Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Exploring Modern: A New Sampler

In my early quilting days, I signed up for the Earthly Goods Primary Patchwork class (good times!) and made my first sampler quilt from traditional quilt blocks. Our instructor mentioned that this was likely to be the last time many of us made a sampler, as most quilt designs were composed of multiples of the same block.

One thing that I've discovered about myself since then is that I'm not one of those people who can make one block over and over. After I've made it once, I feel like I've learned what there was to learn and I'm ready to move on. For this reason, I've decided that my principal project for 2014 will be an updated take on the traditional sampler.

This is also an exploration of the MQG's "official" definition of modern quilting, which is something our guild has been discussing. In particular, I'm focusing on modern traditionalism with the use of greys, negative space, bold colours and solid fabrics.

This updated Ohio Star might be my favourite so far:

I made two variations on the traditional Jacob's Ladder block. The purple and pink one turned out to be especially modern, since I seem to have attached one of the corner squares upside down and didn't notice until pretty much right now. (I'm tempted to take it apart and fix it just as an excuse to realign the point that came out crooked, but that doesn't seem very modern of me, so I probably won't... Maybe?)

I also made the 2014 Sugar Block Club January block, which fit perfectly into my theme. I'm still on the fence regarding the February block.

The dark grey will be making more of an appearance in the next couple of blocks, and the light grey will continue to be the main background colour throughout the project, including setting squares and joining strips.

This sampler is a light, self-contained project to work on while I baste and quilt unfinished projects from last year. Things tend to get backed up at the basting stage (I really don't like basting) but over the past few weeks I've been getting it done, which has led to some cool FMQ progress. So much progress, in fact, that I've now run out of black thread and batting. Looking forward to more!


  1. Awesome modern blocks. I hear you about making the same block over and over again. I can't do it either!

  2. I started with solids years ago and I am on my way back. Great blocks!

  3. Good for you! I dont like the make the same block over and over and over either. I get bored really quickly. Samplers are lovely AND fun to make. :)

  4. Your blocks are fantastic, and I love the colours you are using too.

  5. Congrats on your finishes (although I am tempted to say "pictures or it didn't happen"), and I applaud your modern take on old blocks. They are very nice!