So, at long last I am kicking off the Abecedarian Quilt-Along. I’m not sure how much of a quilt-along it will be as I seem to have fallen out of perfect organization with the move to England, but here it goes nonetheless…

First, one may ask just what the ABC QAL is. Good question…

Well, it is kind of a hybrid sort of thing actually. On the one hand I am going to be posting a block a day from my Abecedarian quilt:


While the original was done it 4″ squares of white and prints from my Thesaurus collection, this is a pattern that can really be done a lot of different ways…


The essence of the quilt is that it is based on the Braille alphabet. There are 26 blocks (one for each letter) with four blanks added in so the quilt ends up being six blocks across and five blocks up and down.


All that matters in making this quilt is that the right parts go in the right places, by which I mean there is a difference in handling between what would be the raised dots in a Braille letter versus the flat spaces. Each block is formed in the same way a Braille letter is, based on a 2×3 grid, so each block has six units. For the first version I used Thesaurus prints for the raised dots and white for everything else. In the second version I again used Thesaurus for the dots, but used an array of solids for everything else, giving a more chaotic feel, but the underlying structure remains the same.

So, I’ll be sharing a block a day, and hope some of you out there will join in and make your own Abecedarian quilt, like this…


And for those of you who do I’ll be having a bit of a giveaway at the end; you just have to show us your finished Abecedarian quilt top…

So, that is Part One, but there is more…

While I am sharing all the blocks for the Abecedarian quilt, there will also be a bit of a Braille Quiltfest that will be getting revealed. Over the next month a few of my favorite sewing friends will be sharing Braille quilts that they have made, some using Thesaurus and some not. And I’ll be making one this month as the ABC QAL moves along. Each of these quilts will be translating different messages into Braille, and then transforming that Braille into Quiltese (yep, I’m all good with making up words). I’ve seen some sneak peeks and there is some serious awesome going on…

So, it’s time to get cutting and get ready to sew; I’ll be sharing the first block tomorrow, as well as give a bit more detail about the new quilt I’ll be making. To make the basic Abecedarian quilt here’s what you’ll need.

• 84 units for the dots (I cut 4.5″ squares for the original)
• 96 units for the not-dot spaces (again I cut 4.5″ squares for the original)

You can add borders if you wish. For the original I added a 2″ border, for the second one I added a patchwork 4″ border. The border you add (or don’t) will entirely depend on the size of units you decide to work with. If you cut 4.5″ squares the basic Abecedarian (no border) will finish to 48″x60″. So adding a 4″ border brings it up to 56″x 68″ which is a perfect lap/napping size.

So, there you go. That’s it. Tomorrow I’ll share the block for the letter A and a bit more background info. Hope you join in. And until tomorrow, happy cutting…


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14 Responses to The ABC QAL…

  1. 1
    Alyce says:

    Very tempted to join in to make a mini version containing a message for my mum for Christmas – she’s a teacher at a vision impaired school 🙂

  2. 2
    Lisa Eichholtz says:

    I can’t wait. Haven’t successfully quilted since my stroke 2 years ago, but I have 18 Thesaurus FQs, and I must make this.

  3. 3
    Bobbi Lang says:


  4. 4
    Kolleen says:

    I will have to follow along! This is great, my children learned about Louie Braille in school when we lived in England. We have just moved back to the states and as soon as our house hold goods get here I will have to play catch up. It is kind of hard to sew when you have no machine. Thank you.

  5. 5
    Alice Thomas says:

    I’m ready to play. Thank you Thomas

  6. 6

    Love this! I’m in – I can do a block a day, right?

  7. 7
    Rhonda Desgranges says:

    This would be cool to make for my sister. She is blind.
    I know she would like it. I will be following you!

  8. 8
    Lisa M says:

    How lovely is this! I’m quite intrigued and it seems like something I can do with a very busy 13 month old.

  9. 9
    Jennifer P says:

    I love this idea!! I learned Braille when my son was born completely blind 10 years ago (he has since recovered a good portion of vision, but still considered “legally blind” without correction). I may not be able to keep up due to the demands of my family, but eventually, I will see an ABC quilt grace my son’s bed. Thank you Thomas!

  10. 10

    […] very lovely double gauze quilt is part of the braille quilt-along hosted by Thomas Knauer Sews, and has a very simple and not-so-secret message. (spoiler alert: […]

  11. 11
    Jo Ann says:

    My grandson has Juvenile Battens disease and is now blind at age 11. He asked for a quilt the last time I saw him and I have been racking my brain on what to make because of his blindness. This will help so much. Thank you

  12. 12

    […] Thomas Knauer asked a few of us to get in on his Abecedarian Quilt a Long, I thought, sweet!  A secret snarky message!? sounds brilliant. Using the braille alphabet for […]

  13. 13

    […] took a little break from my #tula100 blocks, but as this quilt for Thomas Knauer’s ABC QAL finishes, I can jump back into the tula sampler. (PS thanks for dropping my name as motivation […]

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