Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 11 – By the Bolt

Welcome to the eleventh block reveal

for the Sew Let’s QAL!


This QAL is brought to you by Partners in Design: Where Friends and Fabric Meet.

Partners in design

Presenting: By the Bolt

tunaquilts 7a

Use this 12.5″ block to showcase your fabrics you’ve used in previous Sew Let’s QAL blocks.

This easy and delightfully fun block pattern was created by Becca Fenstermaker of Pretty Piney Quilts. You can download it free on her blog here from now until September 24th, 2019. After then, the patterns in this QAL may not be available anymore or may be available for a small fee. Don’t delay, download them today.

Tips and Tricks to Constructing this Block

  1.  A bit extra saves lots of grief. Becca planned for you to have a bit of leftover bolt ends. I like that in a pattern!

    tunaquilts 4a

    Here’s the ends for 8 bolts and my leftover piece.

  2. Line up your bolt ends and trim them from the center of the white piece.tunaquilts 3a
  3. Pick your fabrics. Choose which ones you want for the narrow bolts and which ones for the wider bolts. You will probably spend way more time picking out your fabrics than sewing up this block!tunaquilts 2a
  4. When you prefer to press to the side, realize it can often be done, even when the pattern says to press seams open. I prefer to press my seam allowances to the side rather than open when I can.

    tunaquilts 14a

    Once I had my bolts laid out, I alternated the direction I pressed the bolt ends. I like to do that so the seams nest nicely and I get those perfectly matched seams! After I sewed a bolt to the next one, I pressed the seam to the side. I press right after I sew a seam to ensure a good pressing job.

  5. A bit of tape goes a long way. I use a piece of tape over the ridge on my sewing machine to keep those seams from flipping over. Important* Do not cover the feed dogs with the tape.*


    If you find that your seams are flipping as you sew them, try this trick. Of course, I need to remove the tape when I put in a new bobbin but I still save lots of time because I don’t need to rip apart the flipped seam.

  6. Lay it out your way. Once you have the bolts made it doesn’t matter how you arrange them. The bolts can be arranged from wide to narrow or all mixed up.
    tunaquilts 16a

    Should I put them like this?

    So move them around to get the look you want.


    Or does this look better?

    tunaquilts 15a

    The options can be endless (and produce very subtle differences) so don’t let them overwhelm you. 

  7. If you find one of your fabrics of your seam is slightly longer than the other, lay the longer piece on the bottom. The feed dogs will pull it ever so slightly as you sew them together and the two layers will finish the same size. I find this happens often when there are multiple seams that provide stretch.

    tunaquilts 11a

    I pin the top and bottom edges and let the dogs do the rest. What is that lurking behind my machine?

tunaquilts 17a

I am not hiding my favorite candy bar. It’s actually just the wrapper that I want to use to make a pouch. Hmmm, can you guess what I did with the insides?

See These Hosts for More Construction Tips

Look for bi-weekly inspiration from these bloggers.

Sandy @ SandyStar Designs

Abbie @ Sparkle On!

Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter

Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

In addition to those listed above, look for inspiration from these bloggers during:

Segment 3: July 16th to September 10, 2019

Kathleen  @ Kathleen McMusing

Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts 

Quilt Hosts

Look for bi-weekly inspiration from these bloggers as they turn their blocks into a quilt.

Bobbi @ Snowy Days Quilting

Sherry @ Powered by Quilting

April @ JANDA Bend Quilts

Becca @ Pretty Piney Quilts — The designer of this block

Join this QAL

You can join in anytime. Every other Tuesday, a new block will be released until all 13 blocks have been released. This QAL is divided into three segments. Segment one consisted of 5 blocks. Segments two and three will each have four blocks.

Share a picture of your block on our Facebook page, or on Instagram with the hashtag #SewLetsQAL. We want to see them. At the end of each segment, post a picture containing all the blocks in that segment. A prize will be awarded at the end of each segment. At the end of all the segments, a grand prize will be selected from among the pictures that contain a finished quilt top or finished projects containing all of the blocks from this QAL (one picture containing all of the 13 blocks finished into either a quilt top or several projects).

