April 10: Top Assembly
April 17: Basting
April 24: Quilting
May 1: Binding
May 15: Show and Tell
Give yourself a big pat on the back for completing all of those blocks!
By the time my mom and I were done piecing all of those blocks, we had a party! :)
It felt so great to get them all done!!
Top assembly is really quite easy, so before we start I wanted to talk about design walls and how important they are! I wrote this on my other blog a few months back, and thought I would share it here in case you aren't familiar with a design wall.
Why is it important to put your blocks / quilt design up on a wall?
1. It helps you see the layout of your fabric/blocks in a different perspective. When you layout your quilt on the floor you really don't get the same perspective.
2. It is easier to arrange and rearrange blocks on a design wall rather than on the floor.
3. It also helps to see how fabrics and patterns look in relation to one another.
I have also found it helpful to put up a block or design I'm working on and just leave it up there for a couple of days. This helps me really decide if I like the design or layout or not and if the fabrics are working well with each other.
Putting things up on the wall to see how it looks is not a new thing. In fact, this was one of the first lessons I learned in my interior design class in college. We always put our fabrics on the wall next to one another to see how they would work with each other. This helps you see what colors and patterns work well with each other and what doesn't look so great.
Another thing that I strongly suggest is take a picture each time you rearrange your blocks. I can't tell you how much it helps to see the picture of the blocks on my computer screen. It gives you another perspective as well. You can put two of your photos next to each other on your computer screen and see which orientation you like best. I would really recommend trying this if you haven't already.
I recently moved and I no longer have a design wall! EEK! It is killing me. I didn't even realize how important it was when I had it. I am going to get one put up in my new house shortly, and I can't wait to use it. If you haven't used a design wall before, I strongly suggest that you do! Here is a great tutorial from Paula of the Sassy Quilter on how to create a design wall! You can check it out here!
Okay, so let's get to the top assembly!
First, layout your blocks on your design wall. You want to arrange them in a way that is pleasing to your eye. Play around with this, and arrange them, step back and look at them. If you see that you have too much dark in one area, or too much of the same print by each other, then here is your chance to fix it! This is the time that you really want to be picky about how your blocks are arranged. You don't want to have them all sewn together, and then look at your quilt top and decide that you should have arranged them differently.
If you are really having a hard time deciding how to arrange them, take a picture of the layout and then look at it from the perspective on your phone or computer. This helps tremendously!! Also, you don't have to sew them all together right away. Leave them on your design wall for a day or two and just look at them periodically and see if you want to change anything.
If you have your blocks arranged the way you want, you will start by sewing them into rows. I did rows of three on mine, but if you made more blocks you could do longer rows!
The trick to getting these blocks and more specifically the diamonds to line up is to PIN, PIN, PIN!!!
You will place your blocks right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam.
I literally pinned at each seam on my blocks, yes it took a lot of extra time, but it was worth it! Most of my blocks matched up really well. So please spend the extra time and pin your blocks together before sewing!
Now that you have your rows sewn, you will now sew them together!
Same idea here, with the pinning! You will take rows 1 and 2 place them right sides together and pin, pin, pin! Sew a 1/4" seam and then add your other rows one at at a time!