For today’s Abacus Quilt Along, we will be sewing together our quilt tops! Be sure to click here for links to the rest of the tutorials and supply list. It took me a total of 2 hours to complete this week’s lesson. Feel free to jump in at any time!
Step 1 – Sewing the Rows (3/4 hour)
For ease in construction, lay out all of your machine appliqued and trimmed blocks in order on a design wall or other large flat surface.
Sew matching bead blocks together in pairs, chain piecing for faster assembly. Sew all blocks from one color into a row for a total of 8 rows of beads.
When placing your blocks right sides together, try to match up the circle positions as closely as you can. You may need to sew more slowly and use pins to ensure accuracy.
Sew all of the beads together first, then add the background strips to complete each column. The diagram below shows the position and cut length of each background strip.
Sew together pairs of columns to complete the quilt top. When joining rows, be sure to pin at block intersections. I also pinned in the middle of each block, matching up the two circles in the same position.
Optional: If you want to ensure perfect alignment, you can use a larger machine basting stitch to sew a few stitches only where each of the horizontal pins is below. Once you are happy with the alignment, you can go back and restitch the entire row.
Just for fun, I designed an alternate solid colorway for Abacus, which I call Parfait. I think it would look great in prints, too.
I encourage you to share you progress on your own blogs and leave a link in the comments below. If you don’t have a blog, you can always share your pictures on my flickr group, or on instagram (#abacusqal), or via good old-fashioned email! 🙂
Next week we will baste the quilt together. It’s easy peasy and will give everyone a chance to catch up, although you are never behind because the goal is to work at your own pace!