Rocking Chair Quilt Along: Week 6

We made it!  This is the final post for the Rocking Chair Quilt Along, because after this week you will have a completed quilt top!  Did that go by fast for anyone else, or just me?

This is also the most exciting part for me because I get to see all the beautiful quilts you made.  And as the pattern designer, it doesn’t get any better than that!

Our goal this week is to put all the pieces together and assemble the top. If you finished your sashing already, then this week will be a breeze!

My best tip for assembly is to lay everything out first.  Last week I shared my new design wall, this is great if you have the space, but the floor works just as well! You will want to keep Figure 10 handy as you lay pieces out to make sure all your rows are correct (especially if you are making the ombre version).  As with the sashing, pay careful attention to the direction of sashing strips between your blocks.  You will want an “X” shape to form with Fabric C (or Fabric A,C,E,G,I for the ombre version) at the intersection of some of the block and sashing rows.

Once you have all your block rows sewn together, my next suggestion is to use pins!  Before you connect sashing rows to block rows, carefully pin them together to make sure your seams line up.

I also like to divide the quilt in half by making the top section (Rows 1-4) and then the bottom section (Rows 5-8).  This allows me to save the longest, center seam for last.  This is a personal choice but once the quilt starts getting big, I think this makes it easier to handle.

And that’s it!  You are done!  Give your quilt top a good pressing and, voila! Make sure to share your finished tops on Instagram with the hashtag #RockingChairQAL so that we can all see what you’ve made!

Rocking Chair Quilt Along: Week 5

It’s Week 5 of the Rocking Chair Quilt Along!  If you were thinking that you missed last week’s post, that’s because we didn’t have one!  Last week was a catch up week to get us ready for the final steps of making our quilts.  

This week we are making our sashing strips. And, truthfully, I’m laughing to think I designed a quilt with sashing because I always curse this step when making a quilt. It’s not that it’s hard, just that at this point I am ready to see my blocks sewn up into my final product. 

The sashing in the Rocking Chair Quilt is a little unique in that it is patterned rather than just a plain strip of fabric.  However, making the striped pattern is pretty easy if you sew long (WOF) strips together and then cut them according to the directions.  And I can’t say enough about my Stripology Ruler, it really helps get a straight cut on these strips—and it is by far my most used tool for cutting!

The trickiest part this week comes when sewing the sashing together into rows.  You will notice in the directions that you need to pay close attention to the direction in which you place your sashing pieces. You will want to make sure that the background ends and Fabric C ends (or Fabric A,C,E,G,I for the ombre version) are arranged properly so that an “X” forms at the intersection of some of the block and sashing rows.  You can use Fig. 10 on the pattern to help you lay them out. 

But now that you have all the pieces of your quilt made, you may also find it helpful to visualize the quilt by laying the entire design out on the floor.  (Or if you have an empty wall, I recently just purchased this Design Wall from Amazon—nothing fancy but it really helped make sure my quilt rows were correct)

Once your sashing rows are made, you are done for this week.  Get ready for next week when we sew the block rows together and finish our quilt top!

If you are participating on Instagram make sure to post a progress photo (even if you are a little bit behind!) by Sunday 10/9 at midnight.  This week I will be picking one person to win a $25 gift card to Liza Taylor Handmade!

Rocking Chair QAL: Week 3

Today starts Week 3 of the Rocking Chair Quit Along.  Once you finish this step, you are halfway there; can you believe it?  The prompt for this week is to make the next half of the log cabin blocks.  If you’d like, you can review last week’s post for tips and suggestions on chain piecing.

I thought this week I would take a minute and share a little bit more about this block.  You may have noticed that I refer to them as “log cabin style” or “modern log cabin blocks.” (Edit: This block is actually known as a Courthouse Steps Block)  That is because they differ from the traditionally-pieced log cabin block.  A traditional log cabin block places strips around a center square in a counter-clockwise direction.  The Courthouse Steps Block however, pieces the strips on top and bottom and then left and right sides.  

It’s a small switch but I felt like it made cleaner lines and gave the block a more modern feel. So, while there is not a new tip for your blocks this week, I think it’s fun to look a little deeper at the design details and how they shape a quilt.

