Welcome, friends! If you are looking for a fun, creative outlet with lots of community support, you have come to the right place! Wednesday, September 23 marks the first week of our Shine quilt sew along!
I'm so excited to continue our four-part quilting series. Shine is the third design in this 2020 series. If you missed our previous sew alongs, check out all of the posts from Grow and Thrive in the Sew Along tab.
The focus of this sew along is simple:
- Have fun! It's a sewing party and you're invited! Grab your mom, neighbor, best friend or cat and open yourself up to be inspired.
- Try something new. Whether that be improv cutting and sewing, joining a quilt along or even just making your very first quilt, we as a community are here to answer any and all of your questions. YOU can do this.
- Reserve all judgements. The Shine sew along is a judgement-free zone, people! No haters allowed. And if we're being honest, our biggest critics are usually ourselves. So let's make a pact. You and me. Here and now. We pledge to be nice to ourselves and allow for mistakes to be made and things to go wrong. If 2020 has taught us anything, it's how to pick ourselves up and keep going. Am I right??
There's no official sign-up for this sew along because I want you to be able to come and go as it fits into your schedule. It's also because these sew along blog posts will live forever here on the SQ blog in the Sew Along tab.
So if something comes up (a.k.a. virtual learning with your 8 year old takes a turn for the worst, you get sick, your cat gets sick, or simply you'd rather sit on the couch and eat ice cream while watching Outlander, etc...) that's no problem. This info will be waiting for you whenever you're ready.
Shine Quilt Sew Along
For all of the nitty gritty details on this sew along, check out this blog post. Here is a brief recap:
- Who: You! Us! Anyone who wants to participate can join. There is no official sign-up, but lots of different ways to participate. Read below for more details.
- What: We will make a throw Shine quilt. You can purchase the PDF pattern here. Enter to win weekly prizes by using #ShineQuiltSA on Instagram when posting photos. More details on prizes below.
- Where: Everything is online. Updates will be posted on the SQ blog and also on Instagram and in the Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group. Sign up for the Suzy Quilts newsletter for a weekly reminder and all of the latest sew along info. Live video events on both Instagram and Facebook will be on Thursdays at 7:30pm CST for the duration of the sew along.
- When: September 23 - November 10, 2020
- Why: Following along with the hashtag on Instagram and seeing what hundreds of other quilters are making is really inspiring! Plus there are prizes!
Check out the Week 1 LIVE IG video!
Sew Along Schedule
- Week 1, September 23: Pick fabric, gather supplies and choose your pattern layout (if different from the original); Sponsor: Sewing Arts Center
- Week 2, September 30: Extra time gathering fabric and cut background fabric; Sponsor: Cottoneer Fabrics
- Week 3, October 7: Cut and sew 4 blocks; Sponsors: Needle and Grain and Jillian Kate
- Week 4, October 14: Cut and sew 4 blocks; Sponsor: DuckaDilly
- Week 5, October 21: Cut and sew 4 blocks; Sponsors: Lavender Fields and Finch Knitting & Sewing Studio
- Week 6, October 28: Cut and sew 4 blocks; Sponsor: Fabricworm
- Week 7, November 4: Assemble the quilt top; Sponsor: EverSewn
My Shine Fabric
Ya'll, I'm going full on RAINBOW for my Shine quilt. I was planning on doing something neutral to coordinate with my original Thrive quilt, but when I saw these new Kaleidoscope woven plaids by Alison Glass, everything changed. They spoke to me!
I'm pairing these perfect plaids with some peppered cotton shot cotton so there's variety among the blocks. Up until last night I was actually planning to make that neutral Shine quilt, so my fabric is still in the mail! My peppered cotton colors include:
- Cinnamon Pink
- Atomic Tangerine
- Parrish Blue
These lovely photos you see here were taken by my friend Andrea, owner of Cottoneer Fabrics. You can purchase these same fabrics in her shop while supplies lasts. Andrea even made this pretty peppered cottons bundle just for you!
Welcome to Week 1: Let's Pick Our Fabric!
