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All Together Now - Quilt Pattern Story & Coloring Pages

See the All Together Now quilt pattern on the Riley Blake Designs blog.


Every choir director I've ever known likes to say, "Okay, all together now!" And that's when the magic happens, when all the voices layer upon one another creating beautiful chords. Similarly, the All Together Now quilt pattern is about togetherness, not only because there are 32 quilt blocks from 3 different patterns in it, but also because it's about being together as quilters. All Together Now is the perfect quilt to make with your friends and guild members, block of the month style.


All Together Now Coloring Pages
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Click the link above to download and print the coloring pages and start planning your All Together Now quilt.

The Beginning

The idea for this pattern bloomed while I was working on three hexagon quilt block patterns that I designed to teach foundation paper piecing: Striped Hexi's, Equilateral Gone Awry, and Nuts About You. I dreamed of incorporating blocks from each of them into one quilt as a sampler quilt. Then I started playing with the triangles from Equilateral Gone Awry putting them into rows instead of hexagons and two incredible borders were born. I'm not usually one to bother with putting borders on a quilt but these borders add so much interest! This quilt had to have them. Around this same time, I had been talking with Riley Blake Designs about designing a quilt using their fabrics and they asked if I could use their Expression Batiks. From that collection I pulled fabrics in colors that would pop off a black background, plugged the images of those fabrics into my quilt design, and sent it off to them. I thought I'd have better odds of getting a yes if I gave them two options so I did (the other being Home Run). Guess what!?! They replied with a yes to both!!! These two patterns have been so amazing to bring to life and their stories are so intertwined that I'm going to skip ahead here since I've already told that part of the story in this post.

About the Cover

Since this quilt is about being together and my mom and I are lucky to travel to vend at quilt shows together, I put her on the cover with me. She helps me in my booth and people just love her. And you all often ask me how she's doing so... She's great! We went to Zumba this morning and she was dancing!

I frantically finished quilting this quilt just in time for the Quilt Las Vegas quilt show, a show judged by NACQJ certified judges and hosted by the Desert Quilters of Nevada. I had the pleasure of volunteering in the judging room and was lucky enough to see Cindy Seitz-Krug, NACQJ Judge, judge my All Together Now quilt! You're not supposed to make any noise and keep a poker face during the judging. It was so hard to do so because I was so excited. Last year was my first time entering quilts in a judged show, and while I didn't win any ribbons, I listened to what the judge had to say and worked on it. I was thrilled this year when my All Together Now quilt won 1st place in its category and was a runner up for best machine quilting and best of show. Woohoo! I also entered two of my Mini Moons quilts as one entry and they took third in the modern category!


For so long, I didn't have the courage to enter a quilt in a judged show. It's a lot to have not only all your fellow quilters looking at your work but also to have someone trained and certified evaluating your work. The vulnerability is real! But I'm glad I finally did and here's why- it helped me grow as a quilter and gain confidence in my work and it helps my guild put on a show. Can't have a quilt show without quilts! Whether I win a ribbon or not, I come out a better quilter, the guild wins, and the attendees win. If you've been feeling the way I have in the past about entering a quilt, I totally understand but I would encourage you to just do it, yes Nike has it right on this one.


*Fun Fact: The judges don't care if you machine bind or hand stitch your binding on as long as you do it well! I may never hand bind a quilt again.

I'm going to suck it up and be totally vulnerable by letting you read what the judge had to say about my quilts so you know what to expect when you get a quilt judged and so you can see that you will survive the process. And guess what... a quilt doesn't have to be perfect to win a ribbon.


All Together Now

Striking prismatic composition. Successful combination of warm and cool colors. Color placement is thoughtfully balanced. Very good piecing technique. Outer borders create an effective and striking frame. Quilting designs are well chosen and placed. Quilting designs enhance composition. Strive for balanced thread tension in quilting. Generally good binding technique. Hold for category and for machine quilting.


Variations on Mini Moons

Interplay between two similar but vastly different design elements. Transparency effect is well handled. Repetition of circular elements create unified composition. Quilting lines add to the movement in each piece. Very good piecing technique. Facing and binding techniques are good. Choice of quilting designs and their execution are successfully handled. Very good workmanship, noted in all aspects of these quilts. Hold for category.


Constructing this Quilt - a Black Background &FPP

I love the way color pops off a black background. Get the tips for working with a black or dark background in this blog post.


The blocks and borders are made using simple foundation paper piecing (FPP). I say simple because the shapes are quite large, except for the diamonds in the small border and they're not even that small. I find quilters can get hung up on this technique because the printed side of the paper is a mirror image of the finished block. I intentionally eliminated that from some of these blocks so quilters could make those blocks first and avoid feeling backwards while learning the technique. This was three of my pattern testers first time doing FPP! And guess what, they did great! This pattern is totally doable without prior FPP experience, I'm not just saying it.


Why FPP? These blocks and borders would be challenging to make with traditional piecing methods. Not only can we create all sorts of shapes with FPP, it's also great because all the blocks end up the same size so there's no trimming blocks down, piecing is precise, points are always sharp, you don't have to starch your fabric to keep it from stretching since the paper will do that work for you, and there's no need to cut precise shapes before stitching - scraps and strips work great. Still not sure about doing FPP? Watch a free tutorial here.


I keep getting asked why I prefer FPP with paper over the FPP method that uses freezer paper and the reason is precision. With FPP with paper, everything fits together precisely because the paper stays on until the piece is stitched to all its neighboring pieces. With the freezer paper method, the freezer paper is removed before stitching each piece together. We are working with lots of bias cuts here so there's lots of potential for stretching and I don't want to take the paper out until I'm done using it to stabilize the bias. I have no issues taking the paper out at the end. I sit on the couch with a good movie and a big bowl to toss the papers in and go to town tearing away. In the morning when the light is good, I go back over it with tweezers getting any bits still stuck in the corners. It's worth it to me.


Pattern Testing

A huge thank you to my pattern testers! They put so much work into making their quilts and into making the All Together Now pattern more clear and accurate. Thank you ladies!


I love the pattern testing step. Firstly because I have been so lucky to work with some incredible quilters and secondly because I get to see my designs come to life in other colors. I like to give my testers very few requirements because I want them to make it their own and something they love. This time my only ask was to use at least one Riley Blake fabric. I can't wait for you to see what they have brilliantly created...


*click on the photos to see the full/enlarged images

Amanda @stitchymomma There are two things that I love about what Amanda did. 1. She picked one block and made lots of them. So fun! 2. She used a red gingham in the border stripe making her quilt look like it is wrapped in a ribbon!