Star Patch Quilt Along: Week 4

Monday, November 19, 2018

Is "quilt-alonging" a thing?  Because it should be.
This quilt-alonging thing is fun, don't you think?
This is my first time EVER to be in a Quilt Along, let alone to host!
I hope you guys are having as much fun as I am.
Can you believe it's already week 4!?!  
You're going to start seeing your 9-Patch pile growing nicely this week!

This week you need to make another fifteen 9-Patches.
I've suggested chain piecing them in the past and recently had a few people ask how to do that.
So today I have a quick tutorial for you on how to chain piece.

First, a  definition of chain piecing from
"Chain Piecing is a method that joins many pieces of fabric together by inserting them through a sewing machine one after the other while continuing one's pressure on the presser foot and not cutting the threads between the pieces."  

Chain Piecing is an accurate and time-saving technique that every quilter should know how to do!

The following instructions are for chain piecing fifteen 9-Patches 
but you can adjust the numbers for any amount of blocks. 

First, make two piles of your background squares.  The first pile should have 45 squares in it (because three rows in each of the fifteen 9-Patches = 45).  The second pile should have 15 squares in it (because one of the rows in each of the fifteen 9-Patches has two background squares in it).  You should also have a pile of all your scrappy bright squares.

(I like to do the math ahead of time so I know how many pieces of each I should sew together so I don't end up with the wrong pieces at the end).

Set aside the pile of 15 background squares.  You will use those in the next step.

From the pile of 45 background squares, sew together 1 background square with 1 bright square to make 45 pairs.  Do not clip your threads between pairs.

(Viewpoint from behind my sewing machine.)

After you've made all 45 pairs remove the chain from your presser foot and clip the threads between each pair.  

Then, using the pile of fifteen background squares sew a second background square onto the end of fifteen of the pairs to make fifteen background-bright-background rows.  Then sew another bright square onto the remaining pairs to make thirty bright-background-bright rows.  Do all of this without clipping the threads in between each row.  

After all of the rows are sewn you can clip the threads between the rows and press the seam allowances toward the bright squares.

 Chain piece together one of each kind of row (a bright-background-bright row and a background-bright-background row) to make 15 pairs.  Remove the chain from your presser foot and clip all the threads between the pairs.  Then add on the remaining bright-background-bright rows to the pairs using the chain piecing method.  Remove the chain from your presser foot and clip all the threads between the blocks.  Press the seam allowances open.

You will now have fifteen 9-Patches.  
And, you will have saved time and thread during this process by using the chain piecing method.
I hope that helps any of you who have not heard of or tried the chain piecing method!

After you have made your 9-Patches for this week, post a picture on Instagram using the hashtag #starpatchqal.  For this weeks photo, please arrange your fifteen 9-Patch blocks on point (like this) to be entered into the weekly drawing:

Be sure to post your photo by Sunday 11/25/18 at noon MST.  I will draw a winner from the hashtag pool to win a tablemat centerpiece kit in Swell Christmas fabrics from Sweet Treasures Quilt Shop.  It's a really cute quilt shop in Keizer, Oregon but they also have an online store as well.  Be sure to check them out!  And thanks to Terri at Sweet Treasures for her generosity!

As for last week, Sharon Brennan (@sharonb54 on Instagram) won a set of darling pins from Susan (@quiltypie on IG).  I love Susan's pins!  Be sure to follow her on IG and give her some love!

Happy quilting friends!

Star Patch Quilt Along: Week 3

Monday, November 12, 2018

Hello!  Welcome to week 3 of the Star Patch Quilt Along!
How are all my quilt along buddies doing?

This week we are making 15 more 9-Patches.  Easy Peasy!  
Are you chain-piecing yours?  It makes them come together so fast!

