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Potter's Wheel Quilt Along WEEK ONE

Here we are at week one of the QAL! I'm thrilled we're here!

Here's final palette!  Just as my last Potter's Wheel quilt, the prints are entirely a selection of Cotton + Steel.  I can't wait to play this out!

I'm a little tempted to take out the pink.  Quite often in my creative process I give myself some room to make choices once I see the quilt coming together. 
Often that means:

  1. I have other prints that could be added, or 
  2. I have more than enough so that I can omit some prints, or 
  3. I go shopping to find fabrics I think the quilt needs.  

I almost always plan out the layout by using the colouring page or doing a rendering in Electric Quilt.  This always gives me a better understanding of how the quilt will come together.

Though I've organized the QAL to have a certain number of blocks completed every week, another option is to make the four quadrants of the block, and keep them separate until you finalize the full quilt layout.  In that case, I'd aim to have all quadrants made by the end of Week 5, lay them out Week 6 and work to have all blocks assembled by Week 7, and Quilt top together Week 8.

I'm considering these two layout options:
a diagonal gradient,

or a horizontal gradient.

I'm curious!  Which do you prefer?  
I'll likely do a poll on Instagram to get some help deciding.

Here's what you can expect from me this week:

  • You should have just received an email linking you to this blog post.
  • There's also a link to Crib, Throw and Twin Colouring Pages.
  • I'll be adding 3 video tutorials to this blog post through the week:  Curved Cutting, Piecing, Pressing.
  • I'll be sharing some information on the cool things I've gathered for the "My Favourite Things" Giveaway which will take place on Saturday!  
Here are our goals for the week:

Although you can definitely get a head start on sewing blocks, here are our goals for the week.

  • Introduce yourself online using the #potterswheelqal and tag me @briarhilldesigns.  I'd love for us all to make some new quilty friends! 
  • Use the colouring page (provided with your pattern, but also there's a link below to get Twin,  Throw and Crib layouts) if you would like to plan out colour placement in your quilt.
  • Follow #potterswheelqal and #potterswheelquilt, share pics using these hashtags, and cheer on your fellow QAL-ers!
  • Share your fabric palette using the hashtag #potterswheelqal!  (Guys, I CANNOT wait to see!)
  • Sew a few practice curves after watching the tutorial provided later this week.
Some housekeeping details:

  • Please feel welcome to contact me with any questions at any time.  I'm not often available on Sundays, so I'll likely return messages on Monday AM.
  • You will be notified via email every Monday of the week's blog post.
  • There will be only one blog post per week, but there will be weeks that I add more content to the week's blog post. In those cases you will receive an email linking you back to the week's blog post, and scrolling down will bring you to the additional content.
The Schedule

Week 1, Sept 24th:  Planning week - Show us your fabric palette.  Use the provided colouring page to consider colour placement, whether organized or random.  Introductions and the first giveaway for all participants.  I’ve gathered all my favourite things, and I’m giddy like a Mom on Christmas morning to share my favourite sewing tools and give them away.

Week 2, Oct 1st:  We'll be making blocks!  4 (Crib), 5 (Throw) 10 (Twin)

Week 3, Oct 8th: Sewing more blocks! 3 (Crib), 5 (Throw) 10 (Twin)

Week 4, Oct 15th: Sewing more blocks! 3 (Crib), 5 (Throw) 10 (Twin)

Week 5, Oct 22nd: Sewing more blocks! 3 (Crib), 5 (Throw) 10 (Twin)

Week 6, Oct 29th: Easy Week. This is a great week to catch up on blocks.  If you’re all caught up, prep for your last week of blocks, or make your binding, or prep your backing.

Week 7, Nov 5th: Sewing the final blocks, 3 (Crib), 5 (Throw) 9 (Twin)

Week 8, Nov 12th: Assemble your Quilt Top.  I’ll be sharing my favourite FMQ ideas, or my favourite pantos.  Those of us who have assembled quilt tops by the end of the week will take be entered in the final giveaway.

