Mad Plaid QAL - Week 1

Mad Plaid  Quilt Along

Dates: March 9th, 2020 - April 12th, 2020

Duration: 5 Weeks

Featured Quilt Size: FQ Throw 54" x 72"

Hosted on: Instagram

Instagram tags:  #madplaidqal  #madplaidquilt @schneiderhousequiltstudio

Don't forget to  tag your progress and fabric pulls. That's the fun of a Sew Along, sharing with each other.

Heeere Weeee Gooooo!!

Alright, let's get this party started.  This week we need to get our fabric and slice it up!  We'll go through some different color ways with yardage as well as for the FQ option. Also, I'm featuring the throw size, but please feel free to make any size you want.

You will need a copy of the pattern to participate in the SAL, If you haven't purchased it yet, here's a link.

Aaannd, if you haven't registered for the QAL, you can do so here.  This keeps you up to date on blog posts, prizes, and deals associated with the sew along.


Color Planning and Fabric Selection

As you probably know, changing the colors of a quilt can drastically change the overall look of the pattern. And, choosing colors can be overwhelming because of this.  So let's start off simple.

Color Planning

  • Do you want your quilt to feel dark or light- picking the background (color 1) first on this quilt will give you a base for your overall feel.  Picking a dark or deep/rich color will giving you a completely different feel than a lighter background.
  • For yardage planning, there's lots of options (examples above). You can utilize shades of a single color or multiple colors.
  • When choosing all three of your colors or pairing your FQs, you'll want to make sure there's enough contrast between them that they don't blend into each other.
  • A reminder, for the FQ version: the FQs are replacing colors 2 and 3 in the pattern.  For instance, for the throw size, you'll need 6 FQs for color 2 and 6 FQs for color 3.  This gives you a total of 12 FQs
    • You will pair up a Color 2 FQ that contrasts a Color 3 FQ.
  • A quick trick to see if your fabrics are contrasting enough, is to take a picture of the fabrics using the black and white filter.  This works for any fabric color or prints.

As you can see above, all fabrics are contrasting enough that you can easily differentiate it from its pair.


After using the black and white filter, you may want to change your colors out or switch them around.


Traded out some FQs

Went to pick my Color 1 Background and decided the very light peach was too close to the gray and the mint was too close to the FQs.

Final Choices, decided on Gray Background, got rid of the peach and added another green FQ

The key to picking the right color combo is playing until you're happy.  Using simple deduction techniques help with decision making.  And, when it comes down to deciding on one fabric or the other, and you just don't know which one to pick....choose the one that makes you the happiest.


Slicing and Dicing

Time to cut and organize your fabric.  There aren't too many different sizes of pieces to cut so it's not too complicated.

  • First thing, to keep organized,  I like to do is use zip baggies to keep my pieces together. 
  • Cut your first color, largest pieces first.  Label your Color (1, 2, 3, etc.).  I use a post it note or scrap paper and putt it in the bag. If you need to label the sizes, by all means, please do so. I keep these all in one bag but you can keep the different sizes in separate bags if this helps you.  Make sure you label the color.

Start with one fabric color and cut into strips

Sub-cut your strips into pieces

If using FQs, be sure to keep the pairs together throughout the cutting process

Label your colors/pieces for piecing. (I changed my mind on which color was which)


Tips and Tricks

I've listed some of my go to tips in the pattern but I'll reiterate them here and post them every week.

  • Read the entire pattern before you ever cut anything:  This will help ensure you understand the plan and reduces confusion.
  • When cutting different size pieces from the same piece of fabric, cut larger pieces first:  Cutting larger pieces first helps ensure you'll have large enough pieces to cut from.  The smallest pieces get cut last and you can usually save fabric by using the scraps of the larger pieces already cut off.
  • Start your project with a new needle:  You'd be surprised how often the source of your stitching and tension frustration is due to a dull or bent needle.  You should use a new needle for your quilt top and a new one for your quilting.
  • Press Seams Open:  This helps reduce bulk especially since this quilt has so many different blocks, you won't be able to plan your directions.
  • Label your blocks and your rows:  Labeling is the easiest way to keep organized and not get confused.

This Week's Featured Sponsor

The Blanket STatement

This week's featured sponsor is Erin from The Blanket Statement.  She's providing three of her patterns to one lucky person.  Be sure to share your pics this week and tag #madplaidqal for a chance to win.

Hi! I’m Erin. I am a modern quilter and pattern designer from Winnipeg, Manitoba where I live with my husband, two kids and a dog. After many years of quilting just for fun, and more importantly in an effort to stay warm in our subarctic climate, I started The Blanket Statement in 2017. When I’m not quilting, I like to hike, camp and spend time in the great outdoors. 


That's all for this week.  Next week we start piecing and giving away prizes!  Be sure to tag pics of your fabric pulls and progress on Instagram with #madplaidqall and #madplaidquilt.

A little FYI for next week.  If your Instagram account is private, we will not be able to see your pics, even if you tag them.  Some options are to create a separate account for your quilty fun, or make your current account public.


Mad Plaid QAL Sponsors

Lemony Quilts

The Blanket Statement

J. Coterie Quilting