Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Playing along with others

The summer of 2013 had me jumping back behind my sewing machine. When Sharky's aunt came to visit from Idaho at the beginning of the summer we had to make a stop at the local quilt shops. We went to Heartfelt Quilting as our first stop. This store is special to me. Not only is it the close, but it is the first store/business that I set foot in when I moved to Florida from Michigan to start my teaching career. I always think of kindness and warmth quilts and quilt stores alike, and Heartfelt was just what I needed to help me feel at home. I digress. During this visit is when I first heard about local fabric designer, Carolyn Friedlander and her Architextures line of fabrics from Robert Kaufman. The fabrics were very appealing to me, they stood out from the other patterns that filled the shop. I had to have some. My wallet is glad that I didn't follow the fabric shopping rule that Sharky's aunt holds to, "If you don't know what you are going to make with it, then you should buy at least 3 yards." Needless to say, I didn't know what I wanted to make, but I knew I had to have some of this awesome fabric! I was able to keep myself to 1 yard and 1/2 yard cuts. 

Block #2, Summer Sampler Series, Greek Cross
After the visit with aunt I was left with the guilt of buying fabric with nothing to make. I began perusing the blogs and other online forums for ideas. Then I stumbled upon the Summer Sampler Series at Fresh Lemon Quilts. I followed along with the talented hostesses of this project and learned about paper piecing as well as practicing other piecing skills. Katie, Faith, and Lee had very easy to follow patterns. It almost felt like they were right there explaining how to make each block.  I realized that I wanted to make a bigger project, but didn't want to repeat any blocks. Luckily, Faith also hosted the Solstice Stars Series with equally delightful tutorials for even more exquisite blocks. The blocks below come from these two quilt alongs.  
Solstice Stars Series, Ribbon Star
Block #11, Summer Sampler Series, Rocky Road to Kansas
Block #5, Summer Sampler Series, Star Quilt Block
Solstice Stars Series, Two Color Star
Block #1, Summer Sampler Series, Star of Virginia
Block #8, Summer Sampler Series, Lucky Pieces
Solstice Stars Series, Another Star
Block #4, Summer Sampler Series, Flower Garden Path (One of my favorites!)
Bock #9, Summer Sampler Series, Minnesota
Block #6 Summer Sampler Series, Arkansas Traveler
Block #12, Summer Sampler Series, Kansas Dust Storm (My favorite of all the blocks!)
My $30 thrift shop sewing machine. It's not the newest, most high-tech, but it's still nice. Maybe someday I'll have a really great machine!
Block #7, Summer Sampler Series, Six Pointed Star (I did something very odd to this block and it came out way the wrong size, so I added a partial boarder to it. I like it, I like the improv, and the imperfection.)
Block #3, Summer Sampler Series, Mosaic
Block #10, Summer Sampler Series, Evening Star

Have you ever followed a blogger's quilt along? How did you feel about learning through blogs and tutorials?


  1. Block number 7 is my favourite one! Your improv solution is perfect(ly imperfect). I love 'perfect imperfections'. I think they show our human heart and hand, and add character and interest to our work. Your blocks are all lovely, and your machine is also. What a great find. Obviously it is not the tools that have skills, but the person using them, and your skills are shining through!


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