Monday, December 24, 2018

Hey friends, it's time to conclude the Star Patch Quilt Along.  I had so much fun quilting along with all of you!  Thank you for your support of the QAL, as well as, my Star Patch pattern!  I have really enjoyed seeing all of the different colorways and connecting with so many of you through the process.  Also, a huge thank you to the wonderful, generous sponsors:

Now, it's time to announce the winner of the grand prize!  Julie Paff (@julzjunk on Instagram) has so generously offered to donate long arm quilting for one winner's Star Patch Quilt (edge-to-edge quilting, medium density).  The winner who we have chosen is Cassie (@cassarollquilts on Instagram).  Congratulations Cassie!  I am so happy for you!

As for my quilt, it's quilted and the binding is sewn onto the front side.  As I take this next week or so to spend time with my family (and rest!) I plan to hand stitch the binding to the backside.  I will be back soon to share some pictures!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season spent with loved ones, making memories and enjoying traditions.  Please know you are special and loved.  I wish you all the happiness in the world!  Merry Christmas!

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!

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!