Star Patch Quilt Along: Week 8

Monday, December 17, 2018

Can you believe it's the very last week of the Star Patch Quilt Along?  It has been a fun 8 weeks.  A big thanks to everyone that participated, those that donated some seriously generous prizes and those of you that left feedback on last weeks' post.  I am glad you guys felt it was a very doable quilt along.  It was so much fun for me to A.) remake Star Patch and B.) see all of your variations!  This quilt is great in any color scheme don't you think!?!?

This weeks assignment is to piece the back and start quilting it (or send it off to your quilter).

If you're interested in making the pieced 9-Patch backing then keep reading because I've got a tutorial for you!  Otherwise, skip to the end of this post and follow the instructions in the pattern to finish your quilt.

In weeks 2-5 you made 9-Patches (8 of which were for the back).  Today I will show you how to put those to good use.  On my original Star Patch Quilt, I added them to a plain white backing to really kick things up a notch.  I loved how it turned out.  Will you be doing a 9-Patch stip on your back?

Fabric Requirements for 9-Patch strip:
(8) 5" unfinished 9-Patch Blocks
(1) 8" x 40" strip of fabric for side and corner setting triangles
(1) 8" x 20" strip of fabric for ends of the 9-Patch strip

Note: If you didn't buy extra backing fabric to make the pieced 9-Patch strip you can use a different fabric from your stash or you can cut an 8" x 67-1/2" strip from one of the two backing pieces you are instructed to cut on page 6 of the Star Patch pattern (under FINISHING: Preparing the Back).  I bought extra fabric so I just cut (2) 8" x width of fabric strips for this part.

From the side and corner setting triangle fabric, cut:
     (4) squares, 7 5/8" x 7 5/8", cut on the diagonal twice to yield a total of 16 triangles (2 are extra). 
     (2) squares, 4 1/8" x 4 1/8", cut on the diagonal once to yield a total of 4 triangles.
          (Set aside the 4 corner setting triangles.  You will use those later.)

1. Lay out the eight 9-Patch blocks on pointe.  Put two side setting triangles between each block (as shown below). 

2. Sew the short edge of two triangles onto opposite sides of a 9-Patch block paying special attention to the orientation of the triangles.  

3. Press the seam allowances toward the triangles and trim off the dog ears.

4. Sew the rows together and press the seam allowances open.

5. With right sides together, center the long side of a corner setting triangle on the end of the strip over one side a 9-Patch block.  Stitch in place.  Press the seam allowance toward the triangle.  Repeat on the 3 other corners of the 9-Patch strip.

6. Square up the strip leaving 1/4" seam allowances beyond the outside points of the blocks.   The strip should measure approximately 6 3/4" x 51 1/2".  Measure the width of your strip and cut 2 rectangles that width x 8 3/4" in length.  For example, my strip measured 6 3/4" wide so I cut 2 rectangles that measured 6 3/4" x 8 3/4".

7.  Sew the rectangles onto opposite ends of the 9-Patch strip (right sides together) and press the seam allowances toward the rectangles.

8. Sew the long edges of your backing fabric pieces onto either side of the 9-Patch Strip.

That's it!  You are ready to start quilting it!  Be sure to tell your quilter that you have the pieced strip on your quilt back and ask him or her to center it as best they can on your quilt.

Two other quick things - 

First, congrats to the winner of last weeks' giveaway: Giuliana (@quiltedhorse.22 on Instagram).  

She won a fat quarter bundle from Simply Love Fabrics (@simplylovefabrics on Instagram)!  A HUGE thank you to Jessica and Donna from Simply Love Fabrics for the fabulous prize!  Who doesn't love fat quarters!?!  Their shop is so cute!  Be sure to check it out on Etsy.

Second, this weeks' giveaway is for the Star Patch Quilt Along GRAND PRIZE - long arm quilting on one of YOUR Star Patch quilts (edge-to-edge, medium density)!!! This prize has so generously been donated by Julie Paff of Julz Junk Quilting (@julzjunk on Instagram).   

To enter the giveaway, just post a picture of your Star Patch quilt top, batting and backing stacked up and ready for quilting!  Or, if you did the 9-Patch strip on the back then show me that!  A photo of either one of those will do.  Just post it on Instagram by noon MST Sunday, December 23rd.  Be sure to use the hashtag, #starpatchqal.  I will pick a winner from the #starpatchqal hashtag pool that night and announce it on Instagram and my blog on December 24th...Christmas Eve!  So exciting!!!  

Have a great week friends!

Star Patch Quilt Along: Week 7

Monday, December 10, 2018

Welcome to week 7 of the Star Patch Quilt Along! This is just about it, friends!  You are so close!!! By the end of this week, you will have a finished quilt top, next week you piece the back and then you're done!!!  

