So ya, if you have been following along with my blog for a while, you know that pretty much every Saturday of 2016 was spent working on my Splendid Sampler blocks. And then in early 2017 I shared over here the book release and how I was so close to having my quilt top done. And I am happy to say, I finished the quilt top and the backing in May of 2017. And then somehow there was a Year Long Wait!!!
Honestly, I don't know why it sat for so long. I knew I wanted to spend some time on it to really do some custom quilting in lots of colors, and there always just seemed to be a deadline that needed to be met. But lucky for me, I managed to create a deadline for this quilt, because nothing gets me to a finish like a deadline. So what is that "deadline" you ask . . . .Well it's the Splendid Sampler 2!!!! Yup, it's back again with 80 new designers and 100 new blocks ;) So exciting!!!! And I told myself what better way to celebrate the launch of the Splendid Sampler 2, then with the finish of my original Splendid Sampler!!!!
I can not even begin to say how much fun I had making the blocks for this quilt. I delighted each week in picking out fun fabrics from my scrap bin in colors of the rainbow. I loved trying new techniques, and mostly, doing a lot of tiny piecing. And mostly, I loved getting to be a part of such a huge group of quilters working on this!!! It truly was a world wide project that made it just so amazing!!!
And like I said, I knew I wanted to do some equally amazing quilting ;) So with lots of changing of threads, I quilted swirls in the background in white, echoed arches in the chain in black, and then I stitched in the ditch on the pieced blocks and did a simple scalloped outline on the applique blocks with a variegated thread of each 6 basic colors. The stitching in the ditch took a while and I am still not great at it, but I just love how it makes all of the tiny piecing just pop!!! So worth the time :)
And just fYI, that purple heart block above, ya, that's my block that I designed for the Splendid Sampler. It's called Lots of Love, and it was so fun to make ;) And all that love in the quilting made for lots of cool texture as well. How fun does it look on the back of the quilt!!! I love the swirls and arch combo, so neat!!!
And since I am sure that little sneak peak of the back has got you wondering, here is a full shot of the back :) It's a Grunge Rainbow!!! Eeekkk, you all know how I am all googly eyes over Grunge ;) I used up all of the leftover yardage of Grunge fabrics that I had from other projects to piece this giant back and I just love it!!!
And I have to say, I am just so happy with the layout I choose to highlight these blocks ;) You all know how much I love Irish Chain Quilts, so the idea to put these in an Irish Chain Setting just made me smile from ear to ear. And it turned out even better than I had seen it in my head!!!
And since I was asked over a year ago to share how I did this layout . . .here is a quick mini tutorial :)
For a King Size measuring 98" x 98" you will need:
72 Splendid Sampler Blocks - (Or any 6" finished blocks)
72 Black and White 9 Patch Blocks -
-Make from 360 Black 2 1/2" squares & 288 White 2 1/2" squares
312 White 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" Sashing Strips
169 Black 2 1/2" squares for Cornerstones
For a Queen Size measuring 90" x 90"you will need:
60 Splendid Sampler Blocks - (Or any 6" finished blocks)
61 Black and White 9 Patch Blocks -
-Make from 305 Black 2 1/2" squares & 244 White 2 1/2" squares
264 White 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" Sashing Strips
144 Black 2 1/2" squares for Cornerstones
To make your 9 Patches, simply layout 5 Black Squares and 4 White squares as shown. I used scrappy squares in all kinds of prints, but you can use solids if you prefer (in which case I would strip piece these ;) Sew the squares into 3 rows of 3 blocks each and press the seam allowances towards the black squares. This will allow you to nest the seams when you now sew the three rows together. And just rinse and repeat to make your designated number of 9 patch blocks! (I used these as my Leaders and Enders for quite a while ;)
Then you will have a stack of 6" pieced blocks and a stack of Black and White 9 patch blocks that will look a little like this ;) Now just lay out the blocks according to the diagram above. And if you want to change your color layout, that is fine, just be sure to alternate pieced blocks and 9 patch blocks ;)
Once you have a layout you like, you can piece your rows together adding a Sashing strip between each block. So for example, this is the first Block Row in the King Size quilt. Simply sew all of the blocks and strips in a row and then press the seam allowances towards the Sashing strips. Repeat for all the Block Rows in your quilt ;)
Then you need to make some Sashing Rows. Simply sew a Black Cornerstone to a Sashing Strip and repeat for the designated number of pieces in your layout. (King will have 12 Sashing Strips and 13 Cornerstones and Queen will have 11 Sashing Strips and 12 Cornerstones) Press the seam allowance towards the Sashing Strips. Which Yes, means you are pressing to the light, but this will allow you to nest your seams ;)
Now all you have to do is sew your rows together ;) I like to sew a Sashing Row to each of my Block Rows first (and two to the last row) and then I will Sew the Sashed Rows together ;) Just be sure to follow your layout!! And before you know it, you will have a super fun Splendid Sampler Irish Chain!!!
And that is my Splendid Sampler Finish!!!! And I am just so super, duper excited that it is now all finished!!! This was truly a project that had a whole Lot of of Love put into it and I am so grateful to all of the wonderful friends that I made along the way. And if you missed participating in this Splendid Sampler, I would highly recommend popping over to the Splendid Sampler site and checking out the Quilt Along for the Splendid Sampler 2. It's going to be so much fun!!!
That's all for today ;) I hope you all have a very Happy Quilting Day!!!!