As per my usual style, I'm a bit behind the 8 ball when it comes to this quilt along. But first, I feel I'd be seriously remiss in not mentioning this blog is going up and out on Martin Luther King Jr Day of Remembrance. This day is supposed to be a day where we honor the legacy of Dr. King- his service, his activism, his dedication, and selflessness in pursuing justice for ALL people in this country.
So today we've donated our tip jar money from the past quarter (ending beginning 2021) plus $150 of our profits to donate over $200 to the Food Bank for NYC. That's enough to help them provide almost 1,100 meals! They're still experiencing unprecedented need during this COVID season, as are food banks throughout the country. We encourage you to donate whatever resources you are able to help your neighbors in need this season, and especially today as we remember Dr. King's legacy. Justice comes in many forms, as does injustice. Many people have been affected by the economic upheaval caused by the pandemic, and unfortunately, many of these ill effects are disproportionately felt by communities of color. We hope this gift helps our neighbors in a small, but meaningful, way.
Now onto this quilt along!
In case you've forgotten what we're making, this is the Nebula Quilt by Jaybird Quilts- a 10 month Block of the Month program offered by FreeSpirit! (PSST- we still have a very few spots left too!)
This month we're making these two blocks:
AKA- two of the same block, in different color families. We'll do this for each of the blocks over the next 8 months after this, too.
So- Starting tips.
Take all of this with a grain of salt. I don't have any professional advice to give you. I'm just a mediocre quilter, like all of you.
I did just notice a few things that might help you, so I'm passing those on.
STARCH AND IRON FOR YOUR LIVES.
If you notice the way this block is cut- half hexagons and 60 degree triangles, you'll notice there's bound to be a lot of sewing on the bias. This stretches and does nasty, wonky things. Or it can.
This is also a shameless plug for this iron that I got awhile back. It's cordless, and portable, and life-changing. I swear to god I simply will never go back to a corded iron. (I got it from one of my favorite quilt 'n' vacation shops, Stitch In Heaven!)
Okay, but after you iron, STARCH.
Best Press, Niagra, Flatter- it doesn't matter what you like or use. (I use Best Press because it's widely available and comes in nice smells.) Just use a good bit of it. This will keep your pieces from getting wonky and stretching on the bias as you sew them together.
Then, following the cutting directions in the pattern, cut the rows of fabric and shapes out. I cut the rows at 3inxWOF (about 21in as these are fat eighths) which gave me plenty of room to trim up.
Oh- I forgot to mention. I don't have any of the special rulers this month, so I'm just using the templates and a half hexy template from MSQC that I found in my stash. Their recommended ruler is the Hex N'More, but they didn't provide specific instructions for it in the pattern, so it was just as easy to use the templates. I did print them out on stiff cardstock paper, though.
When you finally cut everything out- I say finally because this process took the bulk of the time for me- it's time to start sewing!
As you can see, the templates have nice cut out parts for where to match the edges. This really helps avoid that diagonal shift that happens when piecing diamonds and triangles.
So you'll sew your triangles,
(this is a good time to chain piece, or practice it if you'd like)
And then from the triangles, diamonds, and diamonds, rows.
The only difficulty I had was going from the diamonds to the rows. You've sewn/hidden all of your clever little seam indicators for how to match them to sew (if you get what I'm saying) so it was a bit of guesswork. The rows also required some guesswork, but I'm assuming we'll be squaring those up at the end, so I'm not too worried about it for now. I was honestly pretty over it at this point. Too much bias sewing. Too much fussy-shape cutting.
I did change the color arrangement for the orange diamond- my world works better when things are in order of color/value, and I didn't feel these were in the way they were written in the pattern. So I changed it!
Ta-Da! My finished month 1 diamonds. Just don't look too close at those 6-seam intersections. Oh- and when you press- be friendly to your quilter! Press those open! I didn't iron mine just as they're going into the project bag to wait with the rest of the blocks.
And it feels like February is already knocking on our door! If you're in a month by month plan, be on the lookout for invoices soon, as we want to get these shipped out to you to have by February!