have this information 
ready for you 3-4 weeks ahead of time 
so that you can have each block cut 
and ready to go...
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:)
Even though you have the measurements 
for the interfacing pieces...
I recommend waiting to TRACE
the shapes until each tutorial
as there may be special instructions
 on tracing for certain blocks.

You will also find a diagram of the 
 pieced blocks in rows, sashing,  
and quilt borders for when it is
 time for you to finish your quilt 
and sew it all together!

There are just a few blocks with 
a small amount of embroidery
 and there are patterns in the guide
 for tracing them directly onto 
your blocks when it comes time.

There are a few buttons on the quilt
and on this page you can see
the placement for each one.

I have many collections of
and you could use any of them 
because they all match my fabrics...
but if you don't have any in your stash
 you could just purchase a bag of the 
1/4" size because it has a variety 
of colors and would be perfect
for our Home Town Quilt. 

For tracing embroidery and also 
tracing button placement dots...
 I use the 
Easy Trace Light Box and a 
mechanical pencil and use Washi Tape
to tape my pattern on there 
as well as my block when tracing.
Washi Tape does not leave a residue 
on either fabric or paper.

And as always there is a page
 for "Home Town 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 tips 
that I will be giving you during
 the tutorials for each block:) 

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 block if you wanted to!

I have designed several sets of Washi tape
 to use and so I have several to choose from.
Here you can see my Home Town set:)

I use my washi tape to temporarily 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!

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 use my Seams Sew Easy Guide
every time that I piece a block
or sew a quilt top together.
It's a very accurate 1/4" seam allowance
and if you haven't used it before
you will see how I use it during
the pieced blocks tutorials.

Also very helpful for pieced
blocks especially are my
 Sew Handy Stickers
I will show you how I use them
when I make my pieced blocks
for this sew along.

I always save the Washi Tape packaging
to make a bookmark for my sew along guide.
I haven't made this one yet but I've
 saved it in my binder until I do!
If you've followed other of my 
sew alongs you have seen how I do it:)

I'll also "bee" using my 
Home Town charms in my binder and
other projects...
because I love them!

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 done by ME for
 EACH applique block and EACH pieced block
 and I show you those each week
 during this sew along:)

let's talk about the fabric!

The collection that we are using 
for the Home Town Quilt is of course...
Inspired by my own dear memories of 
growing up in my own Home Town and
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 my Home Town collection
as it is very near and dear to my heart!

I asked Kelly who is the genius 
behind all of the Riley Blake Designs
 filming for their YouTube channel
to make a video for my Home Town fabric
sort of along the lines of a 
movie trailer...and he did!
It's so cute and I love it!

to watch this fun video!!

So let's chat about the
Home Town Quilt Fabric Kit.

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

The fabric and notions as well
 have already shipped
to quilt shops everywhere 
and will continue to ship as 
each new 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 September 18th...
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 and should stay that way!

And if you are just deciding to join in 
Just do a quick google search of
 "Home Town Quilt Fabric Kit" 
to find one...
google is your best friend lol...
easy peasy!!

If you would like to see
all things Home Town
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...

Okay...let's talk more about the 
notions needed for our quilt!

We will be using the large Vintage Trim 
in the color Sea Glass  
 to use in the binding of our quilt:)

For this sew along you will need the 
14 1/2" and 5 1/2"  
 Cute Cuts Trim - It Rulers.

Yes you will need the 14 1/2" to
 trim up the applique blocks
 after they are appliquéd but
this ruler size is so very important  
 during the block layout process.
It is how I will show you how the block
 looks and all of the lines on the ruler 
show measurements and spacing
that will be very useful!

I have several sizes 
of my Trim-It Rulers 
that come in handy for every 
applique and pieced blocks that I make
 and this is the only one that you
 will need for the applique
blocks in this quilt.

(Background fabrics are cut larger 
to allow for working on the block and 
then trimmed up later using this ruler)

The 5 1/2" Trim -It Ruler is
used for squaring up your pieced blocks
before sewing them into rows.

Besides my Trim-It Rulers 
for laying out and trimming blocks...
You will need cutting rulers and 
of course a cutting mat
 to cut out your fabric pieces for each block.
I have a variety of Cute Cuts Rulers 
in 3 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.

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 have a package of 3 yards and
also a package of 10" square sheets.
Either or both
 will work perfectly for this quilt
they are the same interfacing
but simply cut and packaged differently:

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 have several different sets of 
Pretty Pins and the
 Applique Pins 
in the in the green package 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'm excited that I will be using the 
Flower Power Magnetic Pin Holder
 to make my Home Town Quilt:)

I'll "bee" using several different sizes of
Bee in my Bonnet Design Boards
when cutting and for pinning and
 glue basting each applique block
and also for each pieced block.

I came up with these handy dandy 
quilting companions several years ago 
and since have made and designed many!!
They come in four sizes...
7" - 10" - 14" and 18"

I would recommend the 18" size when 
you are laying out and glue basting 
your applique blocks for this quilt.

Here are the Clover Bias Tape Makers 
that I keep in my jar...
and what we will need for this quilt.
1/4" - 1/2" - 3/4" - 1"

Well whoops!
 I left out the 3/8" size
in this post so I thought I should 
edit this post and add it in:)
Cutting for the 3/8" is in the guide and 
we will need it!

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.

Some strips may be cut on the bias 
but most or all could be cut straight.
If you have never cut strips on the bias
 or watched how I prepare my strips
 using the bias tape maker...
you can watch how from this 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.
I have a new 45 spool set coming out
soon with an update of favorite 
old colors and new colors too!

In the meantime you can find thread 
to match any of my fabrics 
from my current sets.

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!

Of course I'll be using all kinds of supplies
 for this sew along like my scissors 
in several sizes and my readers
 in different strengths...
all for different tasks.

For this sew along 
I'm keeping my notions inside my 
Home Town Project Box
I have already started filling it up...
but everything is not in there yet!

My Home Town Welcome pattern and kit
comes inside the Home Town Project Box...

But you can also buy them separately
because I designed them for storage too!
They stack so nice on top of each other
 and might I say they are a perfect fit
 for my 10" stackers and also my 
10" Square packages of Sew-In Interfacing

My pattern and kit for the
Home Town Friendship Star Table Topper
comes in a different collectable box
and I just have to show you how cute
that it looks on my design wall
with some of the 5" blocks
 for our sew along quilt.
I sure am having fun sewing with 
Home Town and I hope that you will too!

And speaking of sewing... 
like I always say...
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.

Also...a note about washing and ironing.
I do NOT prewash my fabrics.
I did 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 one that is curved
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 another sneak peek
of what is to come September 18th!

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

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 regular basis...
check out my 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 week one tutorial for my
Calico Garden Sew Along
to watch my week one tutorial for my
Bee Vintage Sew Along
to watch my entire playlist 
of each and every one of my 
Sew Simple Shape tutorials:)

My Goodness!!
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 cut each block kit and place it on a 
separate 10" Design Board 
and then stack them up neatly 
where they stay nice and safe...
waiting patiently until it's their turn 
to be made into a Home Town Block!

I am SEW excited to make my 
HOME TOWN Quilt with you:)

I will meet you right back here 
on Monday September 18th for the
Week One kick off!!

Sew with you soon...

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