Announcing the Stronger Together Quilt Along & Stitch Along - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Announcing the Stronger Together Quilt Along & Stitch Along

We’re happy to present our first ever quilt and stitch along for Black History Month, to bring our creative community together to support a worthy cause and to highlight the achievements and contributions of several African American women in the fiber arts.

The title “Stronger Together” acknowledges the many Black Americans that have influenced our community. It’s a mission statement to impact our future right now, starting with this fundraiser for United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and highlighting amazing Black quilters and stitchers.

Portrait of Harriet Tubman, c. 1868. Photographer Benjamin F. Powelson. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

We started with the inspiration of Harriet Tubman. She is courage, persistence, strength, endurance and wisdom. Tubman was guided by her moral compass to do the right thing and guided physically by the North Star that led her and the slaves she rescued to freedom multiple times. No matter the obstacles, risks and handicaps, she persevered.

The North Star quilt block became the star of our quilt and cross stitch. The designs contain several signs from the story of the quilt code, selected for the symbolism of courage and goodwill toward others on the same path. The cross stitch coordinates with the quilt, and also has a bonus cross stitch chart featuring the “Stronger Together” statement, so you can choose to stitch either chart. Each pattern features biographies of Black women who influenced us through fiber arts, and we hope you love learning about them as much as we did.

UNCF Fundraiser

From now through February 28, 2021, 100% of the proceeds from the sales of Stronger Together Quilt Patterns and Stronger Together Cross Stitch Patterns will go to United Negro College Fund (UNCF). The mission of UNCF is to increase the total number of African American college students and helping them persist to graduation. They do this through awarding scholarships, providing financial support to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and advocating for the importance of minority education and community engagement.

About the Quilt

Our quilt is made in Speckled by Rashida Coleman-Hale of Ruby Star Society. Ruby Star Society is also raising funds with their Ruby Star Pep Talk Project Panel series for a worthy charitable organization. For every Pep Talk Panel sold, Ruby Star Society will donate $5 to The Loveland Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing healing and support through therapy. They are committed to communities of color, with a particular focus on Black women and girls.

We have a limited supply of quilt kits (Update: the quilt kits are delayed until late January/early February. This is unfortunate but not uncommon given the current disruptions in worldwide shipments) and thread packs to make samples like Fat Quarter Shop’s, and they both contain an exclusive Stronger Together bracelet to remind us of our mission statement. Proceeds of these kits and thread packs do not go toward the Stronger Together fundraiser.

We started this quilt with the Speckled fabric collection by Rashida and chose colors that were bright, strong and optimistic. We carried it over to the cross stitch to match. Learn more about the quilt colors and design in this video from the quilt designer, Jocelyn Ueng.

We’ve created a coloring sheet so you can plan your own unique design. Click on the banner below to download your own copy!



Ruby Star Pep Talk Project Panel

Stronger Together Quilt Along

The Stronger Together Quilt Along and Stitch Along will last for four weeks, from February 1 – 28, 2021. Each week we’ll sew part of the Stronger Together quilt and cross stitch and share updates each week on the blog. The quilt along will follow the pattern instructions, week by week.

Stronger Together SAL Schedule

If you’d like to stitch along with us, we’ve outlined the schedule below starting with the outer border for Week 1.

Who’s sewing along?

We invited some friends to stitch along with us and they’re sharing their progress along the way! You can follow them on social media for inspiration and tips along the way!

Kimberly Bennefield, nwpepper
Shereece Spain, SewHookedOnTreasures
Sandra Johnson, SandraJohnsonDesigns
Jeresther Page, sew_sweet_seebee
Valerie, Stitching in the Barn
Colleen and Cheryl, Stitching with the Sisterlies
Rika, The House of Stitch & Stash
Julie, Kansas City Girl in a Colorado World
Denise, Black Ribbon Studio
Jan Hicks, Jan Hicks Creates
Dianne, Hot Mess Princess
Lolly, Lollypop Stitches

EVERYONE can sew along! To join in, all you have to do is purchase a pattern and gather your supplies. Keep up with us by visiting the blog each Tuesday, or follow the hashtag #FQSStrongerTogether on Instagram to see and share work from your fellow quilters. Join us back here on the blog every Tuesday in February for updates! 

Stay connected to FQS!

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  1. Thank you for this quilt along and tribute to African American women in the fiber arts. I look forward to participating and supporting this worthwhile project.

