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Color Outside the Lines Quilt-Along: Week 8 Tips

Week 8 of the 2019 Quilts & More Quilt-Along start on 6/24. The assignment is to assemble the quilt top. Below you'll find some helpful tips for assembling your tops, and some answers to questions we've been getting. See more about the Quilt-Along here.

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How do I make sure my blocks are in the correct layout before sewing them together?

If you have a design wall or large open space on the floor, this is a great time to use it to lay all your blocks out. We suggest taking a picture of the layout to help see if any of the blocks are turned the wrong way (it's easier to tell in a photo than in person). The photo may also help you see if any specific colors or fabrics are unbalanced in your quilt top.

 

There's no sashing in this quilt, so all my star points are touching. How do I make sure they align when I sew the blocks together?

It just takes some careful pinning and a little planning! See a trick to aligning your points in this video.

 

What's the most important thing to pay attention to at this stage?

Pressing is extremely important at this step, since the quilt's design ensures that all the seams nest (this helps avoid the bulk when it comes to sewing and quilting). Pressing in the correct direction, and making sure your seams don't twist as you sew, will help everything align as you move forward, and will give you a smooth and flat quilt top.

 

When I'm done adding my borders, what else do I need to do before quilting?

  • Repair raveling seams and stay-stitch quilt top edges. Especially with so many seams around the edges, it's a good idea to stay-stitch a scant 1/4" from quilt top edges to secure unintersected seams. It prevents them from popping open while the quilt waits for quilting.
  • Clip all loose threads and fabric, and trim dog-ears. Any of these can cause a shadow behind lighter fabrics if not removed. Loose fabric can bulk up in a quilt sandwich and make it look bumpy.
  • Make sure the quilt top lays flat by using consistent 1/4" seams, pressing seams to one side and watching for seams that twist and cause a bump. Give a finished quilt top a final press to ensure it is ready to be quilted.