Segment 1: March 12th to May 21st

Segment 2: May 21st to July 15th

Segment 3: July 16th to September 10th

  • July 16th – Block 10: Laura Piland @Slice of Pi Quilts — Find Block 10 There
  • July 30th – Block 11: Becca Fenstermaker @Pretty Piney Quilts — Find Block 11 There
  • August 13th – Block 12: Sandy Maxfield @Sandy Star Designs
  • August 27th – Block 13: April Adams @JANDA Bend Quilts
  • August 27th – Segment Wrap-up
  • September 9th at 11:59 pm EDT – Last day to enter for the Segment 3 giveaway. Post a picture with all 4 blocks in this segment on either the linky party (find it on any of the blogs), Partners in Design Facebook page, or Instagram with the hashtag #SewLetsQAL.
  • September 10th – Segment 3 Prize winner announced

Grand Prize Giveaway

  • September 23rd at 11:59 pm EDT – Last day to enter for the grand prize giveaway. Post ONE picture of ALL 13 blocks from the Let’s Sew QAL made into either a Quilt top (doesn’t need to be quilted or bound) OR finished multiple projects that together use all the blocks. Post this picture on either the linky party (find it on any of the blogs), Partners in Design Facebook page, or Instagram with the hashtag #SewLetsQAL.
  • September 24th – Grand Prize winner announced

Block patterns will be free from the designers and available on their blogs UNTIL the date of the Grand Prize announcement September 24th, 2019.

Enter to Win

Entering to win the prizes below is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Everyone (You must be 18 to be able to enter to win prizes) gets to participate because International entries are welcome! You do NOT need to have a blog to enter.
  2. Make all of the blocks in this segment provided to you free of charge for this event. Use your own fabrics and embellish them as you like. If entering the giveaway, the blocks should definitely be recognizable as made from these free patterns.  Take one picture with all of them included.
  3. Post one picture of all of your blocks by 11:59 PM EST, July 15th 2019 either on the Facebook page, or on Instagram with the hashtag #SewLetsQAL, or on the hosts blog Linky party at the end of each segment.  You are welcome to post a picture on each of the sources but it will only count as one entry.

Segment 3: Prizes and Sponsors

Segment Prize



Segment Prize 2


You choose what you want to make: A quilt or several smaller projects. The sewing machine, revealed in segment one, is the only block that will be large (12.5″ x 18.5″ unfinished) . The rest will be 12.5″ unfinished. We have several hosts who will offer suggestions as to what you can do with your blocks if you don’t want to make a quilt.

Not sure what to do? Just start making the blocks and decide along the way. A grand prize will be offered for a completed (but it doesn’t have to be quilted) quilt top or several projects that use all of the 13 blocks.

I’ll be making several projects for my sewing room. I completed a mini quilt using one of the blocks from the first segment. You can read about it here. The remaining blocks from the first segment as well as a couple from the third segment will be used for a sewing machine cover. So I really can’t show you this project until those blocks have been revealed. Plus it gives me some extra time to complete it.

You will notice that my fabric has changed for each segment. 

Don’t Miss Out on My Previous Sew Let’s QAL Posts

Segment 1: 

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL  Introduction

Tu-Na Quilts: On Pins and Needles A look at my fabric selection. It varies with each segment of the QAL.

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 1— Sewing Machine

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 2 — Quilt Along Mug Block

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 3 — Ruler

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 4 — Spinning Spools and Thread Tales

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 5 — Quilt Shop

tunaquilts 11a

I made one each of the Thread Tales and Spinning Spools blocks. They are so cute!!


Tu-Na Quilts: Segment One Wrap-Up and Project Idea — A Quilt Shop mini wall hanging

tunaquilts 25a

Segment 2:

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 6 — Binding Clips

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 7 — It’s a Pressing Issue — This is my pattern. The post also contains Tu-Na’s Tried and True Easy Guide to Pressing Matters.

