Quilting Gallery Blog

Happy New Year Sew-Along

Happy New Year everyone!! I’m so thrilled to be hosting a fabulously fun sew-along in our Facebook Group. Plus there are give-aways here on the blog and in our group. Come join us!!


Here’s the FREE quilt that I’m teaching … Bright Stars (thanks to Jill McL for the name suggestion). The quilt as presented finishes at 64″ x 80″.

A scrappy version …


… and a two-colour version.


This is a Sew-Along … which means I’m sewing WITH you … and writing up the tutorial as we go along.

Fabric Requirements

You’ll need approximately 3.5 yards of BOTH light and dark fabrics to complete the top as shown above. If I decide to add borders, I’ll share that info later. Backing, batting and binding will be added later.

You can use scraps (or charms), fat quarters or yardage. IF you have an Easy Angle or Easy Star and Geese Ruler, you can use jelly rolls. If you don’t have these speciality rulers, you can’t use jelly rolls for the half-square triangles.

Let’s get started!

Important note: In my tutorial diagrams, the black units represent the background fabric.


WAIT! Before you cut, read the next step and additional notes.


Additional Notes: Instead of cutting individual squares, you may wish to use 2.5″ strips, sew the strips together, one background, one print, and then sub-cut those strip sets into the 2-patch units.


Important UPDATE: If you have not started your first batch of four-patches (i.e. Steps 1 to 3) … I strongly recommend that you shorten your stitch length a bit and instead of pressing to the background fabric, press your seams open. This will make future steps a little easier. However, like many of you, I’ve already done a good bit of my four-patches, so I’ll make it work having already pressed them in the direction indicated. It’s not a HUGE deal, we just can’t nest the seams for this quilt top as well as I thought we would be able to.

Spiral the Seams: If you’ve done any of my other quilt patterns, you’ll know how much I love spiralled seams for 4-patch units. By doing this, you distribute the bulk evenly. If this is a new term to you, watch this video:

Time for some more cutting….


Now it’s time to cut the fabric to make a total of 320 half-square triangle (HST) units.


I have given you the cutting instructions for two options of making the HST units. The first is the Square Method, where you’ll start with large squares, draw a diagonal line, stitch on both sides of the line, cut apart to yield two HST units and TRIM the HST units to the correct size. The second method is for using one of the Speciality Rulers, such as the Easy Star & Geese or Easy Angle rulers.

See this Tutorial: Creating Triangle and Flying Geese Units


Remember those squares you cut in Step 4, now it’s time to combine them with the HST units you’ve completed in Step 6.


Almost at the finish line, with Step 8 … press your new four-patches by spiralling the seams or pressing open. It’s really up to you. They won’t nest nicely when we join the blocks no matter what you choose.


Now take the two sets of 160 four-patches and create, yet another four-patch .. we’re getting bigger. Layout each individual block, so that you are 100% sure that you have the orientation correct. This is the completed block and measures 8.5″ square.


Let’s put the top together …



This sew-along has come together very quickly, but I did manage to get some free PDF patterns from friends to use as give-aways. Some of the patterns are being given away in our Facebook Group. However, I wanted to make it fair to everyone in all time zones, so you can enter on this blog post too!

To enter: Simply leave a comment below answering the following: “Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions? If so, what are they?” I’ll choose the winners randomly, next Monday, January 5, 2015.

Thanks so much to the generosity of friends and sponsors that have donated .. at the last minute! Here are the prizes:

My dear friend, Pat Sloan, has donated THREE copies of her Let’s GO Sew pattern.


The three winners chosen from our Facebook Group are:

  • Peggy McC.
  • Deborah D.
  • Amy D.

Our friends at the Fat Quarter Shop have donated THREE of their It’s Sew Emma PDF patterns (max. value of $9.00).


The three winners chosen from our Facebook Group are:

  • Linda G.
  • Connie G.
  • Barb C.

Quilting buddy, Amy from Butterfly Angels Quilting has donated six copies of her pattern. Winners can choose between:

Cross Cross Apple Sauce:


Cajun Cathedral Windows:


The six winners chosen from our Facebook Group are:

  • Maggie F.
  • Diana F.
  • Kay M.
  • Susan J.
  • Liz G.
  • Danielle W.

