Monday, August 2, 2010

Hand Pieced Samplers

Crafty Pug asked me about hand pieced samplers.

The first one I started in May 2009 after my 2nd wrist op.  My fingers kept swelling after the plaster was put on so I needed some meaningful movements to keep the swelling down.

I asked a friend to show me the basics and she pulled out some templates she had made for Fat Cat Patterns BOM Pinwheel Sampler.  My irrational fear of samplers was somewhat overcome by the fact that all the blocks are pinwheel variations and therefore not really samplerish.

I dug out some fabrics I didn't think I'd ever use for anything in particular but they were pretty enough so I started and pretty soon I realised I wanted to use an on point setting with sashing and plain alternate blocks to fit a QS bed.  I bought fabric for the sashing and outer border and it was on clearance at that so a VERY economical quilt!

It eventually fell by the wayside as other more exciting things took over.

In March 2010 I signed up for a hand piecing course at Drapers of Mt Macedon (see this post) to learn properly since I had been fudging my way through and yes you guessed it - I was in plaster again after surgery #3 and needed to keep swelling down!

This one was a proper sampler so valium needed to be added to the list of class supplies (not really but painkillers for the arm worked just as well!).  I decided to disregard instructions to buy "background" fabric since this  makes a sampler really samplerish and bought an Aster Manor FQ bundle which was heavily reduced and absolutely delicious!

I worked out the maths and it would yield a QS quilt with leftovers.

Varying the background fabric and using a co-ordinated fabric range made the sampler unsamplerish enough for me to cope with it without having a panic attack!

The course included Y-seams, curved piecing and needleturn applique all of which I needed for Dear Jane since I want to hand piece it rather than foundation piece it.

I'd definitely recommend taking a class and learning properly!


  1. This is such beautiful work, you must be so proud of yourself. Sue x

  2. Aww thanks - but you really don't want to see them close up! Hard pressed to find any matching points!!

  3. agreed they look beautiful! the fabric choices are great! will have to see if i can find a similar type of class here in south australia - would be well worth going to by the sounds of things.....fudging my way is definitely what i do :)