The first tip is to measure your star sections – they should measure 16.5″ x 32.5″, but with all the long and diagonal seams and bias stretch happening, it may be out by even as much as 1/2″ (say, 33.5″) depending on your fabric and seams. But you know what? That’s ok! Just trim it evenly off each side to 32.5″. You know why that’s ok? It just means you will have some extra wiggle room around the outer edge when it comes time to square it up post-quilting and when attaching your binding. Which is good.
The second tip is to pin your pieces together. This will make all the difference in this final step of piecing all your sections together to avoid stretching all the bias fabric and given the length of your seams, it’s easier to keep yourself straight. Be sure to press your seams to the side as directed so you can nest them when sewing the rows together. And obviously, I will be pressing my top before basting!
When it comes to the backing the great thing about quilts sized like Bright Sky (64″), is that 4 yards of fabric will be the perfect length to cut in half and sew together along the selvage edges. This will leave you with approximately 4″ extra backing overhang along the cut edges (and more on the selvage sides), which you need for squaring-up security while quilting. You may need more if you are going to have your quilt professionally quilted by a longarmer, so be sure to double check their requirements. For my original Bright Sky quilt, I had to have 8″ all around each edge for Gemma. But on a home machine, 4″ should be plenty. I had 4 metres of fabric to work with, so to “save” fabric, I measured out 2 yards and cut two pieces. You can see my tape measure only goes up to 60″ and I needed to use my 12″ quilting ruler to make up the difference!
You will have a lot more overhang on the selvage sides, but I prefer to leave it until I’ve basted and trim the extra off then so I don’t cut too much off! PS – why yes, I did make sure the kids had cleaned up their part of the shared play room/sewing room before I did this!
And Bright Sky t-shirts are available at Patchwork Threads!! Share your progress on Instagram usiing #pwtbrightskyqal to be in the chance to win one each week. This week’s winner is @laurelar – wow, she’s really brought her A-game with that centre square design! Congratulations Laurel, I’ll be in touch!