Block 1: Sew Let’s QAL

I am so excited! Sandra Healey, our designer this month, has done a fantastic job on the sewing machine block. The block looks difficult, but it is not. One step at a time will get you through it. Also, this the first of 13 blocks – yes 13! The sewing machine needed bigger space and we figured it would work well with the small projects or a large quilt center or top – let your creativity run wild. As a small project host, my block 1 will be used in my first small project (TBD) – but it will be revealed on May 7th. But now to the fun part; let’s get sewing!

I have been keeping this green fabric forever that I used for the sewing machine, and when I saw Sandra’s pattern I knew I would use it. I also liked that the green would work with my conversational sewing fabric – the pink and lime green will be fun to play with. I’ll pull in other colors – but on the brighter side of the sprectrum.

Organization is so important!

1. Download the sheet below to cut your pieces in an orderly fashion. I found the instructions a tiny bit hard to follow and like to cut a group of sizes and sub-cut if necessary. There is a fat quarter diagram for the sewing machine (NOT necessarily for Directional).

2. Directional Fabrics: I marked my sewing machine picture with arrows because I wanted my fabric to go in the same direction. I did not use this cutting chart. If you need help – let me know.
2. Mark your pieces: I used my Alphabitties from Fat Quarter Shop*. I combined the same sizes with one clip until I actually started piecing, for instance pieces “4-7” and “e-i-o-u” and were clamped together.
3. Measure twice, cut once.

1. Keep the diagram nearby with a ruler – in case you need to check the size of a pice!
2. Pull the pieces for a particular section and sew that section.
3. Use a Clearly Perfect Angles * to sew diagonal seam without drawing a line – a real timesaver.
4. Watch that your pieces are facing the right direction when the dimensions are close in measurement – the difference is not obvious.

1. If you will use your machine for the thread (a triple stitch is what I used #157 on Bernina 440QE) – do this before embroidering the needle & eye. The thread will look as if it is going through the eye/needle.
2. BUTTONS – go on after quilting but you might want to find them and safety pin in a pill bag or small zip lock to the block so you can locate them later. I have enough collected for the next century. I think I am leaning towards the black buttons on the right – but that can wait until I am a little further along.

Bag of buttons waiting for final decision

3. Floss/Thread I used regular grey rather than silver floss – no metallic in my stash (or so I thought). Funny think happened, as I went looking for thread for something else, what did I spy – metallic thread! Take a look in all your thread stashes for embellishment if you have more than one spot where things may be. Floss is one place…spools in another – probably not an unusual scenario in our studios.

  • A brand new item from Omnigrid® (a Prym Company) Large Folding Cutting Kit – 18 x 24″ mat and a 45 mm rotary cutter
  • Timeless Treasures Tonga Treat Strip Jr. “Orchid” -20 pc 2 1/2″ strip pack
  • 2 Shabby Fabrics Vintage Blessings printed table runner patterns and a packet of Sunflower laser-cut appliqués (small.)
  • and some fabric from Paintbrush Studios
  • And, a free PDF pattern from each our designers: Sandra Healey, April, and Sherry Shish

How to Win Prizes

Segment Prize Eligibility:
Finish all blocks in a segment and post on either our linky party, our facebook page or instagram with #sewletsqal. One picture/post with all finished items is needed – by May 20 11:59 for Segment 1)
Grand Prize Eligibility:
Finish all 13 blocks and put in either 1 quilt top (does not have to be quilted) OR a number of smaller projects that contain all 13 blocks.


Full Time Hosts for Quilts:
April Becca Bobbi Sherry Jennifer
Full Time Hosts for Small Projects:
Abbie Karen Sandy

Segment 1: March 12th to May 21st
HostsSandra Kathleen <—–me!

*March 12th – Block 1: Sandra @ Sandra Healy Designs
*March 26th – Block 2: April @ JANDA Bend Quilts
*April 9th – Block 3: Sherry @ Powered by Quilting
*April 23rd – Block 4: Bobbi @ Snowy Days Quilting
*May 7th – Block 5 & Project Suggestions: Abbie @ Sparkle On! 
*May 21st – Segment 1 Prize Winner Announced!J

Segment 2: May 21st to July 16th
July 16th – Segment 2 Prize Winner Announced!
Segment 3: July 16th to September 10
September 10th – Segment 3 Prize Winner Announced!
September 24th – Grand Prize Winner Announced!

Other happenings on my blog:

  • Before the end of the month, I will be showing an Island Batik Ambassador project on a vintage reimagined theme.
  • Also, I am helping with Hands2Help. Join up and help us go over the top with donations this year. There are quick tutorials and many needs out there.
  • There is some design work and the next few blocks to keep me out of trouble!!

