We are about to embark on the beautiful, the one and only, Swoon. And no, please don’t swoon (or you can if you want to), I’m saying the pattern is called ‘Swoon’.
The Swoon quilt was designed by Camille Roskelley several years ago and was wildly popular. And it’s still very popular today. It is actually an old block that you can find in many antique quilts, but Camille made this block a thousand times easier to piece with her method. A thousand times easier.
Before I ever made this quilt pattern, I found among my husband’s grandmothers quilts a swoon quilt. It’s a little different, it’s all hand pieced, but it’s a Swoon. There is a few minuscule differences (the corners). See for yourself.
We don’t know how old this quilt is and we don’t know if it’s even his grandmothers or his great grandmothers. I wanted to repair it, but I’ve been iffy about doing so. We don’t use it. It remains draped over a bed that we don’t ever sleep on. It’s just there for us to look at when we want (I never want to see a quilt stuffed away in a closet).
The Swoon Class on Craftsy
Camille’s Swoon pattern uses half square triangles and flying geese, all easy to make with modern cutting and piecing methods to get the same effect as the antique quilt.
With this class you get 4 of Camille’s Thimble Blossom patterns which are normally around $9 a piece anyway so the class is MORE than worth it. Plus, even though I could buy a pattern and make the quilt myself, I like that I get the class video. When you take a class or even just watch someone else make a quilt, I always find that I pick up these tiny little tips that I can use in my own work to make my piecing better and sometimes find an easier way of doing something that I’ve been doing for years.
Me, making this quilt again
This block is HUGE, 24″ huge. So you don’t have to make many blocks to have a decent sized quilt.
It creates a big huge impact on a quilt. The block uses 3 different fabrics: your background, the center part, and then the outer section. You can make this block using 2 fat quarters + back ground fabric, and the pattern shows you how to cut the fat quarter to use all of it.
Now that you are inspired. I’m working on a commisioned quilt. My quilt buyer wanted the quilt made similar to my very first Swoon quilt, but she asked for tangerine to be included.
I LOVE making a commissioned quilt where my quilt buyer does not choose fabrics. Naturally. It means I get to do my own thing. It means I get to take creative liberties. It means I’m making a quilt that I WANT to make.
It also means I get to use what I have, and here is what I have:
Those Amy Butler roses at the top….GAH! I am smitten. I keep coming back to stare at this picture, because I love these fabrics SO much.
Sadly, a few of these fabrics ended up getting replaced due to a few not being quite big enough to get all the pieces cut from, but you get the point. And the color palette stayed the same.
I really enjoy mixing fabrics together. My daughter is ALWAYS trying to teach me about the color wheel and how this works and this, but I have always felt that color is a feeling. You know when you know.
Emily Dickinson said, “the heart wants what the heart wants,” and this heart always knows when she feels that certain fabrics just belong together, whether that works on the color wheel or not.
I don’t want to make one block at a time
Let me say this first: This quilt is a thousand times easier to think about if you are making one block at a time. You just simply follow the directions in the pattern. Easy peasy.
However, if you like me enjoy:
- sitting for a few hours and drawing lines on the back of squares
- sitting for hours and trimming your HSTs
- sitting for a few hours trimming your flying geese
- doing all of the above with your family in the living room and not isolated in your sewing room
- hours of chain piecing
- having all of the pieces ready to go when it’s time to start doing block assembly
The above is ME in a nutshell. But please don’t think I just sit all day. I do all that in steps and work on many quilts in between. I’m up and I’m down. Truly.
Also, I’m not being sarcastic. The above is my preferred method of making a quilt. There is something about doing the same task over and over and over again that I find almost therapeutic. I can sit there and chain piece HST after HST and be relaxed and in the zone, but if I have to get every two minutes to use the cutting board after piecing a few HST then I feel busy, full of thinking about my steps, and sometimes a little stressed.
So if you are like me, this is your guide to:
how to organize a swoon quilt and make all your blocks at once
- Take how many blocks you want to make and multiply by 2. That is how many fabrics you want to pick out and pair together in little organized stacks. Follow the cutting instructions in the pattern. Then, organize your cut pieces like the above picture, making sure that you are keeping the fabrics you want per block together.
- the next part of the pattern is about block assembly. It goes into detail about how many HSTs to make and in which colorways. For example: if it tells you that you need 4 HSTs in color 1 & 2, then from each of your little stacks of pieces for your blocks you will pull out 2 squares to draw a line on the back of and 2 squares to pair it with.
- The above picture shows a better example. I have a stack of: rectangles that are for geese that my background will be stitched to, a stack of squares that I need to draw a line on, a stack of squares that will go with them, a stack of squares that will be paired with the background fabric that does not need a line drawn on. All are topped with notes to keep me organized and let me know which stack does what. This is essential. Zoom in to the picture above to get a better view of what all my notes say, it will make much more sense when you see it.
- each stack above is made by pulling from the original stacks of paired fabric blocks (3 pictures above)
- From each of your swoon block stacks, you should have left your center square, a few smaller squares and a few rectangles. Keep those paired up with clothespins. If it takes you a few days to do the above steps, then you won’t remember which fabric you wanted paired up with which without them.
Once you have the above done it should be much easier to stay organized.
- now go draw lines on all the squares in all stacks that say draw lines.
- chain stitch all your HSTs
- trim all your HSTs
- press all your HSTs
- chain stitch all your geese
- trim all your geese
- press all your geese
After these last several steps you should have all your pieces ready and assembly can really start taking shape.
I like to keep the pattern I printed from Craftsy by my side so that I don’t get mixed up. These are many of the same shapes, but they all have a certain direction that they need turning. So paying attention is crucial at this point.
- Step 2 of the Swoon pattern has you piecing your corner section of the block. There are 3 columns of 3, basically a nine patch (except the last column). I like to chain piece the first two of ALL of the blocks, then chain piece the third one. Then, press them all. Then stitch each column together. Keep in mind that I’m not doing these one at a time. I’m chain piecing every column for all of my Swoon blocks at once. There is no stopping and starting between blocks.
Note: Keep your stack of clothes pinned fabrics beside you so that you know what you are supposed to be pairing with what. You might have to dig a little through each of your stacks so that are pulling the right HSTs for each. Also, from those clothes pinned stack you will be pulling out some of the pieces for this step.
The picture above shows me doing this very step. Above my sewing machine you can see my stacks of columns 1,2, and 3.
- After all three columns are together you should have 4 corners per block.
- Repeat the last two steps for Step 3 on the pattern that deals with the geese.
Note: After you have all corner and middle units finished you can remove the clothespins.
- Next, I make the middle row of the swoon. With all the center squares of my blocks stacked beside me. I chain piece all the middle units one one side of the center square, then chain piece all the middle units for the other side. Then go and press them all.
- I repeat this last step for the corner and middle units. Chain stitching down one side and then down the other side of ALL the blocks. Then press them.
- Now I pin my bottom and middle rows together for all the blocks. Then chain piece them, then press them. Same thing with the top row to the bottom two rows. One more chain piece and one more press and your blocks should be all done and all at the same time.
Like I said above, it’s easier to make one block at a time, but if that up and down and flipping tasks repeatedly is not for you, maybe this way is.
Have questions? Did I confuse you? Please leave a comment below for help. I was voted “most helpful” in my 8th grade Who’s Who class and am always ready to show how correct my classmates were. JK. But seriously, I was really voted that.