Holiday Party Quilt Sew Along Week 1: Pick & Cut Fabric

The Holiday Party quilt along includes lots of extra instruction and tips in sewing this fat quarter friendly modern throw quilt. suzyquilts.com

Welcome quilty friends to the Holiday Party sew along – the final SQ sew along in 2021. Can you believe it? It's only September but if you sewed along with us this year you already have a lovely pile of quilts to show for it.

With all of our sew alongs you can find each week's post, including the IG live videos, on the blog under the Sew Along tab. As a quick recap, let's take a look at what we've made this year!

That was a fun trip down memory lane! Now for what's next...

Holiday Party Quilt Sew Along

How to Participate in the Holiday Party Sew Along:

  • Prizes! Post your progress to Instagram and use #HolidayPartyQuiltSA to be entered into that week's giveaway. Each week is sponsored by an amazing company, to award one lucky person a free prize! You must have a public Instagram profile to participate. 
  • Skill sharing and support. You have things to offer and possibly things to learn too! Sharing creativity and skills is the best part of sewing as a group. We will do that through:
  1. Weekly blog posts explaining your "assignment" and helpful tips from yours truly. A new post will go live every Tuesday.
  2. A weekly newsletter will land in your inbox every Saturday morning reminding you about the week's prompt. If you're not already signed up for the SQ newsletter, sign up here!
  3. A Facebook group for any and all questions and for posting progress pics. I loooove hanging out in the Suzy Quilts Patterns FB group. The group dynamic is positive, uplifting, helpful, and I am always learning from the other members. This group will remain a forum for all SQ patterns, but during the Holiday Party sew along it will be a great place for questions about the pattern and sew along specifics.
  4. Live video events on Instagram. These will be most Wednesdays at 8:00pm CST for the duration of the sew along.
  5. Surf #HolidayPartyQuiltSA on Instagram to see what others are making and use the hashtag yourself when posting pics!
The Holiday Party quilt along includes lots of extra instruction and tips in sewing this fat quarter friendly modern throw quilt. suzyquilts.com

Holiday Party Sew Along Schedule

I wanted this sew along to wrap up before Thanksgiving so if you are in the States you can fully enjoy your holiday without worrying about a sewing assignment. For that reason, this sew along may feel a little faster paced than some in the past, but you can always work ahead if you are worried of falling behind.

Week 1 unofficially starts now through October 18 so feel free to start posting your fabric pulls to Instagram using #HolidayPartyQuiltSA and you will be entered into the Week 1 giveaway!

The Holiday Party quilt along includes lots of extra instruction and tips in sewing this fat quarter friendly modern throw quilt. suzyquilts.com

My Holiday Party Sew Along Fabric

Since I already made a Christmas Holiday Party quilt, I decided to lean into the vintage heirloom appeal of this design and use some chintzy vintage-inspired fabric. I paired these 16 Sevenberry FQs with a warm light blue for an overall antique look.

You can purchase this exact kit in the SQ shop! And even though we aren't to the finishing stages yet, you can also purchase the same backing and binding fabric I plan to use once my quilt top is completed.

The Holiday Party quilt along includes lots of extra instruction and tips in sewing this fat quarter friendly modern throw quilt. suzyquilts.com
  • FQ Sevenberry Spring Shower Blue
  • FQ Sevenberry Spring Shower Pink
  • FQ Sevenberry Petit Fleurs Purple
  • FQ Sevenberry Petit Fleurs Sky
  • FQ Sevenberry Petit Fleurs Coral
  • FQ Sevenberry Petit Fleurs Ochre
  • FQ Sevenberry Petit Fleurs Peach
  • FQ Sevenberry Petit Fleurs Buttercup
  • FQ Sevenberry Petit Garden Pink
  • FQ Sevenberry Petit Garden Purple (6112D2-4)
  • FQ Sevenberry Petit Garden Purple (6112D1-4)
  • FQ Sevenberry Petit Garden Blue (6116D1-3)
  • FQ Sevenberry Petit Garden Blue (6112D4-3)
  • FQ Sevenberry Petit Garden Sunshine
  • FQ Sevenberry Bouquet Lilac
  • FQ Sevenberry Bouquet Blossom
  • Background: 3 3/8 yd. Art Gallery PURE Solids Ocean Fog

Fabric Picking Tips

  1. Read the blog post 6 Ways to Tackle Your Fear of Wasting Fabric. This post has some great practical tips for taking the fear out of choosing fabric.
  2. Look at the pattern mock-ups. Check out the last three pages of the Holiday Party pattern for added color ideas.
  3. Get inspired by surfing Pinterest. It sounds too simple, but I do it all the time! Wanna know my secret weapon for picking fabric? Find color combinations from sources outside of quilting!
  4. Let your fabric be your guide. Match coordinating solids or prints to a favorite fabric. You can also look at the selvage of a print to see all of the colors used in the fabric.
  5. Don't be scared of an "unusual" background fabric. Tired of cream and gray as a background fabric? Try navy, deep purple, or even light blue like me! Any color can become a beautiful background, just make sure your other fabrics maintain enough contrast.

