Welcome to the final two weeks of the Grow sew along! We made it!! In the next couple weeks we will assemble our blocks into a quilt top. This step in the quilt-making process is supposed to be loose and fun with lots of wiggle room for "mistakes."
But before I jump into the instructional video and tips, let's quickly recap what we've done so far. Be sure to check out each week's post for more tips, videos and details on our great sponsors!
Grow Sew Along Weekly Schedule
- Week 1, April 1: Task: Pick fabric, gather supplies and choose your pattern layout (if different from the original)
Optional Meditation: What is your intention for this time? To learn? To relax? To get your creative juices flowing? To work through some anxious energy? Sit for a moment and set a clear intention. This can change day to day!
- Week 2, April 8: Task: Cut all strips and borders
Optional Meditation: Hold some of your fabric in your hands, close your eyes, and feel its weight and texture. What do you love about fabric? How has that changed since you started sewing?
- Week 3, April 15: Task: Sew Blocks A-D
Optional Meditation: Before turning on your iron or sewing machine, pause for a minute to close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Listen to your body’s natural rhythm. How have you personally grown as a creative person? No judgement here. Only love.
- Week 4, April 22: Task: Sew Blocks E-H
Optional Meditation: Close your eyes. Let your shoulders relax. How have you grown as a friend to others? How have you grown as a friend to yourself? Remember, no judgement 😉
- Week 5, April 29: Task: Sew Fig. 6-12
Optional Meditation: Sit by your sewing machine. Breathe in with the count of one and out with the count of two. After counting to ten, start again. Do this a few times or until you feel relaxed. Think about how grateful you are for your sewing machine. What a blessing it is!
- Week 6, May 6: Task: Sew Fig. 13-18
Optional Meditation: After taking some breaths and feeling at ease, lift your heart up and picture warm sunshine streaming onto your face. Enjoy this sense of warmth and lightness. Enjoy the feeling of being happy in your accomplishments!
As always, feel free to skip this part of the sew along if you'd prefer. You're not going to miss any secret sewing tips in this section. 😉
Before gathering up your blocks, sit next to your sewing machine. Breathe in with the count of one and out with the count of two. After counting to ten, start again. Do this a few times or until you feel relaxed.
Think about how grateful you are for your sewing machine. It may not be your dream machine, and it may be in desperate need of a tune up, but it works hard for you so you can share your creativity with the world. What a blessing! Thank you, sweet sewing machine!
On a different day, sit back by your sewing machine and close your eyes. Physically lift your heart up towards the sky. Picture warm sunshine streaming onto your face, warming your entire body from your head down to your toes. Let this sense of warmth and lightness make you feel relaxed and loose.
You are a maker, a builder, and a creator. Enjoy this feeling of being happy in your accomplishments!
Quilt Assembly: Let's Wiggle!
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, WIGGLE!
Did you laugh a bit while reading that? Or maybe crack a smile? Good! The quilt assembly portion of the Grow quilt is supposed to be fun and loose and full of wiggle room. Check out this video tutorial to see what I mean.
Since I finished my original Grow sew along quilt before filming this video, I made a second Grow quilt. It's a variation of the Happy Day colorway found on page 16 of the pattern.
I'll write more about this quilt in a later blog post, but in the meantime, here's a photo of my progress and a list of the fabrics:
2 Quilt Assembly Notes
If you look at the first two paragraphs under Quilt Assembly on page 4 it reads, "...reference the quilt schematics on pages 9-13 for the unfinished block lengths for each quilt.
For clarity, the figure illustrations show trimmed blocks; however, it is recommended that you trim the blocks as you sew them."
I want to highlight two important notes here that could be easy to miss.
- The schematics on pages 9-10 show the unfinished block sizes. That means these are the exact sizes to cut blocks. For example, if you are making the throw quilt, you will trim Block A to 5 1/2" square. Once that center block is sewn with a 1/4" seam all around, it's finished size will be 5" square.
- Don't cut your blocks down to these exact sizes. These sizes are there as a reference and a guide, however, as the second paragraph of instructions say above, I recommend you trim the blocks as you sew them. Let's walk through an example together...
Below you can see that I have already sewn some blocks together. According to Fig.8 on page 5 of the pattern, I am ready to sew Block E to the top of this unit.
According to the schematic on page 10, this unit should be about 15 1/2". Ta-da! It is. 🙂 Sidenote: If your blocks get off and are not the same size as the schedmatic that is TOTALLY FINE. Follow my next step to see why you don't need to be perfect when sewing this quilt top together.
I laid out my very long Block E and eyeballed how much of the block I would need while giving myself some wiggle room for trimming later. I then cut the block with scissors.
A second option is to measure your unit and then add a 1/2" of wiggle room to the block size. In this case, you would slice 16" of Block E.
See that nice Block E overhang?
Week 6: Finished!
Once you have all of your blocks assembled it's time to take the perfect quilt photo. If you figure out how to do that, let me know! ha!
Here is my attempt with my husband, John, behind the camera and no one to watch the kid...
The Week 5 Prize
This week we have a great prize for all you fabric lovers out there (ahum, that's everyone reading this blog.) The winner of Week 5 gets a $50 gift card from Lamb and Loom!
How to Win
- Post a pic to Instagram. The photo prompt for Instagram this week is to post a picture of some sewing progress. Basically, unless you post a really off-topic pic just use #GrowQuiltSA in the caption and you're entered in the giveaway.
- You must have a public Instagram profile to participate.
- Each photo posted is an entry and you can enter as many times as you want in a single week. Once the week is over, those posts do not count in the next week's giveaway. Every week we start fresh.
- Your photo must be posted between 12:00 a.m. CT on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 and 1:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.
- This prize is open internationally!
- The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.
The Week 6 Prize
Now that you have a finished top, quilting is on the house! The Sweet Little Quilts house, that is! The winner of Week 6 gets free longarm quilting. Hooray!
The same rules apply as above except for a couple alterations...
- This prize is only available to those in the USA.
- The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.
Sew Along Coupons
- Oliso - 20% off all smart irons with coupon code SUZYQUILTS20 - an awesome ongoing deal!
- Eleventh House Quilt Studio - 15% off longarm services if you mention this Grow sew along. Expires May 12, 2020.
- Modern Makes Box - 15% off your first subscription box. Coupon includes monthly, 3 month, and 6 month subscriptions. Enter SUZY15 at checkout. Expires May 12, 2020.
- Handmade Longarm Quilting - 20% off longarm quilting services for all Grow quilts. Expires July 31, 2020.
- Sweet Little Quilts - 20% off longarm quilting for all Grow quilts. Must mention this sew along on order form. Discount does not apply on return shipping. Expires May 31, 2020.