QA Birthday Block of the Month: Introduction

Happy birthday to us!

Here at the Quilt Alliance, we love birthdays. And what better way to celebrate our own 30th anniversary than with a huge quilt party? The best part is — you’re invited! And so are nine of your very favorite quilt designers who each designed a block for our first-ever block of the month quilt as a birthday gift to the Quilt Alliance. 

The Quilt Alliance Birthday Block of the Month finished lap quilt


What is the Quilt Alliance Block of the Month? 

For the rest of our anniversary year, all Quilt Alliance members at any level or donors who have contributed $30 or more will receive a new block pattern each month. You’ll get a reminder of when each block is released in our member newsletter so you’ll never have to worry about missing one. 

At the end of our Block of the Month celebration, you’ll have nine fun blocks. Put them together with sashing and you’ll have a cozy 52” square lap quilt! 

Each of the blocks, designed specifically for the Quilt Alliance’s Block of the Month, is inspired by some aspect of the designer’s quilt story, and we’ll provide guidance and tips as you work through the blocks for documenting and reflecting on YOUR quilt story!


Who Are the Block of the Month Designers? 

Here is the schedule for our 30th anniversary Block of the Month! 

  • April: Ricky Tims
  • May: Zak Foster
  • June: Pat Sloan
  • July: Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill
  • August: Suzy Williams
  • September: Andrea Tsang Jackson
  • October: Bonnie Hunter
  • November: Carol Lyles Shaw
  • December: Georgia Bonesteel

No doubt that if you’re a quilter, you recognize some of those names! We are so fortunate to have so many influential and talented designers participating in our Birthday Block of the Month. We can’t wait to share their stories with you through Go Tell It Videos as we quilt together!


Getting Started with Your Own Birthday Block of the Month

Like any fun block of the month, your first step for ours is picking your fabrics! You can either choose your own fabrics or use the same fabrics we are using for the cover version of the quilt. If you’re an adventurous quilter, you can even consider using scraps! 

The fabrics used for the cover version of our Birthday Block of the Month are Art Gallery Fabrics PURE Solids in the following colors: 

  • Evergreen
  • Swimming Pool
  • Creme de la Creme
  • Sweet Fig
  • Cabernet

For our backing fabric, we added a beautiful Ruby Star Society print for a pop of excitement on the back! The print is from the Darlings 2 fabric line and is called Wildflowers in black. It complements the neutral Creme de la Creme so nicely! 

The Quilt Alliance Birthday Block of the Month uses 5 colors. Feel free to choose your own fabrics, but if you’d like tips, we have examples of 7 color palettes that can help inspire you! 

Here is the color palette we are using to make our quilt:

Here is the easy three-step formula we used to come up with this color palette, which you can use to create your own! 

  1. Choose two colors or color families. Ours are deep green/blue and red/purple.
  2. Pick one dark and one light color from each. 
  3. Choose a neutral color that will be used in both the blocks and the sashing. 

It’s that easy! This simple light and dark formula will help ensure that your quilt has enough color contrast while keeping the look cohesive and fresh. Let’s break that formula down using our cover quilt colors before diving into other color palette examples. 

  • Evergreen — dark green/blue
  • Swimming Pool — light green/blue
  • Creme de la Creme — neutral
  • Sweet Fig — light red/purple
  • Cabernet — dark red/purple

Here’s an example that uses the same formula. We have a dark yellow, light yellow, neutral, light blue, and dark blue. 

This rose garden-inspired palette uses the same light and dark formula, but instead of a traditional neutral like white or cream, we’ve used a soft pink to connect the greens and reds. 

This palette uses the same formula, but like the rose garden palette, these tropical sunset colors are connected with a soft color from the same family. We have a dark and light orange, dark and light pink, and a peach that connects all the colors. 

You can build on the light and dark formula to make a monochromatic palette! On the left, you can see that we have a dark and light blue. On the right, we also have a dark and light blue. The connecting neutral that will appear in both the blocks and sashing is the lightest color blue, creating a cool-themed monochromatic palette! 

