Saturday, July 15, 2017

12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop - Day 2!

Hi, all!

Welcome back!  Did you enjoy the first day of the hop?  I know I found a lot of inspiration and I'm just itching to get started on some new projects!   (OK, maybe I'm just itching because I'm sitting outside to write this, and it's hot - but whatever!)  Today's stops on the hop are....
Saturday, July 15th

Grace of Citymousequilter, Vicki of Vicki's Crafts and Quilting, and Pam of Quilting Fun all have some special Christmas-themed projects to share with you.  Be sure to check them out, then leave a comment on their posts to be entered in the giveaway!  If you haven't heard about the giveaway, be sure to go back to this post and find out all the details.  Participation is the key!!

But wait - - - there's more!  Today is the second day of instructions on the tutorial for this quilt...



...right here on this blog!  Yesterday we chose fabric and did our cutting, today we'll start stitching things up.  Let's get started!

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Grab one of the strip sets you put together yesterday (you should have four sets, all identical).  Start with the shortest strip and place the next strip in the stack next to it, long edges together.

TIP:  Look at the ends of your strips before sewing.  Usually, one end of the fabric will be printed all the way out to the edge, and the other will have a white selvage edge with the fabric information printed on it.    You can see this in the picture below. 


I always start from the end printed all the way out (the one on the left) so that I have the most usable fabric available.

TIP:  Use a fairly short stitch for your sewing. You’ll see why later!



Matching those two ends, sew the two strips together along the long edge, taking care not to stretch either strip.  If you have a tendency to pull your fabrics as you sew, you may want to pin the strips together.  It doesn’t matter if one strip is longer than the other (it probably will be).  Just stitch to the end of the shortest strip.  

TIP:  Mark the end of the “shortest strip” with a pin or Clover clip for future reference.  (This will help ensure you keep your strips in the correct order and don’t sew one to the wrong side of the strip set!)  

At this point, press the seam open.  You may not usually press your seams open, but trust me, at this point it will make your life a lot easier.  You can press the seams to the side after a later step.  And don't skip pressing!  It's much easier after each seam, and it must be pressed for a later step, or your job will be much harder.

TIP:  Press, don't iron. That means laying the iron on the opened seam, then picking it up and laying it on the next section without sliding the iron over the fabric.  This will  help avoid stretching either the fabrics or the seam.  Here's a video tutorial that can clarify what I mean if it's unclear.

Now square up the end of the strip set you just sewed using a square template, so that both strips are the same length.  




Using a square template rather than a ruler at this point will allow you to get the most precise square possible, by lining up the seam and the edges with the straight lines on the template.  Trim off any overage.  Do not trim off the selvage at this time.

Pin the next strip in the stack to the strip you just trimmed at the end AWAY from the pin or marker you placed earlier on the first (shortest) strip.  Notice that you are pinning the selvage end of the new strip to the cut end of the strip on the strip set.  That will help you always pin to the right end.  This is important because you will also sew from the cut end, thereby alternating the directions in which you sew this piece.  Alternating directions of sewing the seams will help keep the piece square.  So will not stretching those fabric pieces!  Sew the long edge of the new strip to the strip set.

TIP:  Allow the feed dogs to feed the fabric through your machine, using your hands merely to keep it going straight.  Less is more in this case!

Repeat until all the strips are sewn together, squaring up the end after each strip.  When you have sewn several strips together (or no longer have a square template large enough!), you can start using your ruler to square the end.  Remember to use the horizontal markings as well as the vertical edge when lining up your fabric to get the straightest edge.



Remember to alternate the direction you sew on each row!  It's surprising how much of a difference it makes - and not something you want to find out the hard way.  Let's just say the pictures here are from the second set of strip sets I made!




Set your finished strip set aside, ideally hanging it somewhere you can see it so that as you assemble the other three sets (our task over the next three days) you can verify that the strips are in the same order as you go.  (Don't ask me how I know this!)   It's very important that all four of your strip sets are put together in the identical order.

That's all for today - and for the next three days.  It's fairly easy to make one of these strip sets in a couple of hours, so if you can carve out that much time today and for the next three days, you'll have your strip sets ready for the next step, which I'll post on July 19th - Day 6 of the hop.  In the meantime, there'll be something fun here on this blog and an introduction to the day's hop blogs, so be sure to come back each day - remember the giveaway!  


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That's it for today!  Remember to visit today's stops on the hop, and if you missed yesterday's, take some time to get caught up!  Leave comments to be entered into the giveaways, both here and on the hop stops.  Every comment counts as an entry (but only one per blog unless the blogger says otherwise!)  I'd love to know if you're working on your own Santa's Trip Around the World quilt (hint hint!)

Hugs!

Sarah

Here are the blogs participating in the 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop!

