Way back last December, I was given the chance to work with the 2018 Christmas range of Makower fabrics. The brief was to design a quilt that could be run as a Block of the Month (BOM) or Mystery Quilt. Now I know a lot of you love your Mystery Quilts, but I can’t get my head around the idea of not knowing what I am making and having complete trust in the designer – you can read that as control issues if you like! So I plumped for a pattern that is going to be run as a Block of Week rather than a BOM, that could be read as commitment issues, and it is also going to be a Quilt Along (QAL).

Having participated in my first QAL last year, I love the sense of community that can build during the QAL and there is much to be learnt from everyone who participates. OK, the format was decided upon, but what about the design? I knew the design would be dependent on the fabric so I waited with bated breath for the package of fabrics samples to arrive from Makower.  You can see all of their collections here, but be warned you may just want to get some!  What happy mail that was – after much oohing, aahing and stroking I decided to go with the Silent Night range. This range is more traditional than I thought I would pick, but the colours and designs are just so perfect for a northern hemisphere Christmas and the dark winter nights. My Christmas quilts tend to come out mid November and are still gracing our beds and sofas come January. (Can you keep a secret? I still have a Christmas cushion on my sofa at the end of June ……)

The fabric has been wonderful to work with. After working nearly solely with solids for a year, the feel and hand of the printed fabric is great. I teamed it with some fabrics from their Linen Texture range, which are like solids but have a slight textured print on them which gives a depth to the quilt which I can’t achieve with solids. I have quite a few colours picked out from the sample card for future projects …..

The fabric that I have used is going to be available from The Cotton Patch as a kit, but the quilt could easily be made in other winter fabric, or in fact any fabric you like. Some of my samples were in much brighter summery colours and then there is a black and white version aswell. I used these other fabrics to test the pattern initially and then I sent it out to pattern testers. It was wonderful to see my design being bought to life by these testers and great to see the blocks in their choice of fabric. Their feedback was invaluable and, fingers crossed, we have ironed out all the errors and omissions!

The pattern has been designed as a skills and technique builder and we will be focussing on half square triangles (HSTs), quarter square triangles (QSTs), no waste flying geese and simple foundation paper piecing. There will be an exclusive Facebook group set up for this QAL where more hints and tips will be shared and, hopefully, a lovely community built.

The launch date is fast approaching, Wednesday 27 June, but we won’t start sewing until September. Apparently Christmas fabric can run out, who would have thought?!  So the early release date is for those who wish to make it up in the Silent Night fabric range and who may decide to buy a kit. If you decide to make it in alternate fabric then you have time over the summer to choose fabrics from your stash or to go shopping ….. and there are still a few Quilt Shows on between now and then!

Pop back on Wednesday for the launch. You will be able to see the full quilt, get fabric requirements, enter a launch competition and be able to purchase the pattern with an early bird discount for a limited time, which coincides with the EQ8 competition.