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Courting sew along - some extras

Hi StitchyMites, welcome to Wednesday :)

Today is the day that the Courting Sew Along starts! While its open to everyone, I thought you might like some little extra insights on things you can do with the pattern to make it suit the fabrics you already have or things you might especially want to use. The post for the Sew Along today is all about choosing. your fabrics - however if you're thinking of doing one of the slightly different layouts below you'll want to know that before we start making the Heart blocks next week.

Essentially, the centre square is 2" finished - so if you don't like the idea of hearts, or are making the quilt for a little boy for example, that square is sitting there waiting for you to pop something else in there and change the plan up. 

I especially like the idea of appliquéing a circle (or fussy cutting a big dot) right into the middle - it will give the layout some punch and focus, like the heart does but without as much effort or without being too cutesy.

If you have any of my BOM template sets, you'll find lots of the smaller circles will fit into that square. Using my Perfect Circles method they will be quick to turn and stitch down!

Another option is to make that centre square a continuation of your colour scheme. This works better if you are using a lot of contrast in your colours - for example, navy blue instead of the pink and a sharp white. 


What you will find is that the navy makes much more of a continued wave across the quilt, uninterrupted by the distraction of the heart and the middle of the block. This won't work nearly as well though if you try to do it where the white fabric should go in my layouts - it will look more like a big H, as the three 2" pieces at the centre will all run in a line. 

A third option is to fussy cut all the centre squares from the same fabric, in a different colour. In my pink and white layout for example, a red fabric would be great but so would green or yellow. If you have something you love like a little bee on a Heather Ross fabric for example, its a lovely way to showcase that. If you would rather fussy cut one of your big Kaffe or Tilda flowers, or a dump truck for a little boy, you can expand the centre square to 6 1/2" cut.

Once you have cut your centre squares, simply leave the first row of piecing for the pink and the white fabrics, and begin to stitch your strips with Row 2 of the white, then build the blocks as per the pattern as its written. It will give you a more open looking block, but its a nice way to feature something or to personalise the quilt for someone special. 

Of course if you want to get really detailed, you could always piece a little something into the centre of the block - some triangles, or a square in a square, or a tiny star for example. Thinking about all these things has made me want to make another quilt with a 6" star in the middle of the strips... must. restrain. self.....

Anyhoo I hope these ideas give you something to think about if you're joining the Courting Sew Along! If you are and you haven't bought your pattern yet, don't forget that last weeks post has a StitchyMites only discount on the pattern in it, that expires today. 

Happy sewing peeps and see you next week - and thank you so much to those of you who sent get well messages and cards, you're all so sweet and thoughtful and I appreciate you so much! Have a great Wednesday

Sarah x

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