Creative articles about quilting

Start of the Old Block Quilt-Along! Who’s in?

Would you like to join me for a year-long project sewing old patchwork blocks? If so, come and take part in the new quilt-along here on the BERNINA blog. I am going to be sewing a patchwork sampler with you!

I will show you a wide range of beautiful old patchwork blocks that you don’t see very often, in a loose chronological order, here on the BERNINA blog. You can then sew them yourself. At the end, I’ll show you how to turn them into a patchwork sampler.

The quilt-along is taking place on the German and the English BERNINA blog. At the end, prize draws will be held for both German-speaking and English-speaking participants for the chance to win a BERNINA 570 QE (NEW)! Isn’t that great?

Image of BERNINA 570 QE (NEW).


Handle big quilts with ease ✓ Rotate, turn & do appliqués easily ✓ Enjoy superb fabric feed ✓ Automatic features save time ✓ Patchwork foot included ✓

Learn more

Old Block Quilt-Along

The project is called: Old Block Quilt-Along.

This is the name that will appear when I post the patchwork blocks for the sampler on the BERNINA blog in the future. And to enable you to find the beautiful pieces for this quilt-along all in one place, there is an overview page here:

Old Block Quilt-Along – overview of all the posts

You can start the quilt-along whenever you want, as all the posts are available at any time. You only need to stick to a timing if you want to take part in the prize draw at the end. 

Structure of the quilt-along

The instructions will appear here on the blog at various intervals. It’s best to stop by regularly or subscribe to the blog newsletter to stay up to date!

  • The quilt will comprise a minimum of 12 blocks
  • The quilt-along starts next week
  • Further posts will appear at various intervals, with at least 1 block every month. This will usually be at the beginning of the month
  • The last post will be published in March 2022
  • The closing date for the prize draw is April 30, 2022

So it starts soon! The first post of the quilt-along will appear in one week, on April 7th . 

In the quilt-along blog posts, I’ll give you a little background information on each block, and of course detailed, illustrated instructions.

The blocks will come in different sizes, so don’t be surprised. In the end, everything will fit together wonderfully! Once we’ve made a few blocks for the patchwork sampler, I’ll discuss possible layouts with you here on the blog.

Just a quick heads up: The sampler will have a maximum size of 150 x 200 cm (60¨ x 80¨). That is unless you want to add your own blocks to your sampler and make it bigger.

Material for the patchwork sampler

You will find more detailed information about the material in the next post. The approximate material requirements are as follows:

  • For the top, you will need around 18 to 20 different fat quarters; that’s about 4.5 to 5 m of fabric (or 5-5.5 yards)
  • For the background fabric, I would also recommend around 4.5 m (5 yards) of fabric (for a width of 110 cm/43¨).

The amount is calculated generously. But you will see that, due to the various techniques we are going to use together, there is also quite a bit of waste. 

What are we going to sew?

The banner below gives you a rough idea of what the blocks we will all be sewing will look like.

You can use this banner on your blog or post it on your Facebook and Instagram channels to let all your quilting friends know that you are taking part in the quilt-along.

Click here to view the graphic in full size.

Feel free to use the logo on your channels!

The block in the background of the banner is called “Brides Bouquet”. We’ll start our quilt-along with it next week. 

What is a patchwork sampler?

At the start of the blog post, I said that we would be turning our patchwork blocks into a quilt. This type of quilt is called a patchwork sampler. ‘Sample’ can mean a ‘test specimen’, ‘example’ or ‘trial’.

Patchwork samplers are made up of many different patchwork blocks, patterns and techniques. They are a great way of learning new sewing techniques and using up your scraps of fabric!

An example of a sampler quilt is my “Skill Builder – 6 Heads 12 Blocks Quilt-Along” from 2019. Five friends and I wrote instructions for one patchwork block each month. At the end, we provided a pattern for joining the blocks together. This is what the sampler looked like:

Prize draw – how can you take part?

