Up_and_Away-2 Up and Away Sew-Along


I'm so excited to be releasing my first quilt pattern, and even more excited to be hosting my very first Sew Along (SAL) on Instagram. I've had a few questions about how the sew-along works, so I thought I'd tell you all about it here, so that you can find the information that you need. I do hope you will join in!


What is the Sew-Along and do I have to pay?

The Sew- Along is hosted on Instagram and it's a fun way of making a quilt over a period of 6 weeks, all at the same time with other quilters around the world. We can all spur one another along! You don't need to pay, but you do need to purchase the pattern via my Esty Shop, which is a PDF digital download. You will be making a different part of the quilt each week and posting your progress on Instagram for that week, using the hashtags #upandawaysal and #upandawayquilt. Please also tag me @sarahashfordstudio so that others can see where to get the pattern if they want to.


Do I have to sign up?

No, sign ups are not required! You just need to post your progress once a week (if you can) using the hashtags #upandawaysal and #upandawaybabyquilt and by tagging me @sarahashfordstudio. That way I can see all of your posts and comment on your progress! You can post at any time during the week. I will post the schedule for the week on the Monday of each week as a reminder as well.


When does the Sew Along start and what is the schedule?

The sew-along starts on Monday 3rdJune and runs for 6 weeks. I can't wait to get started and see your fabric selections and hot air balloons!






Monday 3rd June

Choose fabrics, make 2 blocks


Monday 10thJune

Make 4 blocks


Monday 17thJune

Make 4 blocks


Monday 24thJune

Make 2 blocks and sashing


Monday 1st July



Monday 8th July

Binding, Finishing, Photo!

Prize winner announced

Sunday 14thJuly



What if I get behind?

Please don't worry if you get behind, it's just for fun! There are no quilt police keeping track of you! Obviously it would be great if you can keep up, and we will all spur each other on but if you get behind it doesn't matter. There will be prizes at the end though for finished quilts, so hopefully that will spur you on to get it finished!!


I'm not very good at taking photos. Does that matter?

Of course not! But it would be lovely if you could capture your quilt progress as best you can. Here are some top tips for photographs:

  • Try to take photographs in natural light – why not go outside or make sure you're near a window

  • Use a photo app or increase the brightness when you post to Instagram

  • Think about the background. If your quilt is patterned, try putting it on a plain background. Or why not find somewhere outside. Lay your block on the grass or bench or even hang it on a washing line!


Portrait Up and Away Sew-Along 

Can I share the pattern with my friend or sewing group?

Each quilter needs to purchase their own pattern. If you are part of a sewing group and you all want to join in, do drop me an email via my contact form and I'm happy to discuss discounted rates for bulk purchases of the pattern.


What fabrics shall I use?

This bit is completely up to you! I can't wait to see your fabric choices, and I know the balloons are all going to look so different to my original quilt, I can't wait to see them! Just make sure you have enough contrast between the 'sky' and the balloons so that the balloons stand out. I shall be making the balloons in a variety of fabrics to give you some ideas. I also have lots of my quilting friends making balloons, so if you look up the hashtags #upandawaybabyquilt and #upandawaysal there will be lots to inspire you!


Help! I've never Foundation Paper Pieced Before! How can I learn?

The good news is this is a very simple FPP pattern and so it's a great place to start. There are only two sections to the balloon which means it is very easy to put together. I wrote a tutorial on FPP last year for the Polka Dot Chair website which you can find below.


It also comes with a free kite pattern – bonus!

I've also written a blog post previous to this one, sharing my top tips for FPP. My top advice would be to read the tutorial and tips, and just take it slowly to start. By the time you've made a few balloons you'll be an expert!

Oakshott_Balloon Up and Away Sew-Along


Can I adapt the pattern for the Sew-Along?

By all means you can. You may want to make more balloons or you may want to put on bigger borders to make the quilt bigger. As long as there are 12 balloons or more in your final quilt, you will qualify for the prizes. But ultimately it's your quilt and up to you!


Are there any prizes?

I'm thrilled to say there are going to be prizes at the end of the sew-along for my favourite Up and Away quilt and for the best photography of a finished Up and Away Quilt. I'm currently working with lots of lovely sponsors to put two big prize bundles together; it's going to be awesome!

In order to qualify for the prizes, you must have posted using the hashtags #upandawaysal and #upandawaybabyquilt at least 3 times throughout the duration of the sew-along and have your finished quilt complete and a photo posted to Instagram by Sunday 14thJuly at 6.00pm BST. The final winners will be announced that evening.


How can I keep up to date with future patterns that you release?

I really hope you love making this pattern. I loved designing it and I can't wait to see lots of hot air balloons popping up on Instagram. This community is just the best!

I would love you to keep up to date with my pattern releases and other news. I'm launching the Great British Quilter Podcast and have lots of other exciting plans in the pipeline! Do subscribe to my newsletter, which not only contains my latest news, but also discount codes for my project pouches and a quilting top tip each month. Visit my home page and sign up on the right hand side.


Happy Quilting!


Sarah x