This week in the City Sampler

I am having so much fun doing the City Sampler sew-along! One block per day for 100 days, started on July 7, 2018. Here are my first seven blocks: I love them all but I think Block #3 is my favorite of this set. Which do you like best? These blocks are from Tula Pink’s…

Block 69 Full Circle

I really like how the quilting came out on this block! It was a little tricky to piece, but definitely worth it. When I quilted it, I wanted to emphasize the stripes in the top half of the circle, so I quilted straight lines about 1/4″ or so apart. In the bottom half, I used…

Bonus Block: Top of the Hill

I like the quilting in the hill and in the background on this block, but I’m not as happy with the echoed circles inside the sun (or moon, if you prefer). They aren’t as even as I’d like. I went a little too fast, I think. They do give it a sketched look that’s kind…

Tula Pink’s City Sampler Sew-Along by Gnome Angel

I’m starting a new quilt! What, is that weird? Just because I already have 7 quilts in progress? Oh, wait, 8, counting my hand quilting project. Where was I? I’ve had the City Sampler book by Tula Pink for a while, and I’ve become a bit of a Tula fangirl. I’ve been meaning to make…

Block 70 Bows

This block makes me laugh every time I see it. Two of my bows are pointing in the wrong direction, and I didn’t notice at all until I sat down to quilt the block! I remember carefully arranging them, too, thinking I was doing it correctly. Hah! Funny how you can just not notice something…

Extra block: Susan’s Valentine

Embroidery is not my favorite stitching activity. For one thing, I have a cat who will happily shred any embroidered quilt that I put on a bed or couch, so including an embroidered block automatically means the quilt will either need to be hung on the wall or hidden away. However, the Splendid Sampler included…

Block 64 Rising Star

This one was fun to make. I really like the secondary pattern made by the orange corners, even if mine don’t quite line up perfectly 😉 For the quilting, I wanted to practice dot-to-dot free motion quilting in the outer squares. I used a chalk pencil to draw a diagonal line across each square connecting…

Bonus Block: Butterfly Charm Block (Pepper)

I included this block in my Splendid Sampler quilt because I came across the pattern while working on the Sampler and it delighted me. I added a little extra framing to make it the right size, since the pattern has the blocks finishing at 5″ instead of the 6″ needed for the Sampler. I love…

Block 58 Homeward Bound

Quilting on reverse of block 58 Homeward Bound I love this block design! I really like flying geese blocks, though I don’t use them often, and the graduated color and scale in this one are very pleasing. With the quilting, I wanted to emphasize the sense of motion by making lines that ‘stream’ out from…

David’s Critters: The finished quilt!

This one came together so quickly that I didn’t even take progress photos! I made it for my son, who is almost-but-not-quite too old for a critter quilt. Just sneaked it in under the wire 🙂 The pattern was designed by Wendi Gratz of Shiny Happy World and is available in her shop. I highly…

Block 52 Coneflower

Quilting on reverse of block 52 Coneflower I’m still working out good approaches for quilting on and around appliqué and embroidery. For this block, I wanted to suggest the bumpy texture of the center of the flower, so I quilted some loops in there. I also wanted the appliqué to stand out, so I echoed…

Block 34 Lemonade

This was another easy and fun block to make. Since there were only two small curved patches, I did them by hand. I chose simple quilting, just a wishbone inside the lemon, echoing outside, and some light outlining to set off the white square and the corners. I used a thread that would show up…

Block 29 Scrappy Happy Heart

One of the nicest things about joining the Splendid Sampler Quilt-Along was discovering new (to me) quilters and designers. Christa Watson, who designed this block, was one of those discoveries. I love her blog and her easy and happy quilt designs. This was one of my favorite blocks to piece. I have mixed feelings about…

Block 28 Stitching Fashion

The original design for this block includes the dress, a spool of thread, and a needle, but I decided the dress would be enough of a challenge on its own. It was paper pieced and some of those pieces are tiny (all the Sampler blocks finish at 6″ square, not including the blue borders). I’ve…

Block 22 Goose on the Loose

I’m working my way through these blocks! At this point, all the piecing and setting is done (I made 70 blocks in all) and I’m quilting each one. I chose quilt-as-you-go so that I could easily do custom quilting on every block. Once I’ve quilted them all, I’ll join them together, add the backing, and…

Block 21 Sweet Candy

When I chose the quilting for this block, I decided to echo the candy theme with some ribbon candy in the center square and then use loops in the orange triangles to suggest the crinkly edges of a candy wrapper. I practiced continuous curves in the lighter background squares (clearly, more practice is needed) and…