      1. I am so glad to be able to participate in this SAL. I have my fabrics am ready to go.
        Did you already do the 1st week?

  2. Nope. I think this further divides I value people for who they are . Not because it’s polical correct..

    1. Thank you for your feedback. We understand that not everyone will agree with our actions. In the spirit of Black History Month, which is a time to recognize the role of black Americans in our nation’s history, we hope to do the same with our Stronger Together quilt along. If you have suggestions on how we can improve our event for the future, please let us know. We are striving to learn and do better.

    2. I agree with you Sharon. I never thought that Fatquarter shop would jump on the political train. I am extremely disappointed and will look to shop elsewehere.

      1. We understand that everyone will not agree with our intent and actions. At the heart of it, we hope to benefit a brilliant charitable organization, UNCF. If you have suggestions on how we can improve our event for the future, please let us know.

      2. I am scratching my head at what you could find was political about this. This is no different than supporting any other charitable cause.
        FQS has supported many charitable organizations over the years. Participating is a choice. You inspired me to join. This is a wonderful sew along. FQS can count on me to participate.

    3. Why didn’t you just not participate? This type of dialogue does nothing to help the situation we are all facing today. Black history month is not a new concept.

    4. I’m sad for you that what you took away from a lovely fundraiser to help provide scholarships for kids who can’t afford college and to showcase wonderful quilters in history is that it’s “politically correct”and divides people. Maybe you should reflect of why your immediate response to a fun and positive event is adding negativity. I’ll pray for you while I’m making this pretty quilt.

  3. Beautiful quilt and stitching pattern! I’m so heartened to see the lifting up of voices that have been so long oppressed. There is SPACE IN THE QUILTING WORLD for more people, more designers, more creativity. And I love to see the craft world growing. Thank you!

    1. Yes, there is space for all! We, too, believe that diversity in all its forms serves to strengthen all of us, especially as we connect daily with quilters and stitchers around the globe.

      1. There👏 Is👏 Space👏 For👏All! FQS, unfortunately, you are gonna see a WHOLE lot of your customer base brazenly unmask their racism and dislike of anything honoring African American history and struggle by saying it’s “political”! These are the same folks that do NOT call it political when you promote AMERICANA?! I feel this is a wonderful step toward opening the horizons to other types of quilters and experiences. African American, Hispanic, Asian, Indigenous experience is NOT political—it is exploring the human experience of others. Anyway—I hope you guys can weather the back lash from racism masked as not wanting to be “political”. This just makes me LOVE FQS EVEN MORE!!! So for those whose racism will be flouted as “I’m not buying from you because of this”, FQS will gather other customers who love and appreciate Others as much as themselves.

  4. Beautiful quilt with a great issue. I love Gee’s Bend Quilts as I love Amish Quilts. They all are part of America and it’s creativity. It is very
    valueable remember them. I also deeply appreciate this modern interpretation and the idea behind. Thankyou FQS! I am very excited starting the quilt along.

  5. I wasn’t going to do this QAL because I don’t have time, but the two people who objected made me realize that if I don’t support celebrating new voices in quilting, they might not show up. I value people for who they are, but if you look in most quilter and cross-stitch magazines, their are too many who look like me. Thank you FQS!

  6. Thank you, FQS, for doing this sew-along. Celebrating black history isn’t a political stance, and I’m sorry that so many people seem to think it is. I’m very excited to participate and tell my friends!

  7. With all that divisive events that have taken place the last 12 months, it’s unbelievable that quilting could be turned into an issue. The reaction by the 2 objectors is proof positive why relational problems exist. FQS, I will increase my shopping on your site to help offset their decisions. Let us be stronger together!

  8. Something tells me those two wouldn’t have balked if this was an exploration of Scottish Thistle quilt history.
    Excited to participate in this QAL and I love the modern spin and vibrant palette.

  9. I agree with everyone who has commented thus far – except for the two Negative Nellie’s. I wonder what they’d say about the QAL benefiting Make-A-Wish?! Anyway, I’ve ordered my supplies and can’t wait to start the Stronger Together SAL and QAL!

  10. I’m sorry you had to deal with people who are not understanding that quilting knows no race. If you look into history you’ll find the patterns we love come from every place. Thank you for opening up this benefit for those who care.

  11. Beautiful quilt and a worthy cause. Good for you! I’ve gotten the pattern and hope the fabric is available soon, but if not, I’ll go shopping!

