Beginner's Quilt-Along

Update: On-point fabric requirements were incorrect. Please see the updated requirements here.

Hi everyone, welcome to Block 1 of the Beginner’s Quilt-Along (QAL). It’s Michele here and I’ll be teaching you how to piece the 13 blocks for the QAL. Pat Sloan will be quilting along with us on her blog, posting her version of the blocks and sharing a few tips too. Here’s Pat’s take on Block 1. The QAL blocks will be published here on the Quilting Gallery each Thursday morning. See the main Beginner’s QAL page for more information and additional links.

Don’t forget to upload your completed block to the Flickr group each week. This week, we have a lovely charm pack from Moda to give-away to one of you. Winner will be selected randomly from those that completed the block and the winner gets to choose from one of these:

charm packs

Each week, I’ll be sharing with you Beginner’s Resources, for example, links to videos, tutorials and even a few products that make our quilting easier and more accurate. If you have any questions, or want more information or advice, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or even in Flickr. I’ll do my best to answer you and/or find resources that I think are great for beginners.

All measurements used in the quilt-along will be Imperial (inches and yards). Here’s a quick tip to easily convert the measurements to Metric: go to Google and in the search box type something like, “1 yard in metres” and Google will do the conversion for you. Works with many measurement units.

All of our blocks are traditional blocks that have been around for many years. They are all based on a 3×3 grid, meaning each block has three rows and three columns. I’ll be showing grey scale versions of the blocks. If you’ve chosen to use a background fabric, it’s up to you if you want your background fabric to be the white or black represented in each of the blocks we’ll be making.

Also, don’t forget to share about the Quilt-Along with your quilting friends for a chance to win the Reliable iron. Full details here! The winner will be chosen next Wednesday and announced in the post for Block 2 on Thursday.


Block 1 – Play a Game of Hopscotch


Our dear Pat came up with FUN names for our QAL blocks… she’s so creative! Our first block is Play a Game of Hopscotch, also known as the 9-Patch block. It is made up of 9 squares, each cut the same size. I’m sure it’s one of the most used and recognized quilt block we have. Definitely a perfect block for a beginner.

Here’s a Mosaic of photos from Flickr featuring the 9-patch block. You can click the links underneath to see the full image on Flickr.


Once sewn, the 9-patch can be cut up and made into one of my favourite patterns, the disappearing 9-patch (also called the charm square quilt). Here’s one I made for friends that got married a couple of years ago … it’s still a favourite quilt of mine. More photos here.


Recently, Kim created this Spinning Nines Table Runner Tutorial. Looks complicated right? It’s not, she starts with 9-patches, cuts them and sews them back together. I can’t wait to try this one.


I hope you’re inspired by the humble 9-patch and it’s potential in your quilts. Let’s move on to this week’s resources then I’ll share with you the tutorial for putting together this block.

Beginner’s Lesson and Block Tutorial

The beginner’s lessons and block tutorials for the Beginner’s Quilt-Along have been removed from this site and are now available for sale as a complete booklet.

Find out more about it here: Breezy Beginner’s Sampler Quilt.


Beginner’s Quilt-Along: Block 1

25 thoughts on “Beginner’s Quilt-Along: Block 1

  • June 7, 2012 at 6:35 am

    I’m really excited even though I’m not a beginner it’s always good to go back and do the simple ones again, nine patch was one of my first and favorite blocks.
    So love the disappearing nine patch love that one to.

  • June 7, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Great block to start with! So simple but so versatile! Thanks for showing my ‘Spinning Nines’ quilt!

  • June 7, 2012 at 8:37 am

    You really can do so much with a nine patch block.
    This is such a great idea for beginners. I am mostly self taught so I am sure as I follow along I will learn some new things. Anything to make my quilting better is a good thing.

  • June 7, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Love QAL’s, i’m not a beginner, but gosh golly this is fun so I’m in!!!!

  • June 7, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I’m excited. I’m a beginner, got my fabric, will be doing my block this afternoon,sometime

  • June 7, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I have a few questions already.
    First thing is about the fabrics. We may or may not have already chosen our fabrics (depending on if we are one that has problems making up their minds on such things. haha) but this says to use black and white fabrics. Is this block supposed to be black and white or was that just for instructional purposes and we should use the fabrics we’ve chosen (or REALLY need to choose ummm NOW LOL)??

