Can you believe our voyage is almost over? It's Week 7 of the Voyage Quilt Sew Along, and it's our last week together! By next week, you'll have a beautiful, completed Voyage quilt top. For this week's post, we're not only finishing our top, but we are also talking about quilting ideas and labeling your quilt.
Before we dive into our tips for finishing the Voyage quilt top, I wanted to take a moment to give everyone who participated in the Voyage Quilt Sew Along a big thank you! Being your guest sew along host has been an absolute joy. I've loved sharing tips, helping when I can, and getting to know many of you. And I can't wait to see your completed quilts!
For details on how this sew along works, check out the Voyage Quilt Sew Along introduction post here, and don’t forget to join me on Wednesday at 7:30pm Central for a live video on Instagram where I’ll go over all of these tips and answer as many questions as I can.
Voyage Quilt Sew Along Schedule
- Week 1, March 31: Pick fabric and gather supplies
- Week 2, April 7: Cut fabric
- Week 3, April 14: Make HSTs - video tutorial
- Week 4, April 21: Make HRTs and finish HST overflow if more time is needed - video tutorial
- Week 5, April 28: Chain piece blocks together - video tutorial
- Week 6, May 5: Assemble blocks
- Week 7, May 12: Sew blocks into rows to make the finished quilt top; discuss quilting ideas
Week 7 Assignment: Finish Quilt Top
This week, we're wrapping up our Voyage quilt. And we're celebrating! Because you did it—from picking fabric and making HSTs and HRTs, to learning new techniques like chain piecing and pressing, you've come a long way on this sew along voyage. You've practiced the new skills and techniques you've learned on this quilt, and now you should feel confident and excited to take on any other quilt pattern.
But before you start your next project, let's finish this quilt!
Tip #1: Sew Blocks Into Rows
The first step in completing your Voyage quilt top is to sew your blocks together into long rows. It's a great idea to double check each of your blocks for accuracy before piecing them together. Compare your blocks to the quilt diagram in the Voyage quilt pattern to make sure your HSTs and HRTs are all facing the right way. It will be much easier to seam rip them out and correct them now than it will be once your quilt top is complete!
To make sure that you sew each block together correctly, I recommend laying your blocks out in order or hanging them on a design wall—and make sure to double check the Voyage quilt diagrams! Be consistent with the order of how you sew your blocks together. I sewed each of my rows starting with the left block and ending with the right block. This will help you stay organized.
Tip #2: Remember the Lessons You've Learned
As you sew your blocks together and add the borders to your quilt, it's a great time to remember the lessons we learned along the way and apply them to finishing your quilt. Here are some helpful reminders!
Chain piecing, which we learned in Week 5, is helpful for speeding up the assembly of your top and bottom HST rows. Gather your HSTs into one pile for each color, and then chain piece by sewing two together at a time until you've finished the pile. Snip the HSTs apart, and chain piece them into rows of four. Next, chain piece those into rows of eight, and finally sew your two rows of eight together and sew the last row of four to one side. Repeat with the bottom HSTs.
Good pressing technique can increase your piecing accuracy, as we learned during Week 3. This is particularly important as your seams are getting bigger and bulkier! Make sure to refresh your memory about good pressing technique so that your blocks and rows are tidy and have less bulk!
Apply these lessons and more to your future quilt projects!
Tip #3: Line Up Your Top and Bottom HST Rows
The final step in making your Voyage quilt top is to sew the top and bottom HST rows. These rows should be the width of your quilt, but just in case some of the squares in your quilt are off a little bit, here's a helpful tips. When you are getting your top and bottom row ready to sew, line the seams up with the seams in the Voyage blocks as shown above.
You can see where the first HST in my upper row (with the blue clip) is a little longer than the Voyage block below it. If I had lined it up with the edge instead of lining my HSTs up with the seams in my Voyage block, the row would be off.
The border between the Voyage blocks and the HST rows will help hide it if your HST rows don't line up perfectly. But this easy little tip will help improve the accuracy of your HST rows!
Tip #4: Celebrate!