Good luck on your first block – be in touch with any of us if you need help. I will soon have a tab at the top for this QAL links so you can easily find the blog entries on the QAL.

Linking Up:
Beth @ Cooking up Quilts
Jennifer @ Inquiring Quilter
Sherry @ Powered by Quilting

Disclaimer: *Links with asterisk indicate an affiliate link and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Your price is not any different, but a small percentage of the sale will go to supporting my blog.


  1. March 12, 2019 / 12:50 AM

    I LOVE your sewing machine fabric! It’s so cool how it’s more pronounced on the edges and the pattern fades towards the middle. It looks amazing. I could see one of the companies doing something like that as one of their designer machines.

    • kathleenquilts
      March 12, 2019 / 2:04 PM

      Thank you so much, Bobbi. I imagine we could do our own skins – like cars. That would be so much fun.

  2. March 12, 2019 / 2:07 AM

    Gorgeous fabric choices, Kathleen!

    • March 12, 2019 / 11:55 PM

      Thank you, Sandra. What a wonderful block you gave us to work on – thank you.

  3. elizabeth
    March 12, 2019 / 1:58 PM

    estou bem animada prá começar a costurar. o bloco é lindinho e é o primeiro que vou fazer com essa técnica. por isso estou estudando cada post da cada anfitriã. sempre trabalhei com costura mas muito pouco com patchwork. só pra dar algum presente.
    obrigada pelas dicas e sugestões!

    • kathleenquilts
      March 12, 2019 / 2:02 PM

      I am so glad to have you on board. Hope you find the right amount of help and guidance to make it all work!

      Estou tão feliz em tê-lo a bordo Espero que você encontre a quantidade certa de ajuda e orientação para fazer tudo funcionar!

  4. inquiringquilter
    March 12, 2019 / 4:04 PM

    Great tips! I’ve been eyeing those Alphabites for some time now. Really should invest in them.

    • inquiringquilter
      March 16, 2019 / 11:09 AM

      Love your green fabric! Thanks for linking up to my special St. Patrick’s Day link up at Wednesday Wait Loss!

      • kathleenquilts
        March 16, 2019 / 11:10 AM

        Always fun to link up!

  5. March 12, 2019 / 5:02 PM

    Great tips. Your sewing machine looks great!! This is one block I thought I could do without labeling…boy, was I wrong!!

    • kathleenquilts
      March 16, 2019 / 11:10 AM

      It really did need those labels.

  6. March 13, 2019 / 9:26 PM

    Great block, and I love the fabrics you used Kathleen! I cannot chase another squirrel this month, but ohhhhh, this one is tempting.

    • kathleenquilts
      March 16, 2019 / 11:11 AM

      I totally get it. Gonna do some designing with you!

My Favorite Tools

Pins with Numbers & Arrows
Annies Soft and Stable Foam Stabilizer
By Annie’s Clear Vinyl
Heat N Bond Iron On Vinyl
Omni Thread, Purplelicious
Aurifil 50 weight thread
Hobbs Tuscanny Wool Batting
Freezer Paper Sheets
Binding Sasher
Nexcare Clear Skin Tape
Cluck Cluck Sew Tape
Simple Folded Corners Ruler
Free Motion Quilting Workbook
Shape by Shape Collection 2
Shape by Shape
DayLight Wafer 1 Light Box
Freezer paper
Siteground Web Hosting
Dream Cotton Batting
Sidekick Ruler
Hex N More Ruler
4″ Circular Plastic Needlepoint
Awesome Ocean Pattern
Schmetz NonStick Needle
Sulky Totally Stable
Barn Quilt by Sherry Shish
Applique Pressing Sheet
Mary Ellen’s Best Press Starch
Clover Bias Tape Maker 12mm
Woven Diamonds Pattern
Hobbs Premium 80/20 Batting
Woven Star Pattern
Wefty Needle
Quilt Hanger
Fat Quarter Shop
Westalee Sampler Template Set
Mettler 60 wt. Cotton Embroidery Thread
Sandboard for Hand Sewing/Appliqué
Clover Needle Threader
Sewline Black and White Pencil
Sewline Grey Pencil
Backyard Birds
Wing Clipper
Quilt Pounce
Hobbs Thermore Batting
Clover Chaco Liner – silver
Turnabout Patchwork by Terese Mairal Barreau
Sewline Glue Pen
Fusible 1″ Hexagon Paper
Fusible Appliqué Paper
Electric Quilt 8
Quilter’s Dream Select Batting
Quilt in A Day Log Cabin
Judy Martin Log Cabin
Emiko Toda Loeb
3M Command Strip Clothespins
Paper Templates for Lucy Boston
Lucy Boston Templates,MPP
Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Cross
Clover Wonder Clips
Thread magic
Clearly Perfect Angles
Slotted Triangle Trimmer