At the beginning of the month I took a deliberate step back from The Splendid Sampler as it was beginning to take over a bit, sewing is meant to be enjoyable and when you start sewing under pressure to keep up, that pleasure diminishes pretty quickly.
I was a bit concerned however about getting so far behind I might never catch up…however it’s actually worked really well. Each time a new block is released (Sundays and Thursdays) I print it off, I stash them all in clear pockets on my desk. I can now pick and choose which block I want to do according to how much time I’ve got, whether I want to do a simple block or a complex one, hand-stitching…
I’ve managed to do four blocks in the last 10 days or so. Two of them are appliqued, one of them was the reason I stopped for a while, I took one look at it and thought I just haven’t got time to do that properly in the next few days. However the Sewing Machine one is what got me back on board again, isn’t it gorgeous!
It’s designed by Pat Sloan, one of the organisers of The Splendid Sampler. Each designer writes a little about how their design came about, this is what Pat wrote;
“The day I walked into 9th grade Home-Ec class and the teacher asked us to ‘turn on the machine,’ my life changed forever. I discovered not only a new skill, but a new hobby, new friends, and ultimately a new life with my own design business. I have owned my own sewing machine since 9th grade and have sewed clothing, my wedding dress, curtains, pillows, and quilts. Many, many quilts. I can’t thank my parents enough for buying me that first machine so I could sew in the dining room, sew in my college dorm, and sew my entire life”
I was visiting a friend soon after it came out and I realised that if I did all the bondaweb first, I could take it with me and blanket-stitch round by hand whilst I was chatting. It worked perfectly so when I was visiting again this week I chose the rabbit applique to stitch. This one is designed by Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs, it’s called Sunday Best. It’s a little twee for me but it’s all good practice.
Foundation paper piecing is a very new for me, I did it for the first time a few blocks ago, I still have to really concentrate but at least I don’t have to get the instructions out each time now. Charise Randalls block is a really pretty block but it did take some concentration, there’s some very small pieces in that block and it’s definitely the most complicated FPP I’ve done so far. I’m pretty pleased with how it came out.
One evening I just had an hour or so to spare, so I chose a simpler block called Hand in Hand. Well, I say simpler, it did have a new technique in where fabric is folded and not stitched down. Karri Carr wrote a lovely piece about this block;
“Without a doubt, the person who influenced me the most with sewing and crafting was my mom. With an abundance of patience and kindness she shared her knowledge with me from a very early age. She had the daintiest of hands that created such beautiful things for our home. I loved to watch her create and found such peace and contentment as we worked together at the sewing machine. I designed this block with red in the center, representing Mom’s heart. Radiating from her to future generations we will go hand in hand creating, sewing, loving.”
So I’ve stitched 26 blocks so far, I’m a quarter of the way through and only four blocks sitting on my desk waiting to be done…mind you, one of them is Dresden Plates, so that might be sitting there a while!!
I’m linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday, why not have a look what everyone else is hand-stitching.