Hello! And welcome to the ‘first week’ of the ‘first ever’ Colourwerx QAL (quilt along) where we’ll be making our super fun ColourMaze quilt!
First, I want to thank you so much for joining us for our first QAL. Whether you’ll be sewing up the pattern along side us or just observing from afar, we welcome you and are overwhelmed by your enthusiasm so far – so thank you, thank you, thank you!
Also, we invite you to join our free QAL Facebook group where you can ask questions, share your progress and of course, post pictures of your finished projects so everyone can share in the fun! Also feel free to share this invite and any QAL news with other quilty buddies and invite them to join along in the fun!
So this is Week#1 of the Colourmaze QAL – First let’s review the schedule!
As you can see it’s a 4-week QAL but you can take it at your own pace and join in anytime. All of the videos and blog posts will remain here, as well as be posted on our website and social media pages throughout the year. It’s free to join and you can choose to make the 50″x70″ lap quilt, or just a few blocks for a table runner or placemats, or just even one block – it’s all your choice! So feel free to hop in anytime!
Here’s what you’ll need though to join in on the stitchin’ fun –
• The ColourMaze pattern by Colourwerx
• Background Fabric – 1-3/4 yards – choose a coordinating fabric to the strip roll or a neutral color with perhaps a tone on tone texture;
• A strip roll (or jelly roll) – choose a strip roll containing (40) precut 2-1/2″ wide strips. If you’d like you can choose these other options as well:
— Bust Your Stash – Cut (40-42) 2-1/2″ wide x 41-43″ long strips from your stash;
— 6″ Design Roll – this is a roll containing 20 fabrics all cut at 6″ x WOF – you would need to cut (2) 2-1/2″ strips from each of the (20) strips to make (40) 2-1/2″ strips for the project;
— Fat Quarter Bundle – a Fat Quarter is (18″ x 22″). Choose a bundle that has at least (21) fat quarters and you would need to cut (4) 2-1/2″ x 21″ strips from each of the Fat Quarters.
• Optional for the QAL – Binding : 5/8 yard and Backing Fabric : 4-1/2 yards
I always think that seeing different color combinations with a new quilt pattern is helpful when choosing fabrics so here a few different color combinations we have designed using some of our favorite fabric designers’ collections…
You can purchase fabric kits for most of these combinations here:
Preparing Your Fabrics for Week #2:
1. Once you’ve selected your fabrics, be sure to measure the precut 2-1/2″ strips for accuracy. Flash – flash – not all strip rolls are cut exactly alike or are accurately cut by the fabric factories! Yup – it’s just the way the ball bounces here in the quilting world and there are inconsistencies on these precuts from fabric company to fabric company.
So go ahead and unroll that strip roll and measure the width of the strip. You may find as I did, that some need a little tiny trim off the width to make them a perfect 2-1/2″ wide. (And remember if your strip roll has a pinked edge, you would measure from the outer tip of the pinked edge).
2. Next, feel free to starch your background fabric and the 2-1/2″ strips if needed. However – warning – DO NOT PREWASH YOUR STRIPS. The strips are pretty fragile and if you wash and dry them, there will be tears (literally) – The strips will shrivel up and be unsable – trust me on this one!
3. Lastly, each ColourMaze block is made using (2) different 2-1/2″ strips plus some background fabric. So to prepare for Week #2 and cutting, pair up your strips for each block you will be making. If you are making (1) block, then you will need (2) 2-1/2″ x WOF strips; if you are making the 50″x70″ Lap Size, then you will need (20) pairs of strips….
….which brings us to a burning question where the 50″x70″ Lap Quilt is concerned….There are actually (21) blocks to make and you might be asking yourself “Where do I get the extra 2 strips for that 21st block if I am using a strip roll that only contains 40 strips?” Well I have the answer below… As you group your strips together this week, start thinking about which option you might like to choose:
OPTION #1: If your strips measure aprox. 42-43″ long, there is a way to cut your pieces more efficiently from each strip in order to have the necessary fabric left over to create the 21st block. In next week’s blog post and tutorial video, I will demo this for you so wait for the answer before cutting;
OPTION #2: Once we cut the strips next week, there will be generous offcuts of each strip left over…so you could choose to cut your 21st block from these offcuts and create a scrappy block that goes in the center or off to one side of your quilt. You can also use these offcuts to make your binding strips (which is what I’m going to do) or to make scrappy placemats or a table runner at a later date.
OPTION #3: If you wish to purchase your binding fabric this week, purchase as the pattern states 5/8 yard. This 5/8 yard is more than enough fabric to create your binding strips and also allows you extra yardage to cut the extra (2) 2-1/2″ wide strips to add to your (40) strips to make the (21) blocks total.
Next week – Week #2: we’ll be Cutting Your Strips and Background Fabric – woohoo!
Until then, please be sure to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Or feel free to post progress pictures on our Colourwerx QAL Facebook Group
Until your next colour fix and next week’s QAL post ~ happy and bright quilting always! L&C xxoo