Monday, April 30, 2012

Retro Flowers Quilt Along: Piecing your quilt and a giveaway!

Have you pieced all your blocks?! I sure hope so. Because now it is time to piece the quilt top! And if you like free jelly rolls, read on about how you can win one from Fat Quarter Shop with little or no effort!


For the sake of being able to take pictures that are easy to see detail on, I am going to be using a mini size quilt for this post. The same concepts will all apply to the larger 16 block quilt.

When I piece a quilt top, I make a point to use the least number of long seams possible. The longer the seam, the more likely you are to have trouble with wonkiness. Not that you will necessarily; short seams are just a great precautionary measure, and much easier to manhandle.  Below is a roadmap of how I pieced this particular quilt. 


Start with 16 blocks

 

Sew them into 4 quadrants


Sew each quadrant to the one next to it (into hemispheres)


And then sew the hemispheres together. This way, I only have 1 long seam rather than 3


If you are doing 20 blocks, you could consider making your quadrants as shown above. Getting creative with your geometry helps maintain the over all structure of your quilt.

Some people prefer to piece their blocks in rows, and then sew those rows together. That is another great piecing option. There are many different ways to do it, and it all just depends on what is most comfortable for you, your machine, the space you have to work with, and what you are accustomed to. 


Regardless of your piecing geometry, it is a good idea to place pins at your seams to make sure they match up correctly. I like to drop two pins in at every seam, one on each side (as shown above). This allows me to be sure that the seams will not be tugged away from each other in either direction. 

Since the seams on this quilt are approximately every three inches, you might not necessarily need pins in any other areas. Again, it is all about your level of comfort and control of the fabric. 


Once you have pieced the first two blocks in your row or quadrant, you want to press the seams open as you did when piecing your block. This helps remove bulk and looks very crisp on the right side of the quilt. 


Again, when you piece the longer seam in your quadrant or start sewing rows together, you don't want to forget the pins. They are so essential to having your seams match up perfectly.  


Here is my first pieced quadrant. I really liked how it looked hanging in the window with the sun shining through it. If you are working in quadrants, you will now have 4 of them, each with 4 retro flowers. These get pieced together in the exact same method as each single quadrant was pieced. And then your quilt top is done!! Easy peasy.

Now for the giveaway! I am sure many of you saw Bianca's friday giveaway post. If you didn't win that one, now is your chance to try again! It is sooooooo easy. All you have to do is become a follower (by email or as a google reader). On Friday, I will randomly draw from the people listed as followers and some lucky winner will receive a jelly roll of their choice from Fat Quarter Shop!!!


These are just a few that caught my eye! Again, the winner will be announced on Friday! Good luck and happy piecing!!

45 comments:

  1. Love your blocks against the window, so pretty!

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  2. I'm a follower! Those blocks are awesome!

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  3. I'm a follower, also -- I'm sure I found you through "film in the fridge!"

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  4. Your blocks look great! I am a follower. I have had my eye on a few...

    Thanks for the opportunity!

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  5. I am a follower. Thanks for a chance to win

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  6. I'm a follower. Love your flowers - its going to be a gorgeous quilt!

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  7. I am one of your followers- love your flowers, they're so fun!

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  8. I am a follower :) Thanks for the piecing tips!

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  9. Oh your random FMF blocks are completely awesome! I am of course a follower x

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  10. I'm following by email and thank you so much for the detailed explanations. I'm brand new to quilting and need all the help I can get.
    shel704 at aol dot com

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  11. Thank you Megan for the tips on piecing. I am still working on the circles from last week. I had to redo all of them. Funny how one piece will throw off the rest. But I am having fun and learning. I love your window quilt. Thanks for sharing and I have been following.....Judith, Texas

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  12. Oooh, love your mini! I actually got mine all sewn into blocks, rows and then a bordered top tonight after work after doing the petals at the weekend :o)

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  13. I'm a follower. I love how you've done random flowers. It solves the problems of prints not matching up properly which has been bothering me and why I have yet to commit to cutting up my fabric.

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  14. I hadn't thought of doing quadrants before, this looks very helpful!
    I am a follower, thanks for the chance :)

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  15. I am already a subscriber and follow with Google Reader/RSS! :)Thanks for the chance.

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  16. I love your retro flowers! What a perfect use for the precious Denyse Schmidt prints. I am a happy follower using my google RSS feed subscriber thingamajig!

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  17. I am following! And thanks for the piecing tips. It really makes sense. Nothing more frustrating than to get your quilt all pieced together, to find it got all wonky on you!

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  18. I am a follower!!! Great tips! Thanks for sharing and thanks for the chance to win!

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  19. I'm a follower of your blog by email. Great tips for accurate piecing & thanks for the lovely giveaway.

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  20. I am a follower. Love what you have done with this pattern. Like stained glass against the light. Too pretty.

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  21. Lovely pattern; I am a follower; Email: marshudson at comcast dot net. Thanks for chance to win!

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  22. I'm a follower!
    megromeo@gmail.com

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  23. Iam a follower too. Thank you for your excellent post and your tips on sewing in quadrants is a good one . I always sew in rows and it is hard to get them to stay straight and lined up .

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  24. i am a follower and love your blog

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  25. Don't forget the borders! The quilt isn't done until the borders are added!!
    And I am a follower!

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  26. I follow on google reader - does that count? BTW I just finished my ninth retro flowers block "only" 7 to go!

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  27. New follower. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  28. I am already a follower. I am so loving this quilt pattern. I have it cut but have not had time to start putting it together. Hopefully next week.

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    Replies
    1. Hi! This is such a great tutorial! Thanks for it and for the nice photography, too! Pam

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  29. I just signed up to be an email follower. (Who knew I'd be proud of being a "follower" lol.) Thanks for the chance and info.

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  30. I joined your blog, but were following you through google reader already. I love the picture where the sun shines through the seams, it looks like stained glass!

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  31. I'm a follower .. just joined and signed up for e-mails as well . I've just started quilting so love your tips and advice ... happy sewing Melita x

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  32. I'm a follower .. just joined and signed up for e-mails as well . I've just started quilting so love your tips and advice ... happy sewing Melita x

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  33. Look what you did with your Retro Flowers! What a good idea and it'll make your FMF version unique. Yay!

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  34. I'm a follower!
    Your retro flowers look so good hanging in the window!

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  35. Today I am finally starting my retro flower quilt with solids from the solids Pink Chalk is offering in a solid club. The tutorials you give are a great help. I will be doing mine by hand (so far) but saw that the pinless piecing is a very good option. A bit of practice, I think.

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