Square Dance

Square Dance - 5 - Assembly June 29 2020

In this final session you will be assembling your quilt top.
You will need:
              - the pattern
              - Blocks #1, #2, #3 and #4

The instructions for Assembly can be found at the bottom of page 3 and page 4 of your pattern.

1. Step #1 - Before beginning assembly, clearly outline the size of your quilt on the diagram on page 4 of the pattern. Also, label each row down the side with an A, B, C etc. As you complete sewing a row, label it with the corresponding label. I like to draw a squiggly line through the finished row on my diagram. It is so easy to mix up the rows.

2. Step #2 - As soon as I see the words "Press the seam allowances open." on a pattern, the word "ugh" comes to mind. Your longarm quilter will appreciate the effort you put into this, so please consider pressing the seams open.

Congratulations. The quilt top is finished.

Once your quilt is quilted, it is time to bind it. So many have a difficult time with this. Here is a video which may help.

Binding video!


Cathy S July 09 2020 at 07:19PM

Thanks for another fun project. The structured approach works for me. Gives me a deadline but allows time for other projects as well. I too may use the pattern again.

Heather Ellis July 08 2020 at 07:20PM

Thank you Sue & Wanda for another great quilt along. I really like this pattern and am happy with how my quilt turned out. Would definitely make this pattern again.

Wanda July 03 2020 at 11:25AM

Jan – Congratulations on finishing your quilt!

Colleen June 30 2020 at 08:06AM

I am making almost every row with a different fabric from the same line and it looks amazing. I love this pattern – it is so fun and easy – the complicated part is just staying organized. I will use this pattern again and I rarely make anything twice!!!

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Square Dance - 4 - Block #4 June 24 2020

This session you will be making 8 (12, 16, 21) Blocks #4.
You will need:
              - the pattern
              - 2½” width of fabric strips and 4½” x 10½” rectangles of fabric B
              - 2½” width of fabric strips of fabric C2
              - 2½” width of fabric strips of fabric C3
              - Best Press (optional)

The instructions for Blocks #4 can be found at the bottom of page 3 of your pattern. Follow the steps carefully.

Just one tip this time...take a note of all of the previous tips!

Next post is June29th.

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Square Dance - 3 - Block #3 June 15 2020

This session you will be making 16 (23, 32, 39) Blocks #3.
You will need:
              - the pattern
              - 4½” squares of fabric A
              - 2½” width of fabric strips, 3½” x 4½” and 4½” x 6½” rectangles of fabric B
              - 2½” width of fabric strips of fabric C1
              - Best Press (optional)

The instructions for Blocks #3 can be found at the top of page 3 of your pattern. Follow the steps carefully. Here are some tips to help you along:

1. Step #2 - When stitching the second strip, sew in the opposite direction from the first seam line. This helps in avoiding any skewing of the unit.

2. Step #2 again - Be very careful when pressing the sewn strips. Keep the unit straight! Using Best Press helps to achieve this and also flattens the seams.

3. Step #3 - Just in case there has been some skewing of the strip, when cross cutting, line up the ruler on the seam lines rather than on the top and bottom fabric edges.

By the way, a Shape Cut is a handy tool for cross-cutting as well as cutting strips. There is no need to keep shifting the ruler after each slice. Drop into the shop  and ask to try one.


4. Step #4 - A reminder to have the "busy" (one with the seams) piece at the top.

Next post is on June 22nd.



Wanda June 24 2020 at 12:06PM

Jackie – Sorry, the week got away from me. Session #4 is up now.

Jackie June 24 2020 at 12:05PM

I can’t get week 4? What am I doing wrong?

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Square Dance - 2 - Block #2 June 08 2020

This session you will be making 16 (24, 34, 40) Blocks #2.
You will need:
              - the pattern: Square Dance by Wanda’s Designs
              - 6½” squares of fabric A
              - 2½” x 6½” and 2½” x 10½” rectangles of fabric B
              - pins (optional)
              -The Cutting Gizmo (optional)

The instructions for Blocks #2 can be found at the bottom of page 2 of your pattern. Follow the steps carefully. Here are some tips to help you along:

1. A true ¼” seam allowance is very important. Our machines all differ therefore before beginning, please take the time to test the accuracy of your seam allowances. All machine models have specialized feet for ¼” seam allowance accuracy. It is well worth the purchase.

A specialty foot with a blade allows you to consistently guide the fabric (fig.1).  These feet are also available without a blade. In this case, the sewer guides the fabric along the edge of the foot.

If no specialty foot is available, find a line on your machine’s standard foot to follow or adjust the needle to the right or left so you can use the outer edge of the foot.

2. Step #1 - There is no need to lock stitches at the beginning and end of each piece. Chain piece. The knotting that occurs between the pieces is enough to lock the sewing line.

For quick cutting apart of the pieces, The Cutting Gizmo is recommended.

 Press...do not iron! Since the seam allowances are to be pressed towards the rectangles, lay the piece down on the ironing surface with the large square on the bottom. Gently move the iron to the right and left to flip over and press the rectangles.

    2. Step #2 - To pin or not to pin! Quilters will always take a short cut, so when joining small pieces, pins are generally not used. This is a personal decision. If you are more comfortable with pinning, go ahead. I usually do not pin anything which is less than 10” long. But if I am matching seams ,then I always pin regardless of the length of the piece.

    Step #2 requires adding to the units made. It is a general rule, that the piece with the most seams is on the top. This way you can guide the seam allowances in their proper direction.

     Next post is June 15th. Mark your calendar.


