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.