Welcome to Week 5 of the Thrive quilt sew along! This is the week when our quilt begins to take the shape of an actual quilt. Now it's time to take all of those blocks from Weeks 3 and 4 and sewing them into tidy little rows.
If you're new to sewing blocks on point, or working with triangle pieces with bias edges, have no fear! I filmed a helpful tutorial video with instructions on exactly what to do and what to look out for. In the video also mention a few tips on different ways you can sewing these rows together.
But first, let's do a brief recap on our sew along schedule...
Thrive Sew Along Weekly Schedule
- Week 1, July 1: Task: Pick fabric, gather supplies, and choose your pattern layout (if different from the original)
Meditation: What is your intention for this time? To learn? To relax? To work through some anxious energy? Sit for a moment and set a clear intention. This can change day to day!
Thrive Challenge: Support a local business in your area, especially if it's one that is struggling due to COVID-19.
- Week 2, July 8: Task: Cut all pieces (Fig. 1-3)
Meditation: Hold some of your fabric in your hands, close your eyes, and feel its weight and texture. What do you love about fabric?
Thrive Challenge: Check in on a neighbor or friend. These are the people woven into your life. Make sure that the weft and warp of your community is thriving.
- Week 3, July 15: Task: Sew 21 blocks (Fig. 4-8)
Meditation: Before turning on your iron or sewing machine, pause for a minute to close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Listen to your body’s natural rhythm. Simply be in this moment.
Thrive Challenge: Check in on yourself. If you need help or encouragement, don't be afraid to let someone know.
- Week 4, July 22: Task: Sew 20 blocks
Meditation: Close your eyes. Let your shoulders relax. How are you currently thriving? Remember, no judgement. 😉
Thrive Challenge: Move that body! Stretch, dance, walk, drop and do a few push ups – create some energy with your body.
- Week 5, July 29: Task: Sew all blocks into rows (Fig. 9-12)
Meditation: Sit by your sewing machine. Breathe in with the count of one and out with the count of two. After counting to ten, start again. Do this a few times or until you feel relaxed. Think about how grateful you are for your sewing machine. What a blessing it is!
Thrive Challenge: Give. Give a donation online or some food to a neighbor or some time to a person who needs support. Write down a specific way you will give this week.
- Week 6, August 5: Task: Sew rows together into a quilt top (Fig. 12-15)
Meditation: After taking some breaths and feeling at ease, lift your heart up and picture warm sunshine streaming onto your face. Enjoy this sense of warmth and lightness. Enjoy the feeling of being happy in your accomplishments!
Thrive Challenge: Commit to continuing these challenges. Write reminders and schedule them on your calendar.
Thrive Sew Along Week 5: Sew Your Blocks into Rows
Let's take those pretty blocks you made and sew them into diagonal rows! This video tutorial covers everything you need to know. Check it out!
I laid out my Thrive quilt on my portable design wall. For the exact link, check out the post, How to Make a Design Wall.
Tip #1: Lay out the entire quilt.
This first tip is the most important one. Lay out all of your quilt blocks in their correct order, even if it's just long enough to snap a quick pic with your phone. I know that can be tough if your sewing room is also your dining room and you have small creatures running about, but in this instance, it really is necessary.
So kick out the kids, the pets, and whoever else you may have coming in and out of your quilting space, and lay out those blocks. I promise this will help your brain later.
Since these rows are sewn on the diagonal, it's easy to get them mixed up. If you take the time to lay the blocks out, you will always have a reference point if you start to question which block goes where. A vertical quilt design wall is a great way to keep your blocks off the floor.
Tip #2: Don't trim!
Don't do it! Let your tiny dog ears flap in the breeze and don't trim them until the absolute very end when you are sewing your single border to the top of the quilt. This is the best way to make sure your quilt top has a nice 1/4" seam all around the edges and the corners remain square.
You can see in the photo below I am sewing my first row together. After sewing the corner-setting triangle, I left the overhanging dog ears and sewed the side-setting triangles on top. Even though these dogs ears are uneven and look terrible, I know it will all be fine in the end when I trim.
Note: Adding some extra pins is a good idea when sewing these triangles, since some of the sides are cut on the bias (which means they're stretchy).
Tip #3: Carefully pin or glue baste where your seams meet.
I have used both pinning and gluing basting methods when making different Thrive quilts. Glue basting is wonderfully accurate, but does take longer. If you would like a full tutorial on how to glue baste seams, check out A Complete Guide to Glue Basting Seams.
If you go the pinning route, I should tell you that to ensure accuracy, you will need to sew over your pins. Below is a photo of how I pin (I also cover this in the video tutorial). Pinning this diagonal way locks the seams into place; however, if you take out the pins before sewing that part of the seam, the fabric may shift the tiniest amount, causing your seams to be a bit off.
Note to the perfectionists in the house: Even if your seams are a bit off, that's FINE! Your quilt will not fall apart and it's doubtful anyone will notice. We are aiming for progress, not perfection here. Don't rip a seam out if things aren't totally inline. Just move on and see if you can line things up better next time.
Optional Meditation and Thrive Challenge
Our optional meditation this week may seem silly, but go with me on this and maybe you'll find it's kinda sweet and a little bit fun. 😉
Sit by your sewing machine. Turn off all music or TV so it's quiet. Breathe in with the count of one and out with the count of two. After counting to ten, start again. Do this a few times or until you feel relaxed. Think about how grateful you are for your sewing machine. It works hard for you and allows you to make beautiful and useful things!
Before moving on, say, "Thank you." If the spirit moves you, place your hand on your machine. Again, say, "Thank you, sweet machine."
Thrive Challenge: Give a donation online, some food to a neighbor or some time to a person who needs support. Write down a specific way you will give this week.
I'm continuing with the Suzy Quilts Gives Back challenge – which means that 100% of quilt pattern sales are donated to a charity that supports mothers, children, or families every first of the month in 2020.
On August 1, the revenue of ALL quilt pattern sales will be donated to MICAH House. This organization was brought to my attention by a member of the Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group. The mission of MICAH House is to provide a safe environment to families and individuals experiencing homelessness.
Currently MICAH House is helping to shelter approximately 100 individuals, including almost 50 children and 10 youth in Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA.
The Week 5 Prize
The winner of this week gets a gift certificate for $100 to the beautiful shop Fabricworm! Fabricworm is also offering 10% off all fabric with coupon code SuzyQ. This code expires August 1st at 11:59PM PST. There is no minimum purchase for the code to apply, but it does exclude pre-order fabrics
How to Win
- Post a pic to Instagram. The photo prompt for Instagram this week is to post a picture of your progress on your quilt top. Use #ThriveQuiltSA 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, July 29, 2020 and 1:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday, August 4, 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, August 4, 2020.