Block 16 Pieces of Friendship

I love how this block comes together. It looks complicated, but Lindsay’s design is deceptively simple. When this block came up in my to-quilt pile, I had just learned the fern design (Angela Walters again, I love her Craftsy classes) and I wanted to practice it, so I decided to use it in the dark…

Bright Sisters: Making the first block

I’m excited! All the little units are cut and pieced, and I’m ready to assemble the first block of this beautiful quilt! Just as a reminder, this is where I’m headed: And this is where I am now: Okay, so I have a ways to go. Time to dive in! Here’s what I did… Laying…

Block 5 Simple Simon

Simple Simon was easy and fun to make. I wanted the quilting to emphasize the gold stripes, so I didn’t quilt over them. I also wanted to enhance the contrast between the light green and dark green background squares. I did a simple back and forth line in the lighter squares, and I practiced the…

Bright Sisters: Half-Square Triangle Units

It all starts with two 8″ squares. Bright Sisters has 320 half-square triangle (HST) units (3.5″ unfinished size) — not my favorite unit to cut and piece. Luckily for me, I discovered the Magic 8 Method (thank you, Karen Walker!) before I even bought the fabric for this quilt and I was able to plan…

Block 24 Inspector Sidekick

My flying geese are improving! I still cut the points off where they meet the borders, but the inside ones came out pretty well, and the seams match up (mostly) inside the block. I’m making progress! I chose continuous curve and echoing for the quilting. I did the center square first, and had to break…

Extra Block: String Hearts Variation

This block was inspired by the blocks in Elizabeth Dackson’s String Heart quilt combined with my desire to use up some skinny scraps from other Splendid Sampler blocks. She posted the original pattern and tutorial in 2013 but I found it in 2016, so the block ended up in my sampler quilt. The free pattern…

Bonus Block: Earth Day

This bonus block was released in honor of Earth Day, April 22, 2016. To make it, I broke my rule of not using blue in my blocks (I set up that constraint to challenge myself to explore other colors, because I love blue) because the earth in the center is supposed to be blue and…

Block 40 Flights of Friendship

I love this block design, and I don’t love how I quilted it. Definitely a live-and-learn moment. The block features four happy little dancing stars. In the original pattern, the stars are colorful and the background is plain, but I saw another quilter’s variation (she is Rat Ferré from Barcelona, but I can’t find her…

Blogger’s Quilt Festival!

What a lovely idea: an online quilt festival featuring quilts by bloggers! The Blogger’s Quilt Festival is hosted by Amy Ellis (Amy’s Creative Side). I discovered it this year for the first time and I’m delighted to share Jude’s Foxes as my entry in the Fall 2017 Edition. I completed Jude’s Foxes earlier this year…

Block 18 Lina’s Gift

This is my first basket block ever! The basket is a traditional quilting design with lots of variations. I’m pleased with the colors I chose even though it didn’t come out looking basket-like. It looks more like the bear’s paw block because I chose a dark green instead of a lighter background color for the triangle…

Bright Sisters: Drunkard’s Path Units

I made 160 curved units without using a single pin. Here’s how: The Long Version Bright Sisters, the colorblock quilt I’m making for my sister, contains 160 curved patches (drunkard’s path units). On these units, the edge of the circle comes within 1/4″ of the edge of the block, meaning that the circle should be…

Block 17 Family Stars

I like the hidden star in the center of this block. It was a little fiddly to do all the tiny flying geese units (which just means I need more practice), and I definitely stunted some of the points on the stars, but I love the way it sparkles on the block. I wanted the…

Block 4 Happy, Happy

I enjoy appliqué, so this block was fun to do. When it was time to quilt it, I wanted the little flower circles to pop up and the background to recede, so I echoed around the shape of the vase and flowers and then quilted close back & forth lines in the background squares. I…

Block 71 First Stitch

I’ll admit I have mixed feelings about how I quilted this one. I tried some big-little loops in the yellow pieces but they don’t thrill me. The rest looks fine, but I had to break thread a bunch of times to make it work out in the pattern I wanted. I was kind of glad…

Bonus block: Inside Out

I had a lot of fun making this block and deciding how to orient the four log cabin units. Pat Sloan designed it and she shows three different layouts in the pattern (I think I used a fourth). When it came to quilting it, I wanted to use a design that contrasted with the angles…

Bright Sisters: Nine-Patch Units

There are 80 nine-patch units (3.5″ unfinished size) in the Bright Sisters quilt. I used a traditional strip-piecing method to create them: The strips (and most of the units and pieces photographed here) are lying on my beloved Magic Pressing Mat. It’s a compressed felt mat that sits on my ironing board and gives me…

