Tu-Na Quilts: Announcing the Next Quilt-a-Long with Partners in Design

A New Quilting Mystery Revealed:

QAL by the Sea

Starting Tuesday, August 4th at 8 AM (note time change from previous QALs), the first block for this nautical themed Quilt-a-Long will be revealed. 

Yes, Partners in Design are back and have a full line-up of free, fun, ocean and beach inspired, 12.5″ blocks for you.

Look for weekly inspiration from these Partners in Design hosts.

Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

Sherry @ Powered by Quilting

Becca @ Pretty Piney Quilts

Sandy @ SandyStar Designs

Abbie @ Sparkle On!

Laura Piland @Slice of Pi Quilts 

Jennifer @ Inquiring Quilter

You’ll also be inspired by this designer during:

Segment 2: Sandra @ Sandra Healy Designs 

Plus from these Partners when they post their block:  Kathleen McCormick @ Kathleen McMusing, April @ JANDA Bend Quilts and Bobbie @ Snowy Days Quilting.

Join Us:

Beginning Tuesday, August 4th at 8 AM EST following the schedule below until all 12 blocks are released.

Block patterns will be free from the designers and available on their blog until December 1st at 8 am Eastern time. 


Segment 1: August 4th to September 8th

Segment 2: September 8th to October 13th

Segment 3: October 13th to November 10th

Grand Prizes

  • Deadline is December 1st at 7:59 am Eastern time 
  • December 1 Grand Prize Winner Announced

If You’ve Quilted Along Before,

We Have a Few Changes

Change in Pattern Release time:

The free patterns will be released at 8 am Eastern time (instead of midnight) and will remain free through the duration of this QAL.

Change in Segment Format:

Each pattern in each of the three segments will be released one week apart (instead of two) with a 2 week break between segments allowing you time to catch up and post a picture of your finished blocks.

Change in Requirements to Enter for Prizes:

Sew each of the 4 blocks in each segment and post one picture which includes all 4 of those blocks by the deadline to be entered for that segment prize. You do not need to make the blocks into a project but if you do, the one picture has to show those blocks on the project(s).

Sew ALL 12 blocks and post one picture which contains all 12 blocks. You do not need to complete a quilt top or make several smaller projects but if you do, the one picture must show all 12  blocks.

Change in number of prizes for each section:

Two prize packages (instead of one) for each segment and for the Grand Prize: One for USA participants and one for International participants. BE SURE to list where you are from, USA or INTERNATIONAL, when posting your picture so we’ll know in which drawing to include you. 

 Learn from Each Other and from the Hosts

The hosts will post construction tips and techniques. Be sure to visit their blogs.

When you finish a block, share it on our Facebook group or post a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #qalbythesea. We enjoy seeing and commenting on each person’s finished blocks. See below to find out how to enter to win awesome prizes. 

We Couldn’t Do This Without These Wonderful Sponsors!

There will be chances to win prizes from these sponsors.

Quilter’s Dream Batting Quilters Dream Batting proudly presents premium quality quilt batting that will provide warmth, drape, volume, definition and support to your quilt through generations.  Made with pride in the USA.

Everything Mary Thoughtfully-designed sewing & scrapbooking storage designed with you in mind. Well-crafted storage solutions to help organize our customers homes & their lives. We help people love what they do & love where they live.

Island Batik Island Batik is a manufacturer, importer and distributor of cotton batik, rayon batik and hand-printed cotton from Indonesia. Originally established in 1997, Island Batik’s mission is to share the ancient cultural art of batik and hand-dyed fabric with our many valued customers around the world.

Shabby Fabrics Shabby Fabrics is an online quilting shop for fabric, notions, patterns, & kits. We’re your source for face mask supplies and helpful tutorials.

And more, including original PDF patterns from our Designer’s. Watch for the listing in each segment of additional sponsors.

Due to the demanding cost to ship to Canadian and International addresses, the International prizes will be e-patterns and/or an e-magazine that will be sent in electronic format only. International prizes may be from companies other than what is shown in the sponsor logo.  

To enter for prizes:

Segments: Participants can enter the prize drawing by sharing a single photo with all the completed segment blocks on Facebook on the Partners in Design page, Instagram using #qalbythesea, or on any of the hosts blog linky party at the end of each segment.

Grand Prize:  Share one photo showing all 12 of your completed blocks, as above.

Please note: To qualify for an entry for the Grand Prize or the segment prizes, please make the blocks using the designer’s pattern. You may embellish and personalize them but your block should still be recognizable as sewn from the given patterns. Substitutions are not counted as an entry. For example if you decide to sew a pattern found elsewhere for one of the blocks, it will not qualify you for an entry for the prizes in that particular segment or for the grand prize. You can still do it the way you want but to be included in the prize drawings, you’ll have to follow the rules.