I donated three copies of my latest pattern, Little Gems Mug Rugs.


The three winners chosen from our Facebook Group are:

  • Lucy W.
  • Roberta J.
  • Susan N. W.

Download Five FREE Quilt Block Tutorials:

Five Free Block Library Tutorials

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This post was published on December 31st, 2014. Post topics: Free Projects, Mishka's Patterns, Quilting Events. Post tags: .

263 Responses to “Happy New Year Sew-Along”

  1. Patty Espinosa says:

    Love your sew-alongs! My new years resolution is to get my sewing room completely finished. Next step is that my design wall is finally going up on Monday so I should be able to use it all year! Even probably get the “Bright Stars” quilt up on the wall! Take care.

  2. Connie V-Grady says:

    My News Year resolution is to get packed up and get moved to SC. We have been working at getting the house in shape to sell so we can move.

  3. susan pappas says:

    I think i have already registered. But if not, I’m working on accuracy and this looked a fun project. I’m from VT. I’d say my skill level is intermediate/ beginner.

  4. Mary Deeter says:

    My resolution is to USE ….Use what I have! The stash; the scrap bin; the UFO’s !!

  5. Celeste Catano says:

    My resolution is to complete one UFO before starting a new project.

  6. Virginia Spiers says:

    My resolution is to get as many of my UFO’s finished as I can, while still starting other projects. Also to continue losing weight smartly.

  7. Susan says:

    My New Year’s Resolutions is to get more projects totally completed during the year. This Sew-Along will be a great start!

  8. Brenda Cook says:

    Missed joining in for sewing on New Years so I’ve some catching up to do! Love these posts and the ones on Facebook too. Great group!

  9. laura says:

    finishing finishing finishing–that’s my resolution!

  10. Carol says:

    I would love to finish some of my projects and use more of my stash. I also resolve to try not to buy any more fabric unless it’s absolutely necessary!

  11. Happylab says:

    My new Year’s resolution, to only make quilts I want to finish or make, and have fun in doing the process. Make 2-4 scrappy quilts. Relax and enjoy life.

  12. Deb Berkebile says:

    My New year’s resolution is to follow my “Journey” this year. Whatever that journey takes me to. Finishing UFO’s, new GIS quilts for entries, painting fabric and paper from Gelli prints, to painting collages of both.
    Happy New Year, and thanks so much for the giveaways!

  13. cheri mccurdy says:

    My Resolution is to be more positive. also to complete things I start.

  14. Carol says:

    I must learn to quilt so that I can quilt the 9 quilt tops I have finished so far and finish the other 3 I am busy with.
    Love your Face Book group as well as this one. Happy New year to everyone, may we all reach our goals!!!

  15. Olga says:

    My New Year’s resolution is to finish at least some of my unfinished projects. Happy New Year. Hope I win.

  16. Sue Harbin says:

    My New Year’s resolution is to eat less and sew more,

  17. Patty Coppola says:

    I am inspired and resolute to become more proficient in my quilting skills. I want to start and finish 2 quilts for 2 of my 4 children.

  18. Frances says:

    New Years Resolution is to FINISH what I start ans to lower the mountain height of my UFO’s.

  19. Merritt's says:

    I am retiring from my “day job” after 27 years at the same desk. My resolution is to dive into family, fabric and fun!!

  20. Merrietta says:

    I am retiring from my “day job” after 27 years at the same desk. My resolution is to dive into family, fabric and fun!! My name came up wrong! Silly spell check!!

  21. Sally says:

    Still waiting for step 10. Love this quilt!

  22. My resolutions are to finish at least one of my own quilts per month, gain at least one new longarm customer each month, and get my sewing room more organized.

  23. Judy Cooper says:

    My resolution is To Do What I Can Do.

  24. Louise says:

    My resolution is to declutter, by organizing and using my fabric stash. NO NEW STASH FABRIC, no matter how good a deal it is, is my 2015 motto. Only buy new if needed for a specific project, if not, find something in my stash.

