Sew Let's Quilt Along: Fabric Options

Are you getting excited for our next quilt along? I sure am! If you missed the introduction, check it out here. That post has all of the information that you need to quilt along with us.

Our first block comes out in just over a week (Tuesday, March 12), so that means it’s time to start choosing fabrics! But what if you don’t have any idea what to choose? Don’t worry - the Partners in Design are here for you. In this post, we’ll take a look at our hosts’ fabric choices. It may not help you narrow down your options, but it will certainly give you some inspiration.

Quilt Hosts

These four ladies are each planning to use their blocks in one large quilt. That means their fabrics need to coordinate well for all of the blocks.

Bobbi Bridgeman @ Snowy Days Quilting

That’s me! I’m sticking with my love of batiks, and I decided to go with my favorite cool colors. The mottled grey is Bali Watercolors 1895-597 December. It will be my background fabric. For the foreground, I’ll be using bright blue, green, and purple scraps. Since we only need little bits of each fabric in the blocks, this quilt is a perfect scrap buster. I always enjoy seeing how many different fabrics I can get into one quilt.

The picture gives you a good idea of the variety I’m going for. I decided to stick to a specific color palette rather than trying to make the colors be realistic for the items in the blocks. I will have enough variety in colors and values to make the blocks come out well without worrying about realism.

Becca Fenstermaker @ Pretty Piney Quilts

Becca pulled a collection of fabrics from her stash with a variety of colors and values. She chose both a dark background and a light background. Since she’s making a quilt, she wanted her block backgrounds to be uniform. She’s also planning to bring in scraps from her stash as needed.

Sherry Shish @ Powered by Quilting

Sherry always makes such lovely quilts from Moda Grunge. This time, she chose some of her favorite colors as the focus fabrics. She’s also planning to pull from her many Grunge scraps to round out the color palette.

April Adams @ JANDA Bend Quilts

April is using fabrics from the Salem Quilt Show collection by Meg Hawkey of Crabapple Hill Studio for Maywood Studio. She’s excited to end up with a fun and wild quilt!

Project Hosts

These five ladies will be using their blocks in small projects. Since they’re making multiple projects, it’s less important for all of their fabrics to coordinate. Instead, they can choose a variety of favorites and use them in different projects.

Sandy Maxfield @ SandyStar Designs

Sandy is planning to use some of her treasured Blueberry Park stash in each block. She will fill in with solids or blenders.

Abbie Danahy @ Sparkle On!

Abbie is using fabrics from First Blush by It’s Sew Emma for Windham Fabrics. She’s also pulling from her stash of Kona solids.

Jennifer Fulton @ Inquiring Quilter

Jennifer went looking through her fabrics and pulled out anything that spoke to her. She came up with several wonderful ideas!

Kathleen McCormick @ Kathleen McMusing

These are some of the fabrics that spoke to Kathleen as she dug through her stash. She’s hoping to work in all of the sewing related fabrics.

Karen Thurn @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

Karen is looking to use her projects in her Arizona sewing room. With that in mind, she decided to include cacti in all of her blocks. She found a variety of cactus fabrics, and pulled in blenders to coordinate with them.

How Much Fabric Do I Need?

Keep in mind that everyone’s needs with vary depending on what they do with their blocks. There’s a huge variety in the fabrics that are needed for different quilt settings and small projects. With that said, I can give you a good idea of where to start for the blocks themselves.

Background - I recommend getting at least two yards of this for the blocks. If you’re planning on using it in your quilt setting or small projects, you will want some more.

Main Fabrics - I recommend going scrappy. Since we’ll only need little bits of fabric in each block, this is a great chance to use up some scraps. The more variety, the better!

If you prefer to select specific fabrics, I would get 1/2 yard each of 8 different fabrics. Once again, you may need more depending on what you do with your blocks.

Brown, Black, and Grey - If you would like to keep the blocks looking realistic, you’ll want a half yard each of brown, black, and grey. Of course, it’s also fine to leave those out if they don’t fit the color scheme you prefer. Your quilt (or projects) will still turn out well.

What Do You Think?