One thing I need to clarify:

[IMPORTANT, Please Read]
For the scrappy back, you will need eight 9-Patches which are included in the amount of 9-Patches we are making over the next few weeks.  If you aren't going to do the scrappy back you will only make seven 9-Patches during week 5 (not 15).  I will remind you of that in the week 5 blog post.  But I forgot to mention the extra cutting you'll need to do for those eight 9-Patches.  You may as well cut the extra squares now if you're doing the scrappy back.  So cut an extra 40 bright print 2" squares and 32 white solid 2" squares.  I'll remind you of that too, during week 5.  I just wanted to clear up any confusion if you did the math and wondered why we were making a total of sixty 9-Patches when the pattern only calls for 52.

For the next few weeks, I'm going to have you post specific pictures of your 9-Patches 
for the weekly giveaways, just to mix things up and make it a little more fun.  
To enter this weeks' giveaway, take a photo of all your 9-Patches on a cake stand 
(or a plate will be fine if you don't have a cake stand).  Like this:

Post your photo to your Instagram account using the hashtag #starpatchqal by noon (MST) on Sunday, 11/18/18.  I will be drawing one winner from the hashtag pool and announcing it Sunday night.  Please note, your account must be public so I (and everyone else) can see your photo.

This weeks' winner will receive a set of pins from my friend Susan (@quiltypie).  
Check her out on Instagram.  Her pins are sooo adorable!!!

Also, congratulations to Michelle Mack (@mackmt on IG) for winning the Week 2 giveaway.
She will be getting her very own copy of Emily Dennis' new book, Modern Quilts, Block by Block.
And thanks again to Emily for sponsoring that giveaway!  So fun!

I love seeing your progress on the Star Patch quilts!  They're going to be stunners for sure!

Happy sewing!

Star Patch Quilt Along: Week 2

Monday, November 5, 2018

Welcome to week 2 of the Star Patch Quilt Along!

I hope you all found week 1 fun!  Picking the fabrics and planning is one of my favorite parts of quilt-making!  I have been checking the #starpatchqal hashtag on Instagram daily and have been loving what I've been seeing.  You guys are inspiring me!  I hope you'll visit the hashtag too and take the time to leave comments and encourage each other.  It's such a great opportunity to make some new quilty friends!

The winner for the week 1 drawing is Barb Brooks (@bbrooksgram) who won a Perfect 10 book and ruler combo pack from The Fat Quarter Shop!  This book looks so fun!  Click HERE to check it out.  Just a reminder, to enter each weekly drawing you must post the required picture on Instagram using the hashtag #starpatchqal.  I pick the weekly winner from the hashtag pool and announce the winner on my Instagram feed and stories.

Speaking of prizes, I want to give a HUGE thank you to all of our Star Patch Quilt Along Sponsors!

They've offered some really fabulous prizes including fabric, books and even long-arm quilting!  I can't even believe their generosity.  Visit the Star Patch Quilt Along Home Page HERE for all the specifics.

Star Patch Quilt Along
Dates: October 29 - December 22
Duration: 8 weeks

It's not too late to join though! 
Register and sign up for the weekly emails HERE
You can purchase the Star Patch PDF or paper pattern HERE

Fabric Requirements:
260 bright print 2” x 2” squares
(OR a total of  ⅞ yard of assorted bright print fabrics)
2⅞ yards of white solid fabric
2¼ yards of yellow solid fabric
(OR 1-2/3 yards for the star and ⅝ yard for the binding)
3¾ yards of backing fabric
Batting, 67” x 67”

How to participate:
- The Star Patch Quilt Along takes place on Instagram.  Follow me @gigis_thimble on there.
- Use the hashtag #starpatchqal when posting pictures on Instagram so we can all see each other's progress.
- A new blog post will be up each Monday for the QAL.

Week 2

Week 2 is the first week of block-making.  Just make fifteen 9-Patches.  I chose to chain piece mine and they came together really fast!  Or just do a few each day and you'll be done in no time!  