Finishing touches,  Though the active part of the Quilt Along will be over, we're hoping to see finished quilts at Week 10, Nov 26th.  We’re hoping to have lots of finished quilts to show off!  Also, I’ll be sharing some simple pattern ideas to use up those scraps left from the curved cuts.

More content will be added to this blog post this week, including videos on how to cut, piece and press curves!  

New *BEQUEST* Fabric Line!

We are so excited to share the new quilting cotton collection from Briar Hill Designs! The line is called “BEQUEST”.

A Bequest is something given or transmitted from the past. An heirloom. A legacy. An antique. We used these precious items as our inspiration behind these 20 blue and white prints. Each of the print names go along with our theme: ‘Hope Chest’, ‘Looking Glass’, ‘Loom’, ‘Music Box’, etc. We had such a blast naming them. 

The blues on blues make it ridiculously easy to work with! We are two partners and Julia is a sewer extraordinaire, but Caverly (myself), is NOT. And even I, "no-sew-Caverly" can make something dreamy with this fabric. The blues are so vibrant and stunning. We worked extra hard to get them just so and we're thrilled with how they turned out.  

We hope that this fabric will be turned into one of those precious items, worthy of the name "Bequest". The collection will be released to fabric stores in November; just in time for Christmas ;)


Over the years, I couldn't even count or keep track of how many handpainted cards I've made and given. I love it. It brings me so much fulfillment. A way for me to share a little piece of artwork with someone, without sacrificing a ton of time and while actually saving a buck or two in the process. Let me tell you how!

I purchase these precut watercolour cards and envelopes from Curry's. This is the best deal I can find in Canada, though I'm sure (like absolutely everything else), there is a cheaper and more convenient way to do it in the States...... but don't even get me started on that..... I won't be able to stop.

The make is Strathmore. I've never had a problem with them. For a quick hand painted, greeting card for a friend or family member, they're just fine. If you buy them in a ten pack, I'm not sure you'd save all that much, costing $7.73 +tax & shipping (if applicable, and it is in my case). That would equate to about $1 a card, which granted is still a great price for a greeting card, but those exist at Dollarama.  Having said that, when you factor in that they're getting handpainted art along with the greeting card, it's a steal! I recently walked into the lovely home of my even lovelier friend, Loree, and all through her house I could see my cards I've sent to her over the years, framed and used as artwork. And it was awesome!

If you buy the cards in the 100 pack (like I do), then the cost is $53.09 +tax. And orders over $75 get free shipping, so you can pick up that extra tube of "Rose Madder Hue" while you're at it and REALLY save. Think about it; if I'm not spending money on shipping, I'm spending less than $.80 per card, and it means so much to people!

I take a couple of hours every now and again and just whip out several to have on hand and you'll never have to go pick one up last minute ever again! I can't recommend it enough.

I know what you're thinking. "My artwork's not good enough to put on a card! I'd be too self conscious! Blah Blah Blah!" Wrong. The great thing is that, like I said, they're only $.80 per card, so even if you do screw it up (and I certainly have, believe me), you're not really out anything. And it really doesn't take very many tries to get into the rhythm of it, and find out what style you do best with. So try it out! I dare you! Store bought cards are so darn expensive (apart from Dollar store ones), and these are a terrific way to give that extra something, without paying that extra something ;)

Potter's Wheel QAL

We are so excited to start the Potters Wheel Quilt Along.  We will be starting our eight-week Quilt Along Monday, September 24th! It's my first hosted QAL, and I'm really excited to get to sew along with you.

What you can expect:  You’ll receive a weekly email on Mondays talking about that week’s prompt/goal, and sharing any tips you could use when making your blocks.  This will also link you to the week's QAL blog post. 

The Schedule

Week 1:  Planning week - Show us your fabric palette.  Use the provided colouring page to consider colour placement, whether organized or random.  Introductions and the first giveaway for all participants.  I’ve gathered all my favourite things, and I’m giddy like a Mom on Christmas morning to share my favourite sewing tools and give them away.

Week 2:  10 blocks - I’ll be sharing few quick videos, on cutting using the Circle Cut Ruler, sewing curves, pressing, and truing up curved pieces.

