The Splendid Sampler: Block 7 Snug As a Bug

I tend to like to work in order. But for this sampler, I’ve decided not to force myself to work sequentially and instead work on blocks that call to me. Sometimes I skip a block because I’m not ready to take on the skill that’s being asked of me or a different block looks really cool and I can’t wait to jump in! So without further ado, here is my block 7.

You can check out my other blocks here.

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Now I’ve never done any embroidery. So when block 7 came out, I was honestly not excited. My first thought, “I thought I was in a quilting sampler.” Away went this project into my binder and I moved on to other blocks.

Once I finished block 5, I started to look at block 7 again and realized it was either this block or block 4 which was a lot of little pieces and I wasn’t feeling like working with small bits.

So I traced the cute little picture onto the back of my fabric (yes, the back which made my whole thing harder and flipped but, oh well, it worked out) and collected a handful of floss from my old cross stitch kits. Yes, cross stitch.

Long long ago, in a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth…sorta… I cross stitched. I don’t know that I’ve ever finished a project but I knew how to read a pattern, pull the floss, start and stop, and I could also do a few fancy stitches.

Since that time in the ancient days, I’ve stopped cross stitching and forgotten all about my past hobby. Until now.

My history with counted cross stitch really came in handy for this block and I didn’t even realize that it would be so similar. And I laugh at myself because, yes, it’s pretty close to what I used to do. Using two strands of floss, I stitched a simple back stitch and followed my drawing.

Super cute! Now my eyes were not done very well. I had forgotten how to do a French knot. Even with step by step instructions I struggled to get them to stay knotted and to look even. I ended up ripping them out and starting over.

MUCH better!!! At the end of the post is the video that ended up clarifying for me how to make a French knot. I was holding the tension thread too high up and my knot was unraveling before it had a chance to wrap around.

While the pattern called for a bunny and a bear alongside the little boy, once I finished I instantly saw my son all of 5 years old again with his buddy, Georgie. So I personalized this for him with only the one buddy and his name along with the date. While this project will be mine, it’s something I’d like him to have someday. Something to pass on to him and to his children someday.

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And I what find amazing is that something that wasn’t interesting to me at all has now become something I really enjoy! After this block was finished and came out so adorably, I jumped into block 4 and really enjoyed the whole process. Embroidery is quickly becoming a new and favorite hobby of mine!

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WIP: The Christmas Sampler

Ahhhh Christmas!  If I had my choice, I’d leave my three Christmas trees up all year round.  In 1986, I made a Trip Around The World Christmas tie quilt as a raffle prize for my ten year high school reunion.  However,  making a hand pieced and quilted Christmas themed quilt for ME has always been on my bucket list!

A few years ago, I took a wonderful quilting class at a local shop.  Unfortunately, the shop longer exists, but I still have all my instructions and templates.  I was especially interested in hand piecing my squares.  I loved the challenge of keeping my stitches uniform and strong.  I put together a few sample squares, and then got sidetracked by a very busy life.  Recently, I became reacquainted with my Christmas quilting project, and am excited to complete it.  I have both hand pieced and machine pieced squares in the bunch.

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Log Cabin Square-I love using a red square in the center, representing the “heart” of the home.

On top, Flying Geese, then Patience Corner, Rail Fence, and the Log Cabin square.

Such beautiful, rich and lovely fabrics!

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Jacob’s Ladder

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My hand stitching…I’m happy with the results, though I can ALWAYS improve!

Rail Fence

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Patience Corner

 Taking the completed piecework I already have, I’m going to see if I have enough for a table runner, or maybe individual placemats with coordinating fabric.  If not, oh darn, I’ll have to complete more sampler squares!  My first task will be choosing either the QAYG technique, or piecing together the squares then quilting the entire piece.  Either way, I’m excited to get going!


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