Welcome to week 1 of the Beads Sew Along! This week is all about Planning our project and cutting out our fabrics for the Beads Quilt Pattern.
Let's begin with the basics like schedule and materials needed and then dive into details on layouts and cutting your fabrics.
Who: You! Anyone and everyone is welcome to join us as we work on sewing three different types of blocks. Basic sewing and some quilting skills are recommended, haven't sewn curves before? Helpful how to videos are included in the pattern.
What: We will make a throw size Beads quilt together. You can purchase the pattern here.
Where: Weekly blog posts will show up here on the blog, you also can sign up for the weekly newsletter to get quick and easy access to all the weekly info (sign up here), on Instagram and also in the Modern Handcraft Patterns Group on Facebook.
When: March 16th - May 4th
Why: Follow along together as we create something fun! Plus there will be prizes over on Instagram each week when you share progress using #BeadsSAL
The Beads Sew Along will take place over the course of eight weeks, beginning today with our first week and ending with finishing our quilt tops on the week of May 4th. We will be sewing the Throw sized quilt together, spreading out the block types over the eight weeks in manageable sections.
- Week 1 - March 16th: For the first week of the Sew Along we will be in planning and cutting mode. So if you are still figuring out what fabrics you want to use, or need to plan it out a bit utilizing the coloring sheets this is a great time to do so. This week we will also be cutting our materials so we have everything ready to go!
- Week 2 - March 23rd: Our first week of sewing, we will be making 10 Beads blocks. This is the easiest of the three blocks to sew, so it's a perfect warm up for the next few weeks.
- Week 3 - March 30th: This week we will be making 10 Diamond blocks. We will be learning how to fussy cut these blocks if using a directional print, how to sew - press - trim using the included "how to sew" video in the pattern.
- Week 4 - April 6th: This week we will be making 10 Circle blocks. These are created using the templates in the pattern and might be a new skill for some of you! Sewing curves took me a bit of time to learn, but is one of my favorite quilting block types to sew. Once you master this block it opens a whole new world of sewing patterns for you! Included in the pattern is a link to the video "how to sew" Half circle blocks. This week we will work together on making the 10 blocks needed, chat about ways of sewing curves (you might grab some practice fabric for these if you are new) and the options for pressing and trimming your blocks.
- Week 5 - April 13th: Our final 10 bead blocks
- Week 6 - April 20th: Our final 10 diamond blocks
- Week 7 - April 27th: Our final 10 circle blocks
- Week 8 - May 4th: This week we will be working on our final layout - will it be orderly or more of a random look? Joining our blocks into rows and adding our sashing strips. We will finish this week with complete quilt tops ready to quilt up!
This schedule is only a suggestion and please feel free to make any size of the Beads quilt that you like. As always, know that you can leave and join back up at any time and reference each week of the Sew Along by locating the Sew Along tab under the main menu.
My Beads Sew Along Fabric Selection
For my Throw size quilt in the Sew Along I am working with a fabric line that has small, medium and large illustrations, including some directional prints so I can show how each one looks in the three blocks. I am also noting which ones are directional so extra care was needed when cutting them out. (More on cutting directional fabric further down).
The fabric is from the Darlings 2 line by Ruby Star Society for Moda Fabrics and it is finally shipping to store this week! If you would like to do a similar plan here are the fabrics I am using below:
10 Fat Quarters for Throw size Quilt:
- Florametry in Warm Red
- Wildflowers in Florida (directional)
- Mushrooms in Peach Fizz (directional)
- Snowleopard in Peach Fizz (directional)
- Panda Bebe in Peach Blossom (directional)
- Rollerskates in Buttercream Metallic (directional)
- Permanent Wave in Flamingo
- Nanners in Rose
- Rollerskates in Berry Metallic (directional)
- Mystery Food in Berry Metallic
Background material: cream Moda Bella Solid
Backing Material: Rollerskates in Berry Metallic
Cutting tools / rulers
I always recommend using a sharp rotary blade and good tools when starting a new project. You do not need to run out and buy new rulers for this quilt, I will share some tricks you can do with larger rulers and washi tape. If you are interesting in looking at what I used for this quilt project see my favorite tools below.
