. . . or QAL, as it’s known for short. Essentially it’s a virtual community of quilters working independently on a project over a set course of time, reporting progress and pictures via the initiator’s blog and a shared photo site such as Flickr. Quilt-Alongs have been around for years but I’m just now discovering them. (Part of my Late Bloomer syndrome.)
So how did my first Quilt-Along come about? One day in late January I was innocently cruising some quilt blogs and spotted this picture:
The block was designed and made by Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful, using her own Quick Curve ruler and a method for sewing curves without pins. Hmmm. Sewing concave and convex seams together without using a single pin? I was skeptical . . . but also intrigued. So I watched the tutorial video on Jenny’s blog, ordered the ruler, and gave it a try. I became an instant convert. And a big fan of Jenny’s, I might add.
Jenny was just getting a Quilt-Along started, the plan being to make a quilt top over 12 weeks — one block a week — using her “Urban 9-Patch” design and her ruler. A block a week? I can do that, I thought. So — totally on impulse — I joined the Quilt-Along. As if I didn’t have enough other projects in the works.
Here’s the first block I made, using a Riley Blake floral:
I liked the block but I had been saving some other fabrics for just the right project, and I realized this was it. So next came this block, using three fabrics from Mo Bedell’s Party Dress line for Blue Hill Fabrics:
And here are the first four blocks joined together:
I was humming along, happily making my Urban 9-Patch blocks, when Jenny introduced her Urban Deco block:
I was captivated by this new design – it’s the Urban 9-Patch block with another row around the outside. Now picture that block without the last strip of fabric that makes the block a square. Can you see the remaining curve as the outside of a quilt? I could. I decided to make a small project testing that idea, so as not to totally abandon my other QAL project.
Here is my three-block quilt, made mostly of batiks, with a pale lime Fairy Frost border and dark green batik binding. I am so pleased with it! And Jenny has kindly given me permission to teach her design. My class, “Jenny’s Urban 9-Patch,” is scheduled for June 9 at the Pine Needle Quilt Shop in Lake Oswego.
Jenny’s Quilt-Along is over now and I’m still several blocks behind. Time to get back to work.