Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Splendid Sampler Quilt-Along

By now, there has been so much buzz all over the internet about Pat A. Sloan and Jane Davidson's year-long project, The Splendid Sampler, that you probably know all I am about to say. But in the event you have missed it or want more information, we have a short video to share with the quilting/crafting world.

Kathy Brown, from The Teacher's Pet in Baton Rouge, LA, came to Bright Hopes Quilting on Worldwide Quilting Day last Saturday and shared with us info about The Splendid Sampler, a little about her participation (because her block has not been released and this IS a mystery for the rest of us!) and what we can expect as the weeks unfold. You can watch this quick video by clicking on the photo of Kathy, below.

Now, there is so much more to say about this 'Event' so to begin with I want to tell you about the Splendid Sampler "reveals".

When each pattern is released (every Sunday and Thursday....hours may vary because the designers of each block are all around the globe) we get so excited about getting going on the making of the block that we may fail to read the designer's blogpost about how she (he) came up with the pattern, the techniques that were used and any tips or hints to making the construction of the block more enjoyable.

Allow me a short moment to expand on this. Last week, the Quilt Shop block was released and I was SO excited to make my first of 2 blocks (yeah, I know... I'm a nut!) that I opened the pattern and whipped out my fabrics and started cutting away and sewing the block. Here is the wonky awful result!


All the lines were wavy and the pieces didn't fit right (that was directly due to my poor cutting technique...... I say that in all humility) I hated what I ended up with and proceeded to rip out seams and restitch this and that and STILL it looked dreadful.

I repeated this 6 more times...(clearly, I am slow to learn) ... until I went to recut the 'problem' pieces that I had been trying to make work...... and this time I READ the pattern all the way through to the second page where, Low and Behold! The designer had helpfully included PAPER PIECING PATTERNS!!!!!!! DUH!  At this point in time, I was invested in straight piecing so I recut, carefully and properly! those problem pieces and finished making the block the way I had begun. (did I mention I can be a stubborn cuss?)

Here is the final result:

Better; not perfect but much better.
Well, okay, but I learned from my mistake, to be sure, and will definitely use those thoughtfully provided PP patterns when I sew my second block.

Which brings me to the point of this post: Each pattern is worth reading completely before starting. There is (in almost every pattern created) information you may well find useful and if you don't read it, you may very well find yourself wasting valuable time.

In the case of The Splendid Sampler, these patterns are very well written and developed so it behooves the quilter to take a moment and read through the pattern completely and understand prior to whacking away at the fabric. 

Now, if you watched the video (above) you hear Kathy say that you get to meet each of the designers when their pattern is revealed and this is true!  Each pattern is discussed at length by the designer herself on a blogpost and you get a good sense of where the designer is 'coming from'.  

And you never know where that is going to lead you. Again, I have something to say about this.....so, if you are interested..... read my follow-up post.

In the meantime, happy stitching!

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