Step 1: Pair Fabric

If you are making the multi-color version, now is the time to iron and pair your Color 1 and Color 2 fabrics together. In the past I have paired like colors together (ie. green and green, red and red, etc...); however with this pretty pile of Sevenberry florals, I'm tossing them into the air to see how they land. The more they end up like a bouquet of wildflowers the better!

Here's what I came up with...

The Holiday Party quilt along includes lots of extra instruction and tips in sewing this fat quarter friendly modern throw quilt. suzyquilts.com

Step 2: Cut Fabric

Tip #1: Measure your fat quarters. This is important!

I know it seems redundant because didn't the fabric shop do that already? But I say this because there isn't wiggle room when cutting the FQs – especially when cutting Color 2. If your FQs are barely 18" x 21" trim the ragged edges before stacking them. If you stack them first and then trim the edges, you inevitably will trim more fabric to get them all lined up and might end up trimming one or two a little short.

I am right handed so I like to line up the selvages on top then trim the left and bottom edges. This allows me to line up the guide marks on my ruler when I cut.

Holiday Party is a fat quarter friendly quilt pattern that includes a video tutorial and lots of different sizes and color variations! suzyquilts.com #vintagequilt #quiltpattern
The Holiday Party quilt along includes lots of extra instruction and tips in sewing this fat quarter friendly modern throw quilt. suzyquilts.com
The Holiday Party quilt along includes lots of extra instruction and tips in sewing this fat quarter friendly modern throw quilt. suzyquilts.com
The Holiday Party quilt along includes lots of extra instruction and tips in sewing this fat quarter friendly modern throw quilt. suzyquilts.com

Tip #2: Stack your fabric.

All Color 1 fabrics and all Color 2 fabrics are cut the exact same way, so stack as many of them as you feel comfortable. For me, I like to stack my FQs in piles of four. Color 1 has two piles of four and Color 2 has two piles of four.

Tip #3: Keep the cutting diagrams in front of you the whole time.

Keep these up as a constant reference and take your time. Like I mentioned before, there isn't wiggle room cutting these FQs, so make sure you're making the right cut before you slice.

Tip #4: Cut strips, then sub-cut.

If you are making the limited-color version cut your strips WOF (width of fabric). If you are making the multi-color version like me, your strips won't always be cut in just one direction. (Color 2 I'm talkin' about YOU!) Let's get into the nitty gritty.

Holiday Party FQ Color 1:

After trimming the left and bottom sides to a straight edge, slice 3 - 4" strips and 1 - 7" strip. From those strips sub-cut Template A pieces and squares.

Here's a zoomed in shot showing you how I like to line up the guide marks on my ruler with the straight edges of the fabric. I find this to be more accurate than using the grid on my cutting mat.

Holiday Party is a fat quarter friendly Christmas quilt pattern that includes a video tutorial and lots of different sizes and color variations! suzyquilts.com #christmasquilt #quiltpattern
Holiday Party is a fat quarter friendly Christmas quilt pattern that includes a video tutorial and lots of different sizes and color variations! suzyquilts.com #christmasquilt #quiltpattern
Holiday Party is a fat quarter friendly Christmas quilt pattern that includes a video tutorial and lots of different sizes and color variations! suzyquilts.com #vintagequilt #quiltpattern

I'll wait until Week 3 to cut my Template A pieces, however you can jump ahead and do this now if you want to get all of your cutting out of the way. If you are confused on how to do this, check out the video tutorial below.

Holiday Party FQ Color 2:

Color 2 is a tight squeeze with a lot of pieces. Before slicing, don't forget to review Tip #1.

Holiday Party is a fat quarter friendly quilt pattern that includes a video tutorial and lots of different sizes and color variations! suzyquilts.com #vintagequilt #quiltpattern

Once your left and bottom sides are trimmed, cut a 4 1/2" strip along the bottom. From this strip sub-cut your squares. Once that is finished, rotate your FQs (or move your body) so that you can cut the rest of your strips from the side that is currently on your left.

If this sounds confusing, just look at the cutting diagram.

Holiday Party is a fat quarter friendly quilt pattern that includes a video tutorial and lots of different sizes and color variations! suzyquilts.com #vintagequilt #quiltpattern

Troubleshooting Tip!

When cutting your FQs some of your pieces came out a little short. Meh, no big deal. Here are two solutions:

  1. Your piece is less than 1/4" short – we can easily work around this later on during the sewing process. I'll talk about it next week when we start making our HSTs.
  2. Your piece is more than 1/4" short – the solution to this is what we call "making fabric" and we quilters do it all the time. Heck, I did it last week when I sliced through some sashing in the wrong spot. Ooops! Simply sew some left over fabric to the shorty piece, press the seam open and trim it down to the right size. Presto!

Below you can see that I ignored Tip #1 and one of my strips got a little short on the right side. No biggie! I went ahead and cut my squares out and I'll work around this when it comes time to sew.

