I had a crazy thought for 2016: I would seek out ways to improve my quilting/sewing skills. I mean, I have already job, a home to run, a 10 year old to get to and from football/soccer/theater/music lessons on any given day, not to mention my own visits to the gym and other social engagements we have as a family. So, my dance card is pretty full.
Like I said…crazy, I say. CRAZY!
I’ve never claimed to be super smart but it should come as no shock that I went ahead and joined a HUGE sew-along that promises 2 block patterns a week, 100 blocks total, and for a whole year.
Did I mention I am a bit crazy?!
Well you heard me right. I’ve joined up with many, many quilters from beginners to seasoned veterans to follow along with Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson’s Splendid Sampler sew along.
Every Sunday and Thursday a new block is posted as you are allowed to do as you please. Use something from your stash to build the block or buy fabric as you see fit. Do the whole project in one night or spread it out over days. Collect them all and finish at your leisure. It’s up to you!
The first block was posted Sunday, Valentine’s day, and it was appropriately a heart shaped appliqué on a simple four square background block with different corner fabrics. I was thrilled to see a fairly simple block was I was worried that I would not be able to keep up if the blocks were way outside my comfort zone.
I originally went with a cream and maroon/wine colored mix and some stripes. I was really draw to this set of fabrics but I actually planned ensuing my Dragonfly Summer set by Holly Taylor. You can check out my Periscope broadcast where I show off my fabric choices that ended up getting ditched…
Not long after I set my mind on my fabrics, I found a fat quarter set in our stash I HAD to use.
Hello, Little Black Dress 2!!! How beautiful are you!?! I love this French, shabby chic look and decided to ditch my original block and start over.
But first, lemme show off my beautiful center points. Look how precise those are!!! Amazing, am I right!?
I kept the original plan for the block (cream and maroon/wine) and left my appliqué heart as it was but decided to do my corners over again, this time using a complementary fabric from Little Black Dress 2.
A few things I did differently with the idea that I’m here to learn so to learn I must do things I normally wouldn’t.
- I used pins. YES, I pinned!
- I pressed my seams open.
- I also used a fabric pencil to mark my corners so I could get the most accurate angle possible.
- I also trimmed my block once it was done so that it was squared up the moment it was completed.
- I also (hold on for it) PRACTICED! Yes, I did a few practice runs with the appliquéing before hitting the official block.
When it came time to appliqué, I went round and round on how I was going to machine stitch this down. I tried a few decorative stitches and none hit me with a WOW feeling. I also played with colors and while I wanted to use black to frame the heart (my favorite color to appliqué with) I ended up finding a shiny red thread that worked well with my color scheme. I stuck with a stitch I knew and went for it.
And voila!! My first block is done! Now to wait impatiently for the second block pattern to arrive to my email box!!
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