I am thoroughly enjoying the two QALs I decided to take part in back when they were launched in January. There were many on offer, generated by hard working quilting bloggers around the world. I was a little wary as my limited track record of keeping up with QALs is not very good. Last year I got as far as buying the book and making the first block in Amy Ellis’ ‘Think Big’ QAL.
This year I have embarked on Alyce Blyth’s Modern HST Sampler QAL and Amy Gibson’s Sugar Block Club 2016. Neither are proving too pressurized – Alyce posts a new block every two weeks and Amy on the first day of every month.
Here are a few of the unexpected delights I have discovered whilst taking part in these QALs: the simple pleasure gained from opening up my boxes of completed blocks and pre-sorted fabrics all ready to make the next in the series; having my fabrics ready sorted reduces the time spent making choices so getting on with making the block happens nice and quickly; paying careful attention to one block at a time provides a great opportunity to practice new techniques and polish skills; following other participants in a Facebook group or on Instagram is fascinating as everyone shares the effects their fabric choices have on the look of the blocks.
Yesterday I completed the third of the Sugar Block Club blocks, ‘Orange Peel’. The main cause of delay in making this month’s block was having trouble sourcing ‘Steam-A-Seam 2’ in the UK. Eventually I ordered it on line from The Cotton Patch (I somehow managed to order some fabric too…).
I’ve discovered our printer is not too keen on feeding through the layers of ‘Steam-A-Seam 2’ – thankfully the unintentionally exposed sticky layer of the product didn’t gum up the works! In future I will stick (ho!ho!) to tracing shapes rather printing them on to this effective double-sided fusible web.
Attaching the petal shapes using the raw edged applique technique taught by Amy on her You Tube clip was good practice for me. It’s given me confidence to have a go at similar designs in the future – maybe even make up my own.
Have you been motivated or encouraged by QALs? Maybe you’ve found they create more UFOs than finishes?