Tu-Na Quilts: QAL by the Sea Block 1-She Sews Seashells by the Seashore

Welcome to the first block reveal

for the QAL by the Sea!

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

Presenting: She Sews Seashells by the Seashore

This 12.5″ (unfinished) block pattern was created by

Becca Fenstermaker of Pretty Piney Quilts. You can download it free on her blog (click on the title in the previous sentence) from now until December 1, 2020 at 7:59 am Eastern time. After then, the patterns in this QAL may not be available anymore or may be available for a small fee through the designer. Don’t delay, download them today.

Tips and Tricks to Constructing this Block

  1. Have fun making your block special. I plan to use a bit of rick rack here and there to accent some of the blocks. 
  2. Sew one piece of the background at a time. After I laid out the strips in the order I wanted them, I then just cut one seam at a time and sewed it before cutting and adding more.

    At this point, I had not intended to add the boat fabric. It was just a “happy little accident.”

    Use lots of pins and sew slowly to prevent slipping.

  3. Use the best needle for the job. I recently ordered these non-stick  needles.They were advertised to make applique easier. The needle easily went through the fusible web although some adhesive still stuck to the needle but that didn’t seem to affect the way it sewed.

    The arrow points to the adhesive and red fibers on the needle. It’s easily removed with a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol. The needle didn’t stick to the paper-backed fusible web and fabric while stitching.

  4. Press it properly! Using a Teflon pressing sheet protects your iron.

    I have two Teflon Pressing sheets so I can put one underneath the applique and one on top of the paper-backed fusible web.

    You’ll find more proper pressing hints on Tu-Na’s Tried and True Easy Guide to Pressing Matters here. I recently started using a drying rack to hang up the blocks and pieces of fabric to dry after I’ve sprayed them with Best Press. Once they are dry, I then iron the fabric or press the block. There is a difference between ironing and pressing. 

    I found this rack in AZ at a rummage sale. It’s also great to hold my fabric that I am currently working on so they don’t get wrinkled. The lines are slippery so I use wonder clips to hold the fabric in place. My two little grandsons visited last week and I am not ready to pick up the toys….not just yet.

  5.  Learn good applique methods. For years, I avoided applique! My first attempt at applique was for the I Wish You a Merry QAL three years ago. You can see it here.  Some of the things I’ve learned are:
    • I save and use up the leftover scraps of paper-backed fusible web.

      I am auditioning pieces of leftover scraps of the paper-backed fusible web, Lite Steam-A-Seam II. I was able to complete this project completely from leftover fusible web scraps.

    • I keep one scissors just for cutting out applique.

      I use a medium Karen K. Buckley scissors because it is extremely sharp to the very point! I cut out the middle of the larger pieces of the paper-backed fusible web before ironing. This makes for an applique that isn’t so stiff.

    • When machine appliqueing, I sew very slowly, sometimes only one stitch at a time when sewing around a curve, so I can turn the fabric when the machine isn’t running.

      I’ve found that when I sew slowly around the applique, the block lays flatter. Keep your threads out of the way to make knotting much easier.

    • After sewing each section, I pull thread ends to the back and knot them hiding them under the stitches.

      It seems like it takes forever to do it this way. But the alternative is not a pretty picture.

      Nice and neat! Yes, I know no one will see them. But I know they won’t come undone this way.

      This is not a pretty picture!  It happens when I don’t take the time to stop and knot.

    • I like a soft block so I cut out the extra pieces from the back. I carefully pull the back away from the applique on the front. This can only be done if one has cut away the inside of the paper-backed fusible web so that doesn’t adhere to the fabric.

See These Hosts for More Construction Tips

Look for bi-weekly inspiration from these bloggers.

Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats — Thanks for stopping by.

Sherry @ Powered by Quilting

Becca @ Pretty Piney Quilts

Sandy @ SandyStar Designs

Abbie @ Sparkle On!

Laura Piland @Slice of Pi Quilts 

Jennifer @ Inquiring Quilter

Join this QAL

You can join in anytime. Find the complete schedule here. Every Tuesday for the next four weeks, a new block will be released until all 12 blocks have been released. This QAL is divided into three segments each containing four blocks with a two week break between segments for a chance to catch up.

Share a picture of your block on our Partners In Design Facebook page, or on Instagram with the hashtag #qalbythesea. We want to see them and encourage each other.