Holiday Party is a fat quarter friendly quilt pattern that includes a video tutorial and lots of different sizes and color variations! suzyquilts.com #vintagequilt #quiltpattern

Tip #5: After cutting, keep your Color 1 and Color 2 pairs together.

Even though next week we dive into those piles to make HSTs, keep your pairings together as much as possible as a reference. Let me tell you the one time I didn't do this I ended up sewing a bunch of Color 1 fabrics to each other. Ooops!

The Holiday Party quilt along includes lots of extra instruction and tips in sewing this fat quarter friendly modern throw quilt. suzyquilts.com

Isn't it fun seeing them lined up together in sweet little piles? I just love this fabric!

The Holiday Party quilt along includes lots of extra instruction and tips in sewing this fat quarter friendly modern throw quilt. suzyquilts.com

Tip #6: Cut your background fabric in the order listed in the Cutting Instructions.

You were probably going to do that anyway, but I thought I'd throw it in there in case you were wondering. I also prefer to cut the e pieces first as 6 1/2" x WOF strips, then sub-cut those into 1 1/2" x 6 1/2" pieces. I think it makes cutting easier than sub-cutting narrow 1 1/2" WOF strips.

Week 1 Sponsor & Prize

We are kicking off this sew along with a killer prize, folks! Global Fiber Textiles & Notions is giving away a 31 Day large Fat Quarter Treats Countdown Box which contains 62 fat quarters, a pattern, and fun extras, including a surprise $75 gift card tucked into every 25th box they sell! What an amazing holiday treat! 

Global Fiber stocks Art Gallery Fabrics PURE Solids and Cotton Couture solids. They love texture and have a wide range of linen, shot cottons, double gauze, and cozy flannel. And they love modern, whimsical prints. Global Fiber has great customer service, so if you haven't shopped there before, head to their website now!

How to Win

  • Post a pic to Instagram. The photo prompt for Instagram this week is to post a picture of your fabric pull. Use #HolidayPartyQuiltSA in the caption.
  • 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 now and Tuesday, October 19. The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. on that day. Good luck!

17 thoughts on “Holiday Party Quilt Sew Along Week 1: Pick & Cut Fabric

  1. Marie says:

    I am very excited to participate! Question – for the week one prize, at the end of the blog post, it’s saying you have to post a finished quilt? Is that correct? I was not sure since this is week 1 and we are just doing fabric pulls. Thanks!

    • Laura Hopper says:

      Thanks for catching that! The prompt for Week 1 of the sew along is to post a picture of your fabric selection. I’ve updated the post so it says that!

  2. Kat says:

    It looks like the fabric pull needs to be on a fully complete quilt throw size or larger to enter or just the fabric pull by itself? I am looking at the second sentence of post your pic on Instagram

  3. Hilary says:

    First sew along ever!!! And new mummy like you. This is going to be my nap time me project πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ». Really looking forward to a faster make! My first quilt was made during 2020 and it was more of a hand sewn mental health project. Looking forward to hand quilting this time instead of hand sewing the whole thing 🀣🀣

    • Laura Hopper says:

      Hi Joyce! The Holiday Party Quilt Sew Along officially started on October 12, and our newsletter goes out on Saturdays. So, this week you’ll see the Week 1 blog post featured in the newsletter that goes out the morning of October 16. There will be a reminder about each week’s blog post the Saturday after it comes out!

    • Laura Hopper says:

      Hi Sandy! To qualify for the sew along prizes, a public Instagram account is required. But if you’d just like to share your progress with other quilters, we recommend joining the Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group!

  4. Kim says:

    After reading above and looking at the cutting instructions I need to measure my fat quarters when I get home. When I did the Voyage sal the fat quarters I used were from MSQC years ago and I did not have anything close to 18″ in width nor were they square, it was a good thing I had more than one of each fat quarter. This time I do not have the luxury of seconds of any of the fat quarters for this one so may not be able to participate depending how wide they are.

  5. Eileen says:

    Hi there! I am making the Holiday Party Quilt – with the Art Gallery fabrics (the Twenty collection and Pure Solids) as shown in Suzy’s shop. The listing in Suzy’s shop shows the list of fabrics used. Is there any way you could provide the actual pairings of the fabrics for each block/pair – as shown in the finished sample? I *think* I have them paired correctly as shown in the sample – but I would like to confirm. Thank you!

  6. Cynthia Gottlieb says:

    I just love seeing your quilts and your tutorials! Excellent. I don’t use FB or Insta so I’ll be missing out as well I’ll be gone for most of this QAL. I will try to make this later though. But an idea for sewing the piece E to D pieces…. I had made a very elaborate Union Jack quilt with sashing of 2 different sizes going up the diagonal. I had folded both pieces (sashing and the template blocks) in Β½ to match it both at the Β½ way point and then trimmed it all to size after. It was much easier I think than your method to get the sashing down the middle of the finished section of the block, maybe?

  7. Shirley says:

    In your sample quilt all the printed fabrics are vertical and the more solid fabrics are horizontal…do I have to cut them specifically that way or can the squares be rotated once they are made? Hope that is clear.

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