Saturday, February 10, 2018

Swoon Quilt: Behind the Seams...

My Swoon Quilt top is almost finished!

I brought this project to our quilt retreat last weekend in RI, and for once, it was the only project that I worked on from Thursday through Sunday. This quilt was a block of the month that I purchased online. This project dates back to 2013, but who's counting? I have UFOs much older than this one that are still in the box.
I brought four and a half completed blocks with me. By Friday, I had sewn one and a half more for a total of six finished blocks. I was motivated by my progress, so I pushed myself to keep going. Luckily, there weren't any near by fabric stores or I might have been tempted to go and buy a new project.
I changed the colors in two of the blocks from the purchased kit. In this star, I added the more vibrant red dots on purple as the accent color, rather than the anemic blue dots that had been provided. And then I paired the very pale blue dots with a pastel floral and that made a really pretty block. All of the fabrics are Kaffe Fassett.
My eighth block on Saturday night. I finished block number nine on Sunday before we left.
Here are the blocks laid out in my hotel room on a king size bed.
Next, I need to add white sashing and borders and the top is done. The finished size is 80x80, but I'm going to add wider borders so it will fit better on our queen size bed.

Here's the behind the seams dirt:
  1. The shop did not provide enough fabric for the blocks. I've been quilting for over 25 years, and I'm a pretty good piecer and a very accurate cutter, but this was challenging. The cutting layouts from the quilt's designer were miserly. The fabric layout for the pieces that were cut from polka dots measured 17 and 3/4" BEFORE cutting and the shop provided fat quarters that were 18" at the widest (with no margin for error if you squared them off.) I noticed that the kit "offered" to sell you an extra 1/8 of each fabric for an additional $5, but if you do the math, they're charging you $20 a yard for 1/4 yard of fabric. I ran out of fabric twice, and a couple of blocks have a lot of selvage in them, which really irks me.
  2. I used very, very scant 1/4" seams in my blocks. The pattern called for 3 7/8" squares to make 3 1/2 half square finished triangles. I had shreds to square up. I would have rather used 4" squares so I had something to trim, but see #1 above! In some places, some of my seams in the blocks are just a couple of threads wide. Hopefully, some good machine quilting will hold this quilt together. Fortunately, I have no plans to enter it in the Houston Quilt Festival.
  3. There are 81 pieces in each block. I deliberately did NOT count them until I had made the last star.
  4. Here's the good news. The quilt only requires nine stars because these are big honking 24 1/2" blocks when finished. This pattern is NOT hard. It is time consuming to cut and sew, but an advanced beginner could make it.
Are you swooning along with me? Have you made this quilt pattern?

Thanks for visiting.

Pugs and kisses,


  1. From what I hear the pattern has an update which is much more user friendly....(heard it from a Swoon officianado) I have one started. All my background is cut. I just need to make my blocks. Yours is going to be very pretty.

  2. I wouldn't have realized HOW big the blocks were till you held it up. I love this quilt and the colors....I need to make a Kaffe quilt! I have not made this pattern...but am inspired to try it as I like how big the blocks turn out.

  3. well.
    Good thing they are spectacular finished. And big. It makes me mad when a kit is not enough. Kits are more expensive for the "convenience" I can't tell you how many times I've pre-washed fabric and it skewed. Maybe it was skewed on the bolt but after sewing and quilting you don't want a quilt to skew because of that. It wants to pull into correct weave alignment after washing. I don't need any more surprises in my hobby life, enough in real life.

  4. Your blocks are beautiful, just gorgeous! And huge! It's a good thing you are so accurate because I think these could be hard to square up at 24". I've admired Swoon blocks since I first saw them. It's too bad the company you purchased the blocks from shorted you on the fabric. I think it fosters good relations to be on the generous side