Karyn's Quilt Sampler

Sampler Quilt 2 class finished two weeks ago. It was a glorious ten weeks putting together this beauty of a quilt top. I don’t think I’m the only one from the class suffering from a bit of withdrawal. Thursday nights just don’t feel the same.

Johanna designed this next Quilt Sampler version to be bigger and more challenging. I do feel like I underwent some quilt boot camp and learned so many valuable lessons that will make me a better quilter. Firstly, I never fully understood the value of finger pressing and careful ironing. The wonkiness in quilt blocks is often created afterwards when you are moving your iron back and forth over your fabric stretching the heck out of it. Secondly, the miracle of spray starch. Starching some of my wonky blocks made them MUCH less wonky. I imagine pre-starching fabrics before you sew with them would also be helpful. (FYI: you will see starch on our shop shelves in the next few weeks!)

Sampler quilts are tricky, since there are so may different elements going on. I found myself trying to choose very plain fabrics and somehow, I hardly put any mustard coloured fabrics into this quilt. I really wanted to, but it just didn’t seem right. My fellow students, on the other hand, chose brilliant, bold colours and fabrics that I am totally in awe of. Spend some time checking them out here. Also, check out Katherine’s quilt top that I didn’t get a chance to photograph myself. They are all wildly different!

I spent one long night working on the back of my quilt. I decided to use my improv techniques to make something on a larger scale that would fit across the back. I used scrap pieces from four different fabrics to create that pieced bar. I’ve started to pay more attention to my improv process since I know so many of you are interested in how I do it. Perhaps with a bit of nudging there will be an improv class on our schedule.

The quilt is now basted and ready for quilting. I am going to do my best to get going on this sooner than later. I’m thinking some simple machine quilting echoing the designs will do the trick.

Karyn's Quilt Sampler : Top

Karyn's Quilt Sampler : Back

Karyn's Quilt Sampler : Hourglass

Karyn's Quilt Sampler : Basket

Karyn's Quilt Sampler : Railroad Crossing

Karyn's Quilt Sampler : Sawtooth Stars


  1. Your sampler turned out beautifully, Karyn! The pieced backing really celebrates the lovely fabrics that you used on the quilt top. Can’t wait to see how you quilt it. (BTW I miss quilting on Thursday nights with everyone too!)

  2. this is BEYOND beautiful! i’m usually not a huge fan of sampler quilts – a lot of elements and colors and overload – but the muted colors are perfect and all of the blocks seem to tie together with similar elements in each of them.

    oh how i wish i could make the trip to toronto to visit your beautiful work space and take some classes. one day!

  3. This turned out to be such a beautiful piece of art! I think the blocks on their own are very pretty but when you get them all pieced together the whole really is more than simply the sum of it’s parts.
    Really beautiful work.

  4. The railroad crossing square is amazing. Okay, yeah, so is the rest. I like the un-squareness of it.
    I would like more insight into the improv process. I also would like my basement cleaned up enough that going down to work isn’t an ordeal. I guess I’ll have to start at the beginning.

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