Post a picture of your finished fifteen 9-Patches by Sunday night 11/11/18 to be entered into this weeks drawing.  All you have to do is post the picture on your Instagram feed with the hashtag #starpatchqal.  The winner will receive Emily Dennis' new book, Modern Quilts Block by Block.  This is a beautiful book by an extremely talented woman!  Emily is actually the one who inspired me to host this Quilt-Along!  So a huge thank you to Emily for sponsoring this prize and just being an all-around awesome human, businesswoman and designer!  This drawing is for US residents only.

Have a fabulous week you guys!  Can't wait to see your progress!

Star Patch QAL: Week 1

Monday, October 29, 2018

Hey, hey friends!  Welcome to the Star Patch Quilt Along: week 1!  

If you haven't signed up yet, it's not too late to join the fun!   
We have fantastic weekly prizes sponsored by some of my favorite people/shops
and at the end of the 8-week QAL, you'll have one dang cute quilt top you can be proud of!

 Click HERE to register.
Click HERE for all the Star Patch QAL details.

So let's get down to business.
Week 1 is all about planning and cutting.

If you still need to get the pattern, click HERE.
There are digital and paper versions available in my Etsy shop.
(I am shipping the paper versions out as quickly as I can so there's a good chance 
it will arrive at your house within a few days if you live in the US.)

I think you'll find this week to be a pretty easy week in the QAL.
There's just 3 things you need to do:

2. Plan your color scheme and gather your fabrics.

Originally, I was going to do traditional red and green Christmas fabrics.  
I think this pattern will make a fabulous Christmas quilt.  But then I got thinking, if I do just red and white will be great for Christmas, 4th of July and even Valentine's Day!
So red and white/cream it is!

And finally, the 3rd thing you need to do this week is cut out all the fabrics.

I was able to cut out my background squares really quickly using my Quick Rotary Cutting Tutorial. Check it out, you might learn a new tip or two!

Cutting the colorful squares (red in my case) is what will probably take you the longest.  But it's sure fun to see your pretty, scrappy collection of squares come together! 

I used about 33 different fabrics for the little squares, cutting about 7 or 8 from each fabric. 
I just did mine over the course of a couple days so it was easy peasy!

So that's it!
Post a picture on Instagram this week of your fabric pull or cut fabrics and use the hashtag "starpatchqal" and you'll be entered to win The Perfect 10 Book and Ruler Combo Pack by It's Sew Emma from The Fat Quarter Shop!

I can't wait to see all the different color schemes you guys come up with!!

Star Patch Quilt Along

Saturday, October 20, 2018

I got a wild hair the other day and decided I wanted to make a Christmas version of my Star Patch quilt.  Then I decided that it might be fun to see if any of YOU wanted to join me!  It's always more fun to sew with friends, right?  Of course, you don't have to use Christmas fabrics.  This quilt will be perfect in any color scheme!  

So I've decided to host my first ever quilt along!  This will be an 8-week QAL with weekly prizes and a bonus tutorial for the scrappy back I did on my original version (which will be exclusive to those of you who join the quilt along!)  


DATES: October 29 - December 22, 2018
DURATION: 8 weeks
QUILT SIZE: 58" x 58"

I know this is last minute but I really want to have a finished quilt top by Christmas.  So we are starting in just over a week!  It will be an easy 8 weeks though.  I don't want to have too high of expectations since this is during the busy holiday season!  This pattern is great for all skill levels.  I think an advanced beginner can do it just fine.

Week 1: Gather fabrics and pattern.  Cut out all fabrics.
Week 2: Make (15) 9-Patch Blocks
Week 3: Make (15) 9-Patch Blocks
Week 4: Make (15) 9-Patch Blocks
Week 5: Make (15) 9-Patch Blocks
Week 6: Make Checkerboard and Flying Geese Blocks
Week 7: Construct Quilt Top
Week 8: Piece Back (using exclusive QAL tutorial!)  Quilt or send off to be quilted.

- Follow me @gigis_thimble and use the hashtag #starpatchqal on Instagram
- Be sure to sign up for the weekly emails HERE.
- A new blog post will be up each Monday for the QAL.