Is your mind swimming with ideas? Mine certainly is! I would love to hear your thoughts on the fabric choices. Do you have a favorite from what our hosts have shared? What are you thinking about for your own blocks? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Once you’ve chosen your own fabrics, we would love to see them. You can post a picture in the Partners in Design Facebook group, or on Instagram with the hashtag #SewLetsQAL. I can’t wait to see what you find!

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Sew Let's Quilt Along: Introduction

I can’t believe our next quilt along is finally here! I’m really excited to bring you the third mystery quilt along from Partners in Design. We had a blast with I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long and Fall into a Quilt Along, and I can’t wait to start sewing with you again.

Speaking of sewing, that’s our theme! I hope you love it as much as we do. We are doing a few things differently this time around, so you’ll want to keep reading to get the details.

The best part of this quilt along is all of the support you can expect. We have 11 Partners in Design working together to make this a success, and we're all here to answer your questions and cheer you on. Not only that, but our Facebook group is full of friendly quilters that are always happy to jump in if you’re feeling a bit stuck. I hope you’ll join us!

Who Are the Partners in Design?

We are a group of 11 pattern designers that are teaming up to bring you a fabulous quilt along. Allow me to introduce the people that are working so hard to make your experience amazing:

Abbie Danahy @ Sparkle On!
April Adams @ JANDA Bend Quilts
Becca Fenstermaker @ Pretty Piney Quilts
Bobbi Bridgeman @ Snowy Days Quilting <— That’s me!
Jennifer Fulton @ Inquiring Quilter
Karen Thurn @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Kathleen McCormick @ Kathleen McMusing
Laura Piland @ Slice of Pi Quilts
Sandra Healy @ Sandra Healy Designs
Sandy Maxfield @ SandyStar Designs
Sherry Shish @ Powered by Quilting

How Does This Work?

We’ve added some new options this time around. We thought it would be fun for you to be able to choose between using your blocks in one big quilt or using them in several smaller projects. To facilitate the smaller projects, we’ve broken the quilt along into segments. But don’t worry - we’ll still provide ideas for a whole quilt at the end of the quilt along.

We will be releasing a new sewing-themed block every other Tuesday at 12:00 am Eastern time. Our lovely hosts will share their versions of the block along with tips for success. After each segment, some of our hosts will share a small project idea. At the end, the rest of the hosts will share a full quilt. We will have prizes after each segment, and a grand prize at the very end (more details on that below).

Where Do I Get the Patterns?

If you follow my blog, you will get an email when each new block is released. The email will include my take on the block, any tips or tricks I found to help you succeed, and a link to the tutorial. Sign up here to stay in the loop!

I have also created a page just for Sew Let’s Quilt Along. As each new block is released, I will add a link to it on that page. You can bookmark it for easy access, or find it by clicking the Quilt Alongs tab at the top of the blog.

What’s the Schedule?

Since it’s a mystery, each block will be a surprise. Stop by the designers’ blogs to see the new block at 12:00 am Eastern time on release dates. All of the block patterns will be free until September 24, 2019.

Segment 1: March 12 to May 21

Segment 2: May 21 to July 16

Segment 3: July 16 to September 10

The End: September 24

  • Grand Prize Winner Announced

  • Last Day for Free Block Patterns

Wait…There’s 13 Blocks?

Yep! We will have 12 blocks that each finish at 12”, and we’ll also have one larger block that finishes at 18” by 24”. That gives us a lot of options for how we use them!

For a big quilt, you could put the large block in the center, and the 12 smaller blocks around the outside. Or you could put the large block off to one corner or side, and fill in with the smaller blocks. At the end of the quilt along, several of our hosts (including me) will provide layouts that use all of the blocks.

Don’t want to make a whole quilt? No problem! The rest of our hosts will be sharing small projects as we go. Their projects will use all of the blocks from each segment, so there will be no shortage of ideas.

Who Are the Hosts?

This is another way we’re changing things up a bit. We will have 7 full-time hosts that will be quilting along the whole time. We will also have three part-time hosts that are just joining us for a segment or two. Whoever is hosting will share their versions of the blocks along with tips for success.

