Row Along 2018: Row 4 Pinwheels

11277 Hamilton White F'17

Row 4 is here and its a quickie! So that means it is a great time to get caught up if you need to and would like to. These simple pinwheels are extra fun because they are 3D! You will add these pinwheels to many quilts in the future. They are only a little more work than the classic, but add fun dimension to your project and are very unique.  Little one’s absolutely love them so they are especially fantastic in baby quilts.

Fabric:

For this row you will use your background fabric plus 8 fabrics of your choosing from your fats (or fat 1/8th’s).

Cutting:

Everything is cut the same size for this row,so its easy peasy.  But you are cutting a 5/8″ measurement which can be a little harder to see on your ruler, so just double check yourself that you are lined up correctly every time you cut.

Row #4

Preparing the Pinwheel Units: 

Pressing:

The first video in the Facebook Group shows how to press your pinwheel fabrics.  Your folds will put you on the bias edge of the fabric, which is super stretchy, so make sure to press ( up and down motion) not iron (back and forth motion).  Ironing, rather than pressing will cause quilting fabrics (especially ones on bias) to stretch and distort out of shape, sometimes when pieces don’t line up and are not fitting together,this is the cause.

Another tip is to use a little glue stick in addition to pressing to hold your triangles in place , this is not necessary but helpful.

A glue stick and an awl are the most helpful tools for this row.

Stitching:

We have you stitch the pinwheel triangles closed, before they are stitched to the background, so that they do not open and give you any trouble in the next step. You can stitch them with your regular stitch length or even move to a larger basting size stitch. When stitching the triangles closed and a couple more times in this row you will use an 1/8″ seam. TIP: The inside edge of your 1/4″ presser foot is an 1/8″ and you can easily line fabrics up with it, as shown in the pic below.

row4-1

You will again use a 1/8″ seam allowance to stitch the triangles to your backgrounds (with a regular or a basting stitch). Follow steps 3 &4 in the book exactly. Also it is very helpful to attach them into place with glue stick rather than pins. You will also find your awl very helpful when stitching from now on, you can use it to easily guide the triangle points under your presser foot. The #2 & #3 videos helps with these steps.

Stitching the Pinwheels:

When making your pinwheel block, there are 2 different configurations you can make, they each result in the pinwheel spinning at a different point or in a different direction. This was a small mistake we noticed in the book, our quilt shows the pinwheels in a different configuration than our how-to step shows. So here are both and you can choose which one you like best, the left or the right. Either works perfectly, they are just different, just make sure whichever configuration you choose, that all of your blocks are consistent. Our book quilt is made with the left picture configuration, and I decided to use the right for my quilt. Videos #4 – #7 offer additional help, pinning and stitching your pinwheel segments into blocks.

This pinwheel block will feel much more bulky than we are used to because of all of the extra layers so pay careful attention when pressing, press some seams open if you like and give each block a little extra press when you are finished. Video #8 helps with pressing the block.

Putting the row together: 

Layout all of your blocks in the order that you like the best, than take a photo or mark each ones place. Stitch them in pairs and so on until all 8 are together for your row.

This row was a breeze, don’t you think? Make sure to post your pics and use the hashtag #row4giveaway for a chance to win a Row Along prize!

Now everyone eat your Wheaties, next month are those darn birds! You’ll either love making them ,or be really excited to be finished, but I know you’ll adore them in the end.

rows

I LOVE my quilt so far! I still need to add my red embroidery stitches to my Row #3, and stitch them together, but its a rainy day today so maybe I’ll get it done finally. We hope your loving your quilt too!!

Row Along 2018: Row 3 Dresden

11277 Hamilton White F'17

Row 3 is here and I really think you all will be pleasantly surprised while making this one. It looks really impressive and in my opinion is much simpler to make than it appears. Follow the instructions in the book exactly, pay attention to these tips in this post and also watch our videos in the Facebook Group for extra help and you should end up with a beautiful row.

