Quilting, The Splendid Sampler
Comments 43

The Splendid Sampler


I first heard about The Splendid Sampler on Poppy in Stitches blog earlier in the month.   One of the big things I want to do in 2016 is make a quilt so I headed straight over to find out more.

Then Margaret from Crafty Creek made a block too, and they started popping up all over Instagram.

Basically, two 6 inch blocks are released each week and eventually you’ll end up with 100 squares all ready to be sewn into a quilt!  Seemed simple enough.

I needed to go shopping.  I’m not a quilter and although I have a moderate stash it’s nearly all dressmaking fabric.

For my initial shopping spree just to get me going I bought 4 half metre pieces.

Armed with 3 of the fabric pieces, the instructions and my new big quilting ruler I was all set.

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I soon discovered the pale spotty fabric was a bit flimsy.

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So changed the spotty fabric for the 4th fabric I’d bought…

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Yup, much better.  It was soon sewn up in no time….

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And I’m in love!!  How cool is that!!??  The hand stitched appliqué was a little tedious and I could be tempted to use another method next time but nevertheless this time consuming 6 inch square did not deter me from making block number 2.

What did deter me though was lack of fabric.  I had to go shopping again as 6 different fabrics were needed for the next block.   A smaller quilting ruler was also needed as the large one nearly wafted the tiny squares straight off the table!  And starch.  I needed starch!  The maker of block 2 said so.  I looked everywhere.  Supermarkets big and small.  Corner shop. I eventually found some in my mums utility room.  I should’ve looked there first!

So here’s my expanding fabric stash of quilting cottons….

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So far so good.

2 hours later i had all my squares starched and cut out in sizes ranging from 1 1/2 inch to 2 1/4 inch.

And then arranged into this ( I don’t have a fancy arranger thingy so I used kitchen roll)..

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Now all I have to do is sew it all together!

But Happy Valley on in 5 minutes so it will have to be tomorrow!

I’m thinking maybe as a newbie would-be quilter I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

Until next time………..



  1. Looks great, love your piano fabric! I’m thinking of getting a 6″ square ruler as my 24″ one is somewhat cumbersome 🙂 I’m hoping Thursdays will be a bit simpler!!

  2. Those look great! I don’t mind cutting and sewing the small squares, but I’m not a super fan of sewing HSTs and then trimming to size–so tedious! I tend to agree with you that this may not be the best project to start with, since the instructions can be a little bit minimal. If you’re willing to google a bit for help, you’ll be able to figure it out, though. And it’ll be a great way to try a bunch of different techniques so you can get a sense of what you want to do more of later.

    • Each designer has done really good set of instructions and there’s loads of links of the website so I’m getting through so far 😀

  3. Wow! Quilts scare me so again I am in awe of your fearlessness! Looking forward to your next block. Is the quilt for you?

  4. You are fearless. My first was just squares and I was chuffed. Yours is real quilting. Great idea doing it a bit at a time K xXx

  5. I really love the fabrics you’ve chosen for your blocks! I love quilting, but only on a small scale; I like making the blocks but not putting them together! Ha!

  6. I started a quilt once in college. It was a hexagonal monster, and after cutting millions of pieces, it all went into a box never to be seen again.
    You however, are a champ! This debut quilt is going to be fabulous. I love the piano fabric, and that you have lots of black and white. Crafty lady, you.

    • A hexagon monster!! Sounds scary!! I bet that was all hand stitched though. At least with this it’s mainly machine stitched. 🙂

  7. Well, you’ve certainly thrown yourself in at the deep end with the tiny piecing! Bon courage with all those points 😉 I’m dying to see how you get on.
    Your fabric stash will soon grow (how do I know this?;). Be a little careful with the fabrics – too flimsy or too thick can really cause problems – try to keep them all a similar weight and quality then, if you do ever decide to quilt it yourself, it will be easier. I’m put off by quilting a huge quilt – wrestling one under a domestic sewing machine is no fun in my opinion and I don’t have anyone offering a longarm quilting service near me otherwise I’d be sorely tempted. I’m trying a quilt as you go method with my current sampler quilt where you assemble each block like a mini quilt then join them all together afterward. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll point you towards a couple of good tutorials on YouTube.

    • That sounds interesting, a link would be fab! I love watching videos and learning new stuff even if I can’t have a go at it straight away. I think bits of knowledge stick and then when I do something I often wonder why I know how to do it, but it’s because I’m constantly picking up tips and techniques. 🙂

  8. Ali, you amaze me with this latest project ~ well done you! I looked at the site later yesterday and remain uninterested in doing any meself, but really admire what others do. (I did spot the keyboard cotton straight away – fab!) The quilt store fairly close to me has a long arm quilting machine… I think that’s what it is. Will take a piccie next time I’m over. xx

    • I’ve not seen one in real life and I think it’s not cheap to have it done, but I think it would be worth it for something big – If this works out I’d be gutted if a ruined it with naff quilting. I can see why you’re not interested though, 2 to 3 hours work for a 6 inch square isn’t everyones cup of tea, and when I’m an hour into each one I wonder if it’s for me too. Then I finish it and am really chuffed! 🙂

    • I try and have something to do in front of the telly now and again otherwise I think the family must think I’m a bit unsociable 🙂

  9. Claire Sutherland. says

    Wow, well done you for giving this a go. I have started having a practice attempt at quilting with some scrap fabrics. I thought I was being brave using the Moda Love Charm free pattern but yours is on a different scale!!

    • I think anything news tricky, but I didn’t realise at first just how tricky these little squares would be! It’s getting easier and the spray starch is a life saver! Good luck with yours 🙂

    • You could have something on the go to just pick up and do in the odd half an hour here and there. I’m enjoying it because sometimes unless I have an occasion to sew for I can’t get my head into gear to do something 😃

  10. You’re an experienced enough sewer to have no problems with quilting. Just remember that while it is fantastic to get perfect matching seams, on the finished quilt hardly anyone is going to scrutinize every single block to see if they’re perfectly aligned… This advice will keep you sane. 😉 Quilting fabrics are addictive though…

    • Thanks for the advice, I think I’ll need to remind myself of that when it comes to sewing it all together. Does the sashing between the squares help even things up? 🙂

      • I think you can use the sashing to smuggle a bit, but I don’t use sashing often. I find that if you have to ease something a little bit to make it fit it doesn’t show anymore after it’s been quilted and washed. It gets all wrinkly anyway. 😉

  11. Really lovely fabric choices. Having never made a quilt either, I’d find it very daunting to start with something like this, so good for you for diving right in!!

    • It’s been surprisingly more fun that I thought it would be, esspecially waiting for the next block to be released and then seeing all the variations. 🙂

  12. Pingback: Time For Teal | T H I M B E R L I N A

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