Friday, July 14th


Saturday, July 15th


Sunday, July 16th


Monday, July 17th


Tuesday, July 18th


Wednesday, July 19th


Thursday, July 20th


Friday, July 21st


Saturday, July 22nd



76 comments:

  1. Hi Sarah, I am busy working on my own "secret" for the 22nd July and the hop at my place. Your quilt is getting a super head start. and from the comments on other blogs, this is going to be a superb event from now to the 25th. Hot up North, and we are having such a cold snap down here. Good time to be inside stitching.

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  2. You have included some great tips on piecing in general Sarah. The difference between ironing and pressing and sewing strip sets in particular, oh, and letting your machine do the work of feeding the fabric and only to be a guide, all great tips that make a huge difference to the finished piece. Looking forward to tomorrow.

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  3. This sounds like fun. I hope I can keep up.

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  4. Sarah, the tips are so helpful! Looking forward to everyone's progress!

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  5. Thanks for the great tips. Am enjoying the hop and everyone's creativity...it's all so varied. Again, thanks for organizing!

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  6. Thanks for the sewing tips. I like this hop for finding more blogs to add to my reading list too!

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  7. Great tips...hoping to get some strips cut today so I can get started.

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  8. It's hot and humid here, but with these blogs we can chill out with snowmen and gift stockings!!
    ekmvalencia@gmail.com

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  9. Thank you, Sarah, for all the sewing tips in addition to the quilt tutorial!
    I'm still sorting out my fabrics, deciding on their order... But having the next three days to work on this, I know I can catch up!
    *Thank you!*, again for organizing this, Sarah!!
    Pat T.

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  10. helpful tip on how to keep those pieces square

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  11. I'm starting out with some small projects in order to be able to get some quick finishes and mark some people off my Christmas list. Looking forward to seeing some more ideas at other stops today!

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  12. This would be great with all those patriotic fabrics I have (if I could remember where I put that bucket of fabrics).

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  13. I'm going to try alternating the direction I sew my strips - I hadn't heard this tip before. Thank you.

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  14. excellent tips for sewing it all together - thanks

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  15. I am enjoying all the projects on the hop

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  16. I'm feeling behind, reading your instructions, as I've only just picked out my fabrics and not cut them yet. But if you're giving us three days, there's hope for me! Great job putting this whole fun Christmas in July experience together!!!

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  17. I would love to make one of the quilts you are showing us! I think I must save it for in a couple of weeks though. I have all of these glorious quilts in progress! hehe. They make me so happy but I am in a small camper right now, so woah is me!!! Fabric everywhere! Doesn't that just make you smile? It does me! Thank you for sharing your creation! It is absolutely lovely! And thank you for hosting a fun Christmas in July!

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  18. Thanks for the instalment on the Christmas trip. I'm already a day behind.

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  19. I found enough fabric, still trying to decide if they will all work together but I am going to attempt to sew along with you. Thanks for the tips and for hosting this fun blog hop.

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  20. I love trip quilts! Thanks for the tips for the trip.

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  21. Thanks so much for organizing this blog hop. So many fun ideas!

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  22. Your instructions are very easy to follow. The hints at changing the direction of every other row helps too! Thank you.

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  23. I am anxious to see how your trip-around-the world is put together!! I am getting ready to quilt last year's Christmas quilt, so I am a year behind! Still collecting 16 Christmas Fabrics!

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  24. I'm working on finishing up some long time projects so I can get things packed up for a move. I'm down to a picture quilt for my folks. The tops finished I just need to quilt it. I wish I had time to do a santa's trip. It looks so fun!

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  25. Yes, I'm working along but already fell behind and it's only day 2. kthurn(at)bektel(dot)com

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  26. I am going to try, but I have company coming for a month. They will be arriving next week. If I get everything else done, I can start the project. Fingers crossed!

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  27. Sarah I can hardly wait for the next steps. I haven't cut anything yet, as I still need some fabric. Thanks for sharing.

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  28. Thanks for assembling such a fun group of bloggers! Off to see what exciting things they have posted today!

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  29. Excellent tips on handling/sewing strips for strattas. I hope to get to mine tonight. Another fabulous day at the Hop!

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  30. My strips are cut and put in order (for the second time) and I am looking forward to some late night sewing tonight. I've made several "trips" before but your tips are great and very helpful. It's much better to iron after each strip is sewn and to sew in alternate directions. Thanks!

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  31. I am working on a TATW along with you in reds and creams, enlarging to queen size.

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  32. It looks like there will be a lot of sewing. I appreciate the tip to alternate directions when sewing strips together. It really does make a difference!!

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  33. THANKS FOR ALL THE TIPS IN THE INSTRUCTIONS! READINGTIRZAH AT YAHOO.COM

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  34. I didn't know alternating sewing direction would make such a difference.

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  35. Nice clear directions! I'm not sewing along yet--too many WIPs right now, but saving for later!

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  36. No Christmas quilt progress here today as I was helping a friend on a sewing project. That's okay though, I'm enjoying the hop and thinking about what Christmas projects I might work on.