Fabric:

You will use 23 fabrics for the Dresden Spokes on this row, cut from Fat Quarters, Fat Eights or even scraps. You will also need a fabric for all of the center half circles, use your leftover solid red from Row#2 or a new fabric and it doesn’t necessarily need to be red ( I really wanted to use black but than chickened out at the last minute). Lastly you will use some of your background fabric.

Cutting: 

Background Fabric- In the book it has you cut the backgrounds 10.5″ X 6″, this is the intended measurement and will probably require small shims of the background on the outer edges once you see where your width ends up with all rows at the end (see page 15 in the book re: shims).You could also cut these backgrounds larger than our directions, at 11″X 6″. If you do this, you will end up with trimming a little teensy bit off both ends when you are putting all of your rows together. Either way is fine, I will be using the shims technique, as I like the look of them squeezed a little closer together, but you can do either.

Dresden Spokes- Make a template of the Dresden Spoke #1 pattern in your book from velum or something similar (I suggest even making a few in case you cut into one as you go, than you already have a replacement). This is a silly tip but actually really helpful, use a piece of scotch tape on the back of the velum to adhere it to fabrics when you cut. The tape can be reused over and over as you cut each fabric and holds just enough to make a huge difference. Its best to cut fabrics in pairs and a small ruler is really helpful, a 1″ X 6″ or a 2.5 X 4.5″.

Row3-1

row3-2

row3-3

THE NEXT STEP IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP WHEN MAKING THIS ROW! You must trace the Dresden spoke #2 pattern onto the wrong side of all of your spokes after they are cut. It is not exactly 1/4″ in all spots, if you trace 1/4″ with your ruler or skip this step all together you will have issues getting the finished dresden to fit and lay flat correctly. This traced line is also your stitch line later. It is REALLY IMPORTANT and will make all the difference in having this row work perfectly for you. Be sure to center the pattern as best as you can each time you trace it.

row3-4

Making the Dresdens:

Follow the directions on page 21 in the book, they are great with lots of pictures. There are 3 videos #1-3 in our Facebook group that will help you to turn the Dresdens right side out correctly, get perfect points and press them precisely.

row3-5

Putting the Spokes together: 

Follow page 22 instructions paying extra attention to the following tips.

Before you stitch your spokes together, I strongly suggest picking your fabric placement for all 5 blocks and taking a photo with your phone, or attaching a labeling system to ensure that the colors are all spread out evenly.

When pinning pairs together to stitch, make sure the top and side points are lined up perfectly. If the bottom ends are off slightly, it will not be a problem, but if your points (especially the side point) are off it will be an issue.

row3-6

Next and most importantly, when stitching spokes together use your traced pencil line as your stitch line, not your 1/4″ foot. See our video #4 in the Facebook group for more assistance here.

Adding the Background:

If you follow our directions carefully, you should be able to fit a Dresden made up of 9 spokes onto a background easily. Make sure to line up your middle spoke point to the middle fold line you make in step 1. Use a basting glue to adhere all 5 to the backgrounds, do not worry if the beginning and last spoke is hanging over the background a little, this is totally fine and you can trim it after you stitch them into place. See our #5 video on the FB page for more help on glue basting your Dresden into place.

row3-7

Machine Applique: 

We love our favorite machine applique method for attaching the Dresdens but you can also use Hand Applique or another Machine method if you prefer. Remember, when using a mono-filament clear thread, it is only used on the top, NOT in your bobbin, just keep your regular thread down below. If you have a needle down option on your machine it is VERY helpful to keep everything in place when you have to pivot to turn up and down the points while stitching (if you do not have this option on your machine, just hand crank the needle into place and it does the same thing).

Applique Centers: 

The Half circles are dynamite in red but could be any other color that you think sets off your Dresdens, I ended up switching to a polka dot last minute, just because, and I really love it. Follow the directions carefully on page 24. I suggest making 1 velum template before you make all 5 and make sure your piece covers your opening easily. If your piece seems a little too small, cut your velum template slightly outside the drawn line and this will fix this problem. There is a great little video (#6 in the FB group) that shows how the seam allowance in turned over with your awl and some glue stick.

row3-8

YOU GUYS! Your pretty much done!

