“Gentlemen, start your engines” . . . er . . . “Ladies, start your sewing machines!”
In just two weeks, on January 1, our “Sisters” block of the month begins. Although our quilt along is not a race, there are several things you can do to be ready for the start-up.
First, you can select the fabric you’ll be using for this year long project. Print the fabric requirements found on the “Sisters” BOM QAL page of the blog. (When viewing the blog on your lap top, click on the tab under the header picture above.) The sampler quilt is Layer Cake, Fat Quarter, and scrap stash friendly. On a recent visit to my local quilt shop, I photographed 4 Layer Cakes that would be totally suitable for this project. (Sew There! Quilts and More has an online shop; they would be happy to ship fabric for your quilt.) You’ll want fabrics that vary in scale, color, and texture.
The second thing you can do is tune up your machine and practice sewing with a scant 1/4″ seam allowance. If you guide your fabric on the edge of the universal foot that comes with most sewing machines, your seam allowance will be too wide. If possible, use a scant 1/4″ piecing foot. Other options include moving your needle to the right or applying tape as a guide on the bed of your machine. I listened to an excellent podcast about achieving consistent 1/4″ seam allowance by editors of American Patchwork and Quilting. Click here for a link on Spotify to show #450 which aired on December 16, 2019. The info is beneficial for “old” and “new” quilters alike!
As suggested in the podcast, check your seam allowance by making a simple “Roman Stripe” block. Cut three strips of fabric, 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ and sew them together as shown in the photo below. The resulting patchwork block should measure 3 1/2″ square. Check the width of the center strip; it should be exactly 1.” Can you tell that my blue strip fits neatly between the 2″ and 3″ lines on the ruler? No more, no less.
Thirdly, you can set up an account on Instagram, the social media platform that’s conducive for pictorially sharing our QAL progress. I’ve shared a picture of my quilt on #sistersqal (our main #). I also posted to #sisterssamplerqal, #samplerquilts, #bomqal, and #sistersbomqal. Once you have selected your fabric, post a picture of your Layer Cake, Fat Quarters, or fabric pull from your stash on #sistersqal. It will be fun to view the fabric palettes of those quilting along with us!
Bonus Project Idea: “Roman Stripe” is a simple block that will use some of your smallest scraps. Click here for a blog post about a bed quilt I made last year. Click here to see “Ice Cream Sandwiches” made in 2013. As you can see from the photo above, I have, this time, selected a different coloring of this simple block design. I plan to use neutral scraps with blue prints and tonals. These blocks will be quickly constructed leader/ender style.