Quilt Hosts

These ladies will share their blocks and tips every week for the whole quilt along. At the end, they will share a quilt layout that uses all of the blocks.

April @ JANDA Bend Quilts

Becca @ Pretty Piney Quilts

Bobbi @ Snowy Days Quilting <— That’s me!

Sherry @ Powered by Quilting

Project Hosts

We have three full-time project hosts. They will share their blocks and tips every week for the whole quilt along. After each segment, they will share a project idea that uses the blocks from that segment.

Abbie Danahy @ Sparkle On!

Karen Thurn @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

Sandy Maxfield @ SandyStar Designs

We also have part-time hosts joining us for individual segments. While they are hosting, these ladies will share their blocks and tips. They will also share a project idea at the end of their segment.

Segment 1 (March 12 - May 21): Kathleen McCormick @ Kathleen McMusing and Sandra Healy @ Sandra Healy Designs

Segment 2 (May 21 - July 16): Jennifer Fulton @ Inquiring Quilter

Segment 3 (July 16 - September 10): Kathleen McCormick @ Kathleen McMusing

How Much Fabric Do I need?

Keep in mind that everyone’s needs with vary depending on what they do with their blocks. There’s a huge variety in the fabrics that are needed for different quilt settings and small projects. With that said, I can give you a good idea of where to start for the blocks themselves.

Background - I recommend getting at least two yards of this for the blocks. If you’re planning on using it in your quilt setting or small projects, you will want some more.

Main Fabrics - I recommend going scrappy. Since we’ll only need little bits of fabric in each block, this is a great chance to use up some scraps. The more variety, the better!

If you prefer to select specific fabrics, I would get 1/2 yard each of 8 different fabrics. Once again, you may need more depending on what you do with your blocks.

Brown, Black, and Grey - If you would like to keep the blocks looking realistic, you’ll want a half yard each of brown, black, and grey. Of course, it’s also fine to leave those out if they don’t fit the color scheme you prefer. Your quilt will still turn out well.

My Fabric Choices

For my background, I’m going with Bali Watercolors 1895-597 December by Hoffman. In the picture below, it’s the lovely mottled grey that the other fabrics are resting on.

The foreground of my quilt will be scraps of bright blue, green, and purple batiks. The picture gives you a good idea of the variety I’m going for. I decided to stick to a specific color palette rather than trying to make the colors be realistic for the items in the blocks. I will have enough variety in colors and values to make the blocks come out well without worrying about realism.

For more fabric ideas, check out this post.

What Techniques Will We Use?

One of the best parts of the quilt along is getting to practice different techniques. Our blocks will be made with traditional piecing and fusible applique. We will also have small amounts of hand embroidery and other embellishments.

Don’t be afraid to try something new! We know we will have beginners quilting along, so we’re planning to provide plenty of support. There will be tutorials for anything out of the box, and the hosts will give tips to make each block as easy as possible. The hosts and participants in the Facebook group are great at answering questions. And you’re always welcome to tweak a design to fit your comfort level. Everyone’s creative interpretations are welcome.

How Do I Share My Progress?

I’m glad you asked! My very favorite part of a quilt along is seeing what everyone is making. We have several great ways for you share your work:

Facebook - The Partners in Design Facebook group is open for all of our quilt alongs. There you'll find a great community of fellow quilters ready to cheer you on.

Instagram - Please use #SewLetsQAL on all of your posts so we can see them. If you follow the #SewLetsQAL hashtag, you will also see what everyone else is making.
You can find me on Instagram as @snowydaysquilting

What About Prizes?

We will have a prize package at the end of every segment, as well as a grand prize at the end of the quilt along. The prizes are open to all participants that are at least 18 years old.

Where to Enter

There are three places you can share your blocks to be entered in our prize drawings:

  • Facebook - share in the Partners in Design Facebook Group

  • Instagram - share with the hashtag #SewLetsQAL

  • Blog Linky - the hosts will include a link-up on their wrap-up posts at the end of each segment

See below for specific instructions for the different prizes.

Segment Prizes

To be eligible to win a segment prize, you need to make all of the blocks from that segment. Share a photo or photos of your blocks (in a single post) to be entered.