Optional Embroidery:

The outer red embroidery is totally optional, but I love it and think it really adds a little extra pizazz. You can also change the color to match your center if you did not use red. Someone in our FB group had black centers with black stitching and I really loved it.

row3-9

I hope everyone really enjoys making this row! Also after all 5 are stitched together, remember to wait to add shims or trim, it is really best to do this to any rows where its necessary at the very end, once all rows are finished and measured. As usual we will have a giveaway for some of our favorite products we used for Row 3, you can enter in the FB Group or Instagram.

row3-11

11277 Hamilton White F'17

11277 Hamilton White F’17

Row Along 2018: Row 2 Ribbons

11277 Hamilton White F'17

So, hopefully we all survived Row 1 and were ready to stitch forward. Row 2 is fun to make, but there are a few places that can give you some problems if they are done incorrectly. So we are going to guide you on your way and point out exactly what to do to get the best results.

Fabric:

This Row requires only 3 fabrics, your background and 2 other fabrics that can co-ordinate or have contrast, its totally up to you. We used a red print and red solid, but I have already seen other rows with more contrasting colors and they look great.

This is the first time you will cut into your background fabric for a row, please read the “Cutting Borders, Sashing, and long rows” (page 13) section before you cut into your off white. In that section we talk about making sure to cut the long pieces required for borders and sashing FIRST, before cutting for any of your rows. This will ensure you have enough length to cut these pieces in a continuous piece. If you purchased our kit , there is a piece that is 88″ and labeled for cutting borders & sashing ect. You will use the other piece to cut for rows wherever needed and also the extra on the 88″ piece only AFTER you cut for borders, and sashings.

For your red solid and red print fabrics, you will NOT use Fat Quarters, there is a specific yardage requirement for these fabrics on page 6.

row2-1

Cutting:

Accuracy in cutting is KEY on this row, so “measure twice, cut once” and be extra careful. The first video for this row on our Row Along Facebook Group (make sure to click the link & join if you haven’t already) is on cutting the diamonds with your 45 degree angle, this can be a little tricky, especially if its your first time.

P.S. I noticed several people who stitched ahead commenting that these red print diamonds looked large and they thought they had done something wrong. They do appear a little larger than you think they should. As long as they are measuring the 3 3/8″ width, your good.

row2-2

row2-3

Stitching It All Together:

There are two main things to be careful of when stitching your off white triangles to your red square.

First, be careful to attach the triangles the correct direction, it is very simple to accidentally place them wrong way. See the pics below, the wrong direction pic is sewn on one side, because I was in a hurry and totally made that mistake!

row 2-triangles copy    row 2triangles 2 copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second, you need to make sure you line up and pin the triangle with its 90 degree angle matched up to the 90 degree angle corner of the red square. There are 2 quick videos in the FB group showing the pinning and stitching of the triangle.

row 2 corner

See in the above pic, how both 90 degree corners on the triangle and square are matched perfectly and the pointy ends are sticking out about 1/4″. The little triangles sticking out are what we are calling “dog ears” and are very important to make this row work. Also from here on out, do not be skimpy with your pins, you want everything to stay perfectly in place as you stitch. Look at the picture in your book, where both off white triangles are sewn and you can see the dog ears sticking out on both sides, once you have pressed these finished units.

As you continue and attach the diamonds to these stitched units, again the “dog ears” will be the key to everything lining up to make a straight row.

row2-7

row2-8

See above, how the diamond is lined up with the pieced unit, right sides together, creating the “dog ear” on both sides. It should be sticking out 1/4″. See FB video for more help on lining up correctly.

row2-9

Once your stitched and pressed, you will still see the “dog ear” on one side and everything should be lined up pretty perfectly. Eventually you can slice these all off, I like to wait and do it when my whole row is completed.

row212

When you stitch all of the row te row together, again its the “dog ears’ that matter. They really are the key.

