Was anyone really given that first-day-of-school writing assignment? I don’t recall ever doing it, but I recall the phrase being a meme long before anyone had ever heard the term meme. I digress.
Part of my summer was spent helping the Moda Bake Shop cook up a quilt-along (QAL) sampler project called “At the Seashore.” If you weren’t a part of the fun, on the title and you can find all of the blocks offered and a few layout options. Some of the blocks contributed by my fellow Moda Bake Shop “Chefs” are absolutely awesome. My own contributions were a paper-pieced block, the Sailor’s Star, and a simple setting option I called “Calm Sea.”
There’s nothing I enjoy more than designing quilts and quilt projects, but a close second would be seeing photo after photo of my design in every color combination imaginable. Several of the quilters – we call them Moda Bake Shop “Bakers” – who took part in the quilt-along gave me permission to share photos of their Sailor’s Star blocks:
The Sailor’s Star was the only paper-pieced block in this year’s QAL. Of course, any time you’re sharing a pattern with templates – whether they’re individual pieces or paper-pieced units – you have to be very careful that the printout from your computer printer or photocopier is accurate. So it’s a good idea to print a test page, measure the templates and adjust your printing size to get the result you need. In the case of this block, even through my publishing software showed my template illustration was the correct size, I had to set my printer for 104% to get the printout right.
A couple of MBS Bakers had to deal with blocks that were just not quite perfect, and came up with successful solutions.
The “Calm Sea” setting was the simplest of the three setting options offered up by the MBS Chefs this summer. That’s not to say it was without its challenges. Because the blocks were set in vertical rows, the sashing strips between the offset rows were cut lengthwise, which meant the fabric had to be folded twice to cut it. Those folds had to be perfectly parallel to each other to avoid “doglegs” at the folds.
Here are photos of some of the “Calm Seas” quilts that Bakers have shared with me:
Again, Bakers found a way to add their own touches to the setting. Frankie added seashore-themed prints to the ends of the rows, and Raylene appliqued starfish in the larger areas of the background. The pattern as written was 60″ x 82″, which is just shy of twin-size. Paula added two more rows to make her quilt wider.
I don’t know how many quilters took part in the “At the Seashore” QAL, but I know they all had fun. And I also know that the Moda Bake Shop Chefs are back in the “kitchen” working on our next QAL, the 2019 Countdown to Christmas. We’ll offer up one block per day, and each will be offered in two or three sizes. The Countdown to Christmas begins on December 1st. Stop by the Moda Bake Shop blog each day for a downloadable pattern!