Hooray for pretty fabric! If you find yourself struggling to make a decision on what fabric to use, I have a blog post that will help you out, 6 Ways to Tackle Your Fear of Wasting Fabric. This post includes practical tips for taking the fear out of fabric. Plus there's an old pregnancy pic of me from 2018. haha!
Pages 17-19 of the Shine pattern include color variations and block alterations. A few specific block alterations to think about are:
- Scrappy: Cut all of your 16 FQs just like the pattern instructions and video (the private link in the PDF pattern found on page 3) show. Before sewing any blocks together, mix all of your strips up, keeping the shorts strips together and the longs strips together. Create piles of short strips and long strips according the the number of strips needed to make the blocks. (eg. 1 block is typically made with 10 long strips and 14 short strips – see page 4 of the pattern) See pages 18-19 of the pattern for some examples of scrappy Shine quilts.
- SUPER Scrappy: Take your scraps to the next level! Use different sizes and amounts of scraps to cut lots of different strips from different fabrics. Stack scraps on top of each other to make cutting faster. Try to make the long and short strips roughly the same dimensions as they are in the pattern (see pages 3-4). See page 19 of the pattern for some SUPER scrappy Shine examples.
- Minimal: Rather than 16 different fabrics to make 16 unique blocks, pair each fabric with the same background fabric for a minimal look. To do this, you need 8 FQs and an additional 2 yd. of background fabric, cut into 8 FQs. This still gives you a total of 16 FQs, but now each pair includes one background FQ and one unique FQ.
I don't have a pic of my finished quilt yet, but here is the quilt top so you get an idea of what it will look like.
Solids vs. Prints
In the tutorial video included in the pattern I touch on the topic of patterned fabric vs. solid fabric. One point I mention is that these blocks focus on strong, geometric lines. If you want to highlight those shapes, the easiest way to do that is to use contrasting colors with minimal to no pattern printed on them.
However, that doesn't mean you should avoid prints. Below is an example, by Nuria of Fabric Stork, of a quilt that uses mostly printed fabric, but varies the scale of those prints to create the contrast inside each block.
Zoom in even closer to the picture below to see how the different prints interact with each other. Decide for yourself what you like and don't like.
Here's another example from Coby Hobbs of using some larger-scale, funky prints with beautiful results!
As you can see above, one really cool effect is pairing a large-scale print with a solid.
Large Scale Prints vs. Small Scale Prints
It can be tough to visualize the finished look of a quilt block when you're holding to fat quarters in your hands. Let me try to take some of the guesswork out of it by showing you a range of prints based on contrast and scale.
The examples below use fabric samples from a new collection by Sharon Holland for Art Gallery Fabrics called Kismet. This line will be available in October and I can't wait to get my hands on it!
Option one shows one fabric paired with four different fabrics of varying contrast and scale. You can see how some blocks appear more "blended" while others have defines lines and contrast. There's no wrong look, so decide for yourself what you like.
The next option is an example using 8 unique printed fabrics, but pairing two fabrics of varying scale together. This allows for more contrast and defined quilt piecing. It's not as blended as the example above.
The last option pairs a solid fabric with a print. This creates high contrast with no blending.
Gather Your Supplies
Aside from the basic sewing supplies that you need to make any quilt, I have two added notions to recommend. Do you neeeed them? No. Will they make your life a lot easier? Yes.
The necessary supplies include:
I highly recommend you also get:
I work with both a 12 1/2" square ruler and a tailor's clapper in the private instructional video. So check that out to see exactly how they are used.
The Week 1 Sponsor & Prize
This week, one of the top fabric shops and BERNINA sewing machine retailers in all of California is our fabulous sponsor! Drum roll please....
The Sewing Arts Center, located in Santa Monica, CA, is generously giving away a $100 gift certificate to their huuuge online store. Shop all different kinds of fabrics, patterns, books, notions and thread. Your imagination is the limit!
How to Win
- Post a pic to Instagram. The photo prompt for Instagram this week is to post a picture of either your fabric and/or mockup OR an introduction photo telling us about yourself. Use #ShineQuiltSA 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 12:00 a.m. CT on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 and 1:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday, September 29, 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, September 29, 2020.