Today marks the start of the Jen Kingwell’s Gypsy Wife Quilt Sew-along and I couldn’t be happier to have it underway because I’m dying to show you the blocks I’ve made. This quilt has me going back to my happy place with lots of fussy cutting and colour. I’m not going to lie, I’ve sewn ahead on this project and it’s the first time I’ve done something like that in a long time. I usually like to sew a week ahead of the event timetable so I can ensure that I’ve set an achievable pace for everyone, but not this time. I made my first block and I was hooked and so I’ve made a couple more. (You’re just going to have to wait to see them!)
While we’re not going to be providing tutorials for how to make these blocks I will provide you some tips and tricks when we announce each new block so that you can hopefully avoid any pitfalls and have fun making your blocks. When it came to Colour Wheel I didn’t follow the pattern instructions at all really… for me I like to make Half Square Triangles (HSTs) two at a time and trim them to size. I used the following method to make the pieces required to assemble this block. (I’ll cover my tips and tricks and then go into the details about how the event will be structured.)
Colour Wheel Alternative Construction
This block is made up of HSTs and then 3 triangle blocks (I can’t remember the technical name for them at the moment) – they’re all made using the method in the diagram below. There’s 4 individual colours in this block (and then a centre square) and this method will create all the blocks you need for them. Because of copyright I’m not going to put any measurements in this construction method – you will need the pattern to be able to work out the measurements needed.
Background Fabric: 4 (for the measurement use the measurement for the centre fabric square plus 1″)
Colours – A: 1 of each colour (for the measurement use the measurement for the centre fabric square plus 1″)
Colours – B: 1 of each colour (for the measurement use the measurement for the centre fabric square plus ½”)
- On the wrong side (back) of all the background squares draw a diagonal line with a pencil/fabric pen from one corner to the opposite corner as per step 1 above.
- Take 1 background square and 1 colour – A square and put them right sides together as per step 1 above.
- Stitch a scant quarter inch seam on either side of the line as per step 2 above.
- Trim along the drawn line as per step 3 above. This will make 2 HST units. Trim 1 unit to the measurement for the centre fabric square plus ½” – you will use this to make the 3 triangle units, these will be called HST A in the rest of the construction methodology. Trim the other unit to the measurement for the centre fabric square and put aside, these will be called HST B in the rest of the construction methodology.
- Repeat above steps to make 8 HSTs. (You will have no background fabric left.)
- On the wrong side (back) of all the colour – B squares draw a diagonal line with a pencil/fabric pen from one corner to the opposite corner as per step 1 above.
- Take 1 HST A and 1 colour – B square and put them right sides together as per step 1 above. Pay close attention to matching the right colours together. Important: the drawn line must run in the opposite direction of the seam line so they form an X as shown below.
- Stitch a scant quarter inch seam on either side of the line as per step 2 above. Open the seam up to confirm that you have stitched them so that when trimmed along the stitch line you’ll have formed the 3 triangle unit as per the pattern diagram
- Trim along the drawn line as per step 3 above. This will make 2 three triangle units. Trim all units to the measurement for the centre fabric square. Please note: You will have 4 spare blocks at this step using this construction method, pop them in your spare block bucket to use in another quilt.
- Assembly units into Colour Wheel as per the pattern diagram on page 5.
Hopefully that helps you a bit more with assembling this block. Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty of how you can participate in this event.
We’ll be setting you a weekly task, but we’re not going to enforce the weekly task. This means 2 things:
- You can join the event at any time prior to the reveal week and still be eligible for prizes if you meet the criteria, and
- You can self pace until the reveal week.
I’ve decided to work it this way to help people who are coming late to the event and to give you a little more wiggle room when it comes to life getting in the way. We’ve just come of the back of two really strict entry requirement events and, I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to take it easier.
Nicole and I will still post our blocks as per the weekly task to help keep you on track so you’ll know where you “should” be up to if you want to use our timetable as a guide to getting it done.
Winning a Prize
Now I bet you’re wondering how you’ll go about winning a prize, well it’s simple:
- Post 1 photo of each block type, including all the requirements for eligibility (we’ll go into more detail about this in a minute),
- Post a photo of your finished quilt top between 12:01am 21 December – 11:59pm 2 January in your timezone.
At the end of the event we’ll be looking for 19 block photos, 1 assembly photo + a photo of the finished quilt top. (It doesn’t have to be quilted, but it can be if you want – minimum requirement is the completed top.)
A Word about Block Type
You only need to post 1 photo of 1 of each block type.
