Deco QAL - Week 7

Hello and welcome back to the Deco QAL! 

SCHEDULE

Here's a look at our schedule. If you are just now joining us, click where you see an underline!


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Week 7

This week, we are creating our edges and corners and then assembling our quilt tops!

Let's start with the first step. If you remember back to Week 1, we talked about how the edges are created for this quilt. Instead of using whole blocks on the edges, then trimming away excess, we are preemptively trimming blocks in half and using both halves of those blocks. This saves time, energy and fabric, but some quilters don't like this method because you loose 1/4" of the block points around the perimeter of the quilt top. If this is you, you'll need to make more blocks.

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Edges & Corners

Refer to the "Edges & Corners" section of the pattern. Note that there are different instructions for each size. 

  • It is extremely important that you are paying close attention to this step. All blocks need to be cut exactly how the pattern depicts so that they are oriented correctly. If you cut something incorrectly, you're kind of stuck with it unless you want to make a new block.  
  • Pay attention to the number of blocks that you need. For example, for the Throw size, beside Block 3A is a "x 2". This means that you will cut TWO Block 3As in half diagonally according to the pattern. The same goes for the rest of the blocks. 
  • Align a ruler with diagonal corners of the block as seen below. If you want extra assurance, you can also use the 45 degree line on your ruler to line up with an outside edge of the block. 

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  • Trim slowly and carefully. This is a step that you definitely do not want your ruler to slip. If this step really makes you nervous to use a ruler and rotary cutter, then mark a line diagonally, then trim with scissors.

 

 

  • For the corners, make the first cut, then rotate your entire cutting mat so that the pieces stay in place, then make the second cut.

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  • Once all of your blocks are trimmed, I recommend "stay stitching" around the bias edges that you just cut. This just means that you are stitching about 1/8" from the edge, which helps give those blocks some extra stability. Since we just cut through lots of seams, it helps secure those seams so that they don't unravel for the next step. 

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  • An alternative to stay stitching is to use fusible interfacing BEFORE you make your cuts. I'll be honest, I was planning on testing out this method for my Deco quilt, but it didn't arrive in time. Essentially, you apply the interface to your blocks, iron in place, then cut. I will definitely be using this for my next on-point quilt! I ordered this 1.5" x 15 yard roll.  

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Once you have your Edges and Corners cut with the edges secure, it's time to assemble our quilt tops!

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Quilt Top Assembly

First and foremost, be sure to read Steps 1-3 in this section of the pattern before you continue. 

For this step, it can be helpful to lay out all of your blocks so that you can see what your end goal is. This gives you an opportunity to double check and make sure that you have everything oriented correctly. I've made this quilt so many times that I skipped laying everything out and just had all blocks organized in piles. 

You'll see in the Throw diagram that there are 12 rows. When I create an on-point quilt, I like to start with Row 2, then sew the Row 1 corner on. Let's take a closer look.

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Side note: Really pay attention to those Block 2s. There are 4 identical Block 2 pieces along the top and bottom of the quilt, so be sure you are grabbing the right one. It helps to refer at the shape of the Color 2 piece. Same goes for the Block 3A halves. Be sure you are grabbing the right one!

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When you place the Block 2 piece right sides together with Block 1, align the edges, as seen below. They should align perfectly with no 1/4" overlap (remember that the blocks were the same size before you cut them). 

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Sew your first seam, then add the Block 3B piece.  Press these two seams in one direction. Take note of that direction because for the next row, you'll want to press your seams in the opposite direction to create nesting seams. You can mark arrows in the pattern to help you remember. 

Once you have created this row, sew the corner onto the Block 1 piece. If you do this step out of order, it won't matter, but for some reason, this is how my brain operates. 

 

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Since I pressed my seams towards Block 2, the corner block will overlap that bottom right corner by 1/4" (since that seam is tucked underneath Block 1). This is indicated by the red circle, seen below. The other corner of that piece will also overlap by 1/4", but it'll look a little differently. It should be aligned with the little dog ear from the previous row, as indicated by the white line. Depending on the direction that your block seams are pressed from row to row, will determine how this step will look when you go to sew rows together.  Bottom line, just make sure that the corner block is centered on Block 1 and you're good to go. :) 

Here's a closer look at what I mean about the white line. Note that I'm using a different row here.

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And here's what the other end will look like. Both have a 1/4" overlap, they just look a little differently based on the previous row's seams.

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Press all row seams open. 

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This is what it will look like:

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Then construct the 3rd row in the same exact manner. 

Before you sew rows to other rows, be sure that you have the blocks aligned properly. Look for those nesting seams to help make sure that you are sewing things in the right place. When you put rows right sides together, it will look like the photos below, depending on how you pressed your seams in the previous row.

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Once I've added rows together past a certain point, I like to start on the other half of the quilt. As the rows get longer and longer, you might find that using pins is really essential for you. 

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Quilting Ideas

I have a few quilting ideas saved on my Quilting Ideas Pinterest Board. This includes a mix of walking foot quilting and long arm pantographs. Since this design is on-point, my go-to idea is to stitch lines that are parallel to the diagonal seams. You can find my straight line quilting tutorial here. This creates such a nice texture, and if you want to kick it up a notch, you can add extra vertical and horizontal lines as seen in my reel from a few months ago.  Here's how I quilted my previous Deco quilts:

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    • Doeskin Deco - Quilted on my Janome M7; Essentially, I quilted Horizontal lines that were ~2.75" apart and vertical lines that were ~1" apart. Then I quilted diagonal lines to intersect all of the corners of the quilted rectangles. Since my quilting lines were not parallel to any seams in my quilt, I marked the first horizontal and vertical line. This was my reference point moving forward. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you could certainly mark all of your lines with a hera marker or painters tape. I'd rather just go for it. :) 

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    If you're still looking for inspiration, head to Instagram and check out the #decoquilt hashtag to see what others are doing/have done.

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    Week 5 Winner

    The winner of the $50 gift card to Saltwater Fabrics is.....

    @naptownquilter !

    Congratulations!!! Please reach out to me and I'll pass your information along! :)

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    GRAND PRIZE 

    This is the final week of the Quilt Along, meaning that our last prize is the Grand Prize! This includes a bundle of 3 separate prizes and one lucky winner will win all 3! 

    The first is a Lo & Behold Stitchery Quilt Pattern bundle. Choose 3 quilt patterns of your choice (paper or digital). This can be used for patterns that are not yet released.

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    The second is a $50 gift card to one of my new favorite online quilt shops, Pasadena Quilt Co

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    The third is free long arm quilting, batting, and return domestic shipping on your Deco Quilt from Trace Creek Quilting! In addition to that, she is  also offering a 25% discount to QAL participants through the end of January. Fun fact, Lilo is actually quilting my Deco quilt as we speak!

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    Enter to win the 3 piece pattern bundle, $50 gift Card to Pasadena Quilt Co and FREE edge to edge long-arm quilting from Trace Creek Quilting by sharing a photo of your finished quilt top to Instagram. Use the hashtags #decoquilt#decoQAL and #loandbeholdpatterns. Remember that your account must be public in order for us to see your entry! You have until Wednesday, December 8th at midnight, EST to post your entry. A winner will be chosen at random and announced via the Deco QAL newsletter on Thursday, December 9th.
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    It's been a pleasure making this quilt with you all! I've had so much fun scrolling through the hashtag and seeing everyones talent and creativity! Thank you for joining and for being so supportive of Lo & Behold Stitchery. :)
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    Until next time,
    Brittany
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