Prizes are open to everyone who is 18 years old and older.


Let’s Get Started

Gather your fabrics and meet me on August 4th at 8 am Eastern time for the first block. I’ve already selected my focus fabric.

Before Covid hit, I found 4 yards of Sunday in the Park designed for Exclusively Quilters at a thrift shop. I’m thinking some of this will show up in some of the blocks and probably the sashing or the border.

I’ve decided to showcase a few sky and water fabrics from my stash collection as well as some pretty blues. 

It’s hard to tell how much fabric will be needed for this mystery QAL. In my best guess, you’ll need about 6 yards total fabric (including sashing and borders) for the quilt not counting the backing. These blocks are perfect for using your scraps and stash.

I’m adding red, white, and a bit of yellow, brown, tan, and black. 

Of  course, I’ll add a bit of rick rack to accent some (maybe all) of the blocks.

I remove the Rick Rack from the package, prewash in a tub of water, hang to dry and store in a plastic bag. I have lots of it. Hopefully, I’ll have all the colors I need as I’m making do with what I have on hand.

What I Learned Today:

  1. This is going to be a FUN quilt along!
  2. Sewing a “vacation by the sea” will have to do for this year. This sewcation will be fun.
  3. There are many ways to write Ric Rac such as Rick Rack, Rickrack, Ric-Rac, or Rick-rack.
  4. No matter how one writes Rick Rack, I think those ziggy zags make a pretty accent.  
  5. I struggle with time management. I’m always thinking that I can get way more done in the time I allot to a particular project than I actually do.
  6. I may have taken a vacation from blogging but I’ve been busy learning something each day.
  7. Giving feels so good. When life ground to a halt in March, I kicked myself into gear and sewed many masks to give to people in my village.

    I used this fun seascape for mine. I used the plastic wired closure from a bag of coffee to help shape the bridge of the nose.

    A tropical print was perfect for Tu-Na Helper’s mask. While we received a large donation of 1/8″ elastic to use for the village masks, I also made many with ties including ours.

Question: Have you lived by or frolicked in the sea? When we were newly married, Tu-Na Helper and I spent three months near Rye, New Hampshire in a cute little cabin right beside the ocean while he worked on the submarines . A hurricane welcomed us there the first night and the ocean got quite close to the cabin door! I was swept up in the beauty of the water, rocks, and waves as well as the smell of the ocean. It was great fun to climb on the rocks and see what came in with the tide. 

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts


13 thoughts on “Tu-Na Quilts: Announcing the Next Quilt-a-Long with Partners in Design

  1. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    We went to the beach when we were younger. Love to hear the ocean sounds. But, we had much rather spend time in the mountains than the beach! Great to hear from you, Karen! Hopefully this crazy time we’re living in will go away soon, but I’m not holding my breath.


  2. Nancy Bekedam

    Looks like a fun SAL! Great “What I Learned Today” column!!! As for #6, Gudrun Erla recently shared an Icelandic saying–“If you’re not learning, you’re not living.” So true!!!


  3. Susan Nixon

    I’m excited! I already posted this on QuiltBOM on wordpress. This is probably just what I need to kick me back into full swing. Thanks to all of you! I’m sorting fabric now anyway, so I’ll be looking out for some special seaside fabric. Yours is perfect! And from a thrift store – what a find. I missed the shop hop from you this year, but I’m not doing my own that’s going on right now, either.


    1. Joyce Allen

      If you putting a list together, please add me. I put on the calendar but don’t want to miss anything. Thank you and God bless.


    2. Joyce Allen

      If you putting a list together, please add me. I put on the calendar but don’t want to miss anything. Thank you and God bless.


  4. Rochelle Summers

    So great to read a blog post from you. You and Tu Na Helper have been on my mind lately so it’s good to know you are well. Looking forward to this sew along.


  5. Leslie Schmidt

    It’s so good to hear from you again, Karen. I’ve missed you and thought about you a lot. I’m glad to know that you and Tuna Helper are well and having a fun time. I haven’t been doing any quilting, but I have made masks for family, friends, and donations. I am still searching for the perfect pattern, but have donated over 13 dozen masks with the patterns I have found so far.
    We have never lived or vacationed by an ocean. I’m more of a flat-lander that sticks to dry land and level terrain. I love the fabric you got. It has the neat painterly look I really like. The blocks are going to be interesting.

    Take care.


  6. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts: QAL by the Sea Block 1-She Sews Seashells by the Seashore | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

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