My Splendid Sampler Quilt Finale!!

Last night I was doing a happy dance round my sewing room! I have finally finished my Splendid Sampler Quilt, it’s been quite a journey, pushing me out of my comfort zone, but I did it!!

For those of you who haven’t been reading my posts for long, this journey styarted in February last year. Pat Sloan is a quilt and fabric designer and a fantastic teacher, she has a brilliant website and facebook page, she organised the Splendid Sampler quilt with Jane Davidson as a quilt-a-long. Over 80 designers from around the world each designed a 6″ block and every Sunday and Thursday a new pattern would be released, 100 blocks in total.

There were all sorts of designs and new techniques to learn. I didn’t know anything about foundation paper piecing before, the first time I did it I couldn’t get my head round it at all, without the support of the facebook group and the designers, I would have struggled at times, but there was always someone there with a bit of advice and encouragement. There are applique blocks, pieced blocks, embroidered blocks, foundation paper piecing and English paper piecing, big squares, tiny squares, folded squares.

One thing I think I got better at was choosing my fabrics, there are some blocks that just don’t work, too busy or not enough contrast, other blocks positively sing! The advantage of 6″ blocks is that it does encourage you to just have a go, what’s the worst that can happen! You’re not committing lots of fabric and time to a design or technique you might not like, on the other hand you might find you love a new technique, like I did (eventually!) with foundation paper piecing.

Some of my favourite blocks!

The facebook page was great, lots of support and tips, for example I’d never heard of furling seams before, but it makes a much neater block. Everyone posted photos of their blocks and it was amazing seeing how different the blocks looked in different colourways. There were some amazingly creative quilters too who kept to the design whilst making it their own, one lady incorporated beautiful appliqued geese onto the blocks, another was making it a Christmas quilt, so blocks became Santas and snowmen etc. There were a few very talented embroiderers who just put a little bit of exquisite embroidery on each block. There were a few who you looked forward to seeing their blocks each week as they were so beautiful. The camaraderie was (and still is) great! Many people are just starting their quilts so if anyone fancy’s making their own Splendid Sampler quilt, Pat and Jane are publishing a book with all the designs in, so you can do it in your own time.

I decided fairly early on to use quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) which was another new technique to me, as I wanted to quilt each block according to the design, rather than a random allover pattern. It would also have been rather a big quilt for me to have managed on my machine. I started sashing the blocks in earlyΒ summer and started quilting soon after. Half the blocks have an ivory pattern fabric backing and the other half have a variety of pretty fabrics. I was hot and cold on this idea pretty much as soon as I had started it, but once committed I had to continue, it caused a few headaches when I was arranging the blocks, but I love the chequerboard back now.

I still had quite a few unquiltedΒ in February when I finished the last block but at least I was nearly there. Some blocks are quilted in the ditch, others with free-motion quilting, I did notice that there was definitely a correlation between how much I liked the block and how adventurous I was with the quilting – I think the blocks I really like I was scared of spoiling them with the quilting, when I wasn’t too bothered about them I tried all sorts of different quilting patterns! It’s taken me about a month to finish all the quilting and stitch it all together. I had a few disagreements with my sewing machine whilst I worked out which bit it didn’t like, but we made friends in the end!

I didn’t spend too much time trying to arrange the blocks, mainly as it was a bit too overwhelming having 100 to choose from. In the end I chose 16, half with ivory backs and half with a variety of patterns, I tried to have a selection of types, embroidered, appliqued etc as I didn’t want say, all the appliqued blocks to end up in the same area. I stitched those together and then moved on to the next 16. The only two blocks I placed in a specific place was my label block in the bottom right hand corner and the selvage block just above it as I thought that one made a nice record of a lot of the fabrics I used.

Once the blocks were together I just had to bind it, I like hand-stitching binding, it took me a couple of evenings but I find it pretty relaxing.

