Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Quilt Sew A Long (QAL)

What is a  QAL or SAL?

In this COVID world of quilting, how do you get inspired to pick your next project?  Pre-COVID we talked to our quilting buddies or checked out Pinterest.  So, while QAL and SAL have been around before, they are very popular now.

QAL is the acronym of  "Quilt-A-Long", often simply written as "Quilt Along" and simply meaning: "Let’s quilt together"!   A QAL it’s a way for quilters, maybe living far away from each others, to virtually gather together and all work the same project . There are also SAL (Stitch a -Long) and KAL (Knit a Long)

As a 'scrappy' quilter, I love all  sorts of quilts.  While I spend a lot of time in my quilt studio, I love the collaboration and chit-chat that having other quilters around me keep me progressing.  I used to do BOM (Block of the Month) projects from quilt shops 'AWAY' from where I lived, so that my inspiration would be different from the locals.  That doesn't work so well, anymore as the quilt BOM's and kits are now mass produced and look the same no matter who you get monthly pattern/kit from. 

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

One bite at a time!  That is what a   QAL does. It breaks the project down into smaller manageable steps that are easier to complete.  Instead of looking at a complex quilt and a pattern that tells you to cut a gazillion triangles and squares, you get more manageable sections that do not overwhelm you.  In addition, you get encouragement and help as you go through the steps from others online.

Mystery QAL/SAL

A mystery quilt is a project where the participant does not know what the final quilt will look like! Oh my.  What fun...  A little bit of a risk, but hey... go for it.  

Many will have a sign-up and they send you a monthly (or weekly) reminder to look for next step.

The Designer QAL or Mystery

Another kind of QAL is where the designer of a pattern hosts the quilt along.  Usually they are also offering fabric kits and other items for sale.  

Examples of recent Mystery Quilts or QAL:

Hosting a QAL, Sew A Long or Mystery

The hostess* generally lists fabric requirements, cutting instructions and breaks the pattern down into simple steps.  Some websites will offer kits for an additional fee, but you are generally welcome to use fabrics from your stash.  Purchasing fabrics from the hostess enables them to offer these projects in the future.
  • Announcement and Fabric Requirements
  • Prizes (if any)
  • Kick off 
  • Weekly (or monthly) steps
  • Wrap Up and prizes

Show your Pride

Many of the hosted events will provide a 'badge' that you can post on your blog or website to show your involvement.  This also helps spread the word about the QAL and get more people involved.  The more the merrier! 

One Monthly Goal is a LINKY project.  You go to the website every month and indicate what goal you want to complete, then at end of the month you post a link to the completed goal. Sounds like good encouragement.  Might want to try it.

Facebook, Instagram or IO Groups.

There are many groups on Facebook, Instagram and IO Groups that are specifically focused on Stashbusting and helping manage your stash.  A group that I have been a member for over ten years is the Stashbusters Group that is a group on (used to be a Yahoo group).  Join the group for details and make new friends.

2021 - Stashbuster Trail Mix QAL

In mid-January, we are starting a QAL to work on the TRAIL MIX Quilt Pattern that has been around for years.  This is a GREAT way to use your scraps (or an excuse to purchase more fabrics).  We won't tell...

Actually, I am the hostess* for the 2021 Trail Mix QAL  click on the badge to get more details.

*   Hostess can be male or female!!!  Just sayin'
** many times, these instructions are posted for free for a short amount of time, and later published as a 'for sale' pattern.

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