At the end of the quilt-along, there will be a prize draw with the chance to win a great prize:

BERNINA is giving away two BERNINA 570 QE sewing machines in a prize draw for all those who have completed the quilt top. One machine will go to a reader of the English blog and the other to a reader of the German blog. 

Final raffle: BERNINA Sewing Machine B 570 QE

To enter the prize draw, you will need to post a picture showing your finished quilt top. Pictures can be uploaded to Instagram or Facebook. Make sure to use the hashtag #BERNINAOldBlockSampler to ensure you are entered!

Your work will then be shown at the following links:


If you don’t have an Instagram profile, you can enter by uploading pictures of your quilt to the community section of the BERNINA blog. When uploading to the community section, select “Old Block Quilt-Along” in the “Campaign” drop-down list:

Selecting the campaign in the community section

The winners will be selected at random. If you post on all three channels (Facebook, Instagram and on the blog), you will increase your chances of winning.

What should the pictures show?

  • To take part in the prize draw at the end of the quilt-along, you have to post a picture of the finished quilt top.
  • The quilt top must have been sewn according to the instructions.
  • The sampler must contain at least 12 blocks from the quilt-along. 
  • You are free to choose the color of the fabrics and threads.
  • The quilt does not have to be bound or quilted yet. 

You can also use the hashtag #BERNINAOldBlockSampler to show the intermediate stages on Instagram or Facebook. I am looking forward to seeing lots of pictures of your blocks. You can also show your blocks in the community section of the block blog!


Wow, that was a lot of information all at once. Here is a quick recap

  • The quilt-along starts on April 2, 2021.
  • An overview of all the posts will stay permanently available here: Old Block Quilt-Along
  • To participate in the prize draw for the main prize, a picture of the finished quilt top must be posted on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #BERNINAOldBlockSampler by April 30th, 2022 at the latest.
  • You can also enter by uploading an image to the blog community.
  • Sign up for the blog newsletter to receive the latest updates.
  • You are welcome to use the banner provided above to show that you are taking part in the quilt-along. 
  • Post pictures of your blocks on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #BERNINAOldBlockSampler. Share your blocks and intermediate stages in the community section of the blog! I look forward to seeing your pictures. 

Are you in? 

Best wishes,


Terms and conditions of participation in the prize draw

As with previous quilt-alongs on the BERNINA blog, the following conditions apply to this quilt-along:

  • Acceptance of the conditions mentioned in the post above is a necessary precondition for participation in the prize draw.
  • To enter the prize draw, you must upload pictures of your finished quilt top (sewn according to the instructions in the quilt-along) to the community section of the BERNINA blog or on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #BERNINAOldBlockSampler by April 30th, 2022 and you must have included at least 12 blocks in your patchwork sampler.
  • All readers of the German and English BERNINA blogs are eligible to participate. BERNINA employees and their relatives are not permitted to participate.
  • The prize winners will be selected from among the participants in a prize draw. The prize draw will take place in May 2022. The exact date will be announced on the blog.
  • The winners will then be notified within seven days. You will be notified via your social media profile (if you participate via Instagram) or by email (if your email address is known). We are not responsible for failure to receive or late delivery of the notification.
  • If, for any reason, the winner is unable or otherwise not entitled to accept the prize, we do not guarantee that an alternative prize or replacement can be offered. The prize cannot be paid out in cash and the right to the prize cannot be transferred.
  • If no response to the prize notification is received within 7 days, the prize will be forfeited. If no response is received within 7 days, a new winner will be drawn immediately.
  • The main prize, the BERNINA 570 QE, must be collected by the winner from a nearby BERNINA dealer. In order to ensure the delivery of the prizes, the winners must provide their name and address details correctly upon notification. They also agree that their address details can be passed on to their local BERNINA dealer for the further processing of the prize. If this is not done, the prize cannot be delivered and a new winner will be drawn immediately.
  • We reserve the right to suspend or cancel this competition, or to change the procedure or rules, at any time. The draw decision is final.



