It’s so easy to get interested in a new project before you finish your others. Some of us are notorious for hoarding UFOs— UnFinished Objects! It can be daunting to agree to take on a large project, but luckily, we’ve simplified the process for you!
Quilt Alongs (QALs) are usually larger projects broken down into monthly steps. They can also be called Block of the Month (BOMs) or Sew Along (SALs).
Paper Pieces actually has THREE QALs happening in 2023! We have Queen of Diamonds by Pink Door Fabrics, Argyle by Katja Marek, Modernistic Stars by Paper Pieces. Some of you might be saying, “How do I choose?!” While others are saying “How do I fit them all into my life?!” You don’t have to choose! You can absolutely do all three. No matter how many you decide to take on, remember it’s a long term project and it’s easier to squeeze sewing time in than you think!
Step 1. Order
When you preorder a project from us, you pay at the time of ordering to reserve your items for the QAL. We ship out early enough before the QAL starts so you can do your prep work beforehand.
Step 2. Join the Facebook Group
All of our QALs have a Facebook group so you can follow along with the progress of others, debate color choices, and ask questions. This is a highly motivational step! Don’t skip it!
Step 3. Prep your materials
When you get your QAL materials from us, take a few minutes to read through everything. Read the pattern, read the QAL schedule, double check your fabric and fabric requirements, count your paper pieces. Find a designated tote/bag to store this project in, and label it clearly. Stick all your necessary supplies in the bag: scissors, thread, needles, thimbles, etc. Make labels for Months 1-12, as you’ll want to keep all those months’ work separate.
If you have cutting instructions at this point, go ahead and start precutting your fabric- remember to read through the entire pattern before you make the first cut! Now is a good time to begin separating your project.
Step 4. When the QAL starts
When January hits and the QAL begins it’s easy to shoot out of the gate at high speed. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s easy to get burned out on a project when you go too fast.
I think one of the best ways to pace yourself is to start a quilting journal or planner. Dedicate maybe an hour a day to stitch. Can you stitch on a Zoom call? Do you wind down with TV? Does your child nap? Do you have an appointment in a waiting room? Do you commute on public transportation? These are all great times for stitching!
I like to switch projects frequently so I don’t get bored. Aim for the minimum goal each month. There’s plenty of time in the year, so just stick with it, and you’ll do great!
We love show and tell! If you’d like your QALs to be featured on our social media, email pictures to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!