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  37. Love your Christmas QAL, I won't be working on it right now but maybe someday.

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  38. I hope you will be keeping this tutorial published online for a while. I would love to try this when I get a chance! Enjoying the blog hop so far!

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  39. Thanks for this great blog hop-I am enjoying all the different creations, ideas & tips from some very talented sewers & quilters! Thank you for all your hard work, Susan

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  40. My Guild has our Quilt Show in two weeks, so no sewing for me right now. But I am taking the time to read all the blogs each day, getting lots of ideas and tips.

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  41. I'm looking forward to seeing all the strip sets come alive! I love the tip about alternating the sewing direction. I remember when I first learned that, I thought I had struck gold. :-) Wonderfully written post, as usual.

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  42. I haven't gotten started on it yet, but plan to try to make one out of all Christmas fabric. Still hunting for the fabric. Thanks for sharing.

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  43. Got my cutting and sorting done tonight =) . I start sewing tomorrow ... I'm glad strip piecing is pretty fast. Thanks!

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  44. I am really enjoying this blog hop! No I have not made a trip around the world quilt yet (due to time restraints) but it is on my bucket list! Thanks!

    Please click on the delaineelliott above for my email link.

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  45. Alternating the direction of sewing the strips is so important, but easy to forget! Great post!

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  46. I am really enjoying this project and am hoping I can keep up - as a beginner this is a challenge!

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  47. I'm just going along for the ride this year, enjoying my visits to the bloggers. I know about your tip for reversing direction while sewing the strata. I just have to figure out a way to remember which end to start out each time. Your tips are very helpful.
    Pat

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  48. Having made a trip around the world quilt as my first quilt over 30 years ago, I am excited about this project. I love your detailed suggestions that will definitely pay off later.

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  49. I'm reading along but haven't cut any fabric yet. Question for you--if I don't have WOF, will there be any wiggle room when you (I assume it's coming) cut the strips? In other words, if I piece together a strip with, say, two pieces to get it WOF length, will I have any latitude to avoid a seam or two and still end up with the right number of sub-cuts?

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  50. I am not making this quilt with you this time, but it is beautiful and I hope you all have a good time making it!

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  51. I am not making with you now but am saving the tutorials for later. Thanks! Cotten.gloria@gmail.com

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  52. Great Christmas gift help!
    nikilsend(at)outlook(dot)com

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  53. Thanks for the sewing tips!! Looking forward to making the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop quilt... Hoping to make it THIS year even, if I can fit it in with all of my other projects in the works!!

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  54. Yep, not here! I believe I said thank you for the easy to follow instructions for this Christmas quilt. dezertsuz at gmail

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  55. Pulled out my Christmas fabrics and cut all my strips. I've wanted to make a "trip" quilt for quite some time...woo hoo!
    Debbie
    ollieami@aol.com

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  56. Nice tips for this Santa's trip.

    ejaneemerson@yahoo.com

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  57. Pulled out the Halloween fabrics, I need 2 more, Oh darn a trip to the quilt store. dhoctor@sbcglobal.net

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  58. I just finished my piece for the hop and I am so excited to browse all of the wonderful projects. I am a bit behind in my reading because I am at a lovely quilt retreat. :)

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  59. Thanks for taking the time to walk us through the steps. It's amazing how little things make such a big difference.

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  60. Thanks for the instructions. Much appreciated
    Swoot@att.net

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  61. Day 2 of blog hop. Great tips included today, thanks

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  62. Great instructions! Thank you for the tutorial!

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  63. Great tutorial. Looks like a fun and fast quilt to make.

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  64. I just read that today (in a quilt book from the library no less!)as well about the difference between ironing and pressing. They said for ironing you move the iron along the fabric and pressing you lift the iron up and down.

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  65. I want to make that quilt, but not now!! Your tips are wonderful! Thank you!
    kcummings71@gmail.com

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  66. thanks for the Christmas quilt tutorial. I love the tips to help me make a better quilt. I am new to quilting and love all the fun ideas.

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  67. Lots of hints and tips here sarah. This will be a great blog hop

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  68. Many good tips on working with long strips. Thanks for sharing.

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  69. Well, shoot. I wasn't even thinking about starting a new quilt top, until I saw this. Shoot, shoot, shoot. I think I'm going to have to do it. I have plenty of Christmas fabrics, and I believe they will blend together well. So....I'm outta here! Gotta play catch up now :)

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  70. So many great ideas on this hop!

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  71. Nice instructions for the quilt--Thanks!
    barbkaup(at)(yahoo)(dot)(com)

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  72. So many inspirational projects on this hop, I want to make all the things, if only there were 48 hrs in a day.... but the ones I dont get to make this year are certainly going on my to do list.

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  73. Thank you for a great hop. I am totally enjoying looking at all the great ideas.

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  74. Each step you have created is manageable to do after work. Thank you!

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