  25. ReginaBurnitt says:

    My New Years resolution is to make more quilts

  26. Shirley says:

    I don’t make new years resolutions..I just try to do the right thing to make like enjoyable. looking forward to this, I’m choosing the 2 color method which I hope won’t confuse me since your instructions are for multi..hahah

  27. Sue Steward says:

    I keep checking but I don’t seem to be coming up with Step 10 that was going to be released on Friday??????

  28. Maria Ziccarelli says:

    My resolution is to finish what I start. It may be 2 or 3 things at a time, but all must be finished before the years end.

  29. baguio guide says:

    i’m little bit confused but i already get the point :-)

  30. Sheila Thompson says:

    To buy more fabric and some lovely patterns

  31. Sheila Thompson says:

    To buy more fabric and quilting gadgets

  32. Theresa Andrews says:

    Love this sew along and all the goodie giveaways! My new year’s resolution is “follow through”. IM looking to following through with unfinished projects/commitments/etc for this year!

  33. Shirley Jobson says:

    No resolutions here…. I decided two years ago to not make them anymore and keep the pressure of trying to live by them off of myself during the year. Doing that gives me permission to live freely and enjoy what I do get to do or finish or not finish at anytime!! :-)

  34. Elaine McCormick says:

    Love the sew along and checking on what everyone is doing and how different fabrics make it look different. My New Years resolution is to continue the good habits I attained in 2014 which include eating better, not volunteering for things that I just don’t have time for and taking more time for what I love to do…sewing!! Thanks Michele for doing this! You have helped me to keep on with my habits from last year!

  35. Julie Hallquist says:

    I want to same up money to get myself a long arm quilting machine. I might take me a few years but iam going to try.

  36. Bev Caldwell says:

    Sew, sew, sew. Seems 2014 was the year of baby quilts for my extended family in total I ended up making 10 and now 2015 begins with orders for blankets & etc. for newly expected great granddaughter and another grandnephew or grandniece. Plus I continue to join the mug rug swaps (such fun, Thank you for being charge of matching partners). Quilting calms the frantic nerves and finishes with a beautiful keepsake for a loved one.

    Happy 2015 everyone!

  37. Bev Gunn says:

    New Years resolutions are alot like fresh fruit-if you don’t use them right away, they end up getting discarded because something new comes along and attracts you away from the intended path!

  38. Nancy B says:

    My resolutions are to improve my quilting and finish what I start.

  39. Yolanda Pelayo says:

    My resolutions are to give myself more time at the sewing machine y finish my quilt. Happy New Year!

  40. Karen Serum says:

    My resolution is to better organize my sewing/crafting room, we will be getting new carpet so this is the best time to get organized. Heres to 2015 !!!

  41. Irai says:

    My resolution for this year are improve my skill in quilting and do many big & small project of sewing & crafting. And I also want to teach the others more. Hope, my dream come true..^^

  42. Chrystal says:

    My New Year’s resolutions are:
    1. Setup an online site (website/blog)
    2. Teach beginner quilting classes at church (all forms are turned in and dates set. Now it’s time to prepare and have fun!)
    3. Finished at least 2 UFOs (2 are so close to being finished).
    4. Sign up for a Free Motion Quilting class & practice, practice, practice!

  43. Liddy says:

    What happened to the last part of the quilt along?

  44. Liddy says:

    I kept coming back for th elast entry on 2nd, but still can’t see it. Can anyone tell me about this please?

  45. Mary says:

    My plan is to make a special quilt for my two children.

  46. Ruth Ann says:

    My New Year’s Resolution is to be more positive letting negative thoughts and comments go and to finish 3 UFO’s. Love this quilt!

  47. Gale says:

    My resolution is to try and finish some of the many things I have already started. BUT I so, so want to make this in red and white, because I mostly sew scrappy. Thanks for hosting and Happy New Year to you and Milo :)

  48. Linda B. says:

    My resolution is to take more time to sew. Which means less computer time. I love seeing what others are doing! Love your quilts!

  49. Liddy says:

    This is my first sewalong and it has been a disappointment since I can’t access the last bit that was supposed to be posted on Friday. I don’t think I will do this again. I keep asking for help and getting none. Ah well! the blocks won’t be wasted as I will sew them together another way.
    No more of this for me.

  50. Patty says:

    help, I can’t seem to find step ten, can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks

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