Magazine Winner

Kelly D. is the winner of a quilting magazine; I drew her name from those who commented “Done” for the November block, “Spinning Stars.”

Kelly has been making her “Options” blocks from the “Apricot and Ash” line by Corey Yoder for Moda. The blend of fresh green, peachy-apricot, and sturdy gray is lovely. Not only did Kelly stitch up her “Spinning Star” block this month, she put all the blocks together into a quilt top!

Kelly’s “Options” Quilt Top

Notice that she used the “Hourglass” alternate blocks in an interesting arrangement; they are not placed between between every block but rather in two vertical columns and one horizontal row. And the outer pieced border is a creative use of the bits and pieces of 2 1/2″ jelly roll strips. Kelly is thinking about adding a border of a solid color, so she is leaving it as a “flimsy” until she decides.

Thanks for sharing a picture of your feels-like-spring quilt top with us, Kelly! I know you are going to enjoy decorating with it and snuggling under it once it is quilted!

I would love to show a picture of your completed “Options” quilt top to blog readers. Email a digital picture to

“Birds in Flight” BOM Wrap-Up

Happy Halloween and congratulations to those of you who have completed your “Birds in Flight” blocks for the “Options” Block of the Month Quilt Along! Yes, today is the day you should comment “DONE” if you are on schedule with your blocks. (If you are not quite finished at this moment, perhaps you can squeeze in some stitching between giving candy to costumed trick or treaters this evening. I’ll wait until Nov. 2nd to draw a winner from the commenters.)

Some quilty “eye candy” from Chris. Admire the fabrics and applaud her piecing accuracy. (I can see 1/4″ seam allowance beyond all the points of the triangles!)

Joy also sent pictures of her “Birds In Flight” variations. It is instructional to see all three blocks made with the same fabrics. I like them all and can’t pick a favorite.

Some of the QAL participants have already set their “Options” blocks together, and some have finished quilting and binding. I know you will find pictures of their work motivational.

First up is Renee’s quilt, a Christmas gift for her sister who loves flowers. Zoom in to appreciate all the floral prints Renee used. She plans a floral quilting motif and yellow binding.

Next up is a patriotic-themed quilt by Michelle. Notice the partial red frames on two sides of each block that produces a 3D effect. Hats off to Michelle who successfully managed the directional text print for sashing and first border.

Sarah completed her quilt in record time. I love the twisting border of half square triangles. The various gray fabrics used in the Hourglass blocks add interest. By using the same light background fabric in the patchwork blocks and in the Hourglass blocks, Sarah created a secondary design of light diamonds around some blocks and dark diamonds around the others.

Thanks, ladies, for sharing pictures of your lovely blocks and quilts! We are inspired!

Remember to comment “Done” if you have finished your blocks, and come back tomorrow for an explanation of our final block in the “Options” QAL.

“Options” – Ojo de Dios – QAL Participants Share

Participants of the “Options” Block of the Month Quilt Along have been as busy as spring-time bees! And they have been exercising their options admirably.

My friend, Cheryl, added strips to the sides of some of her blocks, turning them into placemats. “I wanted new placemats, and I have a lot of material, so I decided to make some placemats rather than buy them.” Great idea, Cheryl!

Helga’s use of texture to add contrast to her blocks is splendid! The fussy cutting of the rectangles in the block on the left is superb.

Tina used some of the cut-off triangles to make tiny Pinwheels for the centers of two of her “Ojo de Dios” blocks. What a fantastic idea! Notice, too, her variations of fabrics in the large triangles. That she didn’t use the same fabric for all four triangles adds to the scrappy nature of the blocks.

Sarah also added a design to the center of her block – a tiny Hourglass is perfect for the 2″ square.

Sarah also sent a mock-up of the layout for her blocks. She will use various gray prints in the alternate Hourglass blocks.

Thanks for sharing, ladies. Your Options blocks inspire us! You can see more blocks on Instagram #optionsqal. In addition, I would love to show your blocks on the blog, so send pictures to

On another note, Kim K. is the winner in our St. Patrick’s Day drawing for green and cream batik fabric. Congratulations, Kim!

“Options #2 – Blog Readers Share

The gusty winds of March are flipping the daily calendar pages ever forward. And here we are, mid-month, an opportune time for showing blocks made by “Options” QAL participants. “Ojo de Dios” is the design for March.

