Friday, March 12, 2021

What Makes a Good Quilt-Along? / Beauties Pageant 120

I had the best of intentions to compile a highlight reel for todays post and feature pictures from the past few Beauties Pageants. I started by selecting Anjas finish from last week—her 2020 Summer Sampler—and didnt get any further!

Anjas project is beautiful. The modern palette she uses tends toward the cool end of the spectrum, with lots of Kona cotton in a range of colors and values. And as usual, her quilting is top notch. The stipple is everything I strive for—nice, evenly spaced, round curves. Its lovely. (This is where Anja will qualify that she quilts on a midarm, not a domestic, but it doesn’t matter to me: Her quilting looks like a flippin pantograph!)

What struck me, however, was her comment in the post about weekly quilt-alongs being difficult to keep up with. Several readers agreed. Im in the middle of planning a quilt-along myself, for my Love Boldly pattern, geared toward intermediate quilters. I hosted a Cargo Duffle sew-along back in March 2019, so I know an event like this is a ton of work and Id like to try to get as much right as I can. Would you help me on that front?

This is my current plan of attack: Ive scheduled in a lot of prep time—like, three weeks—to help participants select fabric and give them adequate time to order (and receive) fabric, if necessary, by mail. There are three sizes to the Love Boldly pattern, so participants can then follow one of three tracks. The baby will be the least demanding (requiring just one block a week), and the large throw will be the most rigorous (requiring up to three blocks in a week). There’s a week built into the schedule to allow people to catch up. I am gathering sponsors for weekly giveaways and expect participants to post in-progress shots on their public Instagram accounts to be eligible for the prizes. People will be updated on quilt-along happenings via Instagram, but my more detailed tricks and tips will be sent via email.

What are your thoughts on this? I can see why a project like Anjas, which has 16 different blocks, would be conducive to a longer timeline, but what about something like Love Boldly, which features just one block design? Is one catch-up week sufficient? I know that some of these questions are hard to answer until youre knee-deep in the details, but any feedback is appreciated. 

And of course, once sign-ups are live, you will be the first to know! : )

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  1. As you mention, hosting a quilt along is a lot of work. Think about what makes the most sense for you; it's not going to be perfect for everyone (some will want things faster, others slower), but if you are working at a good rate for you, then the enthusiasm will trickle over and your followers will join you.

  2. I totally relate! I always start quilt-along with the best intentions and there is always something to stop me in my tracks. And of course once you have fallen off the path, it is usually hard to get back on track and finish the project!

  3. I have tried to participate in a few quilt alongs. They have been applique. One block design sounds like a lot of fun. I look forward to hearing more about it. Happy quilting.

  4. Nice. A way to get started using your pattern.

  5. It's nice that you're offering this QAL for those who want and need the encouragement to stitch along. It looks like a good project.

  6. Hi Michelle! Excellent topic and question! I doubt there is ONE answer that will fit everyone. Anja and I just hosted SAHRR (Stay at Home Round Robin) with a weekly prompt for the next border. I think that was a very ambitious schedule, and I'm saying that as someone that knew what each week held! I was barely finishing the last round before the post was due (each Monday). Sewing during the week is often difficult for me because I work full-time. If my littles want to visit or the weather is nice and I can finally go OUTSIDE, sewing falls to the bottom of the list. On the other hand, if it is a QAL that I am really committed to and into - I'll make time to finish whatever's necessary for the week. So - I'm no help whatsoever. I would LOVE to join in this QAL! I love the pattern, I find the piece interesting and different, and of course, I like you. Win/win/win. Now, will the timing allow? I hope so! ~smile~ Roseanne

  7. Hi Michelle. As some of your previous commenters stated, you likely won’t make everyone happy. A week for one to 3 blocks sounds doable for most people but as Roseanne says some times life does interfere. That’s where your catch-up week comes in. The pattern is sweet and will be a fun QAL. 😉 Carol

  8. Thanks for the quilty love and kind words. ♥ I think for this pattern, your proposed schedule would be do-able. Because it's the same block, people can pre-cut and do some assembly line piecing. There was not a cutting list for all the Summer Sampler blocks, so that added to the challenge of weekly sewing. I agree with Roseanne above. Even though we knew in advance, we somehow didn't pre-make our quilt top LOL. Lesson learned.


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