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 8 — Pin Cushion

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 9 — In Stitches

tunaquilts 8a

Segment 3:

Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 10 — Buttons


What I Learned Today:

  1. Only two more blocks left in this quiltalong! What are you doing with your blocks?
  2. I miss my other fabric stash. I can’t take it all with me (at least to the other house) and I often forget what I have at each place.
  3. I need to take a picture of my stash in the other house before I leave each year.
  4. There are only three days left until the Quilt MN Shop Hop begins. I’m not sure I’m going this year. But it sure would be fun for those of you who are.
  5. Tu-Na Helper has been busy gardening. We have lots of flowers.

    tunaquilts 20a

    These daylilies are gorgeous. We have lots of other colors, too, but these are my favorite.

  6. My new I-Phone takes great pictures.
  7. I miss the desert. Only three months until I return.
    tunaquilts 19a
    Here’s what we saw when we left Arizona the end of May. The desert was quite green. I bet it isn’t now as they’ve had 113 degrees F. lately.  I took this picture while Tu-Na Helper was driving 70 mph.

Question: Do you buy smaller pieces or buy by the bolt? I buy some of each. I buy staples like Kona white, ash, and gray solids by the bolt when I get a 50% or 60% off coupon at JoAnn’s Fabrics.

tunaquilts 9a

Otherwise, I buy fat quarters to add to my scrappy stash.


Here’s my drawer of fat quarters and half yard solids that I bought the last two years on the Quilt MN Shop Hop.

And then there’s the yardage that I can’t live without. Surely, they will each find their way into a future project or three.

tunaquilts 18a

The stash reveal. Here is where I find one to three yard cuts. I have another house with another fabric stash.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

I am not affiliated at this time with any of the items, products, services, or shops that I picture or talk about here on Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats. I just happen to like and use them.

Linking this week to:

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilt

12 thoughts on “Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 11 – By the Bolt

  1. Pingback: “Sew, Let’s Quilt Along” Block 11 Release! | Sparkle On!

  2. Leslie Schmidt

    This is a cute, easy block. I like the idea of showcasing the fabrics used in the other blocks. I’ve never bought a whole bolt of anything. I have so much fabric, I don’t dare add that much more volume to my stash!
    I will be taking the bus for the Metro section of the MN Shop Hop on Friday. This may be the last time I do that. I’m not a morning person, and the bus will leave at 7 a.m.! I will probably have to get up around 4:30 a.m. This year I am not planning on buying much. I will be going to Quilt Expo in Madison, WI in September, so I have to temper my spending on the shop hop.But I will be thinking of you!


  3. Snowy Days Quilting

    The tape is a clever idea! I’ve never seen anyone do that. It’s a great way to smooth out the jump that you have with your needle plate.


  4. Karen Marlow-Goad

    I rarely buy by the bolt, I feel like I have a good stash for scrappy quilts so I usually get fat quarters unless I am looking for something for a background that I know I want to be mainly one color then I get by the bolt.
    Do you ever think of selling the place in MN and just live in Arizona full time? I know it gets plenty hot there in the summer as my nephew lives in the area that you do but they seem to make due with being out early and late but then they both work so aren’t home in the daytime anyhow as are at jobs in A/C


  5. Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting

    What a thought–buy the whole bolt of a cute print! I’m with you–I only buy the whole bolt when it’s white grunge and it’s 50% off. What i-phone did you get? That’s an amazing photo at 70 mph! I’m excited for Quilt MN as I get to meet so many different quilters. Let me know if you’re stopping by Quilt Cove at any time.


  6. Susan

    Oh, I will so miss your report on that shop hop! Your block is wonderful, and the design she did is so clever. Thanks for sharing your ideas and tips on it. I have bought an entire bolt a time or two, but not often. I bought a bolt of fusible when Aleene’s was not going to make it any more, and I haven’t used it all yet, thank goodness! I will be sad when I do.


  7. Sparkle On! with Abbie

    Hi Karen, your Bolt block is so fun and so is this post! I enjoy seeing each block you make with your Arizona inspired fabric.
    I’m intrigued by the candy wrapper pouch you will make.
    I never thought about buying a whole bolt of fabric, your tip about using a Joann’s coupon for Kona solids is perfect.Thanks 🙂


  8. marshaseiberling

    I have done QAL’s in the past and maybe once I get myself “together” again, I can take part in another one.


  9. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 12 – Rotary Cutter | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

  10. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts: Sew Let’s QAL Block 12 – Who’s Got the Thimble? | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

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