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Let's Make a Sampler

Let's Make a Sampler

Written by: 
Carrie Nelson

As soon as our copies of Susan Ache’s Sampler Spree book arrived, it was filled with page-flags marking our favorite blocks.  Then we were digging through fabric and scrap bins to start making blocks.

CT SSQAL Book Cover

This book - Susan Ache's Sampler Spree.

We know we’re not alone in that.

How many weeks away is June 16?  Do we really have to wait?

We asked Susan for some help...

Seven weeks from today. 

It is getting so close to playtime with a big group, and I am probably more excited than those that are playing!

From the beginning, even before this became a concept for a book, I thought of this as scraps, scraps, scraps.  I write about what I consider scraps in the book, and I’ll share more about that next week, but, with a block book, I use my scraps to make a block as a reference.

CT SSQAL Susan's Orphan Blocks

Susan’s Orphan Blocks.

For this,  I thought it would be fun to assign colors to each week, and then “scavenger hunt” through the book for that week’s blocks. Does that mean you need to make all of the blocks?  No way!  You might want to just make repeats of your favorite blocks.  Go for it!  Maybe you want to make a block using a different color than I am – that’s okay too.  My approach to creating the blocks was to work through my scraps, one color bin at a time.  Some of the fun for me is to challenge myself with a few rules.  (More about that soon – two words… ice cream.)

CT SSQAL Susan's Scraps

Susan is a Master-Scrapper.

If you want to crack open a brand, new fat quarter bundle, or one you’ve saved for something special – do it!  Or curate your own bundle from your stash.  I know I am going to be awed by all the styles I’m going to see this summer!  I’m excited to see how everyone is going to make this quilt their own.  

CT SSQAL Stitch Pink 2020 Palette

One of Susan's "curated" bundles.

Now we’re even more excited.  How do we join the fun?

The only thing you need to do to join is make sure you have the book in your hands.  Every single week, a new color and block assignment will be announced.  You can work from there, following that plan or not, and your only homework is to share some pictures of what you’ve made.  And sewing – but that’s not really homework.

CT SSQAL Susan's Curated Bundle

Another “bundle” Susan pulled together for a quilt.

I promise you