This means that, for example, where you’re required to make 35 Square in Square blocks we only need to see 1 of them in the photo, not all 35. You can totally post a photo of all of them in there, but you need to ensure that at least one of the blocks in the photo is fully visible so we can confirm it’s been made correctly.
You can totally post more than one photo of your blocks, but you only need to post one for prize eligibility.
Help With Block Piecing
While we’re talking about blocks, don’t forget that you can find some Jen Kingwell approved Foundation Paper Pieced patterns by clicking here. These patterns have been created with the intention of helping you complete some of the “trickier” blocks in the quilt. We have not (and will not) provided FPP patterns for all the blocks (it’s time to stretch those wings, get out of your comfort zone and learn some new tricks!).
Eligibility Requirements for Photos
This will be the trickiest part of the whole thing, you’ll need to include the following things in your block photo caption on Instagram:
- The week number (see below for explanation of this),
- The block name,
- The hashtag: #GypsyWifeSAL
That’s it. We’ll be going through and checking winning accounts to make sure they have 19 block photos, 1 assembly photo + a photo of the finished quilt top (with the above information) posted between 12:01am 3 August and 11:59pm 2 January in your timezone.
Troubleshooting the Entry Requirements
Now I know there’s going to be questions, so I’ve put together a list of things that I think might trip you up. If I’ve missed something pop your question in the comments and I’ll answer it there so that others who might also have the same question can see the answer.
Can I put the caption details in a comment on the photo?
No, it needs to go in the caption. We’ve tried to make things easy for you so it would be great if you could make it easy for us to find the information.
I messed up my caption can I edit it?
Yep, you can totally edit your caption. Click here to read a post I’ve written about troubleshooting Instagram which will help you. Please note that the linked post about troubleshooting Instagram references putting the hashtag in a comment – the eligibility requirements for this event require it to be in the caption not as a comment.
A word of warning: if you’ve tagged someone in your caption (used their @instagramname) every time you edit your caption they’ll get a notification. The first time it’s amusing, the third time it becomes annoying and on the fifth time it can often result in someone blocking you because that’s the only way to stop the notifications. It’s not a great feature from Instagram and it can chew the life of your battery so it’s something to keep in mind, especially if you get to the end of the event and go back and edit 17 photos!
Is there a format you’d like me to use for my caption?
Nope, you can word it however you want. However, it would make it super easy for the event administrators if you could make those things really obvious. The use of emoji’s for the number would make it standout for example. (Here’s a link to how to use an emoji on an iDevice, click here, Android users you’ll have to google this one I’m afraid as I don’t have any Android experience.)
Can I put a number on my photo?
Yep, that would be outstandingly helpful. But it’s not part of the requirements and the number still has to be in the caption to be eligible for prizes.
I get asked all the time how I put text on my photos and I confess I use Photoshop, but when I’m not at my computer I use WordSwag. (It’s a paid app for iOS and Android) I love it because it’s modern and has its own stash of stock photos so if you don’t have a photo you can freely use one of theirs. You can find out more about WordSwag by clicking here.
Hopefully that’s answered some of your questions, if you’ve still got more pop them in a comment below and I’ll answer them lickity-split.
To help you keep things in order I’ve made up a free tracker for you to download, you can get it by clicking here.
A word about the tracker: This seems kind of obvious, but I’ve had a number of complaints about it with past events…. if the event timetable changes I am unable to go back and update the tracker you’ve already printed out. (I’m good, but even I have to respect the time/space continuum) So while I provide a tracker it’s a one-off help you get organised free tool. I won’t be updating it again (unless there’s a super typo in it). In the event Doc and Marty turn up at my house I will totally go back and amend ALL the trackers I’ve ever provided to make sure they’re super cool and reflect how the dates rolled out.
A Word About Pacing Yourself
This event is a little misleading as there’s not a lot of blocks to make at the start, however this changes significantly when we get to the filler blocks and assembly. I’ve worked out a weekly block construction timetable for those of you that want to stay ahead of the work requirements for the end of the event. You can read more about it by clicking here.
As well as trying something new with the entry requirements I’m doing something even more shocking and I’m not going to tell you what the prizes are… yet. I’m going to let all of this sink in and then I’ll razzle and dazzle you with what you could win.
Instagram Accounts to Follow
At this stage you need to follow the following accounts to be eligible for prizes:
When we reveal the prizes next week we’ll add more accounts. Don’t worry if you’re not following them from the start you just need to be following them at the time that the event administrators go through the hashtag to find winners. We’ll make sure you’ve got heaps of notice to get everything in order before we look for winners.
That’s everything… for now… as always if you have any questions either drop me a line or leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help you out. I hope you love making this quilt as much as I have, it’s such a fun way to make a unique sampler.
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