Hi friends and welcome to week 1 of the Dot + Dashalong!
I am so excited to start sewing along with all of you….so excited in fact that in preparation for the event I accidentally sewed up all of my blocks on the two quilts I was planning on sewing with you all! Have no fear - I found another jelly roll and another bundle of fabric - so there will likely be four finished Dot + Dash quilts by the time this is all over with. It’s a fun and quick quilt pattern so having some extra quilts for Christmas gifts this year works out perfectly.
Speaking of fun and quick…. when I have a sew along, my main goal is for you to enjoy yourself. I wanted to take out the competitiveness and eliminate prizes (which can be unfair to my international friends at times due to shipping constraints) and also do away with the pressure to have any part of the quilt finished by a certain date. The schedule is just there as a guide to help you break up the pattern into sections that are a bit easier to accomplish each week. Will there be weeks where you are too busy - definitely! There are also going to be weeks (possibly this one) where you are so excited to get going you jump ahead! Do what feels right to you and I will have links to this sew along in my main menu - so if you have to stop or plan on joining up later, you will have access to everything at anytime.
My Sew Along fabric choices
For the sew along I really wanted to keep the color order similar to the original pattern to make following along easy and for this I chose a fun bundle of rainbow fabric called Dream by Kristy Lea for Riley Blake Designs. Since there were several different patterns in each color I decided to stick with a similar pattern of having the cloud design as the third fabric in each section to make for an interesting flow and keep the patterns spaced out nicely.
For my jelly roll sample I found a roll of More Paper by Zen Chic for Moda that I have been keeping for a special project. This line has a variety of grays, whites, and cream shades that when mixed up in a scrappy look works out for a fun look! For the background I went with a black Essex linen by Robert Kaufman. Jelly rolls make for the perfect scrappy version of this quilt due to different amounts of each fabric in the bundle….more of that in a minute.
Since I already got these two quilts ready ahead of schedule I will be cutting out some new fabrics next week….. excited to share those soon!
Sew Along Schedule
Speaking of schedule - it’s right above this. If you have access to a printer I also have a handy printable checklist schedule that you can printout and keep with your fabrics. This just breaks down what blocks we will be making each week, and what fabrics we are using.
You will notice that it says blocks for 1-2-3 or scrappy, I will get into more detail on what this means later on.
Let's gather our materials
First things first - lets get all of our materials ready for the sew along. You can either purchase a PDF of the Dot + Dash quilt for instant access or grab a printed pattern from my shop. We are not cutting fabrics out until next week so there is still time for a printed pattern if you prefer that. Below are the fabric requirements for the size quilt you would like to make. If you are using a jelly roll please note that it will likely be best to use these for a scrappy version of the quilt due to various amounts of each fabric that they contain. I used 2 jelly rolls for this particular quilt because the purples and one aqua color only had 2 strips and wouldn’t have enough to work. You can also supplement fat quarters for certain fabrics if you wish to make the jelly roll work for your project.
You will also need basic sewing supplies - rotary cutter, mat, and an acrylic ruler for accurate cuts.
Dot + Dash PDF Pattern
Dot + Dash Printed Pattern
Planning out your project
Now that you have your pattern and your basic sewing supplies now is the time to choose your fabrics or plan the layout for the fabrics you have ready to go.
When I was designing this quilt I was trying to make a pattern that looked like a pretty stack of fat quarters. When I get a bundle of fabric together, I love to put it in an order that is fun to look at. It could be in color order - order of light to dark - a mix of patterns and colors stacked in a way that spreads them out evenly. So many times I will get a beautiful assortment of solids, put them in an order I love and then when working on a pattern, it gets all scrambled up and that look I first fell in love with just disappears.
That being said - when you are choosing fabrics for your project think about how the fabric looks stacked up and how that will directly translate to your layout.
If you have a bundle that looks nice in color order - rainbow fabrics for example, you might like to keep those in color order for your quilt to make the flow nice.
If you have a bundle of random prints - I would recommend playing around with stacking them in an order that separates dark and light color prints into an even flow - that includes working with small and large patterns as well.
There is a link to the coloring sheet for all sizes in your pattern or you can access that below.
Dot + Dash Coloring Sheet
For example I have a bundle of Sunprint 2021 by Alison Glass. I chose 4 colors from the larger bundle - pink, orange, yellow and green. To make my flow work on the layout I decided to keep them all in the same pattern order. Solid with geometric print first, then lacy fabric, then floral fabric.
Here is another example but with some patterns and solids. For this stack I wanted to keep the color flow in a nice order, spread the lighter fabrics out so that they were not right next to each other and the same with the solids. This makes the flow of these fabrics work well for the pattern now.
You also might be using scraps from leftover projects or a jelly roll for your quilt. When going scrappy it’s going to be a bit harder to plan anything out ahead of time or use a coloring sheet without cutting your fabrics first.
This quilt was made using scraps from previous quilting projects. I’ts a mix of prints and solids that all looked nice together and were at least 2.5” wide.
When I went through my scraps I cut pieces 2.5” wide and was then able to cut into the sizes needed for the quilt. I made stacks of each size and picked random combinations of fabrics as I made my blocks. When it was time to sew blocks together I just placed them on the floor in a layout until I was happy with how scrappy it looked. There are some places where similar fabrics are near each other - but over all I love the look and how I was able to use leftovers I would have just dismissed.
Next week when we start cutting our fabrics I will show you how to cut up scraps and a jelly roll for a scrappy version of the quilt.
Share your progress this week
I am so excited to see what you all come up with for fabric combinations and if you are on #teamorderly or #teamscrappy for your fabric layout.
If you would like to share your plans with the group we are using hashtag #dotanddashalong over on Instagram and you can also join up in the Modern Handcraft Patterns group over on Facebook.
The Facebook page is pretty new so there is not much content over there right now - but I am looking forward to having a spot to share our work and ask questions and get feedback from other members.
Looking forward to next week where we will begin cutting out our fabric!
Happy Sewing - Nicole