It’s been fabulous getting to know everyone who’s participating in the Dot ‘n’ Dash Quilt Along. I love seeing all the fabric choices you are all sharing. And getting to know everyone over in my Christa Quilts Facebook group is so much fun. If you are just joining us, grab a jelly roll of fabric & some background and you’re all set!
Pressing and Piecing Tips
Before we get into sewing the blocks, I’d like to share a couple of general sewing tips.
I prefer to sew with a shorter stitch length (2.0 instead of the default 2.5). This helps ensure that the seams won’t split open at the ends during sewing.
I also press ALL of my seams open. I use a hot dry iron for pressing with NO steam. (Steam can distort the blocks, and adding water to your iron is one of the easiest ways to break it!!)
I press all of my seams open for 2 reasons: (1) it makes the blocks super flat which makes machine quilting on a home sewing machine sooooo much easier to do. And (2) I don’t have to think about which way the seams need to go from block to block so it makes joining the blocks together much, much easier.
I gently press each seam open with my fingers as then follow it up with the iron. After each seam is pressed, I press the whole block on both sides to make a flat, crisp block!
I use a lot of pins when joining my blocks and I make to sure to sew a little bit slower than normal so that I don’t veer off the end of each piece while sewing.
And don’t worry if you make a hot mess while you are sewing. The image below is what my actual process looks like when chain piecing. Fortunately, once the threads are clipped between units and everything is pressed as I go, I can quickly calm this unruly chaos:
The instructions and tips I offer during the quilt along are just suggestions and ideas that work for me. Remember – you are the boss of your quilt, so feel free to use your own favorite methods if you are happy with them and getting good results!
Sewing the Dot ‘n’ Dash Blocks
Follow the instructions in the book on pages 52-53 to make the blocks. Take care to make both versions of the block as shown in the diagrams. They are similar and easy to confuse but the layout for both is slightly different.
To speed things up, I’ll lay out all of the block parts in order on a mat next to my sewing machine. Because we are going for a random scrappy look, don’t overthink the fabric placement. Just try not to have the same fabric repeat in each block and you will be fine.
Stack up a whole bunch of units at once so that you can assembly line sew.
As you are piecing, keep the background rectangles (gray in my image above) on top as you sew. This will ensure that you are sewing the long skinny strips in opposite directions each time. This is so the blocks won’t warp or skew as you make them.
Also, use pins if needed to ensure that your pieced units and gray strips match up on both ends. If for some reason they are not the same size, you can trim them down, but be sure that all units are the same length so your blocks will go together correctly.
Notice how the units in the A & B blocks go in different directions. Be sure to pay close attention to the block assembly diagrams in the book and make the correct number of each.
For those of you making Dot ‘n Dash with the light gray Fandangle fabric kit, here’s what your finished A block may look like:
Once you’ve finished piecing all 30 blocks (15 A + 15 B), give them a final press if desired and admire your pretty handiwork!
Finish sewing all of the blocks. Then share pictures of your progress in my facebook group and/or on instagram #dotndashqal. I love to see how you are doing!!
If you are blogging about your progress, be sure to add a link to your blog post in the comments below so we can all head over there and cheer you on!!
Don’t you just love a pretty stack of finished blocks??