True confession: I’m a BOM (block of the month) fanatic. If you’ve been quilting for a while, you may be very familiar with this concept. For those of you who are in the dark, you might be wondering, “what is a block of the month (BOM)?”
In today’s blog post, I’m sharing what a BOM is and the different types of BOM programs available. I’m also including a list of current (2024) BOM’s in several different categories. Let’s dive in!
Block of the month explained
A block of the month is a quilt program or pattern that contains a variety of blocks that are released in a specific time period. They are often 12-month programs, but sometimes they are shorter in duration such as 6 or 9-month programs. The idea is to make one or two blocks each month. At the end of the time frame, you will have a completed quilt top. It’s a nice way to make a quilt in small, bit-size pieces.
I love having an ongoing project that has a schedule to it. I have been co-teaching a BOM class at my local quilt shop, The Granary, for over twelve years! The goal in this program is to build community and enhance piecing skills. We meet once a month and I (or Dianne, my co-teacher) demonstrates the block(s) and we all share our progress. It’s a great way to stay motivated and on track.
Our BOM for 2024 is the Red & Cream Sampler by Fig Tree Quilts. In this program, you get to pick your own fabric and colorway. I love the impact of two-color quilts, and I’ve chosen blue and white for my quilt. You can see the first four blocks (I’m ahead!) below.
Types of BOM’s
There are several different types of BOM’s. Sometimes they’re a mystery design, other times they have a theme and often they are sampler quilts. There are free BOM’s, fee-based BOM’s, membership BOM’s and some include kits with pattern and fabric.
Difference between BOM and QAL
There are also quilt alongs (QAL’s) that may fall under the same umbrella. What’s the difference between a BOM and a QAL? Quilt alongs tend to be shorter in duration and use social media or a website/blog as their platform. Sometimes QAL’s use a standard pattern and break it down into block components that are spread over weekly increments. BOM’s are generally longer in duration and contain a sampler-style pattern with more variety of blocks. They may be online-only or in-person (local) and they might include kits that are shipped or picked-up in person each month.
Many BOM programs are free! There are some generous pattern designers who offer a free BOM on their website, blog, or Instagram. Sometimes they are free for the current month only and sometimes they are free all year. Usually there is a tutorial that goes along with it and a pdf that you can download. Here are some current, FREE BOM’s for 2024.
- A Quilting Life BOM. Sherri offers this year-long program for free and it includes the option of making a 12″ block or 6″ block. The final quilt design is a mystery.
- Pat Sloan’s What’s In Your Closet? Mystery QAL. This is a weekly, free quilt along that runs from January 24, 2024 thru May 15, 2024. Pat gives instructions for one block each week and it’s a mystery quilt.
- Pat Sloan’s Breakfast Club QAL. This is a mystery applique quilt that started January 5, 2024 and runs for 9 weeks.
- Nancy Zieman’s 2024 Mystery BOM. This BOM series is free and perfect for beginners! It starts January 20 and continues on the third Saturday of each month in 2024.
- Malted Mystery Quilt Along at Meadow Mist Designs. Every year, Cheryl hosts a free mystery quilt along on her blog. This one started in July 2023 and continues through May 2024. The patterns are still available and you can always catch up!
- Moda Blockheads Round 5. This is a weekly quilt along that will run through July 2024. Most Moda designers have designed a block (or two) for this one. Several setting options will be given at the end so you can customize your quilt design.
- 2024 RBD Block Challenge. Riley Blake Designs offers this yearly quilt along in partnership with their fabric designers. Every Tuesday through May, a new block will be added for a total of 16 unique blocks.
- Moonbeams Charity Quilt & Stitch Along hosted by Fat Quarter Shop. This QAL runs from March to September 2024 and includes the option of a cross-stitch pattern. The patterns are free, but you’re encouraged to make a donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. All donations, no matter how big or small, are appreciated.
- JOY in the Ordinary FREE BOM by Jenny of Elefantz. Each monthly block has a little stitchery encased in a log cabin style border. Jenny’s embroidery is sweet and whimsical. I always look forward to her positive messages and beautiful designs.
- 2024 Sew Along at Material Girlfriends. This one is different. Each month is a full quilt pattern that is designed to be a community (donation) quilt. Baby or throw sized with 3-yard options as well as scrappy. Patterns available for free for 10 days only.
