Autumn Love Sew Along - Week 4
by Morgan | September 14, 2018
Welcome to the Autumn Love Sew Along Week 4 post! This was an exciting, intense week filled with learning (and tons of cutting). Before we get started, I've outlined what a sew-along is in case you aren't familiar, and how you can join this one if you'd like. If you've already read all of that, skip to "The Finished Blocks"! :)
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 Blocks
The Harvest Star
This one was the most difficult block for me. I explain it all below (in the What I Learned) section, but I'm going to redo this one. I'm not ripping this apart, I'm just going to use new fabrics. Here's a look at it so you can see what my honest first attempt looked like.
The Four Inch Star
These little stars are fun to make, though making so many of them will take me a while. ;) Here's one I completed.
What I Learned
Follow ALL the Instructions
This really should go without saying, but I should have followed Lori's instructions exactly. Now, since I'm a beginner, I've been using her methods to complete the shapes and piece the blocks and all of that. However, one thing she suggested was that we cut out all of the fabric at the beginning and then separate it by block on those felt design boards, that way when each week came our pieces would be ready
I didn't do that.
Instead, I figured I could just cut what I needed for each week. Honestly, I was just anxious to start the project and didn't want to wait. That was all well and good for the first 3 weeks, but when I got to week 4 I was completely overwhelmed. This week we worked on the pieced blocks. Do you know how many 1/2" squares I had to cut for that?
That's what I cut - and it took me HOURS to do that, my friends. Hours. I couldn't believe it. I guess I just assumed cutting was quicker than that? I'm clearly new to this. haha. But, it made me understand why laser-cut and pre-cut kits are so popular.
I Should Put Labels on my Quilts
I shared my first block on the Shabby Fabrics Instagram and Facebook pages, and received so many kind comments! Thank you, everyone, who complimented my block or encouraged me in some way. That makes this entire process even more fun.
I got one comment from Nancy Cobler talking about her first block (she and I both forgot to add the yellow strip for our crow beaks.) She mentioned that she was going to remake the crow and save the no-beak crow for her label. I had never heard of a quilt having a label before (hi! Total newbie!) so I asked her what that as all about. Her response was so sweet, so informative, and so kind, that I thought I'd share it here for you as well.
So, needless to say, I need to get started on what kind of info I'm going to include on my quilt. I like the idea of numbering them, so I know that I'm going to include that, but I'm going to draft up some ideas and I'll share my progress on that with you when I get something concrete.
Do you label your quilts? Let me know in the comments and tell me what you do, so I can hear some more ideas!
The 1/4" Seam Allowance Matters a lot
I'm a beginner, but I'm also a perfectionist and really enjoy doing a good job. So, when I struggled with these blocks it was a little hard on me, mostly because it was nearly impossible for me to get the Harvest Star block perfectly straight and meeting up at every seam. I was so frustrated that I brought my block in to the office to show the master quilters and they told me the likely culprit was my seam allowance. I'm sharing what it looked like the first time around - because that's real life - and I'm going to update this post with my second attempt to see if it's gotten better.
I was told by quilters who have been doing this for a long time that sometimes you just have to seam rip and do it again. Especially in a pieced block like this that really needs to line up. So that's what's going to happen.
Moving on to Week 5
I won't lie to you and say that piecing was my favorite. I find the appliqué blocks to be much easier and more forgiving, and therefore I like them more. HOWEVER, I did feel a great sense of pride when I completed by pieced blocks properly, and now that I'm pretty sure my problem with the Harvest Star was my seam allowance, I'm ready to tackle it again.
Next week we'll do the Scarecrow Block, and that one is so cute, I'm so excited for it!