Purchase the Star Patch paper or PDF pattern in my shop.  
Click HERE to go to my Etsy shop.

260 bright print 2” x 2” squares
(OR a total of  ⅞ yard of assorted bright print fabrics)
2⅞ yards of white solid fabric
2¼ yards of yellow solid fabric
(OR 1-2/3 yards for the star and ⅝ yard for the binding)
3¾ yards of backing fabric
Batting, 67” x 67”

Note: This is a great stash buster project!

- The Perfect 10 Book and Ruler Combo Pack from The Fat Quarter Shop
- Set of pins by Quilty Pie
- Patterns by Gigi's Thimble (me!)
- Modern Quilts (Block by Block) Book by Emily Dennis
- Notions Goodie Bag and 10" Stacker from Riley Blake Designs
-Tablemat Kit in Swell Christmas Fabric from Sweet Treasures Quilt Shop
- Fat Quarter Bundle from Simply Love Fabrics
-Long arm quilting of one Star Patch Quilt (medium density, edge-to-edge design) from Julz Junk Quilting

* Some drawings/prizes will be for US residents only but everyone is welcome to quilt along! 

Don't forget to register!

All Stacked Up in Swell Christmas

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Oh you guys, if you haven't seen Swell Christmas by Urban Chiks for Moda yet, it's a good one.  It's been in stores for a couple of months now but I was fortunate to win a fat quarter bundle because my friend, Shannon White (@itssewshannon on Instagram) tagged me during a giveaway!  Imagine my surprise when Moda asked for my shipping info!

I've always been a fan of Urban Chiks fabric lines so needless to say I was thrilled when I won!  
It kind of has a vintage-modern vibe don't you think?

I knew I wanted a pattern that showcased these cute, whimsical prints so I chose my FREE 5 Fat Quarter Fun pattern called All Stacked Up.  Although, I used more than just 5 fat quarters because I wanted to use all these beautiful prints!  Click HERE for the link to this free pattern.

I enlarged the pattern by adding on 3 more rows of blocks to the length and 
1 more row of blocks to the side (plus the sashing).  
Now it finishes at approximately 75" x 87" - the perfect size for snuggling with!

The hard part was deciding on which dot to use for the background and what color fabric to use for the sashing!  I ended up using one of my favorite background fabrics.  I bought a small bolt of it a while back so I had a bunch of it on hand!  It's from the line Hello Bear by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics.

Now the sashing, that was a different story.  First, I chose this solid red fabric.  It was an easy match.  But then I started doubting my choice.  I'm not a big fan of red these days and I felt it was a bit stark so I went on the search for something else.

Then I fell in love with this green check from my stash.  It was a close enough match to the greens in Swell Christmas but I didn't have enough and couldn't find anymore online.  

 I finally ended up choosing this pink, again, by Bonnie Christine 
for Art Gallery Fabrics (guess I'm a big fan!)

I have to say, that I'm a little sad I decided to go with pink though.  I feel like it's not as Christmasy as the red or the green.  My ideal color would've been green but it was just too hard finding a green that didn't blend or clash with the other greens and I wanted to stay away from red if I could.  But in hindsight, I feel like if I would've found a red that had a print on it and wasn't so stark, I probably would've liked it more.  I think pink would be my last option.  But, I'm trying to tell myself that a lot of people would probably love the pink!  It's not wrong.  It's just not me.  I'm trying to embrace it and not be disappointed... (can you tell that I kind of am, LOL?)

The quilting was done by Cathy Barney in Alpine, Utah.  I think she was happy when I chose the design, Holly Berry, because I tend to choose the same 2 or 3 geometric designs all the time!  I like how it turned out.  I mean, look at that texture!

I was sure to use minky on the back so it could be nice and cozy this Christmas.  And I used one of the plaid prints for the binding.  It is printed so it looks like it was cut on the bias!

Overall though, I'm thankful to have won these beautiful fabrics.  It was a fun make and I can't wait to use it here in a couple of months.  Bring on the snow!

Thanks for stopping by!