Here’s a warm monochromatic color palette that was made the same way as the cool palette above. We have a dark and light yellow, a dark and light pink, and a peach neutral that connects them all!

If you like vibrant colors, you can even consider using black as your neutral color! It helps bright colors jump off a quilt and glow almost like neon. Just like the palettes above, this one is made using the same formula — dark and light green, dark and light purple, and black as the neutral.

There are so many ways to choose your own fabrics, but using our dark and light formula will help make sure that you have enough contrast in your colors as you make blocks each month!

Quilt Documentation Tip!

Once you’ve selected your own color palette, write down the fabrics you used and the company that manufactured them. If you journal or record your thoughts about your quilting, you could also write down the inspiration behind your color palette. Share that inspiration with us on social media using #QuiltAllianceBOM!

We can’t wait to see what colors you’re going to use in your Quilt Alliance Birthday Block of the Month quilt! If you use Instagram, be sure to post your fabric pull using the hashtag #QuiltAllianceBOM and tag @quiltalliance so we can see your beautiful creations!

How To Trim Flying Geese Without A Specialty Ruler

If you don’t have a Bloc-Loc ruler, you may find trimming these flying geese challenging. But by following these steps, you should be able to get four accurate geese in each color!

First, line up your ruler so the point of the flying geese unit will be trimmed exactly ¼” above the point. Try to line the unit up as straight as possible on the other three sides.

Next, flip the unit over. Line up the edge you just cut on the 2” line of the ruler as shown below, and trim the excess from the top.

Flip the unit right side up again. Line the lower left corner up with the 3 ½” mark on your ruler as shown above. Trim the excess on the right.

Finally, flip the unit over again so the point is pointing towards the 2” line. Align the left edge of the unit with the 3 ½” ruler mark as shown above and trim the excess on the right. Your flying goose unit is now ready to be pieced into your block!

Quilt Documentation Tip

 Andrea’s block story is all about the importance of quilt guilds. Quilting can feel solitary, but guilds bring us together. It’s a topic of conversation that was discussed with two Birthday Block of the Month Designers in a recent Textile Talk where the participants all shared emotional stories about their love for their guilds. 

Did you know that your guild can document your quilts as a group? Consider hosting a quilt documentation day in your guild! Follow these instructions and have members share three minute stories about one meaningful quilt in the Quilt Alliance’s signature Go Tell It documentation program. You could even host a screening so all of your members can see the videos! Get in touch at:

See You in October for Month Seven!

Thank you so much to everyone who has participated in the Quilt Alliance’s Birthday Block of the Month so far! Our designer for next month, the seventh block we’re making together, is Bonnie Hunter herself! 

Be sure to tag @quiltalliance and @3rdstoryworkshop on Instagram with your block photos this month, and use the hashtag #QuiltAllianceBOM. And leave any questions about this month’s block in the comments below!


  1. Emma

    I can’t wait to get the first block on April 15!

  2. Sue Burns

    Oh what color choices!

    • Amy Milne

      Look forward to seeing what you go with, Sue!

  3. Jayne Port

    I’ve been looking forward to this all day! Going to pull fabric now.

    • Amy Milne

      Hope you have a great day, Jayne!

  4. Margaret Blank

    I’m going to give this a go, I think — but while there will be a colour palette, it *will* be scrappy! All from stash!

    • Emma Parker

      We can’t wait to see it, Margaret!

  5. Sherri Flynn

    Haven’t done a BOM in years, so am looking forward to picking out something from my stash and giving it a go.

    • Amy Milne

      Thanks, Sherri–hope you enjoy it. We look forward to seeing your blocks!

  6. Pat Militzer

    Thanks I am looking forward to making this quilt. I did not see anything in the directions for the amount of fabric I will need if I want to do the 5 colors like you did. Also can I order any of the color combinations? I don’t want to run out of any colors while I am doing the blocks. Thanks for any help you can give me.


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