QAL By the Sea - Block 3

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Another week has passed, and it's time for the next block in the QAL By the Sea!

The third block is Signal Flags by April at JANDA Bend Quilts! The pattern and tutorial are on her blog HERE.

QAL By the Sea blocks 1-3

As if the amazing design of the block wasn't enough, it has a secret code! Can you hear my geek heart?! Pitter patter!

QAL By the Sea

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For my version of the Signal Flags block, I used my ombre stack of Kona solids and coordinating 50wt Aurifil thread (read about those HERE), Lite Steam-A-Seam 2, an air erasable pen, and 12wt Aurifil too!

Kona solids and Aurifil thread

I used my air erasable pen to draw the "ropes" for the signal flags. 

Air erasable pen

Then I hunted for a coordinating "rope" that I could use. I considered rick rack, yarn that I could couch down, and even considered braiding some of my Aurifil 50wt to make a rope! But in my Aurifil thread stash, I had a spool of 12wt thread that was just teal enough that it would work! It's #4093 Jade in 12wt.

Aurifil thread weights

I put my darkest teal 50wt thread in the bobbin, and threaded the 12wt through the top of the machine. 

Aurifil thread weight

I didn't even have to change my needle or the tension on my Juki! It worked perfectly! (Front and back views in the photo above.)

Raw edge applique

After making and placing the flags, I used my matching 50wt Aurifil thread to sew just inside the raw edge of every piece.

The back of a raw edge applique quilt block

And yes, I did match my bobbin thread to the top thread for this. Completely unnecessary, but it's a small thing I enjoy.

I have two tips for making this block. First, put the flags farther from the edge than you think necessary. My seam allowance will make my flags go right to the edge, and if doing it over, I'd give myself a little more room. And two, after trimming the block to 12 1/2" square, I went back and stitched over the ends of my "ropes" a few times to secure the ends. This is in the seam allowance, so it won't show in the final quilt, but this way the stitching stays secured until I'm ready to use the block. 

Securing thread ends of a quilt block

After finishing the block, I took it out for a quick photo shoot at our local lake.

QAL By the Sea

I must remember to not do this at sunset. The lighting is just not right for good quilt photography!

Signal flags quilt block

Oh, and in case you wanted to know the code, the signal flags spell out QAL By the Sea! So clever!

Signal flags quilt block

Here are my first three blocks all together! I'm still loving the monochromatic aqua palette!

QAL By the Sea quilt blocks

Want to quilt along?? Find the pattern for Block 3 HERE!

The QAL is divided into three segments. Complete all four blocks from Segment 1 by 7:59am on September 8th to be entered to win prizes! Be sure to share a picture of your finished blocks in the Facebook group!

Segment 1
August 4 - Block 1 - Becca at Pretty Piney Quilts
August 11 - Block 2 - Jennifer at Inquiring Quilter
August 18 - Block 3 - April at JANDA Bend Quilts
August 25 - Block 4 - Sherry at Powered by Quilting
September 8 - Segment 1 winner announced!

There are prizes for both US and international participants!

Dream Green 60" x 60" batting from Quilter's Dream. An earth friendly polyester batting made from 100% recycled plastic bottles!
AndA Fat Quarter fabric bundle of Island Batik "Kismet."
This line by Tammy Silver of Tamarinis has a bohemian vibe with vibrant colors!

A 6 month subscription to the e-magazine Make Modern. A magazine for quilters, by quilters, filled with beautiful patterns and articles to inspire quilters like us to make more modern quilts!
AndA PDF pattern of your choice from these Designers! 
(a $10.00 shop credit)

Signal flags quilt block

Be sure to look at all the different versions of Block 3 made by the QAL hosts!

Join the fun! Let's all quilt along!


  1. I love the monochromatic calming and sea like!

  2. Your block looks great! I like the 12 wt, and didn't know you could use that in a machine this way. It makes a great rope.

  3. Your photos are awesome as always. Love the color palette.


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