I’ve started making ‘The Splendid Sampler’ mystery quilt, every Sunday and Thursday a new block design is released and thousands of us scurry round trying to make it. It’s free and it’s a great way to learn new skills and push your limits…and boy it’s been pushing mine!!!
At the end of last week there were quite a few mutterings about the sizes of the blocks, 1 1/2″ square was pretty fiddly to make all those fluttering butterflies…then Sundays pattern was released…
Block three is called Lots of Love, it’s made up of one big heart and five little ones and it’s designed to represent the people you love in your life. Many people made it very personal with family members choosing their own fabrics, different numbers of hearts, lots of variations. As we have four children between us I decided to make it with two pink hearts for myself and Helen, three green hearts for the boys and a big green heart for my wonderful OH.
With block three the pieces got even smaller!!! Twenty 1″ squares were required for the little hearts..1″…one sneeze and they’d be gone…never to be seen again!! There were a few suggestions on facebook as to how to cope with such tiny pieces and one was to use plenty of spray starch, I had some on the shelf so I grabbed it and pretty much drowned the squares in starch!!! They were like paper afterwards, I used a sheet of paper as a pressing cloth (my silk organza cloth is hiding at the moment!) and they all stuck to the paper, it was actually quite useful as I knew they weren’t going to fall anywhere and they stayed put when I had to draw a line on them. I just clipped them off as I needed them! So I can strongly recommend spray starch, they were much easier to sew and didn’t lose their shape.
Having said that, my blocks still left a lot to be desired at the halfway mark, decidedly wonky! I’ve since found a great blog called Bits from the Scrap Basket, Elisa is making the Splendid Sampler and she describes a different method of putting together the hearts which looks like it could be easier (to get a good finish) I wished I’d seen it earlier, I’ve saved it for future reference and I’m following her for future tips and suggestions!!
I pressed my hearts and put them through the die cutter to square them up as best I could and then stitched them together with a very scant 1/4″ seam in places! My finished block measures 6 1/2″ …mostly, with the occasional deviation! I’m hoping it won’t be as noticeable when it’s among 99 other blocks!