The Aunts’ Quilt

I’m interrupting my last Australia post so that we can get the Aunts’ Quilt quiltalong started.  Are you ladies that are playing along ready?  Most of you should have your patterns by now, so, let’s lay out a plan, shall we?

Thimbleanna: Aunts' Quilt

I originally thought we would do one pieced block and one applique block per month until we were done.  But, upon further inspection, it looks like we need to do two pieced blocks and one applique block per month if we want to finish this quilt in a year — and we DO want to finish in a year, right?  That way, you can be done and ready for quilting before Christmas, next year.

So, here’s a schedule that I thought we could follow:
Month 1: Block 1 and 2 pieced blocks
Month 2: Block 2 and 2 pieced blocks
Month 3: Block 3 and 2 pieced blocks
Month 4: Block 4 and 2 pieced blocks
Month 5: Block 5 and 2 pieced blocks
Month 6: Block 6 and 2 pieced blocks
Month 7: 4 inset triangles
Month 8: 4 inset triangles
Month 9: 2 inset triangles and 2 corners
Month 10: 2 corners and construct quilt and attach border background
Month 11: Side scallops
Month 12: Top and bottom scallops

I’ll be here to remind you of the schedule each month and generally cheer you along. We’ll base our months on the 15th of each month — so the first month will be Oct. 15th – Nov. 15th (we’re late already!). I debated about taking a month off during the holidays, but instead, I think we’ll just keep a schedule and if you get behind, you can use the slow winter months (I don’t think we have any participants from down under, do we?) to catch up.

I’ve also debated about ways to share our progress. For those of you who have blogs, let me know you’re playing along and I’ll add your blog name to the side bar. If you don’t have a blog and you want to send me pictures each month, I’ll be happy to share them here, on my blog. AND, if you have instagram, let’s post progress under the hashtag “#theauntsquilt” — there are already a few pictures from Australian quilters under that hashtag.

Also, a few of you mentioned that you are new to applique, so I thought I’d show you my favorite way to make the bias strips that we’ll need for the stems on our applique blocks. Years ago, I used to do needle turn stems and, one day, MeMum showed me this technique and changed my applique world. It’s SO much easier than any other method I’ve seen.  You’ll need a set of bias bars.   I’ve seen them in metal and nylon and either kind work just fine.

Thimbleanna: Making Bias

You need to cut bias strips of your stem fabric.  To calculate how wide to cut your bias strip, take the finished size of your bias stem, multiply by two, and add 3/4″.  So, if you’re making a 3/8″ bias stem: 3/8″ x 2 = 3/4″ + 3/4″ = 1 1/2″.  You would cut your bias strip 1 1/2″ wide.

Here, try another one.  If you’re making a 1/4″ bias stem: 1/4″ x 2 = 1/2″ + 3/4″ = 1 1/4″.  You would cut your bias strip 1 1/4″ wide.  Make sense?

Fold your bias strip wrong sides together.  (Don’t make the mistake that I make when I’m on auto-pilot and sew right sides together or you’ll be unpicking.)  Then, stitch a generous 1/4″ from the raw edges.

Thimbleanna: Making Bias

If your finished bias stem will be 3/8″ or smaller, you may need to trim your 1/4″ seam just a little bit.

Thimbleanna: Making Bias

Insert the rounded end of the bias bar into your tube of fabric and shift the seam toward one side of the bias stem.  Press the seam flat, shifting the bias bar along the length of the tube as you press.

Thimbleanna: Making Bias

When you flip your bias stem over, you won’t be able to see the seam.  In the blurry picture below, the wrong side of the bias stem is the top strip, and the right side is shown in the bottom strip.

Thimbleanna: Making Bias

Pretty slick, huh?  When you applique your strip down to your background fabric, the raw edge of the seam will be enclosed by your two rows of stitches.  I love this method because there’s no fabric turning involved — it’s quick and easy!

Thimbleanna: Making Bias

Ok kids — get to work. I hope choosing fabrics will be easier for you than it is for me. The only decisions I’ve made so far are the green stripe for the stems and the same Kei dot fabrics that Gina used. I’ve pulled a bajillion fabrics from my stash and can’t decide on anything. Also, if you have any suggestions for the quiltalong, I’m all ears!   Good Luck!