Hopefully these tips with the book instructions will help you to make this row correctly.

row2edge

When your ready to trim your edges, make sure to trim them to match the width of your Row 1. If your lucky, it will turn out just perfect, like mine did. Yay! Happy Dance!

row 2 cut edge

Row 2 finishedb

I hope you are still having fun! Make sure to post your pics in the FB group as well as instagram! I will be doing more giveaways later this month from your posts, and I will choose the winners from last month tomorrow and post.

Row Along 2018: Row 1 Simple Patches

11277 Hamilton White F'17

I am so excited to make our Row Quilt with you all! Hopefully everyone has read the “Getting Ready to Row Along” post last month and has a copy of our book “Quilting Row by Row”. If not, do those two things and than come back. We thought it would be really fun to make this together as a large group in 2018 starting in January. But you can join the Row Along anytime, even a month or so behind. Don’t stress if your behind starting or behind as we go, and while we’re at it, don’t stress about anything to do with this quilt. Quilting should be fun and a stress reducer! We are here to have a good time, no matter your level of expertise or your pace, and you will probably make many mistakes as you go (we know because we did). Some mistakes you’ll want to fix and they will be a teacher and some you will just leave alone as happy little quilty accidents. I honestly like my quilts to have some noticeable mistakes, it reminds me that I am human.

bob-ross-quote-happy-little-accidents

On our last post we suggested reading the “Getting Started” chapter of our book ,first. Seriously, do it.  This chapter contains information that pertains to all of the rows, and you will want to refer back to it often as your making the quilt. Each month follow the directions in the book for the row we are working on. Our blog posts will point out areas in the directions that we think you should pay special attention to. We will also post some extra videos in our Facebook Group throughout the month, so make sure you request to join. Try to post any questions you have as we go to the Facebook group, we will respond daily. The group is also a great place to share your pics and make friends, we think you’ll enjoy it.

11277 Hamilton White F'17

Okay, ready!? Row #1 is going to be your easiest row to make, as it is just simple squares.

blog1fabrics

The book suggests you use Fat Quarters, but you can also use your scrap or stash fabrics. I used exactly 26 fabrics as suggested, I  am using our kit with a little scrap mixed in. But you could also use a few more than 26 if you want even more variety in the fabrics (just keep it an even #). If you add more fabrics, you will end up with some extra sewn pairs, hang on to them because later in the month we will be posting a Free pattern that uses this exact technique to make a whole new quilt, (and its really cute!).

Make sure you have a variety of colors and a good mix of prints and simple basics.

blog1pairs

I suggest pairing up everything before you start stitching to make sure you really like all of your combinations. I ended up swapping a few as I went along.

Once you have stitched all pairs and than cut them into units, you will make a layout for both rows. Play around with your final layout until you really love it!  In the book we suggest numbering all of these units to remember where they go, or I also like to use the camera on my phone.

blog1pairs3

As you stitch your rows together, pay careful attention that you are pressing all seams in a row, the same direction. All of Row 1 will go to the right and Row 2 to the left.

blog1seams

The reason we are pressing the seams opposing directions is so we can “butt” them together (refer to page 13 in “Getting Started”). By butting the seams you can feel that your squares are lined up perfectly, it decreases bulk and makes for a stronger quilt in the end.

blog1butt1

The two opposing seams will fit together , kind of like a puzzle piece. It is something you can feel more than see. Once they are perfectly “butt”, pin in place.

blog1butt2

TOOL TIP: We especially love the “fine” pins, as you can sew over them. You may still hit one with a needle at some point, but they will not do major damage to your sewing machine, the thinker ones might. We love either the clover “fine quilting” or “fine patchwork” the best (the difference between these 2 is that the quilting pins are long and the patchwork pins are short, I use them both, but you may prefer one length over the other). I know other brands have similar “fine” versions, any of those will work great too.