It’s been an amazing quilt to work on, it’s been a pretty intensive year trying to keep up with the block releases and it has seemed to take over a bit. However much they say work at your own speed it’s not a race, I did try and more or less keep up, mainly because I desperately didn’t want it to end up as a UFO! At the beginning I thought the name Splendid Sampler was a bit odd, but I can see now that the quilt is a sampler in the true sense of the word as it showcases so many different techniques. I loved making it but I’m glad I’ve finished it as I’m ready to move on to something else now, there’s a few clothes I need to make…oh and two quilts by the end of May!

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
This entry was posted in Quilting, Serendipity, Splendid Sampler Quilt and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to My Splendid Sampler Quilt Finale!!

  1. Faby Reilly says:

    I love those colours! So beautiful!!

    Like

  2. Cindy Maskal says:

    I had not been to your blog, but after seeing your post of the front and back of your finished splendid sampler, here I am. I love your quilt, but I am just flabbergasted at the way you lined up the back. I think I’m going to be laying in bed tonight wide awake figuring out the logistics. Did you quilt each square as you went along? Is that it? Absolutely love the front and back combination

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cindy Maskal says:

      Ok, I was too excited to stop to read. I am still very impressed by the forethought that went into your backing colors from the beginning.

      Like

      • craftycreeky says:

        Thanks Cindy, I did get cold feet a few times with the backing, wondering if I’d done the right thing, my original plan was that would all be patterned, but I decided half and half a couple of months in, I think that was a good move, once I’d started it patterned, I had to continue πŸ™‚

        Like

  3. This is amazing it looks brilliant and the colours work great with the backing too!! Congrats on finishing it!

    Like

  4. Irene Storteboom says:

    It looks truly splendid! I am not nearly as far along as you are, just finished block 84, and have not started sashing and quilting yet. But after seeing your blocks over time and the end result, I will be doing QAYG. To me, a very new quilter, doing this sampler has introduced me to so many skills and techniques, which I probably would not have attempted if it weren’t for the SS. Thank you for sharing many projects over time, I love reading about them and seeing the results. I also enjoy the gardening posts, as our garden Is quite a bit like yours, just stretched out a bit more. Happy spring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • craftycreeky says:

      Thanks Irene, I’m pretty new too, so it’s been a huge learning curve for me as well, pushed me out of my comfort zone more than a few times! You’re nearly there at 84, look forward to seeing yours too πŸ™‚

      Like

  5. CurlsnSkirls says:

    HUGE Congratulations, Margaret – it’s beautiful!
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kathyreeves says:

    This is one gorgeous quilt Margaret! πŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thimberlina says:

    Wow! It’s stunning! I always loved all your updates and wish I could’ve kept up to it. It looks even better than I thought it would now it’s finished, and I love the checkered finish on the reverse too. Well done and finishing it, I bet you’ll inspire the others to finish theirs too. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! I love it! I officially put my finished quilt on the bed yesterday and it was great to just look at the finished quilt for a while. I also used much different fabrics than my norm, but I was happy with the end result. I love the colors in yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. claire93 says:

    what a lovely journey it has been, watching you make your SS blocks over the year, and seeing them all come together. It sounds like it’s been a really positive experience, so much learning, and so much camaraderie with other patchworkers.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. nanacathy2 says:

    Its very very pretty and real heirloom

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow! Incredibly impressive and I love the quilting.

    Like

  12. lovelucie1 says:

    This is simply amazing! I can’t imagine how much works has gone into this. Or rather I can and I am dumbfounded!
    One day I too shall quilt! Congratulations on such a successful project. x

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Leslie Wittenberg says:

    I am in love with your quilt!!!! Could you clarify your construction for me? Did you attach 16 together, put batting under and attach 16 together for the back, or did you sandwich each individually then attach 16 together for quilting? I really want to try qayg and am scared to mess it up. I really don’t want to send it out and I’ve bought a new machine that I want to use.

