The Year of the Quilt & the Summer Sampler Series

Did you know that according to the American Folk Art Museum in New York City, 2011 is the Year of the Quilt? In March, my daughter and I took the train to New York City for a whirlwind weekend to visit good friends (and their adorable twins just younger than Little Tiny). I’m fortunate to have visited NYC on a number of occasions, so this trip was about friends, not the city. The one exception was the Folk Art Museum’s exhibit. Debi got to go sans twins, and my daughter slept almost the entire time (as long as I kept moving, of course), so we had plenty of time to admire the quilts, which were pretty impressive. The majority were hand pieced and hand quilted–wow! There were a few antique quilts that were simply stunning, and ones that would fit a “modern aesthetic” very well.
 1. American Folk Art Museum, 2. Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts, 3. Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts, 4. Pinwheels

While walking through the exhibit, I decided that I had to learn more about traditional piecing–the patterns, the techniques, the history behind the blocks, perhaps even something about the quilters themselves. When I saw Faith’s post about the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns on her beautiful blog, Fresh Lemons, I emailed her right away to see if she would be interested in joining me in a Summer Sampler Series. We were thrilled when Lee from Freshly Pieced agreed to join us, and the idea for a Summer Sampler Series began to take shape. I feel fortunate to be collaborating with these two talented ladies on this project. I hope you will join us (and grab the button below to help spread the word!)

Swim, Bike, Quilt
Swim, Bike, Quilt

Details for the Summer Sampler Series

Lee, Faith & I will each share step by step tutorials for four traditional quilt blocks. The blocks may seem pretty intimidating at first, but once you break them down into their individual elements, they aren’t as complicated as they seem. The first five blocks consist entirely of squares, rectangles, and half square triangles. We will be doing a little bit of paper piecing, sewing some equilateral triangles, string blocks, and diamonds–it is a great opportunity to skill-build for all of us! Whatever your skill level, whether you make two or three blocks or all twelve, we hope you join in the fun. 

[Note: You don’t have to purchase the book to join the Summer Sampler Series–it is an encyclopedia of hundreds of blocks–we picked twelve to focus on. I think it is a great resource to have if you are interested in traditional blocks, but not necessary for this quilt along]

Tutorial Schedule:

In addition to tutorials, we will be including a bit of history on each block. The schedule is as follows: 
The Katie Jump Rope Sampler: Mondays at Swim, Bike, Quilt: July 11, 18, 25, & August 1.
The Solids Sampler: Wednesdays at Fresh Lemons: July 13, 20, 27, & August 3.
The Scrappy Sampler: Fridays at Freshly Pieced: July 15, 22, 29, & August 5. 
Fabric Requirements: We estimate that each 12.5 inch (unfinished) quilt block will take the equivalent of a fat quarter to make; three yards of printed fabric and two yards of solids should be more than enough. 
Quilting Basics:  There are many helpful online tutorials for beginning quilters–Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson! has a great series here: Quilt Making Basics

Summer Sampler Quilt Along Flickr Group: We’d love to see your fabric selections, process shots, and answer any questions through the Summer Sampler Series Flickr group

Please let us know if you have any questions!

Note: A special thank you to Faith for her incredible work with the graphics associated with the Summer Sampler Series.

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  1. Posted June 30, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m in! Can we go get some fabrics at Pam’s for the project? Yea for SKILL BUILDING!

  2. Posted June 30, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like great fun! So we don’t necessarily need to purchase the book to quilt along??

  3. Posted July 1, 2011 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    This sounds like a fun project. Don’t know if I can commit myself to join but will check back in! The folk museum exhibit is on my to-visit list. I am just hoping to be able to visit before it ends in October.

  4. machen und tun
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    i just found out about this fab quilt along und joined the flickr group right away! i love those blocks an can´t wait!!

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