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    Square Dance - 1 - Cutting June 01 2020

    Let’s get started! There is no sewing this time, just cutting.

    For this Quilt Along, it will be assumed that everyone is a beginner quilter. If you are an experienced quilter, that’s okay, read the instructions and tips just as carefully and treat it as a review!

    You will need:

                 - the pattern: Square Dance by Wanda’s Designs

                 - your fabric

                 - a rotary cutter with a sharp blade

                 - cutting mat

                 - a ruler

                 - pencil or Frixion® pen (available online HERE)

                 - pins and paper scraps for labels

    Read through the WHOLE pattern...yes, the WHOLE pattern. This will give you an idea of what is ahead. Don’t worry if you have found it a bit confusing, it will all make sense as you follow our Quilt Along.

    1. Time to do some cutting. Let’s start with fabric B.


    When this fabric was cut off the bolt, the selvedges were not together. A sure indication that the fabric needs to be adjusted and pressed.

    Line up the selvedges together and hold the fabric as wide as you possibly can. Does it fall smoothly? No skewing? Great, give it a good press. But if your fabric falls unevenly, then simply keep holding it up with selvages together and shift one selvage sideways until your fabric falls smoothly. Press the new center fold.

    On your pressing surface, grasp the folded edge of the fabric and bring it up to the selvage strip. The selvage strip should be visible. Press. Now the fabric is ready for cutting.

    The raw edge of the fabric is most likely not even, Cut away a thin strip off the outer edge to ensure a straight edge before beginning to cut your pieces. By the way, a ruler is much more accurate than the markings on the cutting board, therefore, avoid using the board for measurement.

    Cut the larger pieces first. Check off the cuts on the pattern as you go. We are going to mark up the pattern a little. I would suggest using a Frixion® pen as any erroneous marks can be ironed or rubbed off easily and it’s more visible. Keep the pencil or Frixion® pen handy for making notes or checking off the steps as we get them done. 

    Label the cut fabrics.

    2. Prepare fabric A as we did before for fabric B.

    These pieces are large, 10½” squares. A 12" square ruler or larger is best.


    If you do not have a large square ruler, you will have to use the cutting board markings. Not ideal, but there is no choice. Be sure the bottom fold is lined up on a line and position the ruler below and above the fabric using the board measurements.

    3. Continue with the fabric C cuts. Don't forget to label everything.

    Keep all of the left-over fabrics. You never know...there may be an “oops” where that extra fabric may come in handy.

    Next post is June 8th. 




    Wanda June 02 2020 at 09:09AM

    Paula – The only suggestion I have is to send Sue (thimbles & things) or Lois (Threads that Bind) pictures. or possibly through Facebook.

    Colleen June 02 2020 at 09:04AM

    Just a note to say how much I love this pattern and I’ve decided to use the same fabric in each row versus the whole quilt…interesting to see if it just looks like a big mess in the end…I just had this amazing fabric and it has been calling to me for months!!

    Paula Smith June 02 2020 at 09:05AM

    Is there anywhere to post our progress?

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    Square Dance - Introduction May 20 2020

    Welcome to the thimbles & things’ fifth Quilt Along. We hope you decide to participate, as this is going to be fun!  This is a free Quilt Along and the pattern is ideal for a beginner quilter. 

    Each installment will guide you through the making of a “Square Dance” quilt by Wanda’s Designs. Please feel free to ask questions or comment. Your insights may help other participants.

    Beginning June 1st, 2020, there will be a weekly blog post on our website to help you stay on track, give you helpful hints and answer any questions you may have.

    You will need your fabric for the first session, so let’s talk about fabric choice.

    Feature Fabric: This pattern has large 10” squares, therefore a busy non-directional print works well. Choose something that you absolutely love and has a non-directional design. These birds could possibly end up upside down or sideways! Also, be aware that there is no fussy cutting here, so a bird may well be cut in half!


     Background Fabric: Choose a background fabric that does not detract from the feature fabric. Keep it simple!

    Coordinating Fabrics: Choose 3 coordinating fabrics and this time a more subtle approach is best. Pick up the colour choices from the feature fabric.

    Remember! That feature fabric is the star, the coordinators are supporting actors and the background is the set.

    I made a king sized Square Dance quilt for my son. He works in the lumber industry and I have heard him say, “They come in round and we send them out square.” So when I saw this log fabric, Square Dance was perfect! Please note the coordinating fabric choices...subtle and no conflicting patterns. Yes, the background is black...it’s a man thing.

    Mark your calendar, get your pattern and fabric...be ready for Session 1 - June 1st.

    Here is the Square Dance pattern in our online shop.

    Square Dance Pattern




    Jan belanger July 03 2020 at 11:24AM

    I finished my quilt

    Wanda June 02 2020 at 09:15AM

    Janet – This is a great pattern for using that ever growing stash that we all have. As I don’t know the size you are making, please refer to the Fabric requirements on the pattern.

    Janet June 02 2020 at 09:10AM

    How much of each fabric? I am trying to use up my stash.

    Wanda May 28 2020 at 07:09PM

    Wendy – The blocks finish at 10" therefore they will cut to 10 1/2" squares.

    Wendy Robinson May 28 2020 at 07:07PM

    I just want to make sure before I buy the pattern that the large blocks are from 10 inch squares not 101/2. I am hoping to use a package of10" blocks from my stash

    Wanda May 21 2020 at 06:31PM

    Nancy – Absolutely. Especially those lovely large print designs.

    Nancy May 21 2020 at 06:30PM

    Hi Sue, do you think a Kaffe Fassett material would work well?

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