August 21, 2015

GRAVITY Quilt Along {Background Blocks}

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Today we're beginning the Background Blocks in the GRAVITY Quilt Along! 

   Cheers  erupt,  confetti  falls,  and  happy  dance  begins!!  


March 8, 2015 Announcement!
March 10, 2015  Alternative Fabric Ideas
March 16, 2015 - Schedule and Sponsors
March 17, 2015  Sponsors and Prizes!
March 24, 2015  Template Tips
April 17, 2015  Block 1 Horizon
May 1, 2015  Block 2 Constellation 
May 15, 2015  Block 3 Orbit 
May 29, 2015  Block 4 Intergalactic 
June 12, 2015  Block 5 Celestial
June 26, 2015  Block 6 Ultraviolet
July 10, 2015  Block 7 Cosmic  
July 24, 2015  Block 8 Eclipse
August 7, 2015  Block 9 Voyage
August 21, 2015  Background Blocks ◄ You are here!
September 4, 2015  Finished Quilt Tops
September 18, 2015  Finished Quilts
November 20, 2015 Last day to enter the Finished quilt link-up.

 ♥ Block 9 Prize Winner! ♥ 

A special Thank You to the sponsors for today's giveaway!  
The prize package winner is entry #5 Sue of My Quilting Addiction!

Today's winner was chosen randomly from the entries who have not won in previous GRAVITY QAL drawings in order to spread the prizes around more evenly. Hopefully other quilters will join us and the drawings will revert to being truly random.  The final Grand Prize Drawing of completed quilts will be random, and all previous winners can win that amazing package!

 ♥ Visit the QAL Sponsors to Get Your Supplies! ♥ 

 ♥ Background Blocks Construction ♥ 

Here are my previous tips for creating your GRAVITY Quilt:
  • Starch fabrics with Best Press or similar high-quality starch.
  • Allow fabrics to completely dry before cutting due to potential shrinkage from the starch.
  • Read the instructions carefully several times.
  • Press seams open.  This is new for me but really makes a difference in this quilt.  Run fingernail along the seam ahead of the iron to fully open it.
  • When piecing, pin the end of the pieces closest to you to keep them lined up.
  • Design boards come in handy for keeping block pieces in the right place when moving them to the sewing machine.  You can view my Design Board Tutorial - the Duck Tape Version for tips on making some for yourself.
  • I don't think I've told you before - I'm using gray thread because it blends well with all of the colors.  
  • The full 10" of fabric is used for one of the colors in Block 5.  Be sure to measure carefully before cutting off the pinked edge to be sure there will be enough fabric left for all of the required strips.
  • I'm getting comfortable enough with using the templates that I am layering both fabrics with the same letter together before cutting - what a timesaver!
  • When piecing, follow the diagrams carefully, paying close attention to how the notched edge of each piece is oriented.  They seem to be placed in a way that reduces bulk where many seams come together.  This is amazing foresight by the designer.  Thanks so much, Julie!
  • Don't panic when you notice Block 6 has partial seams!  I avoided them like the plague before, but now I know they are super simple!
  • Keep calm and sew on!
  • In Block 8, be very careful with the orientation of the pieced strips before cutting them into half hexagons.  I got confused because the cutting lines in the picture are shown the opposite of how I usually cut, and all my eye saw was the color of the strips, not the direction of the cutting lines.  If you happen to cut the first one wrong and realize your mistake, continue cutting them all wrong for that colored block so the design of the block is not broken, i.e., so all the same color strips end up where they should be.  
  • You did it!  Yeah!
My tips for the background blocks:
  • Consider starching the fabrics.  I didn't remember this step until I was assembling the blocks, and by then it was too late since fabric can shrink when starched.
  • If you haven't yet cut off the tiny tabs of fabric, don't - they are very helpful when assembling the quilt top.
Here are my finished background blocks.  There are 50 blocks in all though it sure doesn't look like it with them all piled up.

 ♥ ♥   Prize Package Giveaway!  ♥ ♥ 

Please visit our sponsors and show them some love by purchasing from their shops, bookmarking their storefronts for later shopping, and signing up for their newsletters.  Be sure to tell them you are visiting their shop from the GRAVITY Quilt Along!  Let them know sponsoring Quilt Alongs is advertising that works!

The following prize package will be given away to one entrant on September 4th when the Quilt Top is posted. 

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Starlit Quilts is generously donating a Mochi Fat Quarter Bundle by Cotton + Steel!  Isn't that a delightful bundle of fabrics?  The bundle is 15 fat quarters!  Star is a custom long arm quilter and sells fabric on Etsy.  Starlit Quilts is located in Washington State!

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew is donating 10 PDF patterns! Each prize drawing will include one PDF pattern of the winner's choice. Stop by her shop and take your merry time deliberating over which pattern you'd choose!  Allison has over 40 patterns to choose from, so you're sure to find just what you need.  Cluck Cluck Sew is located in Washington!  Here's a sampling of her patterns.

 Share Via Flickr, Social Media, & Your Blog! 

Please post your pictures to the Gravity Quilt Along Flickr Group!

Please share about the Gravity Quilt Along on social media!

#GravityQAL and #GravityQuilt

Please share the GRAVITY QAL button in your blog post.

 ♥ ♥   Link-Up Your Block 9's!   ♥ ♥ 

The link-up will be open until the Quilt Along ends.  To qualify for the prize giveaway, you must complete 50 Background Blocks and add your link by Thursday, September 3rd, 2015, 11:55 pm Pacific Coast US time.  You can link to a blog post, Flickr, Instagram, or Facebook.  Just make sure to link up before Friday, September 4th to be entered in the prize package giveaway!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Please link to the GRAVITY Quilt Along in your post!

An InLinkz Link-up

Linking to:

MOP Mondays ♥ 

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Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

The end is in sight!! This has been a great QAL. Not too much or too little time in between steps. Thanks for hosting!!!!

AlidaP said...

Looking forward to see all these amazing quilts together! thanks for sharing!!