Thursday, April 17, 2014

QAL, Bee or Swap?

Low Volume Fabrics
One of the things I enjoy about quilting are the endless choices we have to make. I am very easily swayed when it comes to things I see and want to try out.Which leads me to my question......have you ever joined a Quilt Along (QAL), an online bee or a swap? If so what has been your experience? I did a block swap a few years back and about half the people in it did not send out blocks, it was a little disappointing.
Last year I was in a Low Volume Swap that was fabulous, so much so I am in it again this year. I will end up with 36 (10") squares of fabric similar to these above. A low volume fabric usually has a lot of white, cream or gray with a print that still makes it read as a white. Definitely a more contemporary feel.

I used them in this quilt that I made last fall. I think it adds a lot to the quilt, especially if you like scrappy.

A few months ago I was in a Skinny Pincushion swap that was a lot of fun. It took no time to make and I think everyone who signed up, sent one out.

Remember this drawstring bag I made a few weeks ago? You can find the pattern here at Quarter Inch Mark. Chase is having a Quilt Along that I have joined, I have never done one before so this will be new to me, but I am looking forward to it.

These blocks I made last Friday are the beginning of the QAL. If you want to know more you can check it out hereI think it might be fun for my first go at it.
Have you ever participated in any of these? How did it go?



  1. Ooouuuu Aaaahhh, low volume cuteness!!! Love your HST's quilt!!

    I have done fabric swaps with a bloggy friend or two and of course I'm in the Block Lotto where we have Sophie who is the leader and you
    WILL send out your blocks or YOUR OUT!! It never happens though, but I have heard stories through out blogland of those who sign up to participate in various events and then you never hear from them again!!
    So far, I've had pretty good luck with these types of events.

  2. The only thing I have participated in are Mystery BOM on various sites. I am doing my second one now and am enjoying it.

  3. I have done it all! I have been in charge of swaps and they went very well. I love to join fabric swaps, like you did. Great way to get a lot of different fabrics. I have also done quilt alongs. I love those as you get to work at your own pace. Yes, life happens but for the most part if someone drops out there is always someone ready to jump in. Have fun!

  4. I really have only done one swap and it was a pretty small group of bloggers that started out over on the APQ site. It went really well.I heard of other swaps that did not go well. I just did the sew along using Tula Pink's book 100 Modern Quilt Blocks. I loved it. I really want to try a low volume quilt.

  5. I've done QALs, Doll Quilt swaps and fabric swaps and they're great fun. They demonstrate how wonderful the online community is to be able to paticipate in activities with people all over the world.

  6. I really love the low volume fabric. You are the master at using them well too! I've only done a QAL and not kept up very good with it. That's why I steer away from the bees.

  7. You are tempting me for the QAL...but is it just an avoidance maneuver from what I really want to do in my studio?

    1. Christine- it's really a fun, easy one! Do it!

  8. I have been involved with all three however never online. Right now I am participating in a Bee and Swap with my Modern guild.
    And a QAL in our traditional guild, and this is where I have gone astray. I wanted to show support, but I am not loving the project which is why I am losing interest. Note to self: Don't do it if you don't care for it!

  9. I am also in Chase's QAL! This is my second QAL- I did Fresh Lemon's paper pieced pattern, Prism. I've also had amazing luck with all the swaps I've joined- and there have been "several" of those! I love, even more than the swap itself, the friendships made over a common interest / addiction! And I've been blessed enough to actually meet one of the ladies I've swapped with at our local Quilt Show! And hoping to meet up with even more locals!
    I encourage everyone to join Chares QAL- it's a mini- so you can EASILY squeeze in the time to do it! I can't wait to see what colors she wants us to pick out this week!

  10. I've me you through the skinny pinnie swap, and I thoroughly enjoyed that experience, my first to coordinate! I hope to have a new one very soon for needle books. You were right - everybody who committed participated, and it was a great bunch of talented ladies!

  11. I have done a lot of Lori's quilt alongs and they have always been fun. I try new things and make little quilts that I either have kept or given as gifts. I was in a 9-patch swap that was terrific and I'm waiting for my doll quilt from the current swap. for the most part quilters have really stepped up. I was surprised to read that some people didn't do the blocks they signed up to do - ? I'm glad your low volume swap was good, I love the project they are going into!

  12. I've only been in one block swap....because it was like pulling teeth to get the people to do what you're supposed to....I would like to be in another one, but with dependable people.

  13. How fun for you to be trying these new things. I'm in a bee, for the second year in a row, and the 12 of us have really come to know one another. Everyone keeps up with their block commitment, even though they may be a few months behind. It makes a big difference knowing who the people are who you're signing up with! As for quilt-alongs... I've done only one. It was, and they usually are lots of fun, but I've learned about myself that I can easily bite off too much. As much as I'm tempted by them, I rarely join because they're fast-paced. Unless you have lots and lots of sewing time to call your own - with no interruptions by hubby, kids or grandkids! - a quilt-along just isn't feasible. Hope you enjoy yours!

  14. Thanks for sharing this fun QAL! I just went and signed up and will start pulling some fabrics now. Fun!! As for QAL's and BOM's and swaps, I've had the gamut of experiences, from sending out two mini quilts and not getting returns, to having some of my own troubles and being late myself, to getting fabulous blocks that I never would have come up on my own. I usually am way too interested in QAL's to be able to follow along in real time, but I have gone back and completed things later. Each of them is a learning experience. You learn different ways to approach sewing, and you learn to accept from others, and even how to ask for what you want, depending on the type of activity. As it is now, I happened upon two groups that fit very well, and I like that dependability. BUt I had some surprises from other swaps where I didn't htink it ever would work, and it did! So good on you for taking a chance!


I love to read your comments, they make my day!