Way back in August of 2013, I decided it would be a grand idea to host my own quilt along. This is after I had only been sewing for all of like a year, and blogging for less than that. I certainly don’t mind jumping in head-first, that’s for sure! I had recently discovered Anne at Play-Craft’s broken herringbone block tutorial
and used it for a few bees I was participating in to make some baby quilts. I thought this block was a versatile, scrap-busting block that would be easy for others to do in stages. Plus, it seemed very different to what everyone else was doing at the time.
I reached out to Anne–scared to death because I thought she was a blog-Queen–to see if she would let me use her block for the QAL. Not only did she say yes, but she asked if she could be a quilting mentor and even do some referenced posts of her own. She had suddenly turned into Glenda the Good Witch!
So without knowing pretty much else, I somehow roped in Aurifil
and Julie at Intrepid Thread
to offer some fabric bundles and prizes, and then threw the invitation out into the world. I expected maybe five people to join–which I was totally happy with–but instead fifty people signed up! Molli knows how to throw a party, y’all! And like that, the world-famous #MSBHQAL
was born. (<–Molli Sparkles Broken Herringbone Quilt Along).
The QAL ran over three months, with design ideas, fabric needs, cutting instructions, and block assignments based on colour each week. My goal was to make a rainbow version to brighten up the kids’ room. A lot of people did their own thing though! At the end of the party there were not only rainbow versions, but jewel-tones, Christmas colours, pastels, over and undersized herringbones, baby quilts, large quilts, table runners, inverted patterns, and everything in-between. People really got creatively into it, and that’s what I loved most about the QAL. (All of the posts
are still up if you want to dive into your own glitter-filled pool of awesomeness).
At the end of it all, thirty people submitted completed projects (I’ve seen a few others finished since then), and Lee from Freshly Pieced
performed judging duties to declare some winners. One of which was a guy! (NGAQB
foreshadowing? I think so!) Then Grandma Sparkles came for a visit from Oklahoma, and she wanted to make her one too! So I put mine aside for finishing later, and we went to work on a rainbow version for her. My house has seen a lot
of broken herringbones, for realz.
Funnily enough, one of the Glitterati was just telling me how she was talking to another customer this week at the Intrepid Thread
bricks and mortar, and lo and behold they had both participated in the #MSBHQAL. Uniting people from around the world; it’s what I do!
So now, finally, it is MY turn. Gurrrrl, it only took six months, but this beauty is ready for her debut! My version has twenty-four, completely scrappy blocks. I sourced some fabric from stash, bought some from the LQS, some at a fabric swap-meet, used one of the Intrepid Thread #MSBHQAL bundles, and even did a few international fabric swaps with other participants. No fabric is used in more than one block which makes it a world of discovery.
After the quilt top was complete, I cut up all the block scraps to create a border, again featuring the same fabrics. I used Moda’s Bella, Bleached White for the white strips throughout. I pieced it all with Aurifil 50wt, 2024 white thread, bound the quilt with the same, and included my signature glitter-flecked binding in two of my favourite fabrics. Despite all of the seams, the Aurfil made the piecing seamless. (See what I did there?!)
My go-to long-armer, Jane Davidson werked her quilting magic, as per the usual! We collaborated on this Baptist Fan–otherwise known as the Non-Denominational Rainbow pattern–for the quilting. It mimics the herringbone shapes, while also giving a sly nod to the rainbow colours. Jane used Aurifil 50wt, 2024 white for the quilting, and I couldn’t love it any more!
I’ve sewn in a label, but I hadn’t quite decided on what to title the quilt when the photos were taken (sidebar: big thanks to Mr. Sparkles for being the best quilt holder ever!) After some more thought since then, I could’t imagine anything more appropriate to commemorate all of these events than simply: #MSBHQAL. Thank you to all of the participants of the #MSBHQAL, you made the journey worthwhile, and this quilt will forever remind me of us.
Some quick quilt facts:
Size: 55″ x 80″
Quilting: Aurifil 50 weight, Colour 2024 White
Binding: hand stitched with Aurifil 50 weight, Colour 2024 White
Backing: Jeni Baker’s Color Me Retro, Kitchenette in Honeydew
Label: Hand-written, sewn into binding.
Favourite Part: It’s a mother-effin rainbow.
Rainbows are always welcome ’round here.