    Like

    • craftycreeky says:

      Thanks Leslie, it’s the first time I’ve done QAYG too, I sashed each block and then sandwiched and quilted them individually, this meant I could really try and quilt according to the design. I then stitched the blocks together following a great tutorial by Kate Chiconi, I’ve explained it in a previous post with links to the tutorial, just follow the link Kate is really helpful if you get stuck too, the important thing is that all your blocks are exactly the same size. My sewing machine struggled a bit when I was sewing the second seam as the first seam was so close so the levels were uneven (you’ll see what I mean when you start!) in the end I stitched from the back, whereas I would have preferred to stitch from the front. I hand-stitched the final seam down (it’s a bit like stitching your binding down) I found QAYG ideal for this type of quilt. I stitched 4 blocks of 16 together, then all the rest in 4’s, I then stitched these together, it’s a matter of avoiding the longest seams as much as poss. Good luck πŸ™‚

      Like

    • craftycreeky says:

      Hi Leslie, the front qayg strips were 1″ wide, I’m sure I bought 2m for the teal strips and the binding and I had sufficient. The back strips are 1.5″ wide, so I think 2m would do it again. The squares are more tricky to work out as it depends on how wide you trim them before you quilt and how big your finished squares are, with the sashing round the blocks mine were 8″ when I quilted them, I then trimmed them to 7.5″ to make sure they were all exactly the same size. Hope that helps.

      Like

  14. Woo hoo!! Congratulations from Arizona!! I am almost finished with mine and love the inspiration and comraderie as well. Your quilt is simply SPLENDID!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. lucyannluna says:

    Well done. Looks fantastic

    Liked by 1 person

  16. KerryCan says:

    This is a huge accomplishment and it’s beautiful! You won’t be afraid of anything in quilting now–you’ve done it all!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Congrats! I’ve printed out all the blocks, but, that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

    Like

  18. Pingback: Stitch-a-long 9 | thecraftycreek

  19. karenlogcabinquilter says:

    I like the way the back looks on the quilt.

    Like

  20. Nancy says:

    Great job finishing the Amazing Sampler! That’s what I’m calling it. QAYG–brilliant!!! The backing looks great, too.

    Like

  21. It is amazing and beautiful and it sounds as if you had a great group to work with as well. Congratulations on a wonderful finish!! πŸ™‚

    Like

  22. daneesey says:

    Your Splendid Sampler is, well, quite splendid! i love that you used the QAYG method…it does lend itself to quilting the block’s personality vs. the entire projects personality, which can be very different things … especially with so many designers! Great work — it’s a beautiful finish! πŸ™‚

    Like

  23. Gail says:

    What a wonderful quilt. I have made a few sampler quilts…they are a great way to try out new techniques and new blocks. Congrats on your finish

    Like

  24. Lynette says:

    Oh, wow! And it’s so pretty in that room. I definitely remember the first time I did foundation paper piecing. Oh, it made me cry! Then I did a hands on class with Judy Niemeyer and learned quite a few tricks, and now it’s a frequent go-to for me when I want certain results. πŸ˜€ Funny how things work like that sometimes.

    Like

  25. sewchet says:

    Absolutely stunning! I’m so impressed with everything about this quilt and can’t quite believe it only took a year to complete!

    Like

  26. rivahratsquilting says:

    Love your splendid sampler. The back is nearly as stunning as the front!!

    Like

  27. Leslie Wittenberg says:

    I have to finish my farmers wife quilt so I can focus on the last 30 splendid blocks. Some I will have to redo. You’re right about fabric selection! I was curious if you sewed around the edge of each block before joining? I’ve read that some people do that to give it more security but wasn’t sure if that was necessary. I wish I hadn’t trimmed some of them already before quilting

    Like

    • craftycreeky says:

      I didn’t sew or quilt in the sashing round each block, but I did stitch in the ditch round the actual SS block, I decided that as the sashing was only 1.5″ I could get away without quilting as well πŸ™‚

      Like

  28. Sheryll says:

    Your quilt is beautiful. I am just now beginning to put my SS quilt together. As I do this, I will be re-doing some blocks,, as I have become so much more proficient at many of the techniques! That’s a wonderful thing. It means, for me, the sampler was worth every second during the year I spent on it!

    Like

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