March 22, 2016

Sampler Quilt

 About a month ago something called the Splendid Sampler quilt along began. Twice a week, two new block patterns are published on their blog, all created by different designers. By the end of the year there will be 100 blocks and those who participated will have a beautiful sampler quilt. I love the sense of community that this has created, there are tens of thousands of participants! I also love how the blocks are designed to teach new methods- piecing, applique, embroidery, and more.

When this first bonus block was announced right before Valentine's Day, I made it immediately. I think I must have been the first one, I was so excited. In fact I was so thrilled with the cute little block, that I couldn't wait for more patterns to come out! I started making 6 inch blocks from other patterns, and I just couldn't stop. Most of them sew up quickly because they are so tiny. And, it's just fun to "sample" quilt patterns that I've always wanted to try, but don't have time to make the entire quilt. (I wish there were about 5 more hours in each day to quilt!) It is a very addicting little project.

Needless to say, I have strayed very far from what the true Splendid Sampler quilt will be. In fact, I'd say mine is only about 10% Splendid Sampler blocks at this point. I'm going to continue to use the ones that I love, and add others, and maybe stop at 100? Who knows!

Here is a list of resources I've used for the block patterns:
  • C and T Publishing's phone app "Quick and Easy Quilt Block Tool". This app has a lot of good blocks, all with different size options. I don't follow their cutting instructions always, but it's helpful with the overall idea. 
  • Lori Holt's book "Farm Girl Vintage". She has some super cute blocks, also with different size options.
  • When I see photos of blocks that I like, I take a screen shot and save them in a "Sampler" file on my phone. Later, I transfer them to my quilting notebook, where I figure out the math and cutting instructions. Once you've done a few of these, you catch on quickly as to what sizes you'll need. It's a great exercise in quilt math!
  • I've also just diminished the size on favorite blocks from Camille Roskelley's patterns, particularly in her book "Simply Retro". 
  • Several of the blocks I made up myself. It's fun to play around with leftover pieces and see what I can come up with.

Even though I'm not using every block from The Splendid Sampler, I still get so excited twice a week when I get the free pattern email. I can't wait to see what great blocks are still to come, and in the mean time I'm having a blast adding my own!


  1. I LOVE! your blocks! I am doing the same thing, mostly finding blocks I like elsewhere or making up my own. I'm using a few of theirs, I'm not too excited about most of them. I searched 6.5 inch blocks on Pinterest and found some, also. I'm doing mine in gray, black, white and touches of red.

    1. Thank you Di! I love your color scheme, one of my favorites. I'll have to check Pinterest!