Segment 1: August 4—September 8, 2020

  • August 4 — Block 1: Becca Fenstermaker @Pretty Piney Quilts — Find Block One There
  • August 11— Block 2: Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter —Find Block Two  There
  • August 18 — Block 3: April @ JANDA Bend Quilts — Find Block Three There
  • August 25 — Block 4: Sherry @ Powered by Quilting — Find Block Four There
  • August 25th — Segment 1 Wrap-up and linky provided for prize entry
  • September 8 7:59 am Eastern time — Deadline to enter picture containing all four blocks for Segment 1 Prize
  • September 8: Segment 1 Winner Announced
  • September 8: Segment 2 begins

Segment 1: Prizes and Sponsors

Thank you to our sponsors for the following prizes for Segment 1!

One U.S. Winner Receives:

  • Dream Green 60″ x 60″ batting from Quilter’s Dream. An earth friendly polyester batting made from 100% recycled plastic bottles!
  • A Fat Quarter fabric bundle of Island Batik “Kismet.” This line by Tammy Silver of Tamarinis has a bohemian vibe with vibrant colors!

One International Winner Receives:

  • A Six-month subscription to Make Modern which is a magazine for quilters, by quilters, filled with beautiful patterns and articles to inspire quilters like us to make more modern quilts!
  • A PDF pattern of your choice from these Designers! Click to view their shop items.

 Pretty Piney

The Inquiring Quilter

Powered by Quilting (a $10.00 shop credit)

Enter to Win Segment and Grand Prizes

Entering to win is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Everyone (You must be 18 to be able to enter to win prizes) gets to participate. There will be two prizes awarded for each segment and for the Grand Prize: U. S. and International. You do NOT need to have a blog to enter.
  2. Make all four 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. Finished projects or a quilt are NOT a requirement for entry.
  3. Post one picture that contains all four of your blocks by 07:59 AM EST, September 8, 2020 either on the Facebook page, or on Instagram with the hashtag #qalbythesea, or on the hosts blog Linky party found in the wrap-up post 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.

The Grand Prize is going to be amazing! To enter just make, take and post one picture that contains ALL 12 blocks (they don’t need to be made into a finished quilt top or projects but if you did, be sure that all 12 blocks can be seen).

Don’t Miss Out on My Previous QAL by the Sea Posts

Tu-Na Quilts: Announcing the Next Quilt-a-Long with Partners in Design —Introduction and a look at my fabric selection.

Look for bits of this fabric in some of the blocks. It’ll also show up in the sashing or border or both.

What I Learned Today:

  1. Tongue twisters are more difficult than ever. Try saying the name of this block five times quickly.
  2. Haste makes waste in reference to number 5 above (the one that’s not a pretty picture—I did it on both the tan and the black shells.
  3. Dust collects everywhere even on refrigerator magnets.

Question: What do you collect when you go to the sea or on vacation? I found a couple of starfish near the ocean-side cottage I told about here and have them hanging in my entry.

You’ll have to ask Tu-Na Helper about the sign.

Usually, I am satisfied with purchasing refrigerator magnets. I have magnets from France, Germany, Italy, the Grand Canyon, New York and many, many other places on both of my refrigerators. 

There’s even one made from a pretty seashell!

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

At this time, I am not affiliated 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.

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26 thoughts on “Tu-Na Quilts: QAL by the Sea Block 1-She Sews Seashells by the Seashore

  1. Pingback: “QAL By the Sea” Block 1 Release! | Sparkle On!

  2. Kathleen McCormick

    Love the ric-rac and the things you have collected on trips. Magnets are a great thing to collect and we often do that.


  3. Sparkle On! with Abbie

    Your block is so creative Karen! I really enjoyed reading this post. Great tips, I didn’t know about applique needles. And so sweet you still have grand kids toys out. Now the sign, I bet that is another story!!!!


  4. Leslie Schmidt

    I love your block, Karen. That sailboat fabric is terrific. It has an impressionistic look to it. I am not a seaside/beach person, but I like looking at pictures from the comfort of my couch. Your collection of magnets is a great idea for souvenirs, if we ever get to go anywhere again!


  5. Rochelle Summers

    I love this block of yours and all your tips. The needles are new…the second time I’ve seen a different for me needle this week. I should have selected fabric for this last month. Now I will have to go trolling through the stash and see if I can get myself lined up. At the beach, I collect some shells but mostly just capture the changing ocean with my eyes or sometimes my camera. More recently I’m happy to enjoy the sites and not collect more stuff…though I’ve been known to seek out a quilt store!!


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