You did it! Congratulations! Grab your favorite treat, kick up your heels, and celebrate the amazing work that you did. While you celebrate, here are some things to pat yourself on the back for:
- You chose beautiful fabric that you love to make a quilt that will be treasured by you or your loved ones for years.
- You made almost 300 half square triangles!
- You learned how to make half rectangle triangles, a tricky block.
- You learned new techniques like finger pressing, chain piecing, and using fork pins, and practiced your new techniques enough to be confident enough to use them in future quilts.
- You finished a gorgeous quilt!
What's next? Keep reading for tips on quilting and labeling your Voyage quilt!
The Voyage quilt is a lively pattern, full of motion, angular shapes, and unique blocks. That might make you feel like it would be difficult to decide how to quilt your Voyage quilt. But this quilt looks amazing with a variety of quilting designs, and here are just a few!
The wavy, water-like lines on the Voyage quilt above add even more movement and contrast to the quilt's geometric shapes.
Straight lines also look great on the Voyage quilt! Straight vertical quilting lines like the ones shown above emphasize the quilt's length.
For a subtle look, vertical quilting lines fade into the quilt nicely and leave more focus on the blocks.
And to add even more geometric character to your quilt, diagonal straight lines emphasize the quilt's angles!
Fluid, swirling edge to edge quilting patterns add even more dimension and emphasis to the areas of the quilt with the most continuous fabric—the half rectangle triangles.
When it comes to quilting the Voyage quilt, there's no right or wrong way! You made a beautiful quilt, and your quilting will only enhance it, whether you go with straight lines, wavy lines, or even hand quilting.
Labeling Your Quilt
It's so easy to forget this step! But the more you include making a label as part of your quilting process, the more it will become habit. Pretty soon, you won't feel like your quilt is complete until your labels is sewn onto the back. And your quilts will never be anonymous, like so many quilts that are preserved in museums are!
Voyage Quilt Sew Along Book of the Week
For our final book of the week, I wanted to leave you with something to help continue sparking and guiding your creative growth. But this book doesn't just help us to consider our own creativity, it also pushes us to think about the idea of perfection and the kind of pressure we put on ourselves that can often take us out of the fun and playfulness of a creative project.
Give Yourself Margin: A Guide to Rediscovering and Reconnecting with Your Creative Self, by surface designer Stacie Bloomfield of Gingiber, is part motivational book and part guidebook. In this book, you'll read tips about ways to connect with your creativity and be encouraged to apply those tips to your own life. Beautifully illustrated and full of quick advice and lists to help you stay centered, Give Yourself Margin is a quick and lovely read.
Maybe the next big creative step you want to take is to choose the fabrics for your next quilt, or hand quilt for the first time. Maybe the Voyage quilt was the first quilt you ever made! Regardless of how long you've been quilting or how much creativity you pour into your projects, you'll learn something about yourself with this book.
Here is my best tip I want to leave you with as we end our sew along. Don't compare your quilt to other people's quilts. Maybe the quilt you're comparing yours to was made by someone who has been quilting for 20 years. If you've only been quilting for two years, that other quilter knows so many more techniques and has had decades of practice! Instead, compare this quilt to the last quilt you made. Look at how much you grew between these two quilts, consider what you learned, and think about ways you can infuse even more creativity into your next project.
Now is your time to reflect on what you've learned, and apply it to your next project. And Give Yourself Margin will help keep you inspired!
Sponsor & Prize
This week's sponsor is Lavender Fields Company who is offering the perfect prize to end our sew along—free long arm quilting for one quilt! Lavender Fields Company has an excellent selection of edge to edge quilting designs, so you're sure to find one that will make your Voyage quilt shine!
How to Win
- Post a pic to Instagram. The photo prompt for Instagram this week is to post a picture of your completed Voyage quilt top! Use #VoyageQuiltSA in the caption. Make sure to use the correct hashtag! Remember that the quilt is called the Voyage Quilt, not the Voyager Quilt.
- 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. Central Time on Wednesday, May 12 and 1:00 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, May 18, 2021.
- This prize is open in the United States only.
- The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, May 18, 2021.