I’ve managed to make four blocks of My Splendid Sampler Quilt over the last week or so, so I’m slowly catching up, unfortunately as they come out twice a week it’s like two steps forward, one step back!
Block 33 was designed by Pat Sloan, one of the joint organisers of the whole project. It’s a lovely block made from selvages. The selvage on printed fabrics often has the name of the fabric, the manufacturer and also a pretty row of colour circles, all the dyes included in the making of the cloth. Apparently now some quilting fabrics change the circles to little fun shapes such as rabbits or frogs! By joining them altogether, you have a nice record of some of the fabrics used to make the quilt.
I picked the ones that had the prettiest selvages and used some of the decorative stitches on my sewing machine to stitch them to the base cloth. A variegated quilting thread gave a bit of variety to the stitches. Once the selvages were stitched together it was easy enough to trim it neatly to the right size. I really like this block and it was nice and quick to stitch.
Christa Watson designed block 29, it’s a foundation paper pieced heart. I tried to use as many of my fabrics as I could, there’s fifteen different fabrics in this block, so again it makes a nice record for the sampler quilt. Foundation paper piecing doesn’t fill me with trepidation like it did just a few months ago, I quite like it as a technique now, though I do seem to waste more fabric! I managed to fussy-cut my bunny fabric and also the row of birds.My one frustration with this block is that I trimmed it incorrectly. They are all 6.5″ blocks and conveniently one of my quilting rulers is 6.5″ square. Unfortunately I lined up the bottom point with the 1/2″ line, not the 1/4″ one, so the top of the heart is slightly lower than it should be!
Block 32 was the next one to be tackled, it’s designed by Laurie Simpson. It’s called ‘the Constant Stitcher’ She says about this block “There is never a moment I don’t have a stitching project in progress. Always stitching, everyday for the last 50 years.”
I used bondaweb to applique and then hand-stitched blanket stitch all the way round, it’s a pretty but simple to make block and there are times when that is perfect!
I’ve been looking forward to block 31 for a while as it was designed by Jenny Reynolds of Elefantz, I’ve been following her blog and collecting her patterns for a while, just never got round to embroidering them. When others started posting their finished blocks on facebook there were a few really pretty ones that had been coloured in. They had used children’s wax crayons! I went straight down to the supermarket and bought myself a box of crayola crayons!
I traced the design on to the cotton and then started to colour in some of the shapes, half way through I really wasn’t sure about this technique as it looked abit childish, for want of a better word. I decided to persevere and embroider the design. I chose to just use a variegated thread rather than swapping colours every two minutes. I’m not sure who made this thread, it’s not DMC and may even be hand dyed from years ago. It’s a funny mixture of colours, blue and green with shades of terracotte, on the reel it really doesn’t jump out but it sews up really nicely. I used it for an earlier block and it blends in well with my colour scheme.
I was careful which order I embroidered shapes in as I realised I didn’t have a huge amount of thread left and I didn’t want to end up with one corner done in a different colour. I was right to be concerned, I was about 12″ short, so the last three lengths of stitching were done in a different thread but as it’s scattered through the design it doesn’t show.
I’m really pleased with this one and the colouring looked much neater once I’d embroidered round the shapes.
As another block came out today I’m still four blocks behind, and I still haven’t done the Dresden Circle block!