Block 48 Whim

I decided to use an allover design to quilt Whim and went with an echoed paisley that I’m trying to improve. It’s one that Angela Walters does in a lot of her videos. I’m struggling a little with the teardrop shape, but I’m getting there! I like the way it looks on this block. I…

Bright Sisters: Cutting the first fabrics

The first cut into freshly washed and pressed fabric is both terrifying and thrilling. I get over the terror by focusing on how much I want to make the quilt top. This one took a lot of focus, even though I kept telling myself if I totally screwed it up, the solid fabrics I’m working…

Block 39 Balls in the Air

This one was tricky to piece with all the little tiny slices! I accidentally skipped a step at one point and had to pick out a seam and re-do it. But it came out all right in the end. I went with very simple quilting that pressed down the dark green spears to make them…

First place ribbon at the fair!

Today was the first chance I had to visit the Sonoma County Fair and see my quilt Jude’s Foxes on display — and there it was, with a blue first place ribbon attached! I am astonished, delighted, and thrilled. It’s the first quilt I’ve ever entered in a fair of any kind. I’m so honored…

Block 30 Simple Surprises

I really like the way this block turned out. I wanted to add some diagonals for movement, and then it looked right to bracket the two green squares with echoed lines to give the block some solidity. I did the red-brown quilting first and then finished up with the dark green triangles that divide each…

Block 11 Crocheted Thoughts

The original design for this block includes an embroidered motif that looks like a crocheted doily and crochet hook. Somehow I never got around to doing that part, so when all my other blocks were finished I decided to embroider the quilt title, my name, and the date instead. I quilted a leaf design in…

Free motion quilting practice!

This week I practiced two new-to-me free motion quilting designs: paisley feathers and meandering flowers. I was binge-watching quilting videos on YouTube one evening and found Angela Walters’ tutorials for the two designs (paisley feathers here, meandering flowers here) and thought I’d give them a try. I’ve practiced on several of Leah Day’s designs from…

Block 26 Dreaming of Dresdens

This is one of those blocks that I was sure I was ruining while I was quilting it, but when it was done I decided I like it after all. I quilted the zigzags in the background first and then did the arcs inside the Dresden petals and outlined the inner circle. I went around…

Block 66 Happy Thoughts

I had fun piecing this block and wanted to quilt it in a way that emphasized the motif in the middle that looks like it’s dancing. I quilted around the center square and then around edge of the brown shape, creating a diagonal line from the corners of the square to the edges so I…

Bright Sisters begins

I’ve been watching The Midnight Quilt Show on YouTube featuring the marvelous Angela Walters (Quilting Is My Therapy) and I fell in love with the quilt featured in this episode the minute I saw it: The pattern is called Color Block Drunkard’s Path and was designed by Carl Hensch (3 Dog Design). It’s available on Craftsy….

Block 36 Inchy Hexagon Club

I realize you can’t even see the quilting on the front of this block, which is probably just as well. Neither could I while I was quilting it 🙂 I echoed the outer edge of the hexagon ring and attempted a small-scale meandering fill in the black background. I wanted the hexie ring to stand…

Extra Block Spinning Stars

This one isn’t actually a Splendid Sampler pattern, but I found it while I was working on the Sampler and decided (crazily, as it turns out) to make it at 6.5″ size and add it to my sampler. Whew. I can’t recommend making this block that size. The paper-piecing pattern is from Yvonnes.dk and it…

Free download: Fabric Cutting Diagram

I created this fabric cutting diagram for complex quilts, but I might just use it for all my quilts. In the “measure twice, cut once” world a visual representation of what you’re going to cut counts for a lot! Here’s a completed example using one of the fabrics for my Bright Sisters quilt (pictures of…

Jude’s Foxes

This quilt was created for my nephew Jude. He and my son are only six months apart in age, so poor Jude didn’t get a baby quilt when he was born like his older sister did. As partial compensation for a baby quilt delivered 17 years late, I asked him for his input on the…

Block 35 The Wishful Garden

This block was fun because I haven’t done much embroidery, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it and how well it came out. I wasn’t sure how to quilt around embroidery so I did a little research and found (unsurprisingly) that you don’t quilt over it. I started with gold thread…

Block 14 Flying High

This one went very quickly as I only quilted in gold. I started with a wavy line from edge to edge, then echoed back along it. I traveled along the block edge, started the second line, and quilted up to the first seagull. Then I echoed around the seagull until I reached where I’d started,…

Quilting the Splendid Sampler with QAYG

  I decided to try quilt-as-you-go for the first time on my Splendid Sampler. After all, this sampler is about learning new techniques! To do this, I sashed each 6.5″ unfinished block in 2″ wide blue sashing and placed it on a square of batting slightly larger than the sashed block. I wanted the sashing…