Grand Prize

To be eligible to win the grand prize, you need to make all 13 blocks from the whole quilt along and turn them into a quilt or other project(s). Quilt tops don’t need to be quilted, but projects do need to be finished. Share a single post that shows all of the blocks in a quilt or project. It doesn’t matter how many projects or what projects you make, or how many blocks you use in each project as long as you show that you’ve used all 13 blocks in a finished project or projects.

Important Note

To keep the contest portion of the quilt-along fair and fun for everyone, only quilters that use all of the designers' blocks (in a quilt or project(s)) will be eligible for prizes. Likewise, our segment prizes will only be open to those that make all of the designers’ blocks for that segment.

Fabulous Sponsors

We are really lucky to have some amazing sponsors on board for this quilt along! Please check them out as thanks for supporting us.

Bluprint
Dear Stella
Everything Mary
Island Batik
Prym
Shabby Fabrics
Timeless Treasures
Warm Company

Additionally, many of the block designers are donating quilt patterns.

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 #SewLetsQAL. 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.

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UFO Challenge

The Challenge

Every year my guild hosts a UFO challenge. UFO stands for UnFinished Object. It refers to all of those projects that we started, but have somehow fallen aside as our priorities shifted.

I declared two projects for my guild’s UFO challenge this year. But it really got me thinking. As I started making a mental list of my projects, I realized that I have so many UFOs. It seems that despite my best intentions, I’m much better at starting projects than finishing them. Or else they’re multiplying in the closet when I’m not looking.

Can you relate? If so, this challenge is for you. I invite you to join me in tackling those UFOs. Think about what you would like to have accomplished four months from now. It’s up to you if you want to finish your projects, or just move them along a bit. There’s a link-up at the bottom of this post so we can all see what you’ll be working on. At the end, we’ll have another link-up to celebrate our accomplishments.

Personally, I’m planning to complete four UFOs in the next four months (gulp). I could certainly use your encouragement along the way!

My Commitment

Clover Table Runner

I started this table runner ages ago because my hubby really likes St. Patrick’s day. Then I stalled because it’s not really my taste. But this is the year! This one is my top priority because I want to be able to enjoy it this March. All I need to do to finish the top is stitch around the applique.

I have four fat quarters to make the back, and the binding is already prepared. I have an idea how I want to quilt it, so I should be able to knock this one out pretty quick.

Wonky Nine-Patch

This is another quilt that I started ages ago. Christmas of 2013 to be exact. It languished because my original plan really didn’t work and I wasn’t sure what I should do with the pieces. Last February I pulled it out and came up with a solution. I finished the blocks, but that’s as far as I got. Now it’s time to finish this quilt.

Fall into a Quilt Along

Fall into a Quilt Along was the most recent quilt along by Partners in Design. It ran last year, and I really love how my top came together. (Psst - another quilt along is in the works. We’ll be announcing the theme and schedule this Tuesday, February 26.)

Since wrapping up the quilt along, I’ve been working on the back of my quilt. I’m trying to use up as many scraps as possible, so it’s really taking a long time! I want to finish this so I can quilt it. I’m pretty slow at hand binding, so I’m ok with just getting through the quilting on this one for now.

Guild Name Tag

Even though this is objectively the smallest and easiest of my UFOs, it’s the one I’m the most nervous about. I’ve been putting it off for years because I can’t figure out what to do with it. People will see me wearing it at guild every month, so it feels like a big commitment.

We all have the same embroidered base for our name tags. I just need to write my name on it and figure out how to finish it. I welcome your suggestions!

Your Turn

Are you feeling motivated? I hope you’ll join me in this challenge. Remember, it’s completely up to you how many UFOs you want to work on and how much you want to do (whether that’s finishing them, or just getting to the next step). I can’t wait to see your projects!

How to Participate

Link up below with some UFOs you would like to tackle. Then take a moment to spread the love. Visit some of the others linking up and leave a comment to encourage them.

Come back June 24-30 for another link-up to share how it went.

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Posted on February 18, 2019 and filed under Quilting, Work in Progress.