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:
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.
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!)
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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