Shattered Star Quilt-a-Long (QAL) – Pre-Kick Off: Essential Notions & Tools

Shattered Star QAL Pre-kick off Essential notions & tools + SURPRISE | Shattered Star QAL | Shannon Fraser Designs #notions 

You’re already signed up and the party doesn’t officially kick off until October 12, but I wanted to pop in and share an outline of how the Shattered Star quilt-a-long (QAL) will be structured. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do that here!

This will help us all get ready and prepare for the fun quilty times we’ll be having together.

Shattered Star Quilt Along Essential Tools and Notions | Shannon Fraser Designs #quiltingnotions

*This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. 


To keep this as low key and easy going as possible, the QAL will be broken down into 8 weeks. During this time, we’re going to pick fabrics, then cut them up, trim some half-square triangles (HSTs), then piece it all back together. 😊 We’ll even tackle the whole basting process and talk quilt designs too! And then we’ll finish it off with a nice binding session.

Here's how it breaks down:

Week 1 - is all about picking our fabrics. I share a fun update down below, but this is where you can express your quilty-self and show off your favourite colours and prints!

Week 2 - we're going to focus on how to cut our fabric to maximize our yardage and keep things nice and straight!

Week 3 - is a study in half-square triangles! We're going to tackle the 8-at-a-time half-square triangle method so we can power through making those cute little HSTs. I'm also going to share with you my trick for trimming those cuties up for nice perfect points!

Week 4 & Week 5 - it's time to dive in and start piecing - wahoo! We'll focus on mastering the chain piecing technique and I'll share lots of quilt block piecing tips too!

Week 6  - we'll bring that quilt top together and talk nest points so everything joins nicely!

Week 7 - if you're like me, then basting might not be your fave, but we'll get through it together! And then we get to dive into the fun of machine quilting on a domestic sewing machine.

Week 8 - we're in the final stretch and all that's left is to get our quilt bound, labeled and shared! These are some of my all time fave steps in the quilt journey, can't wait to walk you through these!

Shattered Star Quilt Along Schedule | Shannon Fraser Designs #quiltalong

Super easy and calm, right?

And the best part?

Along the way, I’ll be sharing some of my top tips for quilty success with you!

As for the Shattered Star quilt pattern? This one couldn’t be easier.


By the end of making this bold graphic modern quilt pattern:

> you’ll have mastered half square triangles (HSTs) - including how to trim them!
> you’ll know how to press your seams so your blocks nest and things line up (such an awesome feeling when it does!!).
> you’ll know the differing basting options and see which fits best with your quilty style.
> you’ll know the basics of machine quilting with a walking foot; and
> you’ll never fear binding a quilt again.


You'll learn all this just through making this pattern and participating in the Shattered Star quilt-along!

I’m going to be stitching with you side by side, week after week and I’ll be popping in and doing some live Q&A videos too in our own little Facebook group (sign up for the newsletter to get in on that!)! You’ll have your chance to ask me questions live!!


You know I’m not a big fan of bringing in every gizmo and gadget into the studio (hello, my studio is the dining room, not very much storage room), but there are some essential quilting tools and notions that I can’t get through a quilting session without. These include:

Essential quilting tools and notions for the Shattered Star Quilt Along 2020 | Shannon Fraser Designs #sewingnotions

Sit ‘n Sew Pincushion – I’ve been making these since I first started sewing. They’re an essential in my sewing studio and I have them next to my sewing machine, on my ironing board and in my travel sewing kit.

*Marking tool – I’ve tried quite a few and this is the one I keep coming back to for my regular piecing needs.

*Scissors – embroidery snips are nice to have next to your sewing machine and in your travel kit. At the very least, I recommend having one set, but I promise you,  you will find plenty of uses if you bring more into the studio 😉

*Seam ripper  – this is the truth my quilty friend, we all make mistakes no matter where we are in our quilty journey. Instead of resisting the seam ripper, please see it as your friend that helps you out of quilty binds 😊

*Measuring tape – I used this way more often when I was sewing, but I can’t live without it when it comes to measuring quilt backings. You’ll need this for week 7.

*Rotary cutter – I can’t image a quilt fabric cutting session without this nifty tool. Need I say more?!

*Cutting mat - a truly indispensable tool in my quilting studio. And don't skimp on this - I've learned that the hard way!

*Thread – I’ve learned a lot about thread over the years and this is what I swear by.

Tailor Scissors – I can’t live without these when it comes to quilt backing.

Rulers – I’ve acquired several rulers in my years of quilting, but the ones I can’t live without are my *6” x 12”, *12.5” x 12.5” and *8.5” x 24”. I can make it through any quilting session from start to finish with just these 3.

Needles – I love these Schmetz needles. Whether I’m using the *75/11 (piecing), *90/14 (quilting) or *80/12 I swear by these. I now buy them by the 100s. 

*Sewing machine you won't get very far without this during the QAL! I love my Juki, but whatever you have at home will work.

*Iron – I've been using the same iron for the last 5 years or so and it just started leaking (second one, second time leaking - bleurgh). So I'm super excited to try the new mini iron Oliso was kind enough to send me (and they're may just be one for the giveaway!!)

*Ironing Board and/ or Wool Pressing Mat – I've been using the same ironing board for the last 19 years! But I've been hearing such amazing things about wool pressing mats that I reached out to The Felt Store to give one a go. More on that in Week 2 of the Shattered Star QAL! In the meantime, you can grab yours in their US or CDN shop at 10% off with code SHANNONFRASER10.

Shop all quilty tools and essentials here. 


To up the quilty fun, I’ve reached out to some amazing companies to help sponsor the Shattered Star QAL and offer up some quilterrific prizes that you’re gonna wanna win! As in, they’re SO good, you’re gonna wanna use them! Just check ‘em out!

The Felt Store – USA -- CANADA


Shattered Star quilt along sponsors | Shannon Fraser Designs #quiltalong

I’ll be sneaking in their goodies throughout the Shattered Star QAL, so keep your eyes peeled on the weekly newsletters and for announcements in the private Facebook group and Instagram on how you can enter to win the weekly quilt-along prizes.

Keep up your enthusiasm so you can get in on the quilty goodies!


If you want to make the same one as me, then I have a SURPRISE for you! I’m offering the exact version I’m making as an exclusive free pattern extension to Shattered Star QAL members. You need to be signed up and have purchased the Shattered Star quilt pattern to access this one!  And it’s a fun one! It features Art Gallery Fabrics Little Town collection (designed by Amy Sinibaldi) paired with some scrummalicious PURE Solids – perfect pairing for a holiday gift for yourself or a loved one this holiday season.

Holiday version of the Shattered Star quilt pattern I'm using for the Quilt Along and it's a FREE pattern extension to newsletter subscribers! | Shannon Fraser Designs #holidayquilt

You certainly don’t have to make the same one as me and it definitely doesn’t have to be holiday themed. Pick the fabrics that get you the most excited and then join me and other quilty friends in the Shattered Star QAL!

Get the Shattered Star quilt pattern and don’t forget to sign up for the QAL

Can’t wait to quilt together!




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