Saturday, 10 February 2018

Friday finish - Sampler Block Shuffle

Hi everyone - well into February already: how did that happen?

I managed to quilt and finish quite a few quilts in January (four, including the Giant Four-patch Star blogged here) but we have had such poor weather I have only just been able to photograph some of them for you.

As I am so far behind with things to show, there will be lots of photos in this post.  I hope it won't be too indigestible... here goes:

First of all, my Sampler Block Shuffle quilt from 6" block patterns supplied by Moda via the Fat Quarter Shop on a weekly basis back in 2015/16: here is the link to the patterns.  

Looking back through old posts I find that I last blogged about this project back in February 2016 (two whole years ago).  Here is the link if you are interested.  By that date I had made all the blocks except the two applique patterns (which I chose not to do), and as I had made extra blocks to try out  colour and value variations, I had 60 blocks altogether.

I am a little bit surprised to find that I didn't blog about putting the blocks together. The last few months of last year are a bit of a blur if I am honest, but I think that at some point last summer I must have decided it was high time I finished this project, as the blocks had spent the intervening 18 months 'resting' quietly!

What took time, as usual, was deciding how to set and finish the top.  I was pretty sure I wanted a straight set and narrow sashing, and that I wanted to make the flying geese border using scraps of all the fabrics to help visually tie the blocks together.  Sixty blocks weren't quite enough for a satisfying layout, so I made an extra four blocks (of the simpler designs, I wanted a finish before too much more time had elapsed, after all).  That gave me a nice square set, eight blocks by eight.

Eventually I decided on a 'barely there' sashing which wouldn't take attention away from the blocks or impose too grid-like a structure.  And I had the perfect neutral fabric in my stash, a narrow cream stripe, and also a good backing fabric, both earmarked for other projects, needless to say!  [Backing is Prairie Paisley II by Polly Minick and Lauri Simpson for Moda].  Binding was scrap, a very old soft green with random pink and blue speckles, but just right, I felt - hooray for being able to 'shop' one's scrap and stash!

I thought you might like to see how I made the flying geese: I used a paper foundation by the same company as makes Triangles on a Roll, as it was important that the geese didn't stretch since the borders would help to keep the quilt top straight and true.

The technique is basically stitch and flip but because you cut the pieces the right size first it is not wasteful.  Once you get the hang of where to stitch and where to fold, the length of perfect geese emerges quite quickly from under your sewing machine needle.  The slow part (joking!) is removing the paper foundation afterwards - tweezers really help with this task!

I made square in square corners from two pieces of flying geese foundation paper overlapped.  Not rocket science but I got a buzz from working that out.

The payoff came when I attached the geese borders to the top and they fitted perfectly.  So satisfying.  I got particular pleasure from this as I am famous for usually having to fudge or even bodge to get a good fit....

The quilt finished at 62" square.  You can see the quilting in the two closeup photos here: I did it all on my home sewing machine, putting the ditch lines in first and then the flowing design alternating in the blocks.  As the quilt isn't huge it wasn't too bad turning it and I got into a rhythm.

OK I think that's probably a long enough post.  Alfie certainly looks as though he has suffered enough.  Hope you have a good weekend and I am linking to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday (even though it's now Saturday!).

The rest of the finishes and my current WIPS will have to follow, plus my recent Tula Pink experience - tantalising!


  1. What a lovely quilt. Congrats! on your finish.

  2. Very pretty quilt. I love how you brought it all together with the thin sashing and flying geese for the border.