Thursday, November 16, 2023

Strippy Improv Holiday QAL - Week 1


The Strippy Improv Holiday QAL has started! This is my favorite time of the year, and the addition of 6 new blocks only makes it better. And this year, there's a giveaway for Week 1, so keep reading! If you don't have the pattern yet, get it here.

For Week 1, we're talking fabric and block choice. 

There's a lot to think about, and so many tempting directions to go! 

Fabric and block choice go hand in hand - and with the new blocks, you have many options for making a Christmas-themed project or a winter-themed project. 

I tend to find inspiration by fallling in love with a fun holiday border fabric. In fact, that's what attracted me to the Country Christmas collection (see the giveaway info below to win some!). Once I choose the border fabric, then I pick blocks that follow the theme. For the Quilt Along, I'll officially be using these fabrics, a combo of Cherry Guidry's Nordic Cabin prints and the white-on-white prints from Holiday Snow. 

The snowman heads will be my border, the dark gray the block background, and then I'll use the aqua for the frames and binding. A fun wintry wall quilt! 

Select your blocks - Either four different, all the same, or a couple of your favorites. The pattern includes options for assembling the blocks into a table runner or a square wall hanging. See some of my finished samples here.

Here are the new blocks:

And the original blocks:

Now let's talk block backgrounds. You'll want to choose a medium to dark fabric for the background. If you use a lighter fabric, the strippy improv will show through. Keep that in mind as you choose fabric for the strips - for example, if you have a dark gray background, make sure the snowman hat contrasts enough. Here's an example of a fabric choice where I didn't have quite enough contrast: 

Pick your fabrics and quilt blocks, and next week we'll make two blocks! 

Now for the giveaway info!

To celebrate this year's Strippy Improv Holiday QAL, I asked two companies whose products I love if they'd share a little product love with one lucky winner. 
The prize package includes:

A Thermoweb gift pack of the following items

I've been on the Thermoweb Design Team for several years - I recruited myself after trying their fusible on my first Strippy Improv blocks! I use the HeatnBond Lite Sewable Iron-On Adhesive for my constructing my blocks.

And this fabric bundle from Benartex's Country Christmas and Holiday Snow collections - FQs of holiday prints on the left, and border, binding and block background fabric on the right: 

I've been a Benartex Ambassador for the past year, and have regularly used their fabric for much longer. It was fun selecting the prints for this year's projects and giveaway!

How to enter: 
Make sure you're following me on Instagram (@quiltyzest) and leave a comment on the Week 1 QAL post. 
1. Let me know which Strippy Improv block is your favorite (1 entry)
2. Tag a friend who might be interested (1 entry)
The giveaway is open through Monday, November 20th at 11:59 pm EST. I'll randomly draw a winner from the entries and announce it on Tuesday. 


Join the Strippy Improv Holiday Quilt Along!
Get the pattern here. It includes all 11 blocks. If you've purchased the pattern previously, you can get the 6 new blocks for free - sign up for my newsletter here, and you'll receive an email with a link to download the new blocks. 

QAL Details: 
Sew along with me to create a holiday wall quilt or table runner before Christmas! I'll post once a week with tips and advice (plus that all-important accountability!) to keep us on track. These blocks are addicting...just wait and see! 
Purchase the pattern here.

Week 1: November 16th - Fabric selection
Week 2: November 23rd -  Making 2 blocks
Week 3: November 30th - Making 2 blocks
Week 4: December 7th - Assembly and Finishing

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