We're cruising into Week 5 of the Modern Fans Quilt Sew-Along! You still with me? Now that we are over the hill of our 9-week sewing sesh, some of you are probably hitting a bit of a slump. But don't you worry, I have just the caffeine jolt you need to get back in the game – a killer prize! Skip to the bottom of this post for full details.
If you're learning about this sew-along for the first time, jump on board! It's really not too late. Really. Here's a blog post with all of the info you need and below is a quick recap of the schedule:
Sew-Along Schedule Recap
- Week 1, Sept. 12: Pick fabric, gather supplies, choose your pattern layout
- Week 2, Sept. 19: Cut and chain piece strips, cut out all templates
- Week 3, Sept. 26: Sew 14 blocks
- Week 4, Oct. 3: Sew 14 blocks
- Week 5, Oct. 10: Sew 12 blocks
- Week 6, Oct. 17: Sew 12 blocks
- Week 7, Oct. 24: Sew 12 blocks
- Week 8, Oct. 31: Chain piece rows together
- Week 9, Nov. 7: Sew rows together for a finished quilt top!
Extended Supply List
- Plastic template sheets (The Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group has come with some really unique alternatives to these plastic template sheets. Some of them include cardboard from frozen pizza boxes and these flexible cutting boards.)
- 7 ½" square ruler (this is really going to help you square up your blocks)
- Starch (I starch my fabric before cutting and then use steam and a Tailor's Clapper when pressing blocks.)
- Small rotary cutter (makes cutting curves easier)
- Rotating Cutting Mat
- Magnetic pin bracelet (cause it's awesome)
Still Sewing Those Curves - 12 Blocks Total
For the next couple weeks I'm going to sound like a broken record – a very round, curvy record. We're still sewing those curves, people! If you've been sewing with us since the beginning, I hope you've found your groove. Check out the Week 3 post for more videos and tips on sewing curves and trimming blocks.
However, if you're still thinking, "Suz...I am just not getting this. My blocks are turning out round-ish, but not perfectly curved. HELP!"
My curv-o-licious babes, I'm here for you and I won't leave you in a sad state of curvy angst. I want you to run through a quick check list with me, K?
- Are you holding your breath and hunched over? I know that sounds like a funny question, but when I'm sewing a new technique that I find to be rather difficult, I become more and more hunched until my nose is 2 inches away from my sewing foot. I also hold my breath. I don't know why, but I must think that breathing is going to mess everything up. On the contrary, remind yourself to 1.) give your shoulders a nice little roll. Loosen up! 2.) Take a deep 4-second inhale, followed by a long 4-second exhale. 3.) Keep your face up – that will open up your chest and remind you to breathe.
- Are you pinning the right amount for you? In my various sewing curves videos (find them in your pattern, on Facebook or on IGTV) I show you how I sew curves with no pins and then with one pin right in the middle. You can also use multiple pins if you feel like the fabric is misbehaving and stressing you out.
- Are you sewing too fast? It's OK to sew a couple stitched at a time, stop, roll your shoulders, refocus, watch a show on Netflix, eat a cookie, and then sew a couple more stitches. There's NO RUSH. Just keep your needle down so the fabric doesn't move.
- Is the pressure of your presser foot causing the fabric to stretch? Are you finding that the top fabric is stretching more than the bottom fabric when sewing these curves? Try one of two things based on your machines capabilities: 1.) Change the pressure of your foot. I like to lift mine a little bit from its standard setting so that there's slightly less resistance on my fabric – this helps it glide better for me. If you don't know how to do this on your machine, either look in your user manual or do a quick Google search. In the search menu type the make and model of your machine and then what you would like to do. My search looks like this "BERNINA 770 QE change presser foot pressure." And right at the top I found this helpful video! 2.) If your machine does not have that option, switch to your walking foot so that there's very little pressure on your top fabric.
- Lastly, have you measured your templates to make sure they are all the right size? Sometimes printers like to play dirty little tricks on us and scale templates down without us realizing it. If you're having trouble sewing blocks that are at least 7 1/2" wide on all sides, stop right now and remeasure your templates. One might be right and the others might be off. If one is smaller than it should be, either recut the fabric for that template OR print a new scaled-down version of the other templates and trim your fabric so that all of the templates are slightly scaled-down. The ticket for success here is consistency. It's OK if your final blocks end up being 7 1/4", we just want them to fit together.
Week 5: The Prize!
Last week's amazing prize of a FREE OLISO Smart Iron was just awarded to lucky winner, @kmpowell93. If you weren't that lucky winner, I have a feeling this week you're gonna be a serious contender. Ready for the prize?? It's a biggie...
Fabricworm is sponsoring Week 5 and they are giving away a $100 shopping spree!! My international sewers, I know you felt left out last week, so this week you are back in it. Fabricworm is also providing a wonderful coupon to all sew-along participants – get 10% off $20 or more with code ModernFans.
How to Win the Week 5 Prize:
- Photo prompt for Instagram: Post a picture of some finished Modern Fans quilt blocks and use #ModernFansSA. You don't need to post 12 blocks, just some sewing progress.
- 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.
- This prize is open to international contestants. Yay!
- Your photo must be posted between 12:00 a.m. CT on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018 and 1:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018.
- The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced on Instagram at approximately 4:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018.
Just a reminder that the grand prize for finishing your quilt top by the final week is a BERNINA 350 PE sewing machine! See this post for more details.
I'm actually publishing this post from Friday Harbor, San Juan Island! Before I realized I would be one of the few pregnant women to be sick her entire pregnancy, I scheduled a "baby-moon" to the San Juan Islands and Vancouver. Let's just say I am very grateful for the laid back attitude of everyone we meet here. The landscape is beautiful, the weather is nice and cool (thank goodness!) and there's lots of food to eat every couple of blocks – which is great for me because I don't like to walk more than a couple blocks.
John and I are here for the week before flying back to Chicago. Any recommendations? And DON'T tell me about the amazing oysters you ate last time you visited. I can't handle another reminder that I am unable to partake in one of my favorite foods.
Oh, and are you still hanging in with us for the sew-along? Feel free to tell us about that too. 😉