I'm super excited to announce a new Christmas mystery quilt along! We will have 12 blocks by 11 designers released every other Tuesday from August 1 to December 5. The best part is, it's free! (All of the block patterns will be free until January 16, 2018.)
One of the things I'm most excited about is that we will have 11(!) hosts. That means you will get to see 11 different takes on each block on the day it is released. You will also have 11 guaranteed cheer leaders, 11 people sharing their tips for success, and 11 people to answer your questions if you get stuck. How great is that!
So who are the hosts?
I am joining a wonderful group of bloggers to make this quilt along the best that it can be. In alphabetical order, they are:
Abbie at Sparkle On
April at JANDA Bend Quilts
Becca at Pretty Piney
Bobbi at Snowy Days Quilting <---- That's me!
Diane at Cwilt
Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter
Karen at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts
Sandy at SandyStar Designs
Sherry at Powered by Quilting
Vanda at Quilt in Piece
Will I have to rush to finish by Christmas?
Not at all. We are setting an easy pace with the blocks being released every other week. We do have a couple of weeks when we will release two blocks at the same time, but at least one block in each of those weeks is pretty quick. The bonus of doubling up on those two weeks is that the final block is released on December 5. That gives you nearly 3 whole weeks to complete your top before Christmas.
Where do I find the tutorials?
If you follow my blog, you will get all of the information sent directly to your inbox when each block comes out. Check out the sidebar to subscribe. My emails will include my take on the block, any tips or tricks I discovered as I made the block, and a link to the tutorial.
For those of us that like to plan ahead, here's the complete schedule:
August 1 - Vanda at Quilt in Piece
August 15 - April at JANDA Bend Quilts
August 29 - Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts and Jennifer at Inquiring Quilter
September 12 - Sherry at Powered by Quilting
September 26 - Sandra at Sandra Healy Designs
October 10 - Sandy at SandyStar Designs and Sola at Alice Samuel's Quilt Company
October 24 - Bobbi at Snowy Days Quilting <---- That's me!
November 7 - Diane at Cwilt
November 21 - Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing
December 5 - Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts
I'm also maintaining a page just for this quilt along. It has all of the links you could possibly want. As each block is posted, I will add a link there. You can find the page any time simply by clicking the Quilt Alongs tab at the top of the blog.
Can I see the blocks now?
Sorry, friend. This quilt along is a mystery, so we get to wait for each block to be released. I know it's hard, but I promise it will be worth it!
What fabric should I get?
I started with 4 main fabrics that I think go well together. These will primarily be used as backgrounds for my blocks. Since the quilt will have 12 blocks that each finish at 12", one yard of each of these fabrics is more than enough. I decided to work in solids, but you can choose whatever you like best.
For the rest of the fabric, anything goes. This is a great opportunity to play in your scraps. You will for sure want a few different reds and greens - it is a Christmas quilt, after all! You'll also need some bits and pieces of white, black, golden yellow, brown, and orange. From there, supplement with whatever you like.
Here are most the fabrics I will be working with. You can easily get away with less, but I want a good bit of variety in my blocks. I do still need to get a bit of orange, and I'm considering adding a lavender. If you have a decent pile of scraps to pull from, I wouldn't worry too much about choosing fabrics up front.
If you decide to go with a traditional layout, then I suggest 1 yard for sashing and 1 yard for the border. I'm going to wait to choose that until I have all of my blocks. Then I can decide what fabrics will be best to complement them.
If you would like to see a variety of other fabric choices, check out this post.
What techniques will we use?
One of the best parts of having so many designers is the wide variety of techniques that we get to use. There will be regular machine piecing, paper piecing, piecing with templates, fusible applique, needle turn applique, and just a touch of hand embroidery.
If you're anything like me, you're not an expert in absolutely everything on that list. As a matter of fact, there are a couple things on there I haven't even tried before. But don't let that scare you off! This is the perfect opportunity to learn something new.
Each designer is providing a detailed tutorial with their block, so you will have good instructions for any techniques you aren't familiar with. There will be a very supportive group of hosts, designers, and participants in the Facebook group to help you with your questions. You can also ask me directly, and I'll do whatever I can to help you out. Of course, if there's a technique you really don't like, you can always make the block another way. Everyone's creative interpretations are welcome.
How do I share my progress?
I'm so glad you asked! The best part of a quilt along is seeing all of the different approaches from other quilters. We have four great ways for you to stay in touch.
Laura of Slice of Pi Quilts has created a Facebook group just for us. You can search Facebook for I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long, or you can simply click this handy dandy link to go straight there. This is the perfect place to ask questions, cheer each other on, and post pictures.
I don't know about you, but I think Instagram is just about the greatest thing since sliced bread. I love how quick and easy it is to share pictures and get inspiration from other quilters around the world. For this quilt along, we have our very own hashtag! Just share your pictures with #iwishyouamerryqal. While you're at it, I would love to connect with you. I will be posting with the hashtag, and you can also find me as @snowydaysquilting
At the end of each tutorial, the block designer will have a link-up for that block. The link-up will stay open until the next block is released. That gives you two whole weeks to finish your block and join the link-up.
Even if you don't want to share in any of the other places, I would love to hear from you in the comments section of my blog. It's a great place to encourage each other as we work on our quilts. I always do my best to respond personally to anyone that leaves their email address with their comment.
Are there prizes?
But of course! There will be a prize drawing every time a block is released. To be eligible to win, just share your finished block before the next block comes out. Prizes include patterns, batting from The Warm Co., thread from Aurifil, a gift certificate to The Fat Quarter Shop, signed quilt books, precuts, and so much more!
In addition to that, we will have a grand prize drawing for anyone that makes all 12 blocks and posts their completed quilt top by January 16, 2018. That gives you 6 whole weeks from the time the last block is released to finish your quilt top. It doesn't need to be quilted to be eligible to win.
How do I join?
Easy peasy! Just follow my blog (or any of the other hosts' blogs) and you will see when each block is released. Make the block with your own fabrics and share it so we can all cheer each other on.
The more people that participate, the more fun it will be. If you decide to join, please tell your friends. If you're on Instagram, save the quiltalong graphic and share it with #iwishyouamerryqal. If you're on Facebook, share this blog post or a post from the Facebook group with your friends. If you're a blogger, tell your followers and link back to this post. And most of all, leave me a comment so I know you're in!
I can't wait to get started. I hope you'll join us! It's going to be a blast.