The Splendid Sampler™: Block 90

2017_02_27

Last but not least, block n.90 of The Splendid Sampler ! With this one, I have sewn all 100 blocks, following the patterns and trying not to deviate much from them.

This particular one is called “Juggling”, by Lorena Uriarte. I left this one to be sewn at the end because it requires lots of fabric, and I wasn’t sure about the prints I was going to use. Also, because it was really a tricky one, with those angled lines in the balls and the loops made of bias, and all of the pieces needle-turned appliquéd on place. For the balls, I went back and forward basting only the intersection of the stripes until they matched, then I moved forward to sew the whole seam. The tips on Lorena Uriarte’s blog on how to sew this one were really helpful.

The link party and other info are here.

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Star Sampler Quilt (8): “Crystal Star”

2017_02_23

This simple star is block n.8 for the Star-Sampler quilt-along (organised and hosted by Amanda Rolfe at 3and3quarters). I had to sew a second version of the pattern as the first fabric choice didn’t work quite well when put together. I’m still having trouble getting the flying-geese units to the correct size (and I can’t understand why I can get them to work in tiny piecing and not in the bigger versions!).

After auditing all the stars so far, I’m starting to change the colour combinations: the first ones were green-orange and blue-pink combos (with the violet exceptions), so I need to step out of that colour scheme and start using orange-blue and pink-green pairings. Perhaps, even throw in some green-blue ones, if there’s a pattern that allows for that.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 100

2017_02_22

“Centered”, by Kate Spain, is block n. 100 and the last one of The Splendid Sampler. I still have block n.90 to be finished, but it seems incredible that I’m writing this blog post. Block n. 100!

And this one was a tricky one, with lots of pieces and tiny piecing. I double checked each unit to confirm they had the right dimensions, trimming or unstitching seams when needed. Patience paid off and the final block has the right dimensions!

I also didn’t have much fabric to choose from; however, I just love the contrast within the hand-written and the printed print. The difference between the two grey fabrics is very subtle – but enough to add interest.

Link party and block information are here.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 99

2017_02_20

Block 99 for The Splendid Sampler is called “Four Corner Spinwheel”, by Kimberly Einmo. For the flip-and-trim corners I used two different methods: I trimmed the underneath fabric for the pinwheel flying geese units, and I left it on the corners (it can be seen sticking out in some places…). In both cases, however, I checked so the units had the right dimensions,  an even so, the block ended up a little bit wonky… (sigh).

The link party and block information are here.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 98

2017_02_18

Block 98 of The Splendid SamplerFleur de Lei, by Lynn Harris, wasn’t an easy one. A year ago I wouldn’t have tried to needle-turn appliqué a piece like this. However, if anything, with this sampler I’ve learned how to appliqué, and that things are worth a try. It’s not perfect, but I’m really happy I followed the instructions. Perhaps, if I was to do it again, I would use some interfacing foundation and glue basting. Also, I would draw the margins of the finished block; there are two points that are past the seam allowance (the pencil marks are the 6 ½” cutting lines). I have a plan for fixing that when putting the quilt together, though.

Link party and info are here.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 97

2017_02_15

The 97th block of The Splendid Sampler is called “First Purse”, by Di Mill. All the blocks of the sampler have already been released; however, life happens and I couldn’t reach that final milestone with my blocks up-to-date. I hope I will have the remaining ones finished in the upcoming days.

For this particular one, I just pulled scraps and played with them; I quite like the result, it looks like a shiny, little purse, doesn’t it? As I don’t like to add buttons to a quilt, least to a quilt which I haven’t decided yet its final destination (bed cover or wall hanging), I decided to embroider them instead.

Link party and pattern (for a short time now!) are here.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 96

2017_02_09

Block n. 96 of The Splendid Sampler is called In the sunshine, by Cheryl Arkison. I already had 2.5″ squares cut from previous blocks (aka cutting mistakes), so I didn’t have to think about the colour scheme for this one.

I deviated from the instructions in the flag construction: I sewed directly a wonky line wrong-sides together, then trimmed the seam allowances and cut notches and clips to help they following their form when pressing. For the appliqué I went with needle turn-appliqué.

I’m thinking of using this flag on the horizontal as a label for the sampler… Although I label, if I do so, on the back, it can be a good place to stitch the name and dates of the quilt, doesn’t it?

Pattern, link party and other info are here.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 93

2017_02_08

The 93th block of The Splendid Sampler is called Tiny Miracles, by April Rosenthal. I didn’t have much fabric to choose from, and I wasn’t really sure about the combination, but at the end I quite like it. It’s a really busy block, but as there isn’t so much contrast between fabrics I think it has the necessary overall balance.

As always happens with paper piecing, really thick seams on this one although I didn’t secure each seam with backstitch in order to reduce bulk. Just something to keep in mind when planning the quilting design.

The pattern, link party and other info are here.

Flower Festival block 1 (part 1 – piecing)

2017_02_xx10

The big goal for this year is to learn how to quilt. I mean, proper quilting, not just straight-line quilting done just to get the quilt finished, and using my little domestic sewing machine (which is proving quite a challenge, to be honest!). As I stated before, to do so I’m joining the Flower Festival QAL by Leah Day.

So, this is the first block for the quilt-along, called “Blooming nine patch”. I wasn’t planing to write two posts about it, but I have lots of things to put down for the quilting part, so I decided to divide all the information in two blog posts.

I faced the piecing of this one as if I was an absolute beginner, following Leah Day instructions by the letter. There’s always something to learn, and I surely did. Starching and prep fabric was something I’ve been doing for a long time now (mostly, because of her tutorials), and now it has become a must for each piece of fabric that arrives at home (pre-cuts are an exception). It makes a huge difference!

Newer for me was the pressing and slow piecing part. I’m also not a big fan of pressing seams open; however, the experience on this one has been extremely positive, and I have done so in another block with great results. I think that it’s the combo “starch (or stabiliser, to be more exact) + smaller stitch length, even for a big block + proper pressing with the iron” that gives such a flat, crisp seam.

And to my surprise all the points matched smoothly! The only thing I can’t understand is why the block ended a little shorter. I think I carried a little off-seam from the central nine-patch…

It has been a pleasure to piece this one. Forcing myself to slow down my piecing, checking constantly and playing with this range of fabric made for a wonderful sewing afternoon.

The block is now almost completely quilted. Once I finish it I will post all my -not so wonderful- quilting thoughts!