Friday, November 13, 2015

Block Sampler Quilts

Are you a block maker? I am. I prefer the process of making unique individual blocks vs. making 100 of the same block. I love the look of a scrappy sampler quilt and have worked on many over the years.
My first sampler was a hand pieced, hand quilted project made in 1996. You can read more about it here. My teacher was the high school "lunch lady" and she took a great interest in me once she heard I wanted to learn to quilt. She taught me all the "old school" ways of quilt making. I had two preschoolers at home during that time and soooo looked forward to my evenings away to learn the skills of quiltmaking.

I have done many online block sampler projects over the years. One of my favourite finished sampler quilts is Barbara Brackman's Civil War sampler. Click here to read more about my quilt and see the cool backing. The patterns and history lessons are still available and still free! 



Those of you who have followed my blog for a while will remember my 7 year project called Journey of a Quilter. It is 9 hand embroidered blocks and is one of my all time favourite quilts. It holds many memories for me and I admit that I was sad when that journey was over, and the quilt was finished!



I have two sampler quilts waiting for attention and they will be on my 2016 UFO list. The first is called Chocolate Covered Strawberries Saturday Sampler. I made these blocks weekly in 2010. The patterns were chosen from many different sources, but mostly from my collection of 100 blocks magazines. I love these complex blocks and look forward to working with them next year so they can become a finished quilt. 

My other sampler project in waiting is Barbara Brackman's Grandmother's Choice: Votes for Women from 2013. Again the block patterns and history lessons are still available and free! I used reproduction fabrics for these blocks and made many of them by hand. The blocks are sashed and ready for layout and border decisions. This photo shows only a portion of the 49 blocks. I loved the weekly history lessons and learned so much about women's history from Barbara. Click here and here to read my favourite blog posts from making these sampler blocks.


My newest sampler project is from the July Shop Hop in my area. My friend Barbara (remember she doesn't like blue!) collected the patterns and donated them to me. I will be starting to work on them this weekend because I just don't have enough UFO's in progress!

And if you've read all the way to the bottom of this post, I want to tell you about two new sampler ideas. First, the Fat Quarter shop is hosting a Sampler Block Shuffle by Moda. The block patterns are written by famous designers and 2 patterns will be released every Friday. Many of the block patterns appear to be quite simple, so if you are a new block maker this project might appeal to you. 
Also the newest issue of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks magazine is out and I have a copy in my hot little hands! It should be on the newstands soon and Quilty Pleasures will be having lots of draws for free copies.

20 comments:

  1. So many new temptations! I saved the link, but am resisting for now.

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  2. You have made so many amazing and beautiful quilts it makes my head spin :)

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  3. So many good memories in those quilts. I prefer making the blocks to actually finishing a quilt... might be why I have drawers full of blocks waiting to be completed into quilts? I really should pull out my Grandmothers Choice blocks and get them into a top. I have a gentlemen at bowling every Thursday that checks in and asks where my 'therapy' is! That is what I told him my hand work is. =)

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  4. I have to resist, I have to resist, I can resist! (but I will go and look at those links more closely hihihi!) Thanks for sharing Kathy. Your quilts are beautiful and inspirational.

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  5. Samplers are, indeed, lots of fun. All of your work is just beautiful!

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  6. Beautiful quilts! Seeing your beautiful block quilts motives me to want to make one of my own. I am working on a star quilt and 31 stars down and 21 stars to go makes me want to sew something different

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  7. I like both sampler style quilts and same-block quilts, but I think I make the most two-block quilts. I just love the secondary designs that come out with two tesselating blocks.

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  8. Hi Kathy, if you have a moment sometime, could you email me so I can pick your brain on a blog question? sandra.croley at gmail dot com

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  9. I love samplers, too. Like you said, you can play with a variety of blocks instead of the same one over and over. Great stash busters, too. I love Barbara's SALs with all the history and look forward to her offering in 2016 (got a whole new tote of scraps donated).

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  10. I love your Journey of a Quilter--so lovely! I also have quite a collection of sampler quilts. I have been downloading the Moda block patterns just in case I decide I need another one!

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  11. I also love sampler quilts. Since you like blue, starting in January 2016, Aurifil will start their designer BOM and the colors are blue and cream.

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  12. I love the look of sampler quilts...BUT I always know that I'll get stuck on some of those blocks....so I resist making them. Maybe that's why I like scrap quilts so much--as I do make the SAME block, but the fabric varies in each one...lol ...and I kinda like the repetition (maybe from piano practice...over and over and well, you get the idea hahaha) seriously, I like knowing where I'm headed and knowing the pattern's twists and turns ....but, that's just me, and I love your beautiful samplers....hugs, Julierose

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  13. My first Sampler was in the 1990's. I love them too. My Sylvia's Bridal Sampler and Loyal Union Sampler are Favorites since I Love Jennifer Chiaverini's books! Thanks for the Heads up on the 100 Blocks!

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  14. I now crown you The Sampler Queen! I used to do many more samplers than I do now. I've probably made 10 or 12 in the past--along with a couple of minis. : )

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  15. The Civil War sampler would be my favorite of the ones you show in this post. I started on it with a few blocks but had to set it aside. Maybe one of these days I will get it out and work on it again. I too like making a variety of blocks instead of many of the same.

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  16. so much variety here, I love sampler quilts. My granddaughter is 18 in april and want to make a quilt for her all she says I do not want pink! so hope to do a sampler one with no pink! At one time everything had to be pink with her

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  17. What a fabulous trip down your Sampler memory lane! You have some wonderful quilts here. i loved your Journey of a Quilter, and Grandmother's choice is a sampler I made as well, so it is dear to my heart. Thanks for your show!

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  18. Sampler quilts are such a great way to use up fat quarters and learn something new. I really like the Civil War Sampler, the colors are just perfect.

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  19. I love sampler quilts. I'm definitely a block maker. I've s many sampler tops that I need to quilt

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  20. I love sampler quilts too and you have some great examples here!

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