Today is the day! We are kicking off the Sugaridoo Bernina quilt along with the row ‘Hashtags’. I’m so super excited about this that I don’t even know where to start. So many quilters signed up for this quilt along. Thank you all so much for you enthusiasm. It’s going to be such a fun year to make this quilt with all of you.
An extra warm welcome for all the new quilters who are joining the quilt along and want to learn how to quilt. So happy that you’re here! I’m going to show you every step of the making of this quilt. Just take it slow, allow yourself to practice and make mistakes. Starting with a quilt may seem intimidating, but that you’re here is already a great beginning. Feel free to ask questions in the comments below and in the Sugaridoo Bernina QAL Facebook group.
In this blog post you’ll find a list of materials and required fabrics, some preparation steps and finally instructions on how to make our very first row of the quilt along.
First things first
Let’s begin with a little recap before we hop behind our sewing machine. If you’re new here, welcome! In short, we are starting today with a row along quilt along. Every four weeks a new pattern will be released. After 12 rows you will have a quilt of 70 x 90″. And you’re not alone, over 4500 quilters from all over the world are already joining the quilt along!
Row #5 ‘Hashtags’
Wait, what? Row 5? Yes 🙂 Don’t panic! It’s the first part of the quilt along, you haven’t missed anything. But we are kicking off the quilt along with row 5. I’ve picked out a row that’s easy to start with. So many beginner quilters are joining that I wanted to start off nice and easy. (And because we will not make the rows in order from top to bottom it will be a surprise until the end of the quilt along what the finished quilt will look like.)
This is the row that we will be making today:
These blocks are made with a super fun slice and insert technique where you can practice sewing straight lines with a quarter inch seam allowance.
Fabric + Material
Did you order a kit for the quilt along? Than you will need to get the light orange fabric Papaya out for this row if you are making a rainbow quilt. Or the dark grey Titanium if you’re making a blue quilt. We will make one of the hashtags in accent color, so also get your accent fabric out. And of course your need your background fabric.
For those of you who want to play with the location of the accent color in each row, or add extra accent colors or just want to get a little more insight in the layout of the quilt. Here is a schematic of the rows and the placement of the accent colors.
And this is what the schematic of the quilt looks like for the blue fabric kit.
You will need the following to make this row.
- Main fabric: 12 inch
- Accent fabric: 2 inch
- Background fabric: 14 inch
- Inch ruler (12 x 6 of 24 x 6 will be fine)
- Rotary cutter
- Cutting mat
- Iron + ironing board
- Sewing machine with a 1/4″ foot, I’m using the #97 patchwork foot
- Thread (I use thread in the color of my background fabric)
We are going to cut strips and work with a slice and insert technique to make seven of these blocks. We will make six in the main color and one in one in the accent color. I’m making the rainbow quilt on a Silver background, so my main color will be Papaya and the accent color is Titanium.
In this Youtube video I’m showing you how I position my fabric and ruler to cut strips. If this is your first time cutting with a ruler and rotary cutter, make sure to watch the video.
Cut the following strips. Where it says WOF it means that you will cut a strip over the whole Width Of Fabric.
- Main fabric (Papaya): 5 x a strip of 2″ WOF
- Use 3 of these strips to cut 12 x a strip of 2″ by 8 3/4″
- Background fabric (Silver): 6 x a strip of 2 1/4″ WOF
- Use 1 of these strips to cut 3 x a strip of 2 1/4″ x 7 1/2″
- Use 2 of these strips to cut 8 x a strip of 2 1/4″ x 8 3/4″
- Accent fabric (Titanium): 1 x a strip of 2″ WOF
- Use this strip to cut 2 x a strip of 2″ x 7 1/2″
- Use what is left to cut: 2 x a strip of 2″ x 8 3/4″
- Save the strip that is left for a different part in the QAL.
These cutting schemes can also be downloaded as a PDF: Cutting schemes for QAL part 1 – Row #5 [Rainbow]
Here you can download the cutting scheme for the Blue fabric kit: Cutting Schemes for QAL part 1 – Row #5 [Blues]
1/4″ seam allowance
A quarter inch seam is important for the accuracy of your finished quilt block. All strips that you’ve just cut include quarter inch seams. You make a quarter inch seam by following the width of the foot on your sewing machine if that is a quarter inch foot. Go ahead and take a scrap piece of fabric and let the edge of the fabric follow the edge of your foot.
You can now measure what the width of your seam is. If it’s not a quarter inch and you don’t have an alternative foot, just go ahead and take some masking tape to make a 1/4″ guideline on your machine.
Turn off your machine and place your ruler with the 1/4″ mark under your needle. Than tape along your ruler. Now you know where to place your fabric to get that 1/4″ seam.
This is why the BERNINA patchwork foot #97D is so perfect. The foot is a 1/4″ wide and there is an adjustable guide to guide your fabrics.
Make six blocks in the main fabric
Now it’s time to start sewing. Are you ready?
- Sew together a Papaya and a Silver strip. Sew with a quarter inch seam allowance.
- Press. I like to press the seams to the side of the darkest fabric, in this case I’m pressing away from the silver. But if you prefer to press your seams open, that’s also fine.
- Add a Silver strip to the Papaya strip and press. I pressed both seams towards the Papaya fabric.
- Add another Papaya strip and a Silver strip and press. Now you will have an alternating strip with Silver-Papaya-Silver-Papaya-Silver.
- Slice up this Silver+Papaya strip. First make the edge straight like you see me do in the video. And the cut 18 pieces of 2 1/4″ wide.
- Time to assemble the blocks. Take three Silver+Papaya pieces and place two 8 3/4″ Papaya strips in between. Sew this together. There is your very first block of the quilt along finished!
- Repeat step 6 for the remaining five blocks in Papaya.
Make one block in accent fabric
Now we make one block in the accent fabric Titanium
- Take three 7 1/2″ Silver strips and two 7 1/2″ Titanium strips. Combine them into an alternating strip like you did in steps 1-4 in the description above.
- Slice this up in three pieces of 2 1/4″wide.
- Take the two remaining 8 3/4″ Titanium strips and sew those in between. That will finish your accent block.
Putting the row together
Now to sew the whole row together you will need eight 2 1/4 x 8 3/4″ inch strips in Silver. Sew these strips between the blocks. The accent block will be the one before last on the right side. Also sew a strip on both ends of the row.
The finished quilt that we are making will measure 70 1/2″ wide, including seam allowance. This row is now a little over 70 1/2 inch wide. You have two options here. One: you can fold you row in half, measure 35 1/4 inch and cut you row exactly to 70 1/2″ wide. Or you can leave it like this and trim off the edges later, when you put your quilt together.
Aaaand it’s done!
There it is!! Your very first row in this quilt along. I’m so proud of you! I just can’t wait to see your row in our Facebook group or on Instagram with #SugaridooBerninaQAL. I had so much fun, finally diving in to my fresh pile of rainbow fabrics. I hope you liked this first row as well. The next one will be up in four weeks from now on the 26th of December.
If you have any questions about this row, feel free to ask them in the comments below this post. Or hop over to the Facebook group. Next week I’ll be hosting a live Q&A about this row on Facebook to help you get started.
Thank you so much for joining the quilt along. I hope you will have lots of fun making this first row.
See you soon!