It’s time for a little celebration! I have just finished the last two blocks of my Splendid Sampler journey. We started a year ago, two blocks a week with a couple of weeks off at Christmas for good behaviour and on Sunday the final block design was released! Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson who are the architects of this amazing project are publishing a book with all the designs in, it’s out in a couple of months time, so if anyone fancies making themselves a Splendid Sampler, and learning so much a long the way…I can recommend it!
I’ve actually got three blocks to show you, block 97 was designed by Lynn Harris, it’s a mixture of a french Fleur de Lis and Hawaiian applique techniques. It’s called Fleur de Lei, I must admit I chickened out of the Hawaiian tecnique and just used bondaweb and blanket stitch. I used a variegated DMC thread, I wasn’t sure about the colours at first as the fabric is a very soft green whereas the thread had alot of yellowy green in it, but as soon as I started sewing with it I liked it, it just gives a bit of a subtle lift to the block.
The penultimate block was by Kimberly Einmo, it’s called ‘Four Corner Spinwheel’. I really enjoy doing pinwheels now so this was a pleasure to make. Kimberley describes this block as representing her quilting life; ‘I love travelling around the world to meet quilters from all four corners of the globe! My hectic –but fun — travel schedule is represented by the pinwheel and the fact that I often feel like my life is spinning by in a whirl as I travel to teach! But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. There are four blades which make up the double pinwheel and four triangles in the block corners which represent the four corners of the globe. I’m always happiest when I’m travelling and meeting quilters’
The final block was designed by Kate Spain, it’s called ‘Centred’. It was a lovely block to finish with, it took a bit of thought to work the colours out, and a bit of time and concentration (not to mention the odd outing for the stitch ripper!) to stitch it. I decided my rabbit fabric could have a final outing for this block, it seemed apt seen as they also had pride of place on the very first block, they are surrounded by a field of flowers!
Her inspiration for the block was the calmness that sewing and quilting can have, ‘I made my first quilt in 2009, around the time I designed Verna, my first fabric collection for Moda. The methodical attention, care and focus it takes to measure, cut, and sew fabric pieces together is a surprisingly calming activity that I enjoy more than I could have imagined. But the part I love most is free-motion quilting, nothing fancy, just whatever transpires on my home sewing machine. To me, it’s like doodling with thread and the meandering, unpredictable pathways draw me in to wander along and to see where they go. Work, deadlines and the busyness of every day life dissolve into a zen-like state where I feel peaceful, centered, and simply happy. The design of my “Centered” block is meant to reflect this feeling and all the tranquil moments I treasure at my sewing machine. ‘
I completely agree with Kate on the relaxing nature of sewing, how you can lose yourself when sewing , by hand or machine. It’s also very satisfying, especially when you have finished 100 different blocks!
I’ve quilted over three quarters of my blocks and this is my pile of trimmed blocks ready to stitch together. I’ve trimmed them all to 8″ square as they need to be exactly the same size for quilt as you go. Just got to start stitching them all together…