It's time to say farewell to summer. What a bittersweet feeling! There is so much excitement and beauty in the fall, but the calm and relaxed days of summer are always special. The end of summer means we're also wrapping up our Summer Haze Tips and Tricks blog series, and soon you'll have a beautiful quilt to remind you of those last warm days of the year.
In Part I of the series, you read tips for choosing fabric and cutting. And in Part II, we talked about piecing. Once you've read those tips, you're ready to assemble and finish your quilt, which is what we're focused on in Part III. Keep reading for our best Summer Haze tips!
Summer Haze Tips & Tricks Blog Series Schedule
Tip #1: Have Fun Choosing Your Layout!
Summer Haze is such a fun pattern because you can customize your layout to your own personal taste. If you want your layout to be exactly the same as the layout shown in the pattern, that's ok! You can follow the diagram on page 4.
But if you're feeling adventurous, this is a great opportunity to try laying out your half square triangles yourself!
If you're using fat quarters to make your Summer Haze quilt, you'll have a total of seven different colored half square triangles to choose from when doing your layout. For a scrappier version, try using a layer cake (tips for this are in the pattern)!
To make sure my colors were distributed evenly, I chose at least one of each HST color per row (except the rows that require fewer than seven colors). For rows that require more than seven HSTs, I took a bit of an improvisational approach. After choosing one of each colored HST, I went with my gut to choose the duplicates. Some rows ended up with more purple, some with more green, and some with more pink and orange. But in the end, it all balanced out!
The only place where I was very purposeful about which HSTs I used was in the center of each diamond where four colors of HST meet. For those, I always chose four HSTs with similar colors and prints so the focal point of each diamond would have a cohesive visual interest. You can see a closeup of one center diamond in the picture above.
But the most important part of your layout is to have fun! Don't stress about your color placement, because in the end, your colors will look great. The negative space in Summer Haze helps the layout of this quilt look beautiful no matter how you layout your colors!
Tip #2: Chain Piece Rows from Left to Right
Summer Haze uses different sizes of rectangles to help create its unique radiating diamond shape. Because of those different sized rectangles, I chose to chain piece my Summer Haze top one row at a time from left to right instead of working from the top to the bottom.
To chain pieces my rows, I made a pile of each row that had the farthest left piece on the top and the farthest right piece on the bottom. Pick up two pieces at a time and sew them together right sides together.
Once you've sewn all the pieces together in pairs, stack them again, and sew the pairs together to create groups of four. Depending on the number of pieces in each row, keep going until everything is sewn into one row!
Tip #3: Nest Seams When Sewing Rows Together
Once you've made each row, sew the rows together as directed in the pattern. Because there are different sized rectangles in Summer Haze, lining your rows up before sewing them together is crucial for getting your points to match.
Sewing across the longer rectangles that are between some HSTs can cause your rows to shift. Make sure to lock your seams together with fork pins so your points match! This tutorial on using fork pins to get accurately pieced seams will help!
Tip #4: Be Adventurous with Quilting!
Summer is the prime time for childhood adventures. You can continue that spirit with this quilt by igniting your adventurous spirit to make a creative layout and finish your quilt in a bold way! The design of Summer Haze is great for either geometric or wavy quilting, meaning you can choose just about any pantograph you're drawn to if you're getting your quilt longarmed!
The geometric pattern used in the quilt above, quilted by Winberie Quilting, emphasizes the diamond shape of the quilt.
The smooth and wave-like quilting shown on the cover of the Summer Haze pattern, quilted by Trace Creek Quilting, adds a new dimension of visual interest and texture to a very geometric quilt. The waves pop over the background and fade beautifully into the HSTs.
We hope you loved making your Summer Haze quilt! This sweet memory of summer helps ease the transition into fall but can be cuddled any time of the year. How did you choose to layout your HSTs? What colors did you use for your quilt? Do those colors remind you of the end of summer? Let us know in the comments!
And make sure to mark your calendars for the next official Suzy Quilts sew along! The Holiday Party pattern will be released on September 24, and the sew along (complete with prizes and LIVE videos!) starts on October 12. You'll use some of the skills we went over during our Summer Haze Tips and Tricks series, so now you're ready to jump into a more advanced project with Holiday Party!