My fellow quilters, we are already on the fourth week of this New Horizons sew along! Can you believe it? By the end of this week you will have finished quilt blocks ready for sashing and assembly.
The main takeaway from this week is nesting seams and getting precisely perfect points. Does that feel like an unachievable goal? Fear not, Quiltketeers, Week 4 will be full of fun surprises and marvelously matched seams is one of them.
New Horizons Sew Along Schedule
- Week 1, June 30 - Sponsor Fabric Stork: Pick fabric and gather supplies
- Week 2, July 7 - Sponsor Global Fiber Textiles and Notions: Cut fabric
- Week 3, July 14 - Sponsor Saltwater Fabrics: Make HST and stitch-and-flip blocks
- Week 4, July 21 - Sponsor Trace Creek Quilting: Assemble blocks
- Week 5, July 28 - Sponsor Lamb & Loom Fabrics: Assemble rows
- Week 6, August 4 - Sponsor Sewing Arts Center + custom longarm quilting for a throw New Horizons quilt from Evanston Quilt Company: Sew rows together and trim the finished quilt top
Don't forget that the only way to enter to win a prize from our weekly sponsor is to use #NewHorizonsQuiltSA on Instagram AND have a public profile. If you only have a private profile, you can create a public one just for this sew along and then delete it afterwards.
Week 4: Assemble Blocks
As I said before, the main thing to focus on this week is nesting seams. What is a nested seam, you ask? It's when we press the seams in opposite directions so that when sewn, they lock together like sweet little pieces in a puzzle. Or, I guess like nesting dolls because that's probably where the term came from?
Before we jump into the details of nesting and it's origin, let's do a quick review of chain piecing.
Tip #1: Keep chain piecing!
The main reason this quilt can be whipped up so quickly is because you can chain piece parts of it every step of the way. Below you can see that I have my blocks lined up and ready. Before you start sewing, let's get to Tip #2...
Tip #2: Lay out the blocks before sewing.
Not all of you will need to do this, but I get mixed up if I don't lay everything out first. Below is what a full block looks like. Some of your blocks will be full and some of them will be partial. Check out the chart on page 9 for a list of how many partial and how many full blocks you need to make.
For the throw, it looks something like this:
- Colors 1-4: 2 full blocks and 2 partial blocks
- Colors 5-8: 3 full blocks
- Colors 9-12: 2 full blocks and 2 partial blocks
- Colors 13-16: 3 full blocks
- Colors 17-20: 2 full blocks and 2 partial blocks
Tip #3: The partial blocks mirror each other.
Think of these partial blocks as being the end caps to every other row. On the left side you need a left end cap and on the right side you need a right one. Reference the throw diagram on page 14 for more clarity.
Here's an example of what your partial blocks look like. Notice the 1/4" seam allowance above the stitch-and-flip tip. That is there so when you are ready to trim the quilt top you will have enough of a seam allowance available for binding, while still maintaining your pretty points.
Sometimes trimming gets off or pressing gets wonky. That's normal and fine and it would be weird if it never happened to you. Below is a picture of one of my stitch-and-flip blocks laying right side down on a HST block. Since they don't line up all the way along the edge, I'm going to line up the corners and sew my 1/4" seam straight down lining it up with the edge of the HST.
That means the fabric in the stitch-and-flip seam will be less than 1/4" in that one spot, but that's OK. The seam will still be strong and as long as I catch 1/8" of the fabric in the seam I don't have to worry about it becoming a hole once the quilt is washed.
Tip #4: Nest your seams one of two ways.
We've made it to the main event—nesting seams! If you really want those block points to match up, I suggest giving fork pins a try. I have a whole blog post about them and they really are the most helpful little things. For more info on fork pins check out, Fork Pins: The Best Way to Match Seams Perfectly.
Of course you can also get accuracy with straight pins. Either way, I suggest pressing your seams toward the HSTs so the seams can nest well together when fully assembled.
When I use straight pins, I like to cross from one side of the seams to the other to lock the two layers together. See in the photo below how I catch both sides of the seams by pinning diagonally.
One question that's popped up in the Suzy Quilts Patterns FB group during previous sew alongs is about dimpling. I personally think dimples are adorable, but the dimples you're wondering about are not located on sweet pudgy cheeks. No, these dimples are glaring at you after pressing, most likely after pressing with steam. Here's what's happening...
- Dimpling will happen most often if your fabric was not pre-washed.
- These dimples occur usually after using steam because your hot steamy iron is causing your fabric to shrink and warp a little bit.
- Just like the dimples on the back of our thighs, these fabric dimples are not a problem. I repeat, they are fine and normal and everybody has them sometimes.
- Once your quilt is finished, washed and slightly crinkled from everything shrinking a little, they will be completely gone.
Here's a pic of some of my dimples. They don't always pop up, but it's totally fine when they do.
Week 4 Sponsor & Prize
Trace Creek Quilting is our sponsor this week! Woot! Woot! Who doesn't love free longarm quilting? Lilo, owner and head quilter at Trace, is so easy and wonderful to work with. She has quilted more quilts for me than I can count. She even quilted these original New Horizon quilts!
One lucky winner will receive free edge-to-edge longarm quilting on their New Horizons throw quilt.
How to Win
- Post a pic to Instagram. The photo prompt for Instagram this week is to post a picture of your sewing progress. Use #NewHorizonsQuiltSA 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 1:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday, July 27. The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. CST on Wednesday, July 28.
- This prize is open to internationally.