Submitted by Liz M.
Last month, I asked what topics MPS members would enjoy reading about. Thank you for your replies! We have such a variety of interests in the guild which allows us to explore many topics.
Many small groups have chosen a pattern and each member selects their fabric and stitches on their own quilt. The result is a group of quilts connected by the pattern but always interesting to see how the choice of fabrics affects the result!
The internet has expanded opportunities for quilters to participate in a Quilt Along. It has allowed individuals who may not be involved with a small group or guild to connect online and enjoy creating together.
Quilt Alongs may be hosted by a quilt designer and focused on using a new line of their fabric or pattern. Some have a block designed by a different designer/quilter that is shared on a schedule. There are traditional and modern options, holiday and other themed quilts.
I like to sew the different blocks for my quilts. I learn new techniques and stretch my quilting skills. Many Quilt Alongs incorporate appliqué and piecing. You can choose to do only the piecing and avoid appliqué or try an appliqué block. There are many ways to sew appliqué or pieced blocks and part of the challenge is to try them! You don’t need to add the block to your quilt but you may decide it is a record of your efforts and learning.
Do you enjoy sewing different blocks or do you prefer quilts that use one block with a set color palette? Scrappy or one fabric line? Some of the designer’s fabric but adding from your stash to make your own version of the quilt? I have learned I do best with a “controlled” scrappy palette as it keeps my blocks from becoming too busy.
As you investigate a Quilt Along, consider using a new-to-you color palette. What if you used your stash of Christmas or Halloween fabrics for the project?
If you run behind, the recommendation is to pick up at the current block and continue forward, finish the blocks you missed along the way if time allows or at the end. You can always downsize a Quilt Along. Sew the blocks into a pillow, a table runner, placemats (practice your quilting), a bed runner, tote bag or a cover for your sewing machine.
Quilt Alongs may be free–free while asking for a donation to a charity or they may charge a fee to participate. Most include social media posts with tips and tricks, occasional prizes and lots of sharing from those quilting along. Check out blog posts, Instagram, FaceBook and YouTube.
Fat Quarter Shop offers several each year. I completed the Jelly Snowflake Mystery in July 2020 and I am planning to do the Mystery Bats and Boos that begins August 2, 2021.(click the buttons)Fat Quarter Shop Quilt AlongsMystery Bats and Boos
Lisa Bongean at Primitive Gatherings has a current American Quilters Quilt Along that involves 20 flags with small blocks for the star area. It began June 10, 2021 and is very patriotic! She shares good tips on starching fabric before cutting for these small blocks and strip sets. Free patterns on her blog, videos on YouTube and a FaceBook group if desired. Donations for the free blocks go toward a project for veterans in her area.American Quilter’s Stitch Along
Moda Fabrics has had many Quilt Alongs and usually has a couple each year. The blocks remain up on their website/blog. They also show several different ways to set the final blocks.Moda Fabrics Sew Alongs
Alex Anderson on The Quilt Show has been doing Live Facebook/YouTube videos during the pandemic. Some projects involve a purchased pattern but the techniques she shares are really great.Alex Anderson Live
Pat Sloan is a prolific quilter! She designs and runs many Quilt Alongs each year. I followed her Splendid Sampler 1 for a year and learned many different new blocks and techniques. Currently, Summer Soirée is in session, weekly blocks from July 7 to September 27, 2021.Pat Sloan Quilt Alongs
I have listed only a small number of Quilt Alongs. There are many, many generous quilters who share their creativity and time with all of us. Please add any additions in the comments below! Enjoy!
(My version of Alison Glass “Trinkets” Quilt. click for larger view)