Friday, March 8, 2013

SoChick Quilt Along {Anchors Aweigh: Week 3}

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Welcome to week 3 of the SoChick Quilt Along featuring the Anchors Aweigh Quilt Pattern, and Salt Water fabrics, by Tula Pink!

We are crossing the half-way mark this week with Rows 4 & 5 of the Anchors Aweigh Quilt.  If you are laying your pieces out together, or if you're joining them as we go, your quilt top is starting to look pretty Awesome!

Here's some quick links to previous posts for this QAL, if you need to catch up:

Original QAL Post

Cut & Prep

Week 1: Rows 1 & 8

Week 2: Rows 2 & 3

At the end of the QAL you'll be able to enter a photo, or link to a photo, of your completed top for a chance to WIN a Free class for Quilting your large quilt... and this is a large quilt, on your home machine!

Thank you to Craftsy for generousrly sponsoring the SoChick QAL! This lesson is valued at $39.99 and is full of very useful information, plus it's yours to keep and watch whenever; over and over again!  Stop by to check out all of the awesomeness going on over there.

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{Week 3: Row 4 & Row 5}

We are going to put our rows together in reverse order today because I have started using the method of "Chain Piecing" when sewing all of these little squares together when there are sections full of them.  As a reminder, I'll refer to the Row and then the Section within the Row as shown in the Anchors Aweigh Quilt Pattern.(ex: Row 5 Section 2 (R5S2).)

Row 5:
Lay out your pieces.

Now, with Row 5 Section 2, (R5S2) we are going to start chain piecing our squares.  Chain piecing is a time-saving technique used in quilting where you sew fabric pieces together in a continuous chain or loop.  It's especially helpful with the little squares we're working with and I noticed that it makes handling them much easier as well as they are all kept together, literally.

R5S2, we will only chain piece the squares in the lower part of this section, and again in Section 8.  I pieced the solids and top four squares as I normally would. (not shown in this pic, but you'll see in the next, *wink*)
Following the arrows, you'll place the squares on top of each other right sides together, making two rows of square pairs (photo 2 below).  Then, you will stitch, using your 1/4 in seam allowance, on the right side of the squares, as indicated by the arrows in photo 2; continuing down each row.  Once you stitch one pair of squares, without lifting your presser foot and without trimming your thread, you'll place the next pair under to be stitched and so on.  All of the squares will be connected by a "chain" of fabric. 
You'll finger-press the seams open on the square pairs and repeat the process with the pairs, joining them at the center seam (photo 4, above) being careful not to twist your chain as you go (pinning can be helpful for the first run-through).  Next, without trimming the chain stitches, you'll attach all of these little rows together as we did in previous rows by nesting the seams.  The good news is, with all of the rows attached by the chain stitches, lining up the seams and stitching is a piece of cake!

Once all of the little rows are stitched together, trim the chain stitches and press all of these seams open before joining the bottom of this section to the top. 
Trim chain stitches before pressing seams open.

Complete Row 7, then continue chain-piecing with Row 5 Section 5 and you'll find how quickly these sections go together using this time-saving technique.

Once you've completed R5 Sections 2, 8, and 5, Sections 3 and 7 stitch up quickly.  When sewing with your solids, be careful not to pull at the solid fabrics as this will distort the seam.  This is especially important to remember when piecing the row together.

Row 5 Sections 3 & 7

You'll notice that my sections are a little wonky, before stitching them together I am sure to starch and press them all, even the solids.  I then stitch together the pieced sections, 2 & 3 and 7 & 8, next I joined 4, 5, and 6. I joined these pairings and added the final outside solids 1 & 9.  I find that this method allows be to best line up my pieces as straight as possible by checking against a solid fabric edge... as they aren't wonky like my pieced sections.  I have not cut down any of my pieced sections... any wonky-ness is absorbed in my 1/4 in seam allowance... so far. 

Row 4:
Again, lay out the pieces... and keep that pattern handy!

Now that you've got chain piecing figured out, this row will go together quickly.  You'll use the chain piecing method for all of Row 4 Section 4.  Below is a photo of attaching your chain pieced rows together, nesting seams, etc... and what it looks like with everything attached.
Chain piecing makes the next step, of nesting seams and stitching the little rows together, move quickly.
Once you finish R4S4, the next two sections, 2 & 6, go together quickly, too!  

Stitch all of your sections together and do a happy dance that you are more than half-way through Tula Pink's Anchors Aweigh Quilt top!

We have two more rows to go, then we'll join them and be ready to share our completed tops...  Woo Hoo!  It is SO exciting to see this come together and I'm thrilled to be sewing it with you!  Remember to share photos of your progress in the SoChick QAL Flickr group, or on Instagram with the hashtag #SoChickQAL.

See you next week!

Psst... if you have a blog or website, please grab a button (copy and paste the code from the right sidebar) to share the fun with everyone and let them know what you've been stitching.

XxOo~ Melissa 

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