Autumn Love Sew Along - Week 2
by Morgan | August 31, 2018
I'm so happy to see you back for Week 2 of the Autumn Love Sew Along by Lori Holt. I am having such a great time putting these blocks together, and am learning so much. I think this was a good beginner project because it feels like there's a little more room for imperfection than a standard quilt block would afford me.
Before we begin, a little intro to what a sew-along is and what you can do to join if you're interested.
What is a Sew Along?
A Sew Along is a like a virtual quilting/sewing retreat. It's a fun way to join a group of other makers and do the same project. We get to share our progress, ask questions, share tips, and make new friends. I enjoy the sew along because it helps break a big project like Autumn Love into manageable pieces. Plus, I love being able to learn from other quilters while we're going through the process together.
How do I join the Sew Along?
This Sew Along is hosted by Lori Holt on her blog Bee in My Bonnet. The pattern and sewing guide is a free download that you'll want to get from her. If you haven't already gotten your Autumn Love Quilt Kit (or chosen fabrics from your stash) you'll want to do so. You'll definitely want to grab the Sew Simple Shapes even if you're using other fabrics, because they're essential to Lori's method. You can join the sew-along at any time, but Lori posts a new tutorial each Monday, so if you want to keep pace with her, you'll want to watch the tutorial on Monday and work on your block(s) throughout the week.
The Finished Block
You probably want to see my finished block (I haven't trimmed these to size yet, but you'll notice my Frixion Pen marking the 10" square).
I am in love with this block. It's so cute, and was so much fun to do! After I get the kids in bed for the night I grab a snack, turn on Gilmore Girls, and start working on my block. I really enjoy the process, and have found it to be a good stress reliever for me. If you'll notice the wheels on the wagon aren't completely finished. I still need to add the buttons, but I don't actually know how to sew a button on, so I'm going to have Jen show me how to do that.
Some things I struggled with
Now, this week, I didn't have as much difficulty as the last. I was familiar with the process and was able to sew the shapes properly. I had my 1/4" bias tape maker that I used a 1/2" strip in, and it worked well. However, I had to make my 1/2" bias tape (for the bottom part of the wagon handle) by hand, because I didn't have a 1/2" bias tape maker. So, I'm going to show you how I made my 1/2" bias tape.
How to make 1/2" bias tape without a bias tape maker
I found myself without a 1/2" bias tape maker, and had to figure out what to do, so I thought I'd share the process. It may be common knowledge for most quilters, but for beginners like me, this might be helpful.
- Start with your strip cut to 1" wide.
- Fold your strip in half and press it so you can see the line.
- Unfold the strip.
- Fold the edge nearest you toward the line in the middle of your strip. Press this. (I used Magic Sizing to help get it stiff so it would stay in place.)
- Repeat the process with the other edge.
Now, I kind of had to fumble my way through that, but it worked pretty well. When I had my strip completed I cut it to size, used my Roxanne's Glue-Baste-It to hold it down to the fabric, and then sewed it in place.
Getting my shapes pushed out properly
Sewing around the edges of the shapes was fine (enjoyable, even), but when I went to turn some of my shapes it was a little difficult. Some of the curves looked a little weird. So, I flipped my shapes back, did some clipping around the edges (which Lori recommends in her first tutorial) and used the Clover Point 2 Point Turner to hep me smooth things out. I used the pointy end of it on the star and ended up poking right through the fabric, so I suggest being extra careful with that side.
Some things that went well
The actual sewing parts
I'm getting much more confident in my sewing, especially in my ability to do corners and turns. I've just got my machine on the slowest speed and have a shorter stitch length so I have a bit more control. I also do stop pretty frequently and lift my presser foot to maneuver my fabric, and have kept sewing in a needle down position.
I didn't trim my pumpkins and I like it
Lori suggests trimming the pumpkins to take away some of the bulk from the project, but I like them puffy, so I left them as-is. I was a little worried about not following Lori's instructions exactly, but I'm enjoying the puffy look, and so far haven't run into any issues. I may trim pieces on other blocks if there is a lot of layering and things are getting a bit nuts. We'll see.
I chose to stitch down the pieces by hand like Lori does, and while it's time-consuming, I'm finding it relaxing, and it's going well. I'm using a simple whip-stitch that Tammy and Jen taught me and have only poked myself 100 dozen times. haha. But, I do love that it's nearly invisible, and there's something really calming about sitting down at night after the kids are in bed and stitching something. I don't know what it is, but I like it. ;)
On to week 3!
I'll be back with week 3. Let me know if you have any specific questions! I can always add to this post or future posts if you want to know something, or struggled with a bit of the process yourself and would like to see how I handled it.
I always love it when you leave comments, so let me know what you thought! Talk to you soon.