Saturday, January 15, 2022

Postcard from Sweden QAL Step 1

Well! Judging from the number of PDF patterns I emailed out, and the excitement on Instagram, this second QAL I'm hosting should be a resounding success with beautiful colourful Postcard quilts splashed across Instagram! Now, do not fret if your fabric hasn't arrived, or if you haven't had time to peruse your stash for 36 shades and tones of the rainbow; we have two whole weeks until we start sewing. 

Corrections to and tips for pattern cutting directions

1. The only issue I had the first time I made this pattern was that three of the colours had one too many squares cut.
For Pomegranate, Fabric #4, only cut three squares.
For Carnation, Fabric #30, only cut four squares.
For School bus, Fabric #35, only cut five squares.

2. Know also that you will have a lot of single triangles left over. This is because several of the colours require an odd number of triangles, but you start by cutting 5" or 6" squares. I went meticulously through the cutting guide and layout guide on pages 6 and 7 to count the number of triangles required for each of the 36 fabrics: 360 triangles are in the quilt. If you are short on certain colours, then you could substitute triangles. For example, Azalea requires seven triangles, so you could substitute one of those for a Bubblegum triangle, (Bubblegum requires nine triangles cut from ten squares) and then cut just four squares of Bubblegum.

I made the extra triangles into a cushion cover.

You could also make them into one side of a tote bag.

3. On the last row, first square, which would be O1 according to the diagram on page 7, two fabric 6, Fern, are sewn together. You can eliminate this by cutting one of the four Fern squares down to 4.5" and cutting the remaining three squares into triangles. Of course, you can always do as Kelly did, and as I did in my first quilt, sew two Fern triangles back together there!

4. If you are sewing from your stash, and are unsure what Cypress looks like, or Water, or Cerise, etc.,  Louise who used to write an excellent quilt blog, Quilt Odyssey, has a great breakdown of what these Kona fabric names actually are. Her post also has some organizing and sewing tips too.

Tips for Organization of Your 360 Triangles

1. Put a sticky label with the name of the fabric and its number on the top triangle of each of the 36 fabrics.

2. Clover Clips are terrific for keeping the stacks of triangles together. I don't have any, but last time I used a combination of clothespegs and clips from my teaching days which worked really well. Sandwich baggies would work too, though be sure to repurpose them; I am doing all in my power to reduce my use of plastic in my life.

3. Note that not only have I used the sticky label, but then I've written, with a Micron pen, in the seam allowance the number of the fabric. The labels will inevitably fall off as you are constantly shuffling through the stack of 360 triangles, so doing this ensures I will never mix up two greens, for example. Just be sure to keep the top triangle on top until the very last pair is sewn together! As I cut the rest, they will be able to stand up in that basket rather than be horizontal as you see currently.

4. You don't have to make your quilt in a rainbow of colours. Helen @helenmidgetgem hosted the first QAL with me in 2018. She made two!

The second was all in shades of blues and greens:
Bet this gets your ideas flowing!

I think it's only fitting I end this Step 1 post with a photo Tracie of Riceford Streams sent me almost four years ago when I was hosting the first QAL. She is the instigator for me hosting this second QAL!
Isn't that just the best van ever? I actually think Kelly should have one; after all it's her pattern design made famous in a quilt!

Happy petting, pressing, cutting, labelling, and organizing! I'll be back in two weeks with Step 2 where we start to sew all these triangles together. Be sure to share your progress on Instagram using the hashtag #postcardfromswedenqal2022 and tag me @mmmquilts

It's not too late to join! You can snag a kit of fabrics, the most economical way to purchase them for this quilt, from Mad About Patchwork or CaliQuiltCo for just $99. Click the links below. Please note I am not affiliated with either shop (though I love them both), nor do I get any commission or perks for promoting them. It's my way of thanking them for the sweet grand prize gift certificates of $150 to their shops they are offering!


  1. Oh how fun, Sandra! I've loved the Postcards From Sweden quilt every time I've seen one. I'd like to do one someday, even though I can't take it on right now. Instead I'll have to enjoy this quilt vicariously through your QAL posts!

  2. I look forward to seeing all the wonderful quilts made from your QAL.

  3. Hi Sandra, I can't wait to start this with you. I loved my first one...xx

  4. I am in! I rounded up the fabric I have and orderedb the ones I miss...It will be a batik version as I onwn more near solids in batiks. I can't wait. Thank you for organising, Sandra!

  5. I'm thinking of using my stash. But I have no solids, just prints. So this will be interesting.

  6. I have to add, that hopefully I don't get mixed up, but since I am using prints, I have also been able to make notes about each number by a description of the fabric (I.e. purple circles or pink on pink dots) and as Louise said in her post, there are so many triangles who will notice if I get one wrong?

  7. Oh I definitely want a paint job like that on my car, awesome. Just realised I've cut all the squares but not cut them into triangles. Guess what I'll be doing later :-)

  8. I'm going to watch from afar as I have way too many UFOs already and several kits purchased and never started. I do love this quilt, though, so maybe someday.

  9. Guess I need to check my stash if I plan to sew along. LOL

  10. I'm looking forward to pulling stash and getting ready! This will be fun, fun, fun!

  11. So just to be insanely clear here, for example fabric #1 Lipstick calls for 8 squares. But then after they are cut diagonally there should be 16 triangles, correct? And assuming starch is gonna help reduce bias stretching. Got notice my kit has just shipped from Mad About Patchwork! Woo hoo!

    1. Hi Cathy; you are a no-reply so if you spell out your email inside your comment, I can reply personally to you; otherwise I have no way of reaching you. I hope you come back here. Yes, you cut 8 squares of Lipstick and then cut them further into HSTs, which equals 16. You actually only use 15 of those particular ones, ha, so it could go into a future Postcard Pillow or tote bag even. Starch is a great help, (I forgot to do that - thanks for the reminder, yay, for only having 1/3 of the 36 fabrics cut) and it will help for lessening the fraying. Yay for a MAP parcel coming your way!

  12. Hi Sandra, I want to join this quilt along. I saw the picture of the blue/green one and will do one in blues and browns, in flannelette! I will do big triangles/squares. How do I join the fun and get the pattern? This looks so fun. Mary Jay from Waterloo.

  13. I’m in! I can’t wait to get started. I ordered the kit about a year ago when I first saw (and fell in love with) this pattern. I’m excited to have new friends on this journey. Thanks for hosting! — Deb (@midddeb)