- 2024 Block of the Month at Sew Very Easy. Each month you’ll make different components that are put together at the end to make a 72″ square quilt. Video tutorials included.
- Snowman Forest BOM 2024 at Quilt Doodle Designs. This year’s BOM quilt has a winter theme. The pattern is free during the month it is introduced and after that it available for a small fee.
If you know of any other FREE BOM programs, leave a comment and I’ll add them to the list.
Fee based BOM’s
Most BOM’s require the purchase of a pattern or a membership fee, so I’ve broken this category down into Membership BOM’s and Pattern-fee only BOM’s. There is a lot of work involved in designing and writing instructions for a quilt pattern. When it’s a BOM, that work is multiplied because of the number of different blocks that require graphics, instructions and editing. You’re getting a lot of bang for your buck with these!
Some online memberships offer a block of the month pattern as part of the membership fee. Other BOM’s require a membership because it comes with extra support through videos, classes, kits, etc. These are fun because there is a community aspect to them, often in the form of Facebook groups or online forums. Here is a list of current membership BOM’s
- Pick a Petal BOM at The Quilt Show. Lovely pattern by Jen Kingwell, includes some applique. Star membership required and includes monthly videos. Kits available to purchase separately.
- 2024 Designer Mystery BOM at Fat Quarter Shop. Membership includes fabric and pattern shipped to you each month.
- Aurora Block of the Month at Bryan House Quilts. Different membership levels available.
- Greenhouse Garden Block of the Month 2024 at Whole Circle Studio. Foundation paper pieced. Registration includes pattern emailed each month, monthly tutorials & tips, and Zoom calls.
- Society Sparkler BOM at Polkadot Chair. This pattern is based off an antique quilt and is hosted at a Patreon Group (third party service for content creators).
- The Cutting Table’s 2024 BOM at Suzy Quilts. This is part of the subscription to The Cutting Table which is similar to a digital magazine. Great content and fun to read!
Most guilds offer a yearly BOM program, so check your local quilt guild!
Pattern-fee only BOM’s
- 2024 Little Forest BOM at Shannon Fraser Designs. Modern trees that are made using a variety of techniques such as FPP, applique, curved piecing, and traditional piecing.
- 2024 Block of the Month at Sweet Potato Quilts. This program includes monthly videos, private Facebook group and bonuses. The cost is just the price of the pattern.
- Nine Patch Block of the Month Calendar at Carolina Moore Patterns. The calendar is also a BOM pattern!
- Piece & Quilt Sampler Quilt Along at Fat Quarter Shop. Lots of traditional piecing and I’ll be participating!
BOM Pattern Sources
There are so many BOM patterns available that I can’t list them all here. Below are some shops that specialize in BOM’s and offer a variety of patterns and programs.
- Stitchin’ Heaven – large array of BOM programs and patterns.
- Rebecca Mae Designs – some of my favorites and they usually include applique.
- Shabby Fabrics – lots of applique patterns and traditional ones too.
- Missouri Star Quilt Co. – lots of kits to choose from.
- Fig Tree & Co. – sampler quilts in modern vintage style.
- Fat Quarter Shop – a little bit of everything.
- Nancy Rink Designs – beautiful patterns, mostly traditional.
- The Quilt Spot – lots of variety and choices.
- Material Girlfriends – beautiful traditional and applique quilts.
- Wing and a Prayer Design – beautiful and intricate patterns.
- Bunny Hill Designs – some of my favorite applique patterns are here.
- Whirligig Designs – I love her patterns; traditionally pieced and beautiful designs.
Make sure to check with your local quilt shop if you’re looking for in-person BOM classes or pick-up kits.
My most recent BOM finish
By now you can tell that I’m a true BOM fan! They are so much fun and quite irresistible. I hope to design one of my own this year, but for now I’ll show you my latest BOM finish. I made the Garden Variety Sampler by Natalie Crabtree in last year’s BOM class that I co-taught at The Granary. I used all my rainbow scraps for this one!
I will have a BOM “quilt show” soon of all my past block of the month quilts that are (mostly) finished.
I’ll make sure to keep this blog post updated when I find new BOM programs for 2024. Make sure to Pin the image below so you can find it later! You can also follow my Pinterest board, BOM’s & QAL’s 2024.