Tula Pink Butterfly Quilt Sew-along: Preparation

Tula Pink Butterfly Quilt Sew-along hosted by Angie Wilson of GnomeAngel.com, Nicole of Snips Snippets and Chelsea of Pink Door Fabrics. Sew this amazing quilt and win prizes. More details at GnomeAngel.com

The Tula Pink Butterfly Quilt Sew-along kicks off on Tuesday 1 August (which is next week!) and I thought it might be a good time to let you know what I’m doing to prepare for this event. I’m going to be making this quilt at the same time I’m making the Jen Kingwell Gypsy Wife Quilt so I have no room not to plan if I want to keep on top of things. This pattern is pretty easy the biggest problem is the sheer volume of the blocks needed. The pattern works because the wings are a mirror image of each other so that means for each block you make you need to make an exact copy. I must confess I find this a little weird because I never make duplicates of blocks.

Here’s the things that I’ve been doing to help myself get ahead and stay on track:

Colour Chart

On the back page of the pattern is one wing which you can use to plan out your fabric/colour placement. I photocopied this page (in case of mistakes) and went to town with some colouring in pencils. I know that Pink Door Fabrics had put together a mock up of what the butterfly could look like with the fabrics in my bundle, but I wanted it to be a little more navy then the mock up. I’ve also added more Cotton + Steel fabrics from my stash to help add a little more depth to the fabrics and colour.

If you’re looking for inspiration be sure to check out the fabric bundle information that we put together for this event by clicking here.

Cut Ahead

Because I have a colour plan (something I never have!) I’m able to work out what fabrics I’ll need for each block so I’ve started doing something I never do and I’m pre-cutting blocks while I’m in the mood. These days I have to squeeze sewing in around a multitude of computer based tasks so having blocks ready to go when I get the time is starting to pay off. (Especially when I have to make 10 of the same blocks!)

Chain Piece FTW!

In the same way I try to streamline production by cutting ahead I’m also chain piecing as much as I can. Having the blocks laid out on design boards helps me to organise them while I work and keep them straight in my head as I batch process everything. The blocks really lend themselves to chain piecing so this method of construction makes things go a lot quicker.

Storage is Key

I’m moving in-between projects so I’ve pulled all the fabrics for this quilt and put them in their own plastic tub. I store the pattern, colouring-in chart and scraps from cutting in this tub. I pop the top off while I’m working and just move between the tub and my cutting table. When I’m working on something else I pop the tub lid back on and stack it out of the way. I love these clear plastic under the bed storage tubs because they’re the right depth for storing folded fat quarters (like in a fabric shop) so I can flick through them and they hold a lot. They also stack neatly and out of the way in my sewing space.

Find a Buddy

This has been the key to my success with completing #100Days100Blocks and #100Days100Blocks2017 – find a sewing buddy. I’m not talking about getting someone to come to your house and hold you accountable, I’m all about the internet buddy. Bec (of @Skyberries) and I have a race every year to see which one of us can complete our 100 blocks first. It’s a great motivator for me because I tend to lose steam in the middle and Bec is always there cheering me on and telling me she’s beating me.  This method appeals to the competitor in me and it helps keep the both of us moving forward. (I think the key is to keep the race tight so that either party doesn’t get discouraged.)

If “racing” isn’t your jam, then look for a buddy that will help keep you motivated and accountable. This is why Instagram is so awesome. You can direct message (DM) each other, or even post to your timeline during the time period for posting the blocks and tag your buddy and ask them to tag you in theirs so you both see the blocks posted. I always have my phone with me so it’s a great way for me to stay in contact with Bec as I work. There’s rarely a day that goes by where one of us isn’t texting the other asking what they’re working on. (It’s why I convinced her she had to make this quilt with me!)

Stay Up-to-Date

We’re yet to announce the sponsors and prizes for this event, we’ll do that when we kick off on 1 August, but if you’re worried about missing some important piece of news then the best way to keep up-to-date is to join my newsletter mailing list by clicking here. I’ll send out any pertinent information out via this list (as well as Instagram). Don’t forget you can also find the Frequently Asked Questions by clicking here.

