I’m so excited to announce my next quilt along! This time it’s a mystery, and also this time I’ve got help! Yes, me and a few of my New Quilt Bloggers besties (11 designers and 11 hosts) have put together a gorgeous Christmas quilt for you to sew up before Christmas. I’m both a designer and a host because that’s just how I roll! <grin>
The quilt along is called the I Wish You a Merry Christmas Quilt Along. It could have been called the It Couldn’t Be Easier Quilt Along because frankly it simply couldn’t be. Beginning August 1st, we will release the pattern for a block or blocks every two weeks. To win one of several wonderful prizes, all you got to do is make the new block(s) and post them either on the block designer's blog (where they will have a link up), on Instagram (with the hashtag #iwishyouamerryqal) or in our special Facebook group before the next block pattern is released.
See, it couldn’t be easier!
Guess what else is easy? The grand prize giveaway! Yep, we will be releasing the last block on December 5th, so that gives you almost three whole weeks to get your quilt done before Christmas! The happy news is you don’t have to. Nope, if the holidays impinge on your quality sewing time (how dare they!) all you need to do is get your blocks sewn together in a top before the January 16th grand prize entry deadline. Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to see finished quilts—we do—but we’re not so crazy that we think everyone will get them done so we’ve made it super duper easy for everyone to participate!
But I May Need Help!
The blocks utilize various techniques including regular piecing, foundation paper piecing, piecing with templates, applique, and a touch of embroidery (or clever use of fabric pens!) so we’re expecting questions. And that’s perfectly okay, because no one expects you to be an expert on everything. That’s what the hosts are for! <grin>
All kidding aside, questions are more than welcome, and they represent another area in which this quilt along simply shines! First, we’ve got a private Facebook group and the #iwishyouamerryqal hashtag on Instagram that you can use to get answers to any questions you may have, such as “Does this color work in this block” to “How do I post my photo again? I can’t remember.”
We also have 11 hosts who will make it easy to ask a question and get a quick answer. Every two weeks, each host will post their version of the block (so you’ll have plenty of inspiration) along with any tips/tricks they have for that block. That makes11different cheer leaders ready to inspire you to overcome whatever hurdles life throws your way. The hosts are spread all over the globe so we’re pretty much here for you 24/7! Talk about guaranteed success!
This is a great opportunity to expand your quilting skills! Not one of the 11 hosts are members of the quilt police so just do your best job on each block then let it go. This quilt along is for fun!
Ok I’m Sold. What Do I Need to Do to Prepare?
First, if you’re on Facebook, join our Facebook group. It’s already active so feel free to start asking questions, show off the fabrics you’ve chosen, and get to know each other.
If you’re on Instagram, search the hashtag #iwishyouamerryqal for inspiration. Please follow me because I’ll be posting to Instagram and using the hashtag as well—I’m @inquiringquilter.
Sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss anything, or follow me in other ways. You’ll find all the ways to follow me at the top of my sidebar.
Finally, you don’t have to belong to Facebook or use Instagram to participate. Just drop by my blog every Tuesday beginning August 1st, and I'll not only show you the block and share my tips, but point you to the designer's blog where you can link up a photo of your block.
So relax. This is not my first rodeo—in fact, this is my third quilt along! You can rest assured that I’m here for you should you decide to quilt along with us. And anytime you need to look at the schedule or locate the link to the current block, just look up. Yep, that tab at the top of my blog will take you to the right place!
What Fabrics Will I Need?
After you get yourself hooked up online, it’s time to start thinking fabrics. There will be (12) 12” blocks, and they have a sort of clean modern feel.
Me, I’m going to make my quilt with these lovely fabrics, from the Shiny Objects with Holiday Twinkle collection by flaurie & finch for RJR Fabrics. I’m going to mix up my block backgrounds a bit—some white, some red, some green so I'm not terribly worried about amounts but I estimate I’ll need about 1 to 1-1/2 yards total for my backgrounds.
You've got several fabric options:
- You could raid your stash to make each block as the patterns come out
- Or you could pick out five or six fabrics that coordinate together and buy 1/2 to 1 yard of each, then add a few scraps here and there from your stash as needed.
- Since the blocks have a modern feel, you might want to consider solids in several colors or a few small scale fabrics
If you have a decent stash and you like variety, I honestly wouldn’t worry too much about fabrics right now. After all, that’s the fun of a mystery quilt!
Now, about finishing your quilt. You can set your blocks however you like, with or without sashing, on-point, or with alternate pieced or non-pieced blocks. Since you know the finished size of the blocks (12”) and their number (12) you could start playing with setting options now, then get enough backing, sashing (if any) and binding for that. Or you could just chill. I’ll be presenting several ideas for settings after the last block is presented and hopefully these suggestions will spark the perfect ending for your Christmas mystery quilt.
I Need Details, Please
Here is the schedule for the hop and the names of the designers for each block and when it'll be released. As you can see, you need to meet back here on August 1st and on Tuesdays every two weeks through December 5th. As your host, I’ll present my version of the block each time, share my tips and suggestions for success, and link you to the block pattern or patterns for that week.
You'll have six weeks to put your top together and hopefully get it quilted for the grand prize giveaway and show and tell party!
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
November 7 - Diane at Cwilt
November 21 - Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing
December 5 - Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts
January 16th – Deadline for posting a completed quilt top for entry in the final grand prize drawing. Your quilt does not need to be quilted although we’d love to see finished quilts!
And finally, here are your hosts!
Abbie at Sparkle On
April at JANDA Bend Quilts
Becca at Pretty Piney
Bobbi at Snowy Days Quilting
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
Tell me how to win!
We will award a prize each fortnight (don’t you just love that word?) to the lucky quilter who finishes the current block and posts it to our Facebook group, Instagram (with the hashtag #iwishyouameryqal, or to the block designer's link up on their blog. Come back here every two weeks on a Tuesday, pick up the block instructions, make your block, and post a photo to Facebook, Instagram, or the designer's blog before the next block comes out. That’s how you get entered in the prize giveaways.
You can share your block in multiple places although you don’t have to since you get one chance to win every two weeks. I plan on posting my blocks all over social media because I love to celebrate small accomplishments like finishing a quilt block! I hope you do too because I’d love to see your blocks.
So what can you win if you quilt along? Prizes include patterns, fabric from RJR Fabrics, batting from The Warm Co., thread from Aurifil, a gift certificate to The Fat Quarter Shop, signed quilt books, precuts, and so much more!
Share the news!
I’ve done these quilt alongs before and I can tell you the more people who participate and share their blocks and their excitement, the more fun they are! So please invite your friends to our quilt along by posting our quilt along button to Facebook, Instagram, and elsewhere, along with a link to my quilt along page so your friends can read all about it and get ready to quilt along with us. To save the button to your computer, right click it and choose Save Picture As.
If you’re a blogger, please share the news on your blog and put the button in your sidebar. Here’s the code you’ll need to do that.
If you like to get encouragement when you quilt (and who doesn’t?) this quilt along is for you! Please join me beginning August 1st as I make a new Christmas quilt, block by block in this wonderful mystery quilt along. And leave a comment below so I know you’re in!
Oh! Before you go, be sure to check out this post, and learn about my current blog hop and it's wonderful giveaways! And if you want another chance to win something, check out this post and my Wednesday Wait Loss link up!