Happy Holidays, friends! Now that the pressure of Christmas is lifted, I can get back to my goal of completing as many quilts as possible before the end of the year. (or close to it) I am in the binding stage for THREE quilts right now! I’m pretty excited. All the other quilts are gifts. This one I’m keeping.
I know that machine sewing on your binding is much faster, but I really enjoy spending some final time with my quilts as I sit underneath them and hand stitch on the last part of the binding. It seems like a worth while ritual to me. I recently started using binding clips which is way safer than using pins to hold down the binding as you stitch it on. This makes all the difference.
This Quilt Sampler 2 was started last January in class and I only recently finally got around to doing all the quilting. I have a tendency to baste quilts and then abandon them for a new quilt project. I am hoping that I’ve conquered this I love that Sampler Quilts are learning quilts. Since each block is different, they are the perfect way to improve your technique and learn some new ones. They are usually a bit of a challenge and this one was no exception. Some of these blocks were difficult and hopefully this will help me get through some of the tricky Farmer’s Wife blocks I’ll be tackling very soon. I learned so many things from making this quilt. I’m especially happy that I’ll now have two Sampler Quilts as a record of my progress in patchwork.
Here’s my first Quilt Sampler. I still love it.
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.
This week is week 9 (of 10!) of the Quilt Sampler 2 class. All our blocks should be done and this week we will attach our mitred corner borders. Marilou had all her homework done and assembled her quilt top in the last class. Inspiring! This week, I’m sewing like crazy to catch up and finish up my last blocks.
This particular block is special to my Quilt Sampler. It was meant to be a Carolina Lily block. As I was sewing up my lilies, I kept seeing half a star. I looked through the Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns and in the section on eight pointed stars found the Flash of Diamonds.
The components for this block were so similar that I couldn’t resist trying it out. Star blocks are my absolute favourite! Sewing y-seams is a bit tricky, but there’s something about it that I really love. The more y-seams I sewed, the better I got. The other key thing that I’ve learned from making this sampler quilt is the importance of careful finger pressing and not overusing the iron. It is so easy to stretch out bias cuts on your fabric which results in wonky blocks.
When I sewed together the middle star, it came together perfectly. If you look at the centre, all the points meet precisely and not are cut off! My favourite thing about this block is actually the back of it. When you look at the back side of this block, you will see that all the intersections of seams fan out. It’s crazy how proud I am of something that will soon be on the inside of my quilt where no one can see it!
I have a dream of one day doing a lone star quilt. Having conquered the eight pointed star, I now feel that this is totally do-able! But first, I’ll be wrapping up the rest of my sampler homework…
Most of the past Sunday nights have been devoted to doing my Quilt Sampler 2 homework. As soon as I catch up with all that, I’ll be back with some new Sunday Patchworks.
In the meantime, here’s my Maple Star! This is probably one of the more simple blocks we’ve done in class, but I really love this one. Firstly, it’s a star. Secondly, I slipped in some scraps of Liberty of London ‘Fairford‘ and it goes perfectly. It’s magic when that happens.
Today is the Love & Rummage 3 Trunk Show!
We are a few weeks into the Quilt Sampler 2 class and it’s starting to come together! This is a fairly large quilt and the blocks are different sizes, some much larger than I’ve ever done. The Sawtooth Star section is made of six stars with squares in between. I’m going to wait until more of the quilt is done to decide what the in between fabric will be.
I’ve done sawtooth stars before in the Intro to Hand Work class, but I love learning different ways of doing the same block. That’s definitely one of the fascinating things about learning from different people.
Speaking of stars! I’m going to take Amanda‘s Star-y Log Cabin Quilt e-course. It starts up next week for eight weeks. I’m dying to learn some of her awesome tricks! Also, her enthusiasm for quilting is completely contagious. (see her adorable video here!) For anyone who can’t make it out to a formal quilting class, this is kinda perfect to work on when you want and at your own pace. I’m planning this quilt for a far in advance gift. It will be fun to work on a project with people in different places of the world. Let me know if you sign up too!
January is off to a fun & busy start! I’m taking all our new classes this month, so I’ll be busy doing my craft homework and learning new things – Intro to Cross Stitch, Leather Moccasins & Sewn Mittens!!
The Quilt Sampler 2 class started on Thursday, so I thought I’d start by posting my colour palette and fabric choices. I’ve decided to do shades of grey (no surprise), aqua and mustard. My inspiration photos are this and this. I really love the soft, silvery look of these photos and also the proportion of each colour. I’m going to try to keep referring to these images to see if I can achieve the same feeling with my quilt blocks.
I’m still using Pinterest like crazy, especially to keep a board with colour palette ideas for future projects. It is so perfect for organizing your inspirations. If you’re not using Pinterest yet and want an invite, just let me know.