Sunday is Valentine’s Day. While many women may be waiting for chocolates and flowers, I’m excited to start The Splendid Sampler! The first block is released that day and I’m in LOVE! If you’re like me then you’re definitely too excited to wait that long (I know it’s only four more days, but still…). There are a few things you can do to get prepared, though, and it’ll help you get off to a flawless start when The Splendid Sampler starts.
Step 1: Choose your fabrics. The fabrics I chose are above. They’re the Lizzie’s Legacy collection by Betsy Chutchian for Moda Fabrics (they’re being released in March, so if you want them, hold tight!). My favorite colors for quilts are blues and browns, so this palette (with its pops of yellow, pink, and red) is perfect for my traditional taste. The fabrics have a variety of creams (perfect for background prints), both light and dark fabrics so I can play with value, and a mix of large and small prints to add texture and interest. If you need more guidance picking fabrics, there is a great blog post on The Splendid Sampler site with tips for choosing fabrics + other supplies you should gather before the Sampler starts!
Step 2: Be prepared to learn. The 100 blocks include traditional piecing, but also paper-piecing, English paper-piecing, embroidery, and appliqué. I’m very much a traditional piecer and have never ventured into any type of paper piecing. I may be a little nervous, but I’m approaching this Sampler as an opportunity to learn new skills and practice them. It’s very easy to learn new skills when it’s on one 6″ quilt block. That way, I can take my time to learn and if I mess up, it’s not a large investment in time or fabric. If you need more encouragement, here’s a great blog about being open to learning AND where to find resources if you need help.
Step 3: Mark your calendars! Blocks will be released every Sunday and Thursday from February 14, 2016 — February 2, 2017. (You can see what designers are posting each day here. Our day is April 7!) Block patterns will be available for free until March 2017, so make sure you’re downloading them and sewing along!
Step 4: Get to know the designers. There are 83 amazing designers participating! They have such talents and I’m so excited to be working beside them on this project. Make sure to visit their blogs, “like” them on social media, and follow them along the way. There are fun tips from each designer on The Splendid Sampler blog, so you can get to know them. You can read our tips here! Also, make sure to “meet” our fearless leaders Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson.
BONUS! Want to start sewing right away? Jane and Pat designed this bonus project that’s also super useful for this Sampler! It’s a cute folding block station, which includes a design board, a pressing station, and a pocket for your 6-1/2″ square ruler. While this project is totally optional, it’ll be handy for keeping small pieces in place while making your blocks. Get the free pattern here.
How do I get involved?
- Visit the official The Splendid Sampler website and sign up to receive email notifications when new blog posts are made.
- Take a tour of the participating designers’ websites via the links on the right side of the website.
- Join the Facebook group for inspiration and news!
- Use hashtag #TheSplendidSampler to tag photos you share on Instagram.
We can’t wait to get started sewing and we hope you join us! Our editor Lindsay Mayland will be blogging frequently and posting pictures on her Instagram, so make sure you follow her at @lindsmayland and us at @allpeoplequilt to see her progress!
–Lindsay Mayland + American Patchwork & Quilting
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