Piecing the 22 blocks in the quilt was a great adventure. Some of the blocks were fairly easy while others were complex and challenging. I learned some new piecing techniques and really improved my foundation piecing skills. It was great to be working with a group of people--it kept me working steadily.
I finished up the blocks during March 2014. Here's a my blog post about the completed blocks. So that was 16 months ago! Where's the quilt?
It turned out that quilting this sampler quilt was more challenging than piecing the blocks! I didn't start the quilting until this past winter. I decided to quilt the white negative space in each block first. It is the one unifying element in all the blocks.
With flowers in the focus fabrics in the quilt, I chose to quilt flowers into the white spaces. There are lots of stylized roses, a chrysanthemum, generic flowers and some leaf patterns. All that detailed quilting took a lot of time. One day, when my bobbin ran out of thread I put it away-- two and a half blocks from finishing the floral quilting.
I also had no idea how I was going to finish quilting these blocks. Because it is a sampler quilt, no two blocks are the same. Each block needed to have a unique quilting design. It felt daunting, so I left the quilt and worked on other projects.
Then I found the resource I needed to get me back to the sewing machine: Angela Waters book, Shape by Shape Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters. Angela suggests designs to fill in squares, circles, triangles and diamonds. I got some great ideas from the blocks in the book. Angela's quilting designs typically are much more dense than my quilting style so I none of my blocks look like hers. But seeing what she did was really helpful.
These photos are three of my completed blocks. The quilt should be done soon! Finally!!