Week 8 of the 2021 American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt-Along starts on 4/12. The assignment is to assemble quilt center. Here are some helpful tips. See more about the Quilt-Along here.

This week is a big one -- we're assembling our quilt top. So, today we're sharing four tips to help this quilt come together easily.

  1. This is the perfect time to use a design wall if you have one. Or lay things out on the group or a spare bed, so you can plan your block placement. If you were using directional prints or fussy-cutting your block centers, make sure everything is facing the way you intended. This is also a great way to plan your color placement. We  find it helpful to lay things out and then take a picture with your phone. Seeing it smaller on a phone screen helps you see dark or light spots on your quilt, or even colors and prints that are touching each other in a way you don't like.
  2. Before you start sewing your blocks and sashing together, you want to take a quick measure of your blocks. Sometimes with blocks like this (especially with these small pieces) blocks can come out larger or smaller than they're supposed to. There are a few ways to fix this problem while sewing things together. If your blocks are all the same size (but all smaller or all larger) than the finished block size is supposed to be, adjust your sashing rectangles as needed. So, if all your blocks came out a little smaller, cut your sashing to that smaller size. If your blocks are all different sizes (some larger, some smaller, some the right size) you might be able to make up some of the difference in your sewing. This tip only works if your blocks are off about ¼" from the right size. When you're sewing the blocks and sashing together, place the larger piece on the bottom. The feed dogs will pull the bottom piece of fabric through the machine at a slightly faster rate and make up some of the difference in size.
  3. When sewing blocks and sashing together, we like to put the sashing on the bottom. That way, you can see how the seams of the block are feeding through the machine, so you don't end up with any twisted seams. Keeping seams flat and pressed the right way will help the quilt top come together easily and make machine quilting this quilt easier.
  4. Pin, pin, pin! If you're not usually a pinner, when you're sewing the rows of your quilt together, now is the time. We like to pin at every seam intersection to make sure my rows are lining up and stay in place as I'm sewing these long strips together.