Curved PIecing, Polka Dot Bikini, Polka Dot Bikini QAL, Work in progress

Polka Dot Bikini Quilt Along: Progress and Troubleshooting

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Happy Bikini Day! It also happens to be really sunny outside and almost Friday, so it’s a good day!

Today is the last check in for the Bikini Quilt Along, do you have all of your blocks sewn up? During the next two weeks we should be sewing the blocks together to make the finished top. I am so excited! Just wanted to give you a bit of a peek at mine so far, here are some blocks laid out…

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I decided on this layout, turning every other block so that the patchwork squares alternate with solid blue fabrics. Some of the pod fabrics are peachy/orange and some are blue prints that coordinate with the solids.  Figured I might as well try something fun and different for my second quilt. You can make one like this from the original pattern by making all of your block “border blocks”, that is, half patchwork and half solid.

As you begin to sew your blocks together into rows, remember to press the seams between the blocks either open or alternating the direction from row to row like this (forgive the very simple graphic):

by pressing the seams in the same direction, but alternating each row, they will fit together well when you go to sew the rows together. This helps to keep seam lines matched up and straight and reduces fabric bulk at the intersections. I also like to pin at these intersections to keep the rows lined up as I sew.
If you are having difficulty with the patchwork square border due to your blocks turning out too big or too small, I have a few suggestions:
  • keep it really simple and just skip the patchwork border. Use a large scale print fabric or something that coordinates with the rest of your quilt. Cut a 10 1/2″ square from the chosen fabric, then cut it out with the template the same as you would if you did the patchwork pieces.
  • if your blocks are coming out 10″ instead of 10 1/2″: cut the squares for the edge blocks 2 7/8″ instead of 3″. When pieced together, the unit will be 10″ rather than 10 1/2″. Then cut the curve with the template as shown in the pattern instructions.
  • if your blocks are coming out 11″ instead of 10 1/2″: cut the squares 3 1/8″ instead of 3″, then proceed as usual with the pattern.
if your blocks are all different sizes (oh, my!): take off the corner stones (if you have already sewn them on), then trim and square them all to the same size, just make sure you leave the 1/4″ on the ends of the gray pods so you don’t lose the point when you sew the blocks together.
Re-sizing your blocks when they are at the stage shown above will require you to adjust the cornerstones or do something different. (see alternative ideas for cornerstones Here). It will also make it necessary to adjust your border blocks (see bullet point options above). Don’t give up!
I have really loved hearing from those that are working on their quilts…some of you have finished tops!…and I really want everyone to enjoy making this quilt. Please let me know if you are working on yours, and if you post pictures, tell me where to find you (blog, Facebook, instagram, etc)
Happy Curvy Sewing,
Sharon
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One thought on “Polka Dot Bikini Quilt Along: Progress and Troubleshooting

  1. OMG ! I must have really screwed something up, My blocks are coming out 9 1/2 “! I really want to do the pieced border. I know you did the math for me for the 10″ but is there any hope for the 9 1/2 ” block? I guess I have become your problem child. So sorry!

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