Happy Monday, is anyone else loving this warmer weather? Our family certainly is, and my boys have been doing a lot of sledding and hockey in the driveway.
I want to talk about Quilt Alongs. There are so many to choose, from so many different places, and so many color choices. How do you go about deciding when to jump in on one and when not to? What is so great about a Quilt Along?
A Quilt Along is when a group of people sew along together on the same project over a specified period of time. It can be very scheduled or relaxed, all depending on the organizer and the people joining in.
First off I love Quilt Alongs I think they are fantastic for a number of reasons.
Most times Quilt Alongs have a forum of some sort where you can share your progress and see how everyone else is coming along on theirs. This helps you to stay on track with the schedule.
They can also be a fun way to try something new and because you are sewing along on the same project with a number of people you can ask questions if you get stuck on a technique or are confused with something in the pattern.
Often the organizer of the quilt along will give out lots of tips or tricks on the pattern to make it easier for you to do or open your eyes to a way of doing something that you would never have considered. It is often a very good learning experience!
There are often prizes available throughout the quilt along, some may have prizes every week, others a grand prize at the end.
As much as I love a quilt along it is possible to take on too many.
When considering joining be sure to take into account any quilts that have deadlines coming up and how much time those will take, maybe you need to make a quilt for an upcoming wedding, graduation or baby in the family, that will take up a lot of your hobby time, or it could be that the project for the quilt along will work out perfectly for the person you need to make a quilt for.
Also look at the schedule for the quilt along and consider if it is something you can honestly keep up with. Maybe a block a week works for you, but a block a day is way too much. Some quilt alongs have you make six blocks a week, others are a little slower paced. Some last a year, while others are completed in a month or two. Just keep in mind your time and how quickly you normally sew. You don't want to take on too much and fall behind, as this can be extremely discouraging.
At the moment, I have two Block of the weeks that I am participating in (1 called Sewcialites by Fat Quarter Shop, and the other by Sherri McConnell using her Labor of Love Book) as well as a block of the month that I am the organizer for (Woodland Wonderland). And I just finished up one on our Facebook page using Creative Grids tools. This gives me plenty of time for the other sewing that I want to do as well.
So where to find quilt alongs?
Well the first answer is right here on our blog. We generally have at least one on the go, right now we have two going, the Woodland Wonderland and the Midnight Clear.
Social media is the next big place to discover a quilt along. Many pattern designers run a quilt along with their patterns, and so following a favorite pattern designer is a good way to find out about new QALs.
Moda Bakeshop does several quilt alongs through out the year, some of them being a block a week, others a block a day. These ones are free patterns.
Moda Blockheads is a group of Moda Designers that design blocks, and a new pattern is released each week, you just have to visit their blog to download the instructions.
Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life runs a quilt along every year on her blog that starts in January and ends in December. The pattern is a free download during the year, but when it is over it becomes a purchase pattern.
Creative Grids has a Facebook Group called Grids Girls that has a couple quilt alongs through the year as well. Many of these ones are a mystery which can be so fun to join in on, as you don't know what the end result is going to look like!
All the pictures posted are quilt alongs that I am currently working on or that I did over the past year.