|Getting Started with the Sampler
||[Nov. 19th, 2012|09:11 am]
(as always, click to embiggen if desired)
This week I pulled fabrics for Grandmother’s Choice, the Block of the Week project running on Barbara Brackman’s blog to commemorate Women’s Suffrage. I struggled with possible colorways for a long time while I was thinking about making this quilt. The colors of the American suffrage movement were white and yellow, but the Brits used purple, green and white. Both appealed to me. Finally, a quilt where sampler blocks alternated with quarter-square triangle blocks caught my imagination. I pictured a quilt where the setting blocks and the backgrounds of the sampler blocks would be yellow and white, and the sampler blocks would be all the colors of African violets. My grandmother loved those flowers and always had a tray of them on a windowsill blooming merrily away, allowing me to honor her, too, with Grandmother’s Choice.
The sampler blog is twelve weeks in, and now that the Christmas quilts are all off to the quilters, I’m starting to catch up. I made the last block first, and despite getting a raft of lovely comments about it on Flickr, I wasn’t entirely happy about how it turned out. With the limited contrast between the purple and the darker green, it looks like a blocky cross at a distance.
I’m not unhappy enough to discard it, but since I need 63 sampler blocks for my quilt and the BoW will only yield 49, I cut another with the greens swapped (in the top photo.) This one is cut slightly oversized so I can trim it to a perfect 8.5 inches.
Next to that is the Little Red Schoolhouse block. I opted to use a slight variant of the block posted in week 11. Since my blocks will be set on point (after the last on point quilt I’m going to have to do something nice for my quilter to get her to tackle this one) I wanted the schoolhouse tilted 45 degrees. Using BlockBase, I printed the cutting instructions at 7 inches. When the schoolhouse is pieced, I’ll add background setting triangles and trim it to 8.5 inches. That’ll cut off the bottom corners of the building but that’s ok; I want a slightly larger building than is possible by sizing it so that the whole thing fits on point in an 8 inch block.
I’ve been having a great time reading the blog posts and seeing what everyone is doing with the blocks. The Grandmother’s Choice blog is worth reading even if you’re not a quilter; the posts are discussions of women’s history and the struggle for the right to vote, with quilt blocks added on. The Flickr group will ensure that I’ll never make my block right away when the blog post goes up on Saturday, because I’m getting so many good ideas from what other people are doing with the weekly block.
Speaking of what other people are doing, check out Judy Laquidara’s Design Wall Monday for what quilters around the blogosphere are up to this week.