The last step to include for this week is to cut up your blocks.  That’s right, several of your blocks now need to be cut in half!  I have never met a quilter who likes this part, and secretly I usually hold my breath too.  There is not a real trick to this step, just make sure that your ruler is straight and you cut from point to point on your square.  I promise it’s not hard, just a little terrifying after you spent so much time sewing the blocks together!

Next week is our catch-up week.  So if you need to slow down this week, feel free to take a breather.  However make sure to post a progress picture to Instagram before Sunday night because we have an awesome prize lined up for this week- a set of custom quilting pins from @seamssewme.

Rocking Chair Quilt Along: Week 2

It’s Week 2 of the Rocking Chair Quilt Along and this week we are sewing up our first blocks.

One of my favorite parts of this quilt design is its simplicity; aside from sashing, the entire quilt is made up of a variation of a log cabin block.  Eventually these blocks will be sewn together on-pointe for a more modern look – but we will talk more about that in Week 6!

The prompt for this week is to sew half of the log cabin blocks needed for your quilt.  My trick for making this go quickest is to chain piece as much as possible.  

  • For the Rocking Chair Quilt, this means to start with your stack of background squares and sew the 2”x4” strips to the top of each one. Just sew one right after the other without lifting your presser foot or cutting the thread.  
  • When you are done, you will have a long strand of pieces, just snip the thread between each and sew the remaining 2”x4” strips to the bottom of each unit.  
  • Once you are done, you can iron and repeat the process with the next step until you build the entire log cabin. 

When I made my ombre version, I chain pieced all the blocks in one color way before moving on to the next set of colors.  So, for example, this week you may choose to sew blocks with colors A/B and C/D and leave the remaining blocks for next week.  If you are making the traditional version, you can simply divide the number of blocks needed for your quilt size in half and save the second half for next week.

This photo is one of my finished blocks.  I am planning to gift this quilt shortly after the quilt along, so I am already starting to play with backing fabrics.  I’ve narrowed my choices down to the three in this photo, leave a comment below or on Instagram to help me decide!

I am really excited to see all the fabric pulls from last week sewn up into blocks. Remember to share your progress using the hashtag #RockingChairQAL by Sunday 9/18 at midnight to be entered to win this beautiful fabric bundle from Kristin Quinn Creative.

Rocking Chair Quilt Along: Week 1

I can’t believe it’s time to start the Rocking Chair Quilt Along!  When I started planning, September seemed like years away but here we are finishing our back to school shopping and getting ready to watch football on the weekends.

This is my first quilt along –like first ever—I’ve never taken part in one, and certainly never hosted one.  So please, have a little patience with me and know that I am so grateful that you are here!

We are starting the QAL off slow this week, just selecting and cutting fabric.  I decided to make another throw-sized quilt and I am planning to gift it to a friend (I can’t say much more than that right now!)  I’m using some of her favorite colors, and after trying several mock ups, landed on the traditional version (the Rocking Chair Quilt comes in two variations- traditional and ombre) in Kona Cotton. Here is the palette that I chose:

Background: Windsor

Fabric A: Doeskin

Fabric B: Honey

Fabric C: Shadow

And after working with these colors, I’ve discovered that doeskin is one of my new favorite neutral colors.  It is like the perfect shade of “griege;” sometimes looking brownish, sometimes looking like a gray, and definitely going to be included in some projects for my home in the future! (My photo looks more brown and doesn’t do this one justice)

The second step this week is to cut out the fabrics.  I used my XL Stripology ruler and was able to cut the fabric for my entire Rocking Chair Quilt in just one hour!  This ruler is by far my most used tool for saving cutting time and it works for just about everything needed in this quilt. 

Selecting fabric and preparing for a new project is probably my favorite part of the quilting process.  Which makes me very excited to see what everyone else comes up with!  Make sure to share your fabric photos on Instagram with the hashtag #RockingChairQAL by Sunday 9/11 at midnight.  I will be selecting one winner from the hashtag for this weeks prize, a free pattern from Jenny over at Fab Fabric Girl.

That’s all for this week!  I will see you over on Instagram, make sure to follow the hashtag (#RockingChairQAL) as well so that we can cheer each other on!

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