I can’t believe this is the last week of the Winter Star Quilt Along and that we’re already at Week 6 piecing your quilt top!
You’ve done an amazing job keeping up with the quilty tasks throughout our time sewing together. Over the course of the last 5 weeks you’ve:
- Picked between the Fat Quarter Friendly and 8-Colourway options and then selected your fabric
- Cut your fabric and stacked them into pretty piles with your block labels to stay organized
- Made half-square triangles using the 4-at-a-time method
- Pieced your blocks and nested seams like a pro
Now comes the fun of seeing all that hard work pay off as you piece your Winter Star quilt blocks into rows to create your finished quilt top!
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The quilting compound effect
I know I keep saying this but it’s because it’s a quilting fundamental that once you get it, it changes how you approach your quilting practice. My relationship with each step of the quilt journey took on a new shape and meaning when I realized that what I did early on impacted things later on. This is super evident when you start joining your quilt blocks together.
Because now you see how the care you took to:
- Cut your fabric accurately
- Piece with a consistent and accurate seam allowance
- Press instead of iron
- Press your seams according to the Winter Star pattern directions so your seams nest
All of these little steps and decisions add up and impact how your blocks come together.
Things will ‘lock’ into place
So, if you have been doing the above, then your Winter Star quilt blocks should ‘nest’ beautifully and essentially ‘lock’ into place. It’s a magical and glorious moment that celebrates the hard work and attention to detail you’ve been showing throughout. This is the moment it pays off! Celebrate that 😊
Just like we talked about in Weeks 4 and 5 when I talked about the importance of pinning whenever your seams nest, this will be the key technique to keep your blocks and rows lining up!
I know it seems like it should be more complex than that, but the only difference is that you’re working with more and more pieces. But how you piece those pieces together is the very same technique you’ve used to piece your Winter Star blocks.
Help! Things are not locking into place!
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned quilter, we can all run into quilty challenges from time to time 😉
Here are some of the most common quilt top piecing issues you might run into and how to fix them.
Your seams are not lining up, one block has excess fabric
Anytime your blocks are not lining up where you have one piece/block that is shorter than the other, the best approach to combat this issue is to place the longer piece on the bottom and the shorter piece on top.
Your sewing machine has a tendency of taking in more fabric on the bottom than on the top.
To combat this issue, simply place the longer piece on the bottom and stitch with the shorter piece on top!
If that still isn’t working or you find yourself running into this problem on the regular, then consider stitching with your walking foot or dual feed foot on.
Your seams are stacking on top of one another
You’ll find your seams tend to stack on top of one another if you haven’t been following the pressing directions in the Winter Star Quilt Pattern.
This common quilting ailment causes two problems:
- Bulky seams – bulky seams aren’t necessarily an issue in themselves but cause you problems when it comes time to quilt your quilt. You’ll find your presser foot runs into these bulky seams, which break needles, cause wonky quilt lines and impact the tactile feel of your final quilt.
- Points that don’t line up – stacked seams tend to move a little more on you, which can result in points that are askew and don’t line up.
You can on the fly finger press one seam in the other direction before pinning and stitching in place.
Your blocks don’t meet at the end, one block is longer than the other
This common error typically results from the inconsistent seam allowance. It’s amazing how being 1/16” off can add up when you multiply that over several blocks. The good news is, the more you quilt the better you’ll get at stitching with a consistent seam allowance. It’s kind of like driving a car, when you first start learning to drive it’s difficult to maintain a consistent speed while pressing the gas pedal. The more you drive, the better you get at intuitively maintaining your speed.
The same is true for patchwork. The more you piece the better you’ll get at knowing where to position your foot and where to look while stitching (i.e. ahead to where you want your stitches to land, not at your needle – read more tips here).
When your blocks line up and maintain their structure, it makes it easier for you to line up your rows and keep things nice and straight. This is why we’ve spent so much time talking about how you piece and the techniques you use so that you get to this point and celebrate your amazing piecing, rather than fighting against things that don’t line up.
What notions and tools you’ll need
Here’s what you’ll need to pull your Winter Star quilt top together.
- Sewing machine
- Thread for piecing
- Ironing board or wool pressing mat
- Design wall (refer to this tutorial to make your own)
To make the same version as shown in the Winter Star Quilt pattern (and the one I’ll be making) you can find the exact kit featuring the same AGF Pure Solids in this exclusive quilt kit from Sew Curated.
I know quilting your own quilts at home on your domestic sewing machine can be quite the quilty challenge. I’ve been there and remember the tears I cried when I felt like I was ruining my beautifully pieced quilt top!
You’ve learned so much throughout the Winter Star QAL and I think you deserve a treat! I’ve teamed up with Jessie from J Roussel Creations to give you the chance to win free longarm quilting of your Winter Star Quilt.
Post your Winter Star Quilt Top on the ‘gram with #WinterStarQAL (each post counts as an entry) tagging @jroussel.creations and @shannonfraserdesigns between November 7 and November 13, 2022, at 11:59 pm EST, to be automatically entered into this week’s giveaway.
To enter the giveaway, you must:
- Be following @jroussel.creations and @shannonfraserdesigns on Instagram.
- Post a photo on Instagram of your Winter Star quilt blocks between November 7, 2022, and November 13, 20202, at 11:59 pm EST.
- Instagram account must be public.
- Tag @jroussel.creations and @shannonfraserdesigns
- Include the hashtags #WinterStarQuilt #WinterStarQAL
Week 6 giveaway is open internationally. The winner will be responsible for shipping their Winter Star Quilt to Jessie.
Long arming discount
I’m so excited to share that, once you have your Winter Star quilt top pieced, you have the option to send your quilt to Jessie for longarm treatment. Use code WinterStarQAL to save 20% between now and December 31, 2022.
Right after I piece my quilt back so that my pattern matches seamlessly (I hope!), I’ll be sending my own Winter Star quilt off for Jessie to work his quilty magic. I’ll share the final results once I get her back and bound 😉
Have fun seeing your Winter Star quilt top come to life!
Don’t forget I’ll be going LIVE in our Facebook group on Wednesday at 1 pm EST to answer your top quilt block piecing questions!
Until then, happy stitching!
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