Your assignment this week: construct the quilt top.  I had so much fun constructing mine this past weekend!  It doesn't take too long.  I think you'll enjoy it!

To enter the giveaway this week, post a picture on Instagram of your completed quilt top by noon MST on Sunday, December 16th.  Your account must be public.  Be sure to use the hashtag #starpatchqal.  I will choose a winner from the hashtag pool and announce the winner on Instagram and my blog on Monday the 17th.  You can be in the photo or not - it's up to you!  The winner will receive a fat quarter bundle from Simply Love Fabrics.  Thank you to Simply Love Fabrics for their generosity!!!  Be sure to check out their Etsy shop, they have tons of really cute fabric!

Congratulations to Jerusha Beckstead (@jjbeckstead on IG) for winning last week's prize, 
a 6-pack of patterns from me!

One last thing as we wind down on the Star Patch Quilt Along, I am wondering if you wouldn't mind leaving a comment below telling me how you feel the Quilt Along has gone?  I've never hosted one of these before and would love to hear your comments and suggestions so I can keep them in mind for future Quilt Alongs!  It's been fun for me and I hope you have had a great experience as well!

I can't wait to see your quilt tops!!!   Happy quilting!

Star Patch Quilt Along: Week 6

Monday, December 3, 2018

Happy Monday friends!  Welcome to week 6 of the Star Patch Quilt Along!  

With all of your 9-Patches done it's time to move on to the Star.
This week you need to make the Checkerboard block and the 4 Flying-
Geese blocks.  This assignment may take a little more time than the last 4 weeks' assignments 
but it is so fun to see the star come together!

I want to congratulate Jody Watkins for winning the giveaway for week 5.  
She won a notions goodie bag and 10" stacker from Riley Blake Designs!

For this weeks' giveaway, post a photo of your 4 Flying-Geese blocks shaped like a Christmas Tree!  Like this:

Post your photo on Instagram by noon MST on Sunday 12/9/18.  Be sure to use the hashtag #starpatchqal.  Your account must be public.  I will pick a winner from the hashtag pool on Sunday night and the winner will win a set of 6 patterns from me!  

Also, I want to refer you to week 3 if you're confused about the number of 9-Patches we made. Eight 9-Patches are for the pieced quilt back and the cutting instructions were listed in the week 3 blog post.  I will post a tutorial for the quilt back during week 8.

That's it for now friends.
Happy quilting!

Star Patch Quilt Along: Week 5

Monday, November 26, 2018

 Hey hey, friends!  It's week 5 of the Star Patch Quilt Along!  How's it going for everyone?  Where is everyone at with their blocks?  I'm so curious!  I wish I could be right there sewing along with each one of you!  There would surely be lots of laughs, chocolate, and thread covered clothes!

Week 5 means it's the last week of making blocks!  Can you believe that?  Just make fifteen 9-Patches this week.  If you're behind, it's a great time to get caught up because next week we start constructing the quilt top.  If you feel like you don't have time, I want to tell you, you deserve some sewing time!  It's the week after Thanksgiving and surely you've earned some downtime at your sewing machine LOL!  

By Sunday you should be done with sixty 9-Patches (15 for each of weeks 2-5).  If you're entering the weekly giveaways on Instagram, post a picture of the 4 stacks of blocks on your feed by this Sunday, December 2nd at noon MST.  Be sure to use the hashtag #starpatchqal.  I'll pick a winner from the hashtag pool Sunday night who will win a notions goodie bag and a 10" stacker from Riley Blake Designs.  Your photo should look kind of like this:

Last weeks winner was Barb Brooks (@bbrooksgram on Instagram).  She won a tablemat kit from Sweet Treasures Quilt Shop.  So fun!  Congrats Barb!

Have a great week you guys!

PS. If you're not getting the emails, you may have entered your email address incorrectly on the sign-up page.  Click HERE to resubmit your info.

Gigi's Thimble Shop Sale

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving friends!  I just wanted to pop on here to tell you thank you!
Y'all are so good to me.  I've made so many good friends during the past several years of pattern designing!  I'm constantly amazed at all the sweet comments and reviews you guys leave me!   It's because of your kindness and enthusiasm over my patterns that makes this job one that I continue to love!

As a little way to say thank you I am having a sale starting right this very minute and it ends Cyber Monday at midnight.  No coupon code is needed.  Just click HERE to visit the shop and enjoy a 30% discount on everything!

Thank you for all your support.  Thank you for purchasing patterns.  Thank you for enjoying my free tutorials.  Thank you for your friendship!  Happy holidays!

PS. the photo above features a sneak peek of my newest pattern, Sweet Kisses.  It's available in PDF form now in the shop.  I'll do a full post here on the blog soon when the paper pattern is available as well.

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!