  12. I am so excited about this quilt along celebrating black history month. I am going to use my scraps to complete this. Getting it ready now!!! Thank you Fat Quarter Shop.

  13. Awesome! I’m interested but curious if the colors in the patterns are symbolic of anything? I would like to change the colors if I participate but don’t want to if they mean something. I don’t want anyone to take offense to such changes.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Heather, We started this quilt with colors from the Speckled fabric collection by Rashida Coleman-Hale that represent strength, optimism and courage. This is the meaning for us, but we have lots of stitchers & quilters using other colors that speak to them. Some stitchers & quilters are leaning toward using the colors of the Pan-African flag for Black History Month. We have provided a coloring sheet so you can use a palette that is meaningful to you. Thank you!

  14. All I can say is I support FQS and I will continue to support you. I love the idea of Black History Month. I would like to see Native American month also supported down the road or Hispanic Month and there are so many groups we could support. It so exciting that from each of the different nationality in this world we can learn so much from them. That is what makes our world so beautiful.

  15. Suggesting that a project honoring the history of quilting in our nation is just….well…beyond the pale and so very clear as to intent. I am delighted to join this project and I’m heading to the website to order my kit.

  16. This is a great project and a most worthy cause! I appreciate you FQS and I love the kit so much, I’m getting on the wait list.

  17. This is an amazing project. I have been trying to find quilting books that have a history on African American quilt patterns, references to patterns used in the Underground Railroad, etc. When I saw the information about this quilt along on Instagram, I knew I had to join! I’ll be sewing along with you all. Very much respect that proceeds for purchasing the pattern are being donated to UNCF. Wonderful!

  18. I am so pleased to be able to join in on such a beautiful quilt sew-along as this–thank you to FQS for providing this opportunity! I am actually not a modern quilter at all, but this is a worthy cause for Black History Month. I am looking forward to expanding my skill set and my horizons 🙂

  19. This is a great quilting project for my 12 year old granddaughter to make her first quilt on. She learned about Harriet Tubman in school. She is very excited to start this project soon.
    We will sew this quilt together,

  20. Can’t wait to get started on this quilt. I received the email that the quilt kit was available and placed my order. I like making quilts that have a meaning behind them. I am also working on the Underground Railroad quilt and felt this would be a great addition to my collection. Thank you FQS.

  21. I’m excited about this project which I will undertake in honor of a woman of color as our first female Vice President. I purchased the pattern and plan to stick with the color palette with tone on tone fabrics of my choosing. Thank you Kim! Looking forward to the sew along…

  22. This is my first sew along with FQS and it is BECAUSE I endorse the Stronger Together theme. I wanted to share the link with our guild through our NL but our co-prezes thought it too political! I am hoping to finish mine in time for Show & Tell at our meeting later on! I have chosen colors that represent all races because I believe we are truly ALL “stronger together” and I am so glad the majority of your respondents think likewise! Thank you, FQS, for this brilliant idea!

  23. Thank you for the Stronger Together pattern! We are all stronger together-skin colorIs not a choice. I jumped the gun and made it so we could hang it outside on the front of our house for the month.

  24. Thank you, Kimberly and the FQS team for this project. I think this is a great way to bring individuals together and support a worthy cause…and yes, we are much stronger together!!!

  25. I wanted to add some comments after reading some of them. What makes this a good idea is the UNCF is a well respected college. Why some feel it is political, is the timing of this project. That’s regardless of the recognizing Black History month. I some time ago, contacted Teresa Vega for information about the history of black American quilt making from the early days of slavery till now, and I had a lot of questions. She was very nice to give me the names of several of the books in her library to read to give me the information that I was looking for. I haven’t read them all yet, but have learned a lot of things so far, and it has been an interesting journey. I also learned from her, that there are at least two quilt guilds in Boston, where she lives, that have 300 and 600 members of both sexes of black people. Needless to say, I was floored at the numbers, and she told me a little about them. I think that regardless of the political climate of today, this is a very worthy cause worthy of support.

  26. The bright colors of the fabric are what first attracted me to this quilt. Then the North Star block to represent Harriet Tubman grabbed my heart. She is my first Woman Hero. I learned about her in 5th grade. I’m excited to support this cause and to lift-up our American history of black artists and heros.

  27. I bought my pattern and probably will not get it done right away. I have too many other quilts going at this time. I just wanted to support the cause as I believe it is a worthy cause. We all need to support each other no matter what race we are. We are all God’s children and valued as such.