Sunday, March 22, 2015

Tackling a Sampler Quilt

Usually, the first thing I do with a sampler quilt is take a photo of it.  Looking at the quilt on a computer screen gives me the opportunity to see the distribution of colours and shapes.  And sparing no expense (OMG, seriously!!  Do you know how expensive INK is for the printer???), I will also print this out so I can doodle some quilting ideas.  It is always a good idea to take a GOOD LOOK at the piecing here - you may find that some of the patches have been stitched in the wrong orientation.  You still have time to fix that - it is much easier before you load the quilt.  Trust me on that.  See HERE.

Step one will be s.i.d. the borders, the setting triangles, and the black chain.  I'm using black thread for that.  And my favorite ruler Janet Lee's Favorite.  This is actually my second of these rulers and I think I'll be buying a third.  It seems they are 'consumables', especially when you zig when you are supposed to zag and take a large chunk out of the edge.  Thankfully said chunks have never come flying at my eyes.

Then, I fire up the IQ and stitch the motifs in the setting triangles.  Pretty, eh?

The IQ is also used for the border.  As you can clearly see (ha ha, pfftt) this border design matches the above motif.

Okey dokey - we are finished with the black thread.  Changing over to olive green... I just love that little border design - Bluebells by My Creative Stitches.
And now we move on to the blocks, with olive thread.  More s.i.d. and some, I dunno, emphasis quilting.  Through the whole quilt, in every bit of that red print I am doing 1/4" inside quilting.

The centers of the blocks are all getting an IQ motif. That is an interesting process because the block centers come in four different sizes and the motif should FIT the area, while leaving a bit of negative space around the edges.

Once the olive green quilting is finished I move on to the cream thread.  For hours and hours of cross-hatching.  Can you say "hello, massage therapist"?
If you click on the pics to look at a large version, you may notice that I have NOT quilted the side borders.  Usually, I quilt the sides as I progress down the quilt.  In this case it would have been done when I was using the black thread.  Then again when I had the olive thread loaded.  This definitely leaves tiny spots on the back where you can see the stops & starts of the stitching as the thread is anchored.  On this particular quilt, the motif was too long to fit in the available space.  When I am ALL THROUGH with this x-hatching I will take the quilt off and reload it with the short sides attached to the leaders and do those other borders.  At that point the whole quilt will get a once-over.  I will likely find a couple of spots where I have missed a motif, or missed some s.i.d. (I have already found some, actually), or neglected to clip some thread tails.  Hopefully I won't find any tiny pleats on the back - they can be a nightmare to fix.

IN THE MEANTIME, here is my salute to spring.  A plastic bag.  Ha ha ha - yes.  But it is covering up my geranium cuttings.


  1. I really like what you are doing with that beautiful sampler quilt. The cross-hatching works for me to set off each block. I have no doubt that the owner is going to be one happy owner.

  2. Good Grief Martha!!! That process is incredible....your work is priceless....I oughta know. Marie

  3. Good grief Martha!! That is some process for quilting that beautiful sampler quilt...will be a priceless heirloom.........Marie


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