A Quick Summer Quilting Project

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A Quick Summer Quilting Project–or what I did on my summer vacation

Last night my husband came home and asked if he remembered to tell me he had volunteered us to make a quilt for the secretary from our church who was retiring? My answer was “No honey, I’m pretty sure you didn’t tell me that. No problem though, when do you need it done by?” His answer?  Are you sitting down? “Two weeks!” Not necessarily something to panic about IF we weren’t going away for a week and if I wasn’t working the next week. I needed a Quick Summer Quilting Project and I needed it now, there would be no better time to put my new PFAFF Quilt Ambition 2.0 sewing machine to the test.

We were going to piece a quilt in the next two days, while on vacation, so it not only needed to be quick I needed to be able to easily pack everything I needed to take with me. We were driving to this vacation destination so that made it a bit easier.

Using pre-cut layer cakes makes for a quicker project


I started with a layer cake. I love pre-cuts when I’m in a pinch. Not only is everything coordinated, but much of the cutting is already done for you. Now I could have just taken those wonderful coordinated 10” squares and sewed them together but I wanted to do a bit more than that. After all, this was a gift.  I used a layer cake that had a nautical theme, the receiver is from the East Coast and is hoping to return there after retirement. To that I will add a small inner boarder and a larger outer boarder.

A few cuts and we are ready to go!

Today I want to get the main body of the quilt top all cut and pieced together. This needs to go fast.  Did I mention I’m on vacation?…

I took the 10” squares and cut a 6″ strip.

The first of two cuts for a simple yet effective block


From the remaining 4″ x 10″ strip I cut that in half and ended up with 2″ x 5″ pieces.

The 4″ x 10″ strip gets cut into two pieces, 4″ x 5″


Time for the design wall and block placement

I then started to place these on my design wall (a fancy word for that flannel table cloth taped to the wall).

Beside each 6″ strip I placed two of the 4″ blocks. This really is going to be a rather scrappy yet coordinated quilt so I didn’t spend a lot of time doing this. I did try to have one dark, one light and one medium piece of fabric in each block.

I made 5 of these blocks across.

In row two I switched the blocks around starting with the two 4″ pieces and then the 6″ piece.

There are a total of 6 rows of 5 blocks for a total of 30 blocks — Yes I had some left overs from my layer cake I could have made the quilt bigger but I wanted a ‘sofa’ quilt, one for her to cuddle up on the sofa and sip tea and watch a movie so by the time I added a couple of borders this was going to be big enough.

My design wall–all laid out and ready to go


It was time to start sewing!

First thing I did was wind a nice fresh bobbin on my PFAFF Quilt Ambition 2.0 sewing machine.

Then I shortened my stitch length. The default stitch length setting on this machine is 2.5. I shortened it to 2.0. I like a shorter stitch length when I’m piecing. The 2.5 stitch length works great for sewing garments with wider seam allowances but I like that shorter stitch length for my ¼” seams. It’s so easy to change the stitch length on this machine that there is really no excuse for me not to.

Shortening my Stitch Length to 2.0


That done, I get my ¼” foot out that came with my machine and get to sewing. I’m a chain ‘piecer’ so I went to my design wall and took down all my pairs of 4″ x 5″ squares and sewed them all together using a ¼” seam. To end up with a 4″ x 9½” pair.

I love my 1/4″ foot–included with my PFAFF Quilt Ambition 2.0


Once they were all sewn together in pairs I went to the ironing board. First I set the seam then proceeded to iron that seam open. Yep, you read that right – open!

I started pressing almost all of my quilting seams open. It makes for a flatter and I think cleaner press and makes free motion quilting or even stitch in the ditch quilting a piece of cake!

Pressing the seam OPEN


I then took each pair and sewed them to the long side of my 6” x 10” piece of fabric. And no — they didn’t fit exactly, my 4” x 5” pieces which were sewn into pairs now measured 4″ x 9½”. I still sewed them to the 10” piece of fabric as I was going to square them up after the next pressing.

Once all of my blocks were together I set out to square them all up to a nice 9½” square.

Time to square up! 9 1/2 X 9 1/2


I sewed those squares together to make rows, pressing each seam open.

Then sewed the rows together. The whole quilt top to this point was cut, pieced and pressed and assembled in a day (not a long day just a good steady day, where I managed to cook dinner and read a couple of chapters of a book I just can’t seem to put down).

Tomorrow I’m going to add the borders, I’m thinking a bit of red to make it pop?  This really was a quick summer quilting project — I like to get a whole quilt top done in less than a day, what about you? It was super easy to cut, and sewing on my PFAFF Quilt Ambition 2.0 made it happen without a hitch.

Ready for some borders!