Friends, it may feel like we just started this Holiday Party sew along, but we are already at the halfway point! Is it me or does this time of year feel like a timewarp to the holidays? One day it's August and then I blink and it's mid November.
If time insists on speeding up, let's make the most of it and jump right back into sewing! In Week 3 we make our Template A units. This is covered in the video tutorial in the Holiday Party PDF pattern, but I'll still go over tips and troubleshooting.
For a full rundown on what a sew along is and how it works, check out the Week 1 Holiday Party sew along post. In a nutshell, we are making this pattern together over a six week period of time and you can win prizes along the way by posting pics to IG using #HolidayPartyQuiltSA. How fun!
Holiday Party Sew Along Schedule
- Week 1, October 12: Pick and cut fabric
Sponsor: Global Fiber Textiles & Notions - 31 Day Fabric Advent Calendar Box which contains 62 fat quarters, a pattern, and fun extras AND The Gather Quilt Shop - 3 Holiday party throw quilt kits
- Week 2, October 19: Make HSTs
Sponsor: Sewing Arts Center - $100 gift certificate
- Week 3, October 26: Sew and trim all Template A units
Sponsor: Lavender Fields Co. - Free longarm quilting for one Holiday Party quilt plus 20% off for any other Holiday Party quilts made during the sew along
- Week 4, November 2: Assemble 8 blocks
Sponsor: DuckaDilly Liberty Fabrics - $100 gift certificate
- Week 5, November 9: Assemble 8 blocks
Sponsor: Lamb & Loom Fabrics - $100 gift certificate
- Week 6, November 16: Assemble the quilt top
Sponsor: Trace Creek Quilting, Modern American Vintage and Aurifil
Week 3 Assignment: Make Template A units
Alright folks, I'm going to be honest with you, sewing and trimming the Template A units is the trickiest part of the Holiday Party pattern. But you know I'm here for you every step of the way! And those steps include a video tutorial, lots of pretty pictures and tips. Hooray!
There is one little ruler that will make your Template A unit trimming a lot easier and faster. It's this 3 1/2" x 6 1/2" ruler. You don't neeed it, but once you see how fast trimming is with it you'll be so glad it joined your ruler collection.
Tip #1: Start with 6" x 8" rectangles.
No matter how you slice these pieces up, I think it's easier to first sub-cut your strips into 6" x 8" rectangles. From there you can draw guide marks or use the template in the pattern.
Tip #2: Watch the tutorial video! 😉
You don't even have to watch the whole thing, just the beginning! This video covers every single thing I'm covering here from cutting your templates to sewing and trimming. If you skip to the end I even give you another pressing demo.
Tip #3: Don't forget to mirror your Template A.
It's really easy to forget, so let this be your reminder.
Tip #4: Don't forget the 1/4" overhang.
It's such a cute little overhang right there on the corner. 🙂
Tip #5: Chain piece! Always chain piece.
I like to take all of my Template A pieces and the background strips over to my sewing machine and chain piece the heck out of them. I chain piece 'em so hard they don't even know they've been chained until I'm pressing them open.
Oh, and feel free to throw a pin in these if you feel like the bias edge is getting stretched.
Tip #6: Stay consistent with your pressing (and use a tailor's clapper).
Throughout this process I am pressing my seams away from the background fabric and toward the prints. Since my background fabric is kinda dark I could have pressed towards the background fabric, but I got into the habit of doing it this way so that's what I ended up doing.
If you prefer to press your seams open, that is completely fine. If you watch the tutorial video above you will see there are some places in the blocks where you can nest seams if you have been consistently pressing them towards the same fabric (the background fabric in my case).
Tip #7: Don't forget the 1/4" overhang...again.
The 1/4" overhang switched sides, but is still there just hangin' out.
Tip #8: Continue to keep your Color 1 and Color 2 pairs together.
Pretty much every week until this quilt top is finished I'll tell you to keep your Color 1 and 2 pairs together so you stay organized. The reason I'm repeating it over and over again is because if you are like me and think, "I'm in a big hurry and I'll totally remember what goes where."
Ummm...you won't. Keep your tidy little piles together!
Oh hello cutting mistake. I see you're showing up again this week. If you skip to Tip #9 there is a photo showing how much excess you get to trim from these Template A Units. It's about 1/2" which is great news if you flubbed some of the cutting and came out a little bit short.
Just line up your pieces as well as you can and sew like nothing is wrong. Chances are the trimming will fix any cutting mistakes from Week 1.
Tip #9: Make sure your ruler is set up correctly.
Double check pages 7 and 8 of the pattern and rewatch the tutorial video. The first time I made this quilt I set up my ruler with the guide marks at 3 1/2" instead of 3 1/4" and all of my units came out off. Don't do that!!
Obviously if you're using the 3 1/2" x 6 1/2" ruler you don't need to mark anything with tape, but if you don't have that ruler, you can use most any ruler you have as long as you take the time to set it up with guide marks.
Week 3 Sponsor & Prize
Do you remember that beautiful red Holiday Party quilt? Which, now that I remember there are a few kits still available. Anyway, our Week 3 sponsor quilted that quilt! Lisa, of Lavender Fields Co. is one of my go-to longarm quilters because I know she will always do a first-rate job and do it with a quick turnaround.
Lisa is giving away FREE longarm quilting for one throw Holiday Party quilt plus 20% off for any other Holiday Party quilts made during the sew along. So don't forget to mention this 20% off discount if you send your finished Holiday Party quilt top to her!
How to Win
- Post a pic to Instagram. The photo prompt for Instagram this week is to post a picture of your sew along progress. 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 Tuesday, October 26 and Tuesday, November 2. The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. Central on that day. Good luck!