QAL By the Sea - Block 5

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

It's time for Block 5 of the QAL By the Sea!

The fifth block is "Heads or Tails?" by Sandra at Sandra Healy Designs! The pattern and tutorial are on her blog HERE.

Fish quilt block for the QAL By the Sea

This is the fifth of twelve blocks in the QAL By the Sea. There is a new FREE block pattern released each week throughout the quilt along, and there are prizes you can win for joining the fun! Be sure to join the QAL's Facebook group so you can encourage other quilters and get the links to all the patterns!

QAL By the Sea

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For all of my QAL By the Sea blocks, I'm using an ombre stack of Kona solids and coordinating Aurifil 50wt thread. You can read more about those on this post.

Supplies for making the fish quilt block for the QAL By the Sea

I chose the two lightest shades of aqua to make the water behind the fish so that the fish would stand out. This seemed logical, but also meant I had to use only the remaining four colors to make all the fish.

Trimming the block square

I used Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 and my son's light pad to trace all the fish pieces.

Using a light pad to trace applique shapes

Then I pressed the fusible pieces to the fabric. (I got to use my new wool pressing mat!)

Pieces for quilt fish block

Then I cut them out with my Fiskars scissors.

Cutting applique shapes

I really like using Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 because after peeling the paper off, the pieces are tacky. Meaning they stick really well to the background fabric, but you can just peel them back off and move them if you want. I think I moved my fish around ten times before I decided I liked it!

Raw edge applique

I used my coordinating Aurifil 50wt threads to straight stitch about an 1/8" inside all the raw edges. I did the darkest colors first, then switched threads for each fabric color.

Back of fish quilt block

I always love looking at the back! You can really see the different colors of threads!

Raw edge applique fish quilt block

Sandra's pattern says to use buttons for the fish eyes, but I decided tiny circles from the Kona fabric would fit my monochromatic version better.

Fish quilt block in aquas

It was raining when I had planned to take photos of my block at the local lake. It's the first block I haven't gotten a photo of there! I'll definitely have to take it when I photograph the next one!

QAL By the Sea - the first five blocks

Want to quilt along?? Find the pattern for Block 5 HERE! There's still plenty of time to make the first five blocks!

The QAL is divided into three segments. Complete all four blocks from Segment 2 by 7:59am EST on October 13th 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!

Segment 2
September 8 - Block 5 - Sandra at Sandra Healy Designs
September 15 - Block 6 - Bobbi at Snowy Days Quilting
September 22 - Block 7 - Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts
September 29 - Block 8 - Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing
October 13 - Segment 2 winner announced!

Segment 3
October 13 - Block 9 - Karen at Tu-Na Quilts
October 20 - Block 10 - Sandy at SandyStar Designs
October 27 - Block 11 - Abbie at Sparkle On!
November 3 - Block 12 - Karen at Tu-Na Quilts
November 10 - Segment 3 winner announced!

December 1 - Grand prize winner announced!

QAL Prizes

There are prizes for both US and international participants!

Segment 2 Prizes

USA Fat Quarter fabric bundle of the Island Batik line Cascadia by Claudia Pfeil.
andQuilters Dream Poly batting;  a throw size 60” x 60”.  Dream Black is a beautiful true black quilt batting that enhances the integrity, richness, and warmth of vivid and dark fabrics and ‘quilts like a dream’.

A six 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 up to $10.00 from these designers:Laura of Slice of Pi Quilts
Sandra of Sandra Healy Designs

Monochromatic fish quilt block

Be sure to look at all the different versions of Block 5 made by the QAL hosts!

Join the fun! Let's all quilting along!


  1. OOPS! I thought this was just a four block quilt a long. I stitched my blocks together with sashing and a border. Guess that means I'm done.
    That's ok, it served it's purpose which was to get me back to quilting after losing my husband and then making masks for family & friends and using scraps to make pocket prayers and lanyards.

  2. It's so fun to see how you will use your Kona solids in each block. I'm loving the monochromatic design!


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