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Comments of this post

73 Responses

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  • Gina Milano

    Greetings from Seattle, WA area… do you need any volunteer ‘pattern testers’ for future blocks?  I have been a quilter for *many* years. Maybe there are some suggestions I could offer (like the 1″ test square, straight of grain on pattern templates, spray starching, etc) that could simplify future blocks.

    • ramonawirth

      Dear Gina, thank you very much for offering to test the patterns! The patterns are created by Andrea from Germany. I will forward her your offer 🙂
      Kind regards, Ramona from BERNINA International

  • lindacincinnatiusa

    Hello, my quilting sisters.  Linda is my name; Cincinnati, OH, USA is my home.I am looking forward to this fun learning time with you all sewing the Bernina Old Block Sampler.

  • lunaruna

    Is there an actual Facebook  page  for this. Or do we post on our own timeline with hashtags. And will that somehow allow it to post to the blog or instagram. 

    • ramonawirth

      Dear Iunaruna, there is no facebook page dedicated to this, however, if you just write a post on your own timeline and use the #BERNINAOldBlockSampler we and others will see the posts dedicated to that #.
      Same with instagram.
      For the blog, you can create a new project in the community section as described.

  • Heila Grobler

    Good day. I am the Dealer in Nelspruit, South Africa. I would like to make all the blocks for fun to join

  • ippy

    Old Block Sampler QAL – I have now added a new Project and noticed it shows posts from the Sugaridoo Qal, is this correct?  Can you tell me how to delete old and new posts should I want to?  Not sure if the ‘tag’ is done correctly!

    • ramonawirth

      Dear ippy, you posted it correctly, no mistakes there!
      It shows the Sugaridoo posts on the side because it shows the latest article by the author. So if the Sugaridoo is what you postet before, then thats what everyone will see in that window. With your next post, your Old Block will be shown on the side.

      • ippy

        Many thanks for the explanation Ramona and glad I have posted correctly.  [Hope I can manage to ‘tag’ all the others correctly as I know I didn’t on the Sugaridoo]

    • ramonawirth

      Dear Gina,
      I just tested it, if you write an ordinary post and add the hashtag, it will show op on the  #berninaoldblocksampler page. It might take a moment until you can see your post there.

  • Gina Milano

    Straight of Grain does not seem to be marked on the pattern pieces. Your blocks might be more flat and less ‘wavy’ if you look at the block diagram, note the outside edges of the pieces, and mark them ‘straight of grain.’

    • ramonawirth

      Dear Gina,

      Thank you for pointing this out, I will let Andrea now so she can might add the straight of grain in the next pattern.

  • Gina Milano

    It would be helpful if the instructions were also available in a downloadable pdf format. Then I could print them, highlight important information, mark off my progress, take notes/etc without going back and forth to my computer screen. Thank you for your consideration.

    • ramonawirth

      Dear Gina,

      You can always print a Blog post by:
      – On Windows: Press CRTL+P to open the print options window
      – Depending on the browser, press on “…” or something different in order to choose Print
      – If this doesnt work, you could mark the post, copy it to a Word file, adjust it if needed, then print it

      Hope this helps!

  • bunty bamrah

    hi there, the first block does not appear on the English blog, yet it is already on the German blog, do we use google translate and work from the German blog or does the English version of the quilt along start later? 

      • bunty bamrah

        ok great thank you, I had already signed up for an online German language course… lol

      • ramonawirth

        Oh, so you could put that knowledge to good use! And with the Quilt-along going for a year, I am sure it will be easier to understand with every month 😉

  • ippy

    Should be starting soon.  Anyone received any emails about when the QAL will be live?

      • ippy

        Thank you Ramona for your speedy reply.  Just checked the website and it’s there. 🙂

      • ippy

        Still not received an email, BUT, I did get it on your website.  I did sign up to the qal.

