Introducing “Options,” the BOM QAL for 2021

I hope you will quilt along (QAL) with Abyquilt blog readers in 2021. We will make 8” patchwork blocks, and none of the designs involve curved piecing or applique. The QAL begins in January, the month for planning and selecting fabric. Instructions for blocks will be posted on the first of the month, February – November. In December, you will finish your quilt top by combining the blocks you made throughout the year with sashing or alternate blocks.

Optional setting for “Options”

In this QAL, you have several options. The first option is the size of the quilt. You may choose to make a lap quilt, a throw-size quilt, or a bed quilt. The larger the project, the greater number of blocks you need to make per month.

Lap Quilt 52” x 68” 18 blocks about 2 per month
Throw Quilt 68” x 84” 32 blocks about 3 per month
Bed Quilt 84” x 84” 41 blocks about 4 per month

The second option is fabric palette. You may choose to use a line of fabric, to use coordinating fabric from stash, or to go totally scrappy. The Lap Quilt and Throw Quilt are layer cake (10” squares) and fat quarter friendly. If using fat quarters, you need eight to ten, two or three each of several colors. The Bed Quilt requires
at least twelve fat quarters of colorful fabrics.

Scrappy “Options” with Framed Nine Patches

The third option is the blocks you will make. Each month, February – November, instructions for a primary design will be given as well as suggestions for several variations. You have the option to make all your blocks of the same design, to recolor the blocks, or to make a variation of the primary design.

Churn Dash Options

The fourth option is the layout of your quilt. One of my sample quilts uses the “Hourglass” design for alternate blocks, another uses Framed Nine Patches. Pictured below is Karlene’s setting with sashing and cornerstones. However, another setting may appeal to you more. You may work on alternate setting blocks throughout the year.

Karlene’s “Options” quilt

With so many options, all of our quilts will be unique. It will be fun to appreciate the fabrics and orientation of values in each block as we go along, and it will be interesting to see the way you creatively set your blocks together.

In the blog menu, click on “Options BOM QAL.” You will travel to a page with a Download link to printer friendly information about the quilt project. Comment below if you plan to join the fun in 2021!

32 thoughts on “Introducing “Options,” the BOM QAL for 2021

  1. I’m definitely going to try it but I’m still feeling totally overwhelmed by all of the options in “Options” LOL I’m not sure I have the brainpower to decide anything yet. I need to get further away from 2020 and finish at least one of my “Sisters” quilts – I am exactly half done with the miniature quilting on my Christmas prints version so once I finish that, I can think about all the choices here. I have one possibility figured out.

    I got a fabric bundle from on Black Friday called “Paintbox” by Elizabeth Hartman for Robert Kaufman fabrics. I like this designer and manufacturer in general and have never been disappointed by the quality of the fabric or the colors and designs in Hartman’s bundles. This was a half-yard bundle on sale about 50% off so I grabbed it. I had nothing in mind to do with it when I got it so maybe I’ll use it for this. There are 30 half-yard pieces in the bundle (Link to bundle? ) Can I link to something in a comment? Add an image to a comment? Hmmm… Let’s see if I can remember my HTML

    In case it doesn’t let me add live links the bundle is this one:

    I’ve already done a 16-patch alternating block (framed) layout (I have a “Peekaboo Garden” quilt based on Annie’s Catalog design in purples and oranges on my bed right now!) It was a pain to do the frames and make them all match up corners but I spent the time and now I love it. Not sure I want to do another though. Since I’m using the bundle, I might just use the lighter fabrics as “fillers” for alternating blocks. Gonna have to get to work in Photoshop to do some layout options HAHA now you have me doing it, Aby! Looking forward to seeing all of the choices others make. Thanks for running another QAL Aby.


  2. I could use some focus. 2020 had me so distracted. I’m hoping for much this year…so I think I’ll start where I am and work from my stash.

  3. Sounds great, and I have got the fabrics set aside just right for this project!!
    Thanks a lot for all the planning grafics!!

  4. You know I am very happy to join along, Aby. Need something to look forward to as the house settles and I can finally get my new quilt “studio” set up.

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