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Scrappy Celebration QAL

Scrappy Celebration QAL

Written by: 
Lissa Alexander

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

This is Lissa Alexander, also AKA Modalissa taking over Moda's blog each Monday for the next 8 weeks for the Scrappy Celebration QuiltAlong. 

cover APQ April 2023

This image used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting magazine . Meredith Operations Corporation. All rights reserved.

Today's stop on the qal is about picking fabric, but I thought I would share some of the background behind this project, first. While working at Moda, I design quilts all the time, but I usually use Adobe Indesign. Lots of my friends design their quilts using Electric Quilt software. I own EQ but hadn't taken much time to learn it until one day I just sat down and started playing. EQ's library of blocks is very inspiring and I went from one theme of blocks to another inspired by the colors. I ended up back at the 9-patch category and just started adding the blocks as my favorites and dropping them into a quilt layout. What I thought was just a practice exercise turned into a quilt I knew I had to make. 

Next, I was tickled to share my EQ drawing concept to the editor at American Patchwork and Quilting as a possible submission for a future issue. Fingers crossed they would choose this quilt for their April issue and feature it as a QAL.  QAL's do not need to be hard quilts to make, they just need to be fun and can be made in a variety of colors and this quilt is exactly that.

When Jody Sanders gave me the green light to make the quilt, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? I actually designed something in EQ and it would be eventually be published. New Tricks!


Fast forward several months and I was sent the cover of the April 2023 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting and there it was.... MY QUILT! This feeling never gets old, but when I learned this was APQ's 30th Anniversary issue, I was even more excited. More to come about this in future blog posts but if you are the least bit interested in designing and submitting quilts to be published, you can do it!!

Before you start sewing....

In beginning quilting classes, one of the first things you learn is how important it is to have an accurate 1/4" seam allowance. The presser foot on most sewing machines is not 1/4", but why does that matter, if I use the same seam allowance throughout my entire quilt? it should work, right? Absolutely not! I have been able to make many quilts by using the edge of my presser foot, just by dumb luck and not knowing any better. Remember I just said this is a fun and easy quilt but it is important to pay attention to your seam allowance. All the blocks are 9" finished. Some blocks have four pieces and some of them have as many as forty, so if your seam allownce is off even by a few threads, your blocks will not all finish at 9".

This is an easy test.

Cut 3 strips 1 1/2" x 6". Sew the 3 strips together and measure across the middle of the strips. It should measure 3 1/2". If it does, you are ready to sew, if not you will need to tweak your seam allowance. A simple test to ensure all your strips and points fall right into place in the long run.

seam allowance test

Picking Fabrics

This is usually the toughest part of making quilt, but I love it. Some days it is all I want to do. I pick fabric and plans quilts that I will never end up making. It is like playing quilt shop!

I find that it is much harder to pick the perfect 12-18 fabrics for a quilt. Each piece has to match, has to  be the perfect value and scale and there is little room for error. 

This is how I do it.

Do a big fabric pull. You can do this by picking your favorite FQB at the store. This gives you the confidence needed since the designer has created this bundle with the right variety of color, scale and value, then bring it home and add to it.

This is a picture of my first fabric pull for this quilt.

fabric pull

I then started eliminating! I took the black prints out even though they were in my light stack. My fabric pull had way more fabrics than I used but I like to keep these options out on the table.  Once 1 or 2 blocks have been made it is easier and easier to decide what fabrics you will not be using. If a print sticks out like a sore thumb, toss it aside. Truly, the more the merrier!

I am remaking Scrappy Celebration during the QAl using some of my favorite Minick & Simpson fabrics for a red, white and blue version.

Pattern Details

Finished quilt: 63-1/2×72-1/2″

 For this quilt, you’ll need the pattern from APQ and the following:

  • 1-1/8 yard total assorted pink prints
  • 2-3/4 yards total assorted white prints
  • 1/2 yard total assorted red and dark pink prints
  • 3/4 yard total assorted green prints
  • 1 yard total assorted orange prints
  • 1 yard total assorted blue prints
  • 7/8 yard total assorted yellow prints
  • 5/8 yard orange-and-white print (binding)
  • 4 yards backing fabric
  • 72×81″ batting

All of the following info is available here also.

Get the Quilt-Along Pattern

  • This quilt is featured in the April 2023 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting, on newsstands or at your favorite retailer NOW. (You can buy the magazine online here.)
  • Purchase the individual quilt pattern as a PDF download or as a printed pattern to be shipped to you.
  • Buy a digital issue of the April 2023 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting on Zinio.com starting February 3 (for our international friends).

    Quilt-Along Schedule

    The quilt-along runs from February 20-April 16. While there is a recommended sewing schedule (see below), you can also sew at your own pace!

    QAL scheldule

    Be sure and visit our friends at American Patchwork and Quilting each Monday as they share about the QAL and more detials on thier 30th anniversary.

    If you’re posting on Instagram, use the hashtag #APQQuiltalong  and #scrappycelebrationQAL to share your progress

    See you next week with blocks A and B.



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