Starry Bright Sky QAL - Textured four-patches - month 1

If you didn't hear about the QAL before, please visit the Starry Bright Sky QAL page!
Visit the QAL page to find all information about the quilt layout, all the future blocks and the rules to participate.
I recommend you to subscribe to the QAL announcements via email, so you don't miss out on future posts! You find the subscription form on the same QAL page (at the bottom).

So the side event will be a collection of TEXTURED blocks!
I will personally use these four-patch textured blocks as "sashing" for my main QAL blocks.
I will make a big 72'' x 84'' quilt, with 21 blocks for the QAL and many textured blocks.
You can see the layout I plan to use in this previous post.

If you don't want to make so many textured blocks, I would still encourage to try few of them!
You can use them as label, or to make matching pillows or table runners... the options are endless!!

So for today's post...
Let's start with a story!!

I mentioned before, that I NEVER tried any fabric manipulation before now! I am a total beginner, so I hope that any of you that feels intimidated by these fun blocks, will feel confident that if I was able to complete it, you can too!!

And it is also imporant to remember, that these are supposed to be outside your comfort zone (if you have never done any 3D sewing like me) and they may look weird and imperfect.
Like anything crafty that we do, these techniques require practise, so expecting it to be smooth and easy and perfect the first time around is unrealistic.
I am not saying it will be always challenging or imperfect... maybe you have never tried it before and you are super gifted and everything turns out amazing... but maybe not, and you have to accept the good and the bad, and you shouldn't compare yourself to others and tell yourself that you are not good or talented enough.

For example...

I was planning to make the "Twisted Pleats" as the first block for this side event.
Checking Teresa's picture this block looked fun, interesting but easy enough.
I followed the instructions (or so I thought) and the first time it didn't work, it didn't look right...
... ok, I used basting stitches, so I unpicked everything and started again...
... again there was something wrong, I unpicked again...
... and again...
... and again...
... and again...
... and then I wrote to Teresa for help... she tried to explain me what to do... I tried to follow what she was saying, and the block didn't look right...
... I wrote her again, she tried to explain it to me in a different way... I tried again, and you may guess: again it didn't work!!
I spent an entire evening folding, sewing, unpicking... then I started criticizing myself, telling myself that I was a failure, since I couldn't make the FIRST block I picked, am I so incompetent?

Then I stopped... and took a step back...

First of all, this is a new approach and every person understands things in a different way. Maybe the pictures are clear for some people, but they didn't work for me. There is nothing wrong with the pictures or with Teresa's words... but there is nothing wrong in me either :) we just process things in different ways... so NO, I am not a failure, I just failed at this specific block at this specific time.

Second, it's true that this was the first block I picked, but I chose them randomly, so maybe the others I picked would be more doable for me... so instead of giving up, I tried others, and I had no problems with several other blocks!! so NO, I am no incompetent, I just couldn't figure out that specific block.

Third, this is a journey and these are experiments... maybe once I make more blocks, I will come back to this first block and "things will click in my brain". It is hard sometimes to understand something until suddently you just understand it! It's like those optical illusions that you cannot see, you cannot see, you cannot see and then all of a sudden you see them and now you cannot unsee them!

So today I present you the first block of the textured four-patches, which is 
Faux Cathedral Window Variation

IMPORTANT: In the PDF pattern I do not explain the steps to make the block.
I provide the measurements of our specific finished block size, with some tips on color selection and assembly guidelines from a complete beginner's point of view!
The step-by-step instructions can be found on Teresa's blog. 
For today's block you find the step-by-step instructions at this link Faux cathedral window variation

Share the picture of the finished textured blocks in our FB group (!
We would all love to see what we create, and it's fun to encourage and inspire each other!!

Until next week,
Happy Stitching!!

Remember: all the details about the series are collected in the QAL web page.


  1. Your encouragement is appreciated! I love the look of the twisted pleats and decided to give it a try. Mine doesn't look like hers but I'm going to use it with the other January star block. Will try the cathedral window another day. Exciting stuff you've got going on here! Thank you, Alida!!

  2. That's the spirit! I am happy that you gave the twisted pleats a try and that you will find a way to use the block you created! You can share pictures of the textured block in the FB group if you want, so that everyone can be inspired and encouraged to try them out!


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