    Second ~ I may have missed it because there is a lot of info on the page for the first block but, did you give us a finished block size so we can check to see if we’ve sewn it correctly using the 1/4″ seams?

    Lastly ~ Is there ANY way an email subscription can be added to the blog so we know when you make a new post? I’ve wanted to ask this for a very long time since I am always missing things here but, now it’s more important that I not miss things since I’m going to attempt to get this quilt finished. (crossing my fingers)

    Thank you ~

  • June 7, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Hi Vicki,

    Black and white blocks are for illustration purposes only. I show the tutorial in the fabrics I’ve chosen. From the post:

    “I’ll be showing grey scale versions of the blocks. If you’ve chosen to use a background fabric, it’s up to you if you want your background fabric to be the white or black represented in each of the blocks we’ll be making.”

    All blocks will be 12.5″ unfinished. Will add that to the tutorial, sorry that I missed it.

    You can subscribe to blog posts by email or RSS feed:

    Blocks will also be in my weekly newsletter, which is going out in a few minutes. Subscribe to that here:

    Thanks so much for your questions. Now, go pick your fabrics!! LOL


  • June 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Alright…I tried to resist, but it didn’t work. It’s not like I need any new projects to start, but I think this will be one great quilt. Come on—Pat and Michele!?! A no-brainer!
    Pics on Flickr soon!

  • June 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    I’m excited to get going on this but am a little confused. Are you using any background fabric in this block? You had said at one point either black or white in the instructions would be considered as background. I am going with 6 fat quarters and 1 yard of fabric so need to know if I use background fabric in this first block. Thanks.

  • June 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Hi Sandy,

    For my blocks, I’m not using a consistent background fabric. Instead, I’m using different prints from the same line of fabric. Since you are using background fabric, you can decide if you want the white or black patches shown in the graphic to represent your background fabric. It really doesn’t matter which you choose to be considered the background.

    Does this help clarify?


  • June 7, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Thanks so much for giving us a .pdf. I was trying to cut and paste so I could print out the details and saw, at the bottom of the tutorial you had done this. Bless your heart!

  • June 7, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Wait for me!! My fabric is on its way. I hope it gets here soon… :o/

  • June 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Not to confuse anyone, but I also love 9 patches using a 3rd fabric for the center square. Very versatile block.

  • June 7, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Finished my first block. Yay!

  • June 8, 2012 at 1:03 am

    I’m like Betsy Lynn, I tried to resist, but off to my stash to make the Hop Scotch block.Its 5.03pm in New Zealand, and 8th June

  • June 8, 2012 at 2:53 am

    Okay Ladies I was trying to also resist but what the heck will also jion in……..

  • June 8, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Hi! I’m new to this site – my mother sent it along to me and I think we’re both going to do this Quilt-Along together! I have a question: Do you recommend washing/drying your fat quarters before starting your projects?

    Thanks so much for your help! I am hoping to post a picture of my fabrics and maybe have the first block done this weekend :)

  • June 8, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Hi Amanda,

    I do .. I wash all fabrics before putting them into my sewing room. However, I rarely put them in the dryer and instead prefer to hang them to dry. I smooth them with my hands while still damp, fold them, and hang them up on my drying rack or for large yardage, I’ll hang it on hangers.

    To wash or not to wash is a debate that results in strong opinions. :) I have had problems with fabric running and huge amounts of shrinkage, even with expensive new fabrics. So, even tho it’s a tonne of work, I do pre-wash. Plus I hate the chemical smell of most new fabrics.. yuck!


  • June 10, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Can i use a charm pack for the printed parts of each block? If so, is one charm pack enough? Thanks!

  • June 13, 2012 at 5:08 am

    I’m running late but did get my fabric cut last night before bed. I will be working on the block this morning as soon as I wake up a bit more. I dont’ dare touch my machine before coffee. LOL (and yes, I realize I will probably be too late for the deadline, but I still need to get it done)

  • June 13, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I have the button for the quilt along on my blog and now I have the first block made and in Flickr. Yaaay!

  • June 15, 2012 at 5:29 am

    I am Uma from India,just had the information about ,shall I join now or is there any time limit?
    Thank u

  • July 13, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    I just found you! I am starting today! I cut out the squares for the first one, and on I go until I catch up!! How fun! Thank you!! I linked you to my blog! xoxo

  • July 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Just found site..plan on starting tomorrow ..I will play catch up

Comments are closed.