Welcome to the final week of the 36 patch quilt along! Today is assembly day.
The first step in assembling the quilt top is to lay out your blocks. Generally, I like to rearrange the blocks as little as possible, because it seems like once I start moving things around, things get worse rather than better. Random is good! Take a digital photo and view the thumbnail. This helps you get a good overall view of how the quilt will look. I do this almost all the time, with nearly every quilt.
When I viewed this photo, I did notice a problem area. In the second row, the second and third blocks from the left bothered me. I didn't like the pink and the red blocks next to each other. I shuffled a few blocks and took another photo.
This arrangement looked much better to me. Once the blocks are in a pleasing arrangement, the assembly is as simple as sewing the blocks into rows and then sewing the rows together.
If you pressed all the strips toward the dark, and all the rows in each block toward the top, then the assembly should be pretty easy. Take every other block and lay it right side up (so the seams point up) and every other block upside down (so the seams point down). I'm showing the backs of the blocks to illustrate this.
Pin the blocks to each other and sew the seam. All the seams in the two blocks should nest together, making it easy to join the blocks. Repeat for all the blocks in each of the rows.
After you have the rows together, press every other row to the left. Press every other row to the right. Pin the rows together, sew and press well. I pinned at each intersection when joining the blocks together and at each intersection when joining the rows together. It's a LOT of pinning, but it helps the blocks line up nicely, so it's totally worth it. Press the entire quilt top well. Stand back and admire it!
Here is my finished quilt top! It's pretty busy, but I must say, it turned out better than I had imagined. I LOVE it! It measures about 72" square. It was all from my stash, and boy, does that feel GOOD!
Now, I just need to figure out how to quilt it! I've been thinking about it, but haven't settled on anything yet.
Also, I wanted to let you know, Tara and I are planning our 3rd annual quilting retreat/workshop in Fort Collins, CO. The dates this year are November 11-13. I can't believe this will be year 3! (Woohoo!!) I'm very excited to be a part of it yet again. I will be teaching machine quilting, both free motion and walking foot quilting. We will have a workshop segment, where you can bring a quilt top or two for input on how to quilt them. I am also going to teach a quilt as you go option for joining all your quilting samples/blocks into one quilt. So, ideally, you should be able to leave the weekend with a finished quilt. There will be great fun, lots of sewing and amazing food! You can read more about the details and registration here. I know from experience that Tara throws an awesome retreat! Hope you can join us!