Oh P.S. — Here’s a little tip — when you have your fabrics pulled each month, you might want to cut a few of the scallops — it will save a lot of time at the end when we’re making the scalloped borders!

21 Thoughts on “The Aunts’ Quilt

  1. This is going to be such a fun sew-along to watch pop up all over blog land! Thanks for the great tips!!

  2. Although I am not quilting, I will look forward to seeing how your quilt progresses! xx

  3. Mary ann on October 19, 2014 at 8:26 pm said:

    I am going to have fun watching this all. and given that schedule I know I am not going to waiver …lol

  4. I’ve got my pattern but made zero progress on fabric choices too. Nonetheless… excited to see everyone’s work. I’ll be recording my progress on my blog.

  5. I’m trying to catch up reading blogposts! You have been busy traveling! Love the Aunt’s pattern, sorry I have missed the opportunity to jump on board this quilt-along! I’ll be back to have another gasp at your beautiful Australia photo’s!

  6. i love this little stripe for the stems –
    I look forward to seeing these quilts, but will have to be content to watch this time.

  7. Catching up on your blog. It looks like you had a wonderful trip :) The Aunt’s’ Quilt looks fun to do, I’m wishing I wasn’t so busy.

  8. This looks like a lot of fun and wish I could’ve motivated myself to join in, but I’ll be happy to watch everyone else’s progress! Thanks for the tip on the bias strips. Someday it might be useful! Good luck on fabric choosing. That’s a challenge for me at the start of a project too.

  9. I am going to try to sneak this in among all my other projects :) As for behind, I wouldn’t know what it was like to be on schedule, ha!

  10. I am going to pick fabrics as I go along, because I am just making a big mess! Or just keep adding to my file of fabric choices! Thanks for the tips! Ready… set… go!!!

  11. I’m looking forward to seeing this one come together. I’ll cheer you on from the sidelines! :o)

  12. I am anxiously awaiting my pattern! I am still looking for a green stripe, I love that look. Looking forward to joining in.

  13. Gosh you are all ready to go and I haven’t even chosen my fabrics yet. Also your pace might be a bit too fast for me but I’ll do my best. I forgotten about those bias bars; they are indeed terrific and I will go and dig them out right now.

  14. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness.

  15. Planning to buy the pattern on Tuesday, then will have to work very hard when I get home to catch up!!

  16. Thank you, thank you, thank you for mentioning these bias bars! I have had two sets (different sizes) for AGES and used them years ago in a project ~ very successfully! And then they got buried in a drawer, I stepped away from appliqué for a while and forgot all about them. You’re right, they’re fabulous and using them results in beautiful, easy stems. I am working on two projects right now with which I can use these. Thanks so much for the reminder!

  17. Melissa on October 26, 2014 at 6:34 am said:

    Hi Anna! I recently bought this pattern and am keen to start on it so would love to join in on your quilt along! The bias bars look like such a neat tool I will have to look out for some…thanks for the tip!

  18. I envy your quilting abilities! :) Big hugs!

  19. Glenda on October 28, 2014 at 1:24 am said:

    I’ve been a follower of your blog and travels for a long time!
    I’m a friend of Meredithe and Jans !
    Today Anne , Meredith and heather went to Amittee and purchased our patterns and fabrics to join in “the aunts quilt”
    Looking forward to seeing everyone’s progress!
    I don’t have a blog but am on Instagram ( @glendacust)
    We’ll better go and start cutting !!!
    Glenda (gj)

  20. Just thought I’d mention that my scallop edge on the border is all one fabric/ one piece of fabric. The scallop was drawn on and then I cut it as I appliqued it down.

  21. Hi,
    Very excited to join ‘the aunt’s quilt’. I’m a friend of Meredithe and Glenda. I have been down to Amitie Textiles and got my pattern and some fabrics. So far I have done three pieced blocks Hope to start on the applique tomorrow .. Only 5 days till the next month !!
    my blog is

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation