The Splendid Sampler: Block 2 Wings

Right before we left for QuiltCon, the second block in the Splendid Sampler quilt-along popped up in my feed. I printed it out, diligently placed it in my quilting folder (a huge 4 in binder with plastic sheet covers waiting to be filled), then I promptly forgot all about it as we trekked off to Pasadena to enjoy the convention.splendid_button_4

 But I couldn’t forget for long as people within the Facebook group slowly started to share their creations and I got hungry to get home and work on my own block. Once I got home and things got settled, I sat down to work on what looked to be my toughest challenge yet!

While the little black dress 2 set wasn’t my first choice, I’m loving it now!

I especially love it mixed with these extra fabrics, all from my stash.

This pattern was overwhelming at first. There are so many teeny tiny blocks. I’ve never worked with anything this little and I was at first worried. Could I pull this off? Well, I wouldn’t know till I tried. So I made some notes and decided to take on this block in whatever way I thought would work better for me.

So I made the butterfly squares first. I knew my butterfly wings would be  made with this solid maroon fabric and once I put them against some fabrics in my set I’d get an idea how to piece the rest. Looking at the instructions the pattern meant nothing to me without assigning some value to the squares.

Once I got all of that done, my pattern came to life. And look at how small these HSTs are!

I got all the winged squares done and took a break for the night.  Working on such small squares really makes me tense up my shoulders so I can only work for so long before I need a break.

And look at those points!!!

I put so much into each square, working to make sure each point met and each seam was pressed open.

My mini Omnigrid ruler and my purple thang really were the rockstars of this project. They helped me align things properly before trimming each block and also helped me check that my seams were a true 1/4 inch.

How adorable!

While I worked on finishing this block, blocks 3 and 4 came out and I was feeling the pressure to get moving. So I made the executive decision not to make the remaining four blocks out of individual squares but instead to make it just a single solid block.

I think that was a good decision. In the end it streamlined the project and finished the block entirely in one afternoon.

There are only two issues I have with this block that can be easily remedied. First, the four corners don’t seem balanced with the way I placed them. I matched the right sided butterflies together in color and orientation but that didn’t give me the look I wanted overall. It’s livable…but it’s bugging me. I may pull that row apart.

And then my one seam (ONE SEAM) didn’t match up. Just the one…

Overall the block looks good and I’m proud of all my hard work to get this block together. I didn’t let the size of the blocks keep me from working through the steps and making such a cute block.

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The Splendid Sampler: Block 1 Hearts Aflutter

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.

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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.

  1. I used pins. YES, I pinned!
  2. I pressed my seams open.
  3. I also used a fabric pencil to mark my corners so I could get the most accurate angle possible.
  4. I also trimmed my block once it was done so that it was squared up the moment it was completed.
  5. 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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