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- Creative Grids Quilt Ruler 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" square
- 24" x 36" Black and White Cutting Mat / Christopher Thompson
- Paula Jean Creations Kwik Klip Brass Tip, Brown
- OLFA 45MM Endurance Blade
To get an idea on how to plan out your quilt I will share a bit about how I came up with the design and how that might help you plan out your ideas for your layout.
The Beads Quilt was inspired by designing and making beaded friendship bracelets with my son. Some bracelets were in color order, some are kind of random and a mix of beads using colors we had leftover. Most beads were solids, but if we bought a special pack of beads with designs on them or even letters we could make them personalized and that much more special.
Think about this as you plan your fabrics, and if you want to do a more orderly layout or random. I will show you an example of how I could make my quilt top using both layouts and the same fabrics.
In the Beads Quilt pattern instructions under "Quilt Top Assembly" you will see how the Baby and Throw size quilt have a layout showing the 5 FQ for the Baby Quilt and the 10 FQ for the Throw Quilt look in an orderly layout.
An orderly layout just means that the fabrics stay in a specific color order throughout the quilt top, this can be light to dark and vice versa - large print to small print - or a specific color or pattern order to your liking.
You will notice that every line begins with a different starting fabric. This gives the color/fabric a bit of movement throughout the quilt top, and also allows you to use all of the fabric cuts that you made from each fat quarter. (there are a couple of blocks that will be left over).
The coloring sheets for the Baby and Throw quilts also have the orderly fabric numbering to help with your planning.
The Bed size quilt works best in a random placement, due to the number of fabrics used, read on about how the random fabric placement works below.
The random layout is more of a planned layout than it appears. Although the fabrics are not in order, I am providing you with a plan on how to fit your required 20 FQ into the quilt top.
The layout and coloring sheets will show you how to get an overall random look, but still assist you with where to put specific fabrics, ensuring that the rows will finish at the same length.
Be cautious with going scrappy with your quilt top, and not following the guidance I have given you for where to place your Bead / Diamond / Circle blocks. These can be mixed up in each row - but keeping the same amount of each will ensure that the rows finish at the same size.
Need some Inspiration?
Check out these sample Beads Quilts I made for the pattern launch. I also have tons of mock-ups over on Instagram, just look for the hashtag #beadsquilt
- Beads Quilt Pattern Release / Cover Quilt Version
- Beads Quilt / Friendship Bracelet Version
- Beads Quilt / Blue + Green Essex Version
- Beads Quilt / Pink Sugar Baby Version
- Beads Quilt / Rainbow Scrappy Version
- Beads Quilt / Starburst Version
Cutting your Fabrics
You will need to cut out your templates for your circle block and trace onto heavier card stock if you like. I find that old cereal boxes are fantastic for making sturdier templates as well.
The directions start with cutting out your background fabric first. If you are wanting to do a scrappy background you can check out some tips here on how I used a mix of fabrics instead of the yardage.
The layouts for cutting fat quarters and fat eighths is found in your pattern and is pretty straight forward.
Tips for cutting directional fabrics
Since our Diamond blocks are shown on point in the quilt pattern, getting a bit creative when cutting directional fabrics is necessary.
If you are wanting to use a directional fabric, a very smart quilting friend of mine figured out this genius layout - very little fabric waste and you do not need any additional fabrics! By laying out your fat quarter directionally along the 21" side, you can position your cuts to all fit perfectly and still maintain the direction of the pattern design.
Making a template to match your Diamond size is necessary - and if you want to get really creative, you can cut a bit out of the center so you can see the fabric image for fussy cutting.
Quilt Project Worksheet
This weeks giveaway!
Week 1 Giveaway!
We are kicking off the sew along with a pattern set by one of my favorite designer friends - Fran of Cotton and Joy!
Fran's latest pattern is another fun curves quilt and she is currently hosting a sew along for it - the Copihue Quilt pattern, this along with two of my other favorites - Memi's Lemons and Cabin Peaks.
How to win:
- Post a pic to Instagram. Share a photo of your fabric pull, your planning process or even all of your fabrics cut up and ready to go! Use #BeadsSAL in the caption.
- You must have a public profile to participate.
- Each photo posted is an entry to win, so enter as many times as you like! Photos from the current week count, we start fresh every week for chances to win.
- Winner will be chosen randomly - and all are welcome to enter!
Thanks for joining in friends and I cannot wait to see what you create!