You will join the 2 rows that create Row 1 together, butting and pinning all of the seams as you go. Once you have stitched and pressed, you are finished with Row 1!  Below is mine. We can’t wait to see all of yours!

row1mine

Now for a Giveaway! We are giving away a sweet little set of some of our favorite notions. Actually, we have 2, so here’s two ways you can win 1. I am giving 1 away on Instagram and 1 in the Facebook Group, post your your pics, of finished rows, fabric choices, any part making Row 1 into either place or both. On Instagram use #row1giveaway and TAG me @pipersgirls, so I will get your entry. In the Facebook Group also put #row1giveaway in your post. I will not draw winners until Feb 1st, so there is plenty of time to enter.

row1giveaway

The giveaway includes a set of Clover Fine Patchwork Pins, A Clover Awl, A spool of our favorite neutral Aurifil thread and a mini cutting mat from Cute Cuts, just because its so cute!

 

 

Getting Ready to Row Along

Who is ready to row along with us starting next month!? I can’t wait, we are going to have so much fun.

11277 Hamilton White F'17

I wanted to share with you some of the basics that you will need to be all set to start. If your an organized planner kind of person, you’ll want to start organizing some things now. Or if you are a down to the wire, last minute kind of gal, like me, grab it all the night before, either way here’s a list to help you quilt along

1. First of all, you need to know a few quilting basics, but you definitely do not need to be an expert! This will be beginner friendly , as long as you are excited to make the quilt and willing to learn, you can do it. Remember, you will have a whole month to complete each row and we will be here to answer questions and help you.

book (1)

2. For the patterns you will need a copy of the Quilting Row by Row book.  You can purchase this as a paperback or an e-book, whatever you prefer, from many places online, from us or really the best place to get a copy is your favorite local quilt shop.                                    IMG_3617 (1)445

3. You will need your trusty machine, and the basic tools such as thread, rotary cutter, a mat, ruler, pin, pincushion, iron ect ( and speaking of pincushions, if you love the one pictured in the book ,it will be a free pattern on our blog later this week). There is also a tool we use every day, one of our faves that we have noticed many quilters are not using. It is an awl. If you don’t already have one, we suggest getting it, we will show you its many, many uses once we get going (we promise, you will thank us later for this suggestion!). There is more info on tools in the book and as we get further along, we may suggest some specific tools and threads for certain rows.

fatquarters

4. So now lets get to the fun stuff, the fabrics!

You will need a white fabric for your background and sashing. We suggest purchasing this all at one time, to ensure you have the same fabric throughout. We used Riley Blake’s solid white, but any other solid that you love will be great. You need 4 yards, and that has a little extra built in for mistakes ( we all make those, right?).

Next, can you say Fat Quarters? Gather lots and lots of fat quarters, from your stash, from a shop, wherever ( I am willing to bet many of you already have exactly what you need, because if were being honest here, most of us have a little too much fabric on hand that we need to use up). One of the best parts of this quilt in my opinion is how scrappy it is. We mixed fabrics from many collections and different companies, and it looks great. You can also add some fat eighths to have even more variety, our kit is a mixture of Fat Quarters & Eighths. You will need a total of 36 Fats in an array of colors, with at least 6 of them in greens. There are a few rows, that require specific yardage that is a little more than a fat, these are listed in the book, but mostly its about the FATS! We used a variety of prints, really heavy on basics like dots and make sure you have a solid in practically every color you incorporate. If you want to splurge and make it really easy on yourself, we have a few kits left all hand picked by us to look just like our quilt.

So now we have what we need to get started. We are ready to, right?

One last suggestion, spend a little time and read through the Introduction and Getting Started chapters of the book. We think you will learn a few new things and it will give you a clear idea of all of the basics on the project ahead. We will be kicking off the first row the first Thursday in January.

P.S. Follow our blog or any of our social media so we can notify you when each months post is up.

P.P.S.  We have also created a Facebook Group, for everyone participating in the Row Along, click this link and press join and we will make sure you are added. This will be a great place for you to post questions, and share your pretty pics each month. Plus we will have a few special giveaways only for this group.