First up is a sampling by Chris S. The Primary Design suggested striped fabric for the triangles. Since Chris’ scrappy stash boasted no striped fabric, she decided to make some by sewing 1 1/2″ wide strips together. Once the strip-set was sewn and pressed, she cut the triangles from it. Creative thinking, Chris!

Anita A. tests my instructions before they go to print. She is making two quilts . . . one with batiks . . .

. . . and the other with scrappy calicos.

Trish K., who participated in the “Sisters” QAL last year, is trying her hand with “Options” in 2021. The blues and teals work so beautifully together! Like Chris, Trish is working ahead on the Hourglass alternate blocks.

Judy M. is making two twin-size quilts for the bunkbeds in her granddaughter’s room. She is using all sorts of scraps, striving to prioritize her granddaughter’s favorite colors.

Ladies, your blocks are fantastic! I am so proud of your progress!

It’s not too late to join the free QAL, just click on “Options BOM QAL” in the menu. Be sure to download the preliminary instructions as well as the block designs for February and March. You may post pictures on Instagram with #optionsqal or email a picture to me:

“Options” #1 – Blog Readers Share

I hope you enjoyed a lovely Valentine’s Day and a restful President’s Day. We look forward to these holidays in February, yes, but they remind us that February is half over. In less than two weeks the second “Options” block instructions will be posted, so this is a reminder to assemble Block #1 if you haven’t already done so.

“Options” is the free Block of the Month offered on this blog. I hope you will quilt along with us in 2021. Click “Options BOM QAL” in the menu. You will navigate to a page which lists links to preliminary information and instructions for Block #1.

Several quilting friends have emailed me pictures of their “Scrappy Stars” blocks. First up is Helga H. I am guessing her color palette is gray with unexpected appearances of red.

Helga’s “Scrappy Stars”

Marianne K. also sent a picture of her blocks. I love the various background fabrics and fun polka dots in her “Tumbleweed” variation.

Joan O. writes, “I didn’t pay attention to which way the corner block was supposed to go, so my ‘Tumbleweed’ is another variation! I am using some 4” WOF strips for the main fabrics. When I had 1 1/2” left over, I wondered if I could make a star out of that. The answer is the little one. Rectangles are cut 1 1/2” by 2 1/2”.

Thanks, ladies, for sharing pictures of your “Options” blocks. Be sure to see more on the Instagram page #optionsqal. I would love to share a picture of your blocks; email me at

“Options” BOM #1

Welcome to February and welcome to the free “Options” Quilt Along. Whether you’re sewing from stash or from a particular fabric line, your quilt is going to be scrumptious! If you consider yourself a beginner, you will enjoy learning some basic patchwork skills. More experienced quilters will have the option of designing and making intricate variations of the patterned blocks.

The “Options” Quilt Along runs from February 1 to December 31, 2021 with a new block published on the first of each month, February through November. December is the month to set the blocks together, finishing your quilt. You will find background information as well as links to instructions on the “Options BOM QAL” page of this blog; click the tab in the menu to navigate to the page. Pay particular attention to the chart that estimates how many blocks you should make each month to achieve your desired quilt size.

BOM #1 Scrappy Stars

Our first block is “Scrappy Stars.” I found inspiration for this block from Lori Holt’s You Tube video, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Scrappy Star.” I recommend watching the step-by-step tutorial. After watching the video and making a block or two, I came up with several ways to modify the basic patchwork concept. By making the primary design as well as the variations, you will expand the number of designs in your “Options” sampler quilt.

Let the QAL fun begin! I would love to see your finished “Scrappy Stars” blocks. Email a picture to At the end of the month, my blog post will ask you to comment “Done” if you have completed the February blocks. I’ll draw a name from those comments, and the winner will receive a quilting magazine.

Caveat: The instructions for many of the “Options” blocks prescribe “easy triangle corners.” The trimmings of small triangles amounted to quite a pile! You may wish to save the trimmings, sew them together, and trim to a uniform size for a “bonus” quilt project.

Triangle Trimmings

My friend Diane has made several quilts from tiny HSTs (half square triangles). Here is a mini gallery of her creations. Thanks, Diane, for sharing!

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!