Week 3: 10 blocks

Week 4: 10 blocks

Week 5: 10 blocks

Week 6: Easy Week. This is a great week to catch up on blocks.  If you’re all caught up, prep for your last week of blocks, or make your binding.

Week 7: final 9 blocks

Week 8: Quilt Top week:  I’ll be sharing my favourite FMQ ideas, or my favourite pantos.  Those of us who have assembled quilt tops by the end of the week will take be entered in the final giveaway.

Finishing touches,  Though the active part of the Quilt Along will be over, the final giveaway will take place at the end of week 10.  We’re hoping to have lots of finished quilts to show off!

I’ll be sharing some quick pattern ideas to use up those awkward-shaped scraps left from the curved cuts.

(Made by one of my students in a Curved Piecing class at Patch Halifax.)

Supplies you'll need:

The Potter’s Wheel Pattern is available as a .PDF in our Briar Hill Etsy shop, and also can be found in print in Quilt Shops.  The pattern also requires the Circle Cut Ruler by EZ Quilting, which can be found at Michael’s, Joann’s, Amazon, and many other craft stores.

Fabric choice is all up to you!  There's an option in the pattern to use one print/solid for the background, or a variety of prints.  I'll be using low volumes for my background and a variety of colours for the circles.

Q & A:

These are some questions I'm imagining we might have.  if any other questions arise, I'll be updating this blog post, and adding questions and answers here.

I’d like to make the Crib size, will that work?

Definitely!  I’ll be formatting the Quilt Along for the largest size of the pattern: 49 blocks.  If you choose to make the Throw or Crib, you can plan to make fewer blocks every week, as follows:

Throw, 25 blocks:  5 blocks each week.

Crib, 16 blocks:  4 blocks on Week 2; 3 blocks on Weeks 3, 4, 5, 7.

Is it ever too late to join?

Never!  The blog posts will always be available with that week’s prompts.  The giveaways will take place only with those participating in the QAL starting September 24th, but you can follow along through the blog posts at any time!  Grab a few friends and do it together!  I’d love to see what you make, so please share using #potterswheelQAL

Do I NEED the Acrylic template?  

Not completely, though I find it to be a great friend when cutting the pattern pieces.  Here’s a link to how Latifah Safir cuts curves using a paper template and a straight ruler.

Do I need the pattern?  

Definitely!  You’ll need the cutting chart and pattern pieces exclusive to the pattern instructions.

Do I need a special rotary cutter?

Anything larger than a 22mm blade cuts these curves easily.

I’m so intimidated by curves!  Do you think I can do this?

Definitely!  I’ve designed the pattern to be a great introduction to curves.  Also curves are trimmed smaller once sewn to give you best results.

Which online forums will host the Quilt Along?

You’ll be receiving weekly emails to the email you subscribed with, which will link you to that week's blog post.
This blog will have weekly QAL posts for the duration of the event.
Please feel welcome to share pictures anywhere online.  Use these hashtags  #potterswheelQAL #potterswheelquilt to share your progress online.  I'll be sharing pics on Instagram and Facebook.

Final Giveaway is selected from those who have shared their finished quilt top on IG, using the hashtag, #potterswheelQAL. 

How do I qualify for the giveaways?

Signing up and RSVPing qualifies you for the “Favourite Things” Giveaway, and I’ll be confirming proof of pattern purchase once I’ve drawn a winner.

Final Giveaway is selected from those who have shared their finished quilt top on IG, using the hashtag, #potterswheelQAL.

What if I get stuck while sewing the pattern?

It’s really important to me that you feel success with my patterns! Email me at briarhilldesigns@gmail.com with your question, and a picture if you think that will help, and I’d love to walk you through the step you’re stuck on.

I'm really looking forward to sewing with you!  I can't wait to see that fabrics you've chosen!  Here's my palette.  Just like my last Potter's Wheel quilt, it's entirely Cotton + Steel.  I think I'll do a planned colour placement: a gradient effect, with pinks in the top right corner, and moving through to navies in the bottom left corner of the quilt.