What’s Your Plan?

I’d love to hear how you’re planning to keep on track and get this quilt finished. Who knows, you might have a strategy that I haven’t thought of but desperately need in my life! Leave a comment below or drop me an email.

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13 Comments

  1. Suzanne August 13, 2017 at 9:18 am

    I’m not to up on Instgram and i’ve been putting my pictures up on Facebook. Is that OK or does it have to be on Instagram? I’ve completed week too and now I’m going back to week one to try and catch up. I will admit my colors are going to be a little scrappy because I’m trying to use my stash.

    So let me know if that’s gonna work as far as prices and what not goes. I’d love to find a cool thing buddy online that would be nice not sure how to go about that.

    1. GnomeAngel August 14, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Suzanne, you only have to use Instagram if you want to be in the running for the prizes. If you don’t care about prizes and you just want to make the quilt and connect with people then the FB group will be enough (I’m assuming you’re in the GnomeAngel FB Group). If you’d like to make a buddy for the event why not post in the group that you’re looking for a buddy and see if you can find someone in the group. Let me know if you need any help with any of that.

  2. Jill July 31, 2017 at 9:33 am

    I wish I could be so organised, I’m still selecting fabrics (almost done) & I am in the middle of having my sewing room revamped, so no sewing is going to happen until that is finished & everything is packed away again, also trying to cull, unwanted items & fabric, very difficult. I guess the upside is I can still cut & really if I gave it more thought I could prob set up my machine elsewhere, yer! that’s what I’ll do
    .
    Thanks Angie this sew along sounds like a fun thing
    .sorry for my raving but I have cleared my head now 😉

    1. GnomeAngel August 1, 2017 at 9:10 am

      Hi Jill! I love how you worked your way through that conundrum to find a solution that means you can sew along! You might also be happy to note that in today’s blog post I expanded on how we’re going to run this event to try and make it easier for people to participate. 🙂

  3. Sue H July 26, 2017 at 12:30 am

    You are such a ball of energy! Looking forward to watching you whirl by! Lol!

    1. GnomeAngel August 1, 2017 at 9:09 am

      Hi Sue! I have my moments and they are usually short lived 😉

  4. Sandi July 25, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    I am organized the same as you. I am a neat freak and don’t like creased or wrinkled fabric. I have a project box and I use flannel boards to stack pieces and blocks aling with two big design walls. I might have to think about doing gypsum wife as well. Off to look at the kit for gypsy wife. Already have the original fabrics for the butterfly.

    1. GnomeAngel August 1, 2017 at 9:08 am

      HI Sandi! I find my sewing time is too precious to waste spending time looking for things so I’m super organised and neat in my workspace. (It might also be the control freak in me!). I hope you’ll join us for Gypsy Wife – it’s completely different to the Butterfly Quilt and so it’s going to be fun working on the two at the same time.

      1. Sandi August 3, 2017 at 9:14 am

        Thanks and I am in for the Gypsy Wife. Actually I have so many ideas for fabrics for Gypsy Wife. If I get real crazy I might make a couple at a time. Had a little trouble reading the second page from Craftsy for the color numbers for the Butterfly but that has been taken care of. I figured I could zoom in on the PDF. Sewww looking forward to this adventure and thank you for taking us along.

  5. Maree July 25, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Do you have to have instagram to do this

    1. GnomeAngel August 1, 2017 at 9:06 am

      Hi Maree – Nope, you only need Instagram if you want to be in the running for the prizes. You can play along at home or there’s a FB Group you can participate in if you’re more into FB. Instagram is just the tool we use to keep track of people who want to win prizes.

  6. Andrea July 25, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Waiting on my kits for this and Gypsy Wife from pink door fabrics so I can get started.

    1. GnomeAngel August 1, 2017 at 9:05 am

      Hi Andrea! I hope you love the kit you have chosen. We all had such a great time pulling them together. Can’t wait to see what you do with them!