      • ramonawirth

        Do you mean an email newsletter about the new block? Have you checked your spam folder? I will check with my collegue if the mail was already sent out.

      • ippy

        I only received the very first Newsletter  – Start of the Old Block Quilt-Along! Who’s in?
        Didn’t receive an email with the Part 1.
        At least I know I can have the website for backup.

      • ramonawirth

        I cant see a reason why you would recieve the first, but not the second newsletter with the part 1. Let me know in case you dont recieve the newsletter with part 2 next month!

  • Donna Freeman

    I have tried multiple times to sign up for the blog emails, with absolutely no luck.  I have emailed Bernina with no response.  It should not be this hard to join a BOM.    It appears I am not the only one having problems, and yes I have checked my junk/spam mail box.  Some help or response would be appreciated please.

    • ramonawirth

      Dear Donna,

      There seems to be an issue in the Newsletter system so it doesnt send you the confirmation email. Our admin is currently absent, but I have notified him to manually enter your email-adress for recieving the blog newsletter. Until he can solve this issue, please check the blog for new quilt blocks every now and then. The first Block will be aviable today!
      Sorry for the inconveniance and thank you for your patience.
      Best regards, Ramona from BERNINA International

      • donnafreeman

        Thank you so much for your assistance,  it is sincerely appreciated.  Really excited to join this BOM

      • ramonawirth

        You are welcome! And in case you havent seen it: The first block just went live 😉

  • Aune Mattila

    I want to join in to Old Blog Sampler but do not find the place to do it. Have tried to find the plan of the blok, but did not happen. hope you can help with some link I can come in. Best wishes! Aune

    • sandylongstitches

      She says above that the first post will be here, on the Bernina blog, on 7 April.  That will be on 2 days!  Make sure you are signed up with Bernina to receive the blog emails and you will see the posts on the email once a month.

      • sewhappy43

        this is the longest wait for April 7 since I am seeing the international blocks already!!!!

  • sewhappy43

    So it says April 2 is the start. Is there a recommended color way, I read 18 to 20 fat quarters ? are the following posts with instructions to come in a newsletter? or do we have to keep checking back for blog posts?thank you , Teresa

    • ramonawirth

      Dear Teresa,

      There is no recommened color way, you can choose your own color theme. The blocks will be blogposts and will be mentioned in the newsletter every time a new one is available. So you can either keep checking back for blog posts, or register for the blog newsletter here and get notified every time. Let me know if you have more questions!
      Best wishes, Ramona from BERNINA International

  • ippy

    Ramona, quick question re ‘tags’ as I’m not too sure how to do this.After completing the first one, would I just add a 1 or a name then upload?Adding the second name (& so on) do I also add the first one to link them together – do I put a comma after each one I tag?

    • ramonawirth

      Dear ippy,

      I am not quiet sure what you mean. But in general, you can choose the name of your project yourself, as well as which tags you want to use. After each tag, you put a comma. For example:

      #BERNINAOldBlockSampler, myfirstquilt, quilt-along

      Hope this helps!

      • ippy

        Thanks Ramona.  Hard to describe, but think I may understand it now.  I just wanted all the pictures I may add all to be linked, from start to finish.
        So when I add a new one, I would also add all the other names I’ve given them followed by a comma.  Will give it a try. 🤞🏻

  • Gina Milano

    1. Will we be able to VIEW a version of the FINISHED sampler before we start? I was surprised to read that the photo on the class intro was from a 2019 quilt-a-long.2. Will the instructions also be in INCHES for US participants? All my rulers and templates are in inches; not metric.

    • ramonawirth

      Dear Gina,

      1. No, we do not have a photo of the finished sampler.

      2. I notified Jasmin to include inch measurements in the coming instructions. Otherwhise, you can use an cm to inch converter. I love this little tool, it already helped me a lot when using patterns from the other system!
      Best wishes, Ramona from BERNINA International

  • sylv

    Well measurements be in inches too?

    I now feel for those people in last QAL it was only  inches.  now it my be my turn to convert.

    • ramonawirth

      Dear sylv,
      I just added the inches and yards in this post so you have an estimate about how much fabric you would need. Jasmin will add inches to the upcoming instructions.

      Happy sewing! Ramona from BERNINA International

  • Simone Houston

    Hi, just wanted to know whether I can take part from South Africa.  The prize is a huge carrot!! 🙂 Regards Simone

    • ramonawirth

      Hello Simone,

      You are welcome to join from South Africa! Happy Sewing!

    • ramonawirth

      Dear Debi,
      As written above, you do not need to sign up in order to take part. All you have to do is post your finished top in one or more ways described in the post:

      To enter the prize draw, you must upload pictures of your finished quilt top (sewn according to the instructions in the quilt-along) to the community section of the BERNINA blog or on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #BERNINAOldBlockSampler by April 30th, 2022 and you must have included at least 12 blocks in your patchwork sampler.

      If you are asking where you sign ob for the blog Newsletter, then you can click here.

      Best wishes, Ramona from BERNINA International

  • sewhappy43

    what is the create your project section for? this quilt along or just something your working on?Thank youTeresa

    • ramonawirth

      Dear Teresa,

      For both! You can either show what projects you are working on, or show us your Quilt along progress.

      – When you create a new project and you want to show your progress of the quilt along, choose the “Old Block Quilt-Along” in the dropdown of campaign, and your project will be shown in the Old Block Quilt-Along section!

      – If you want to post a project different from the Quilt-Along, just leave the campaign empty.
      Let me know if you have more questions.
      Ramona from BERNINA International

    • ramonawirth

      Dear Marsha,
      I just added the inches and yards in this post so you have an estimate about how much fabric you would need. Jasmin will add inches to the upcoming instructions.

      Happy sewing! Ramona from BERNINA International

  • Nancy H

    Jasmin, this is exciting.  I love your 2019 QAL.  Are the instructions for it available?

  • Roni Gerhardt

    This is just the challenge I was looking for.  My 790 and I are ready to go. Thank you for doing this.  Roni, from Brookfield CT USA

  • ippy

    So pleased to get your email and yes, I’ll definitely sign up to it.  Intermediate – will give it a go 😊

    • ramonawirth

      Dear Paulette,
      That is correct, there will be at least one new block each month.

  • Peter Jordan

    As I have never done any quilting before I am really forward to good challenge.  Will I be needing any special equipment?

    • ramonawirth

      Dear Peter,
      Since Jasmin is in charge of the planing, I too will be surprised about whats coming 😉 I hope you will enjoy your first quilting challenge!
      I will forward your comment to her so she can answer you. With easter this weekend, it might take until next week until she can tell you if you would need anything special.

      Best wishes, Ramona from BERNINA International

      • ramonawirth

        Dear Peter and Elaine,

        I just found that BERNINA USA made a great post on We all sew about how to make a quilt and Must Have tools for quilters. I cannot say yet which tools will be used for the Old Block Quilt Along, since we are working on the blocks, not the quilting itself, but still, these two articles are surely a great start! Just click on the linked titles in this comment.
        Hope this helps!

    • ramonawirth

      Dear Gloria,

      You dont need to sign up:

      To enter the prize draw, you must upload pictures of your finished quilt top (sewn according to the instructions in the quilt-along) to the community section of the BERNINA blog or on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #BERNINAOldBlockSampler by April 30th, 2022 and you must have included at least 12 blocks in your patchwork sampler.

      So, as soon as you have finished your top, you can post a picture of your work how I mentioned above, and you will automaticly signed up 😉 If you dont want to miss any of the blocks, you can sign up for the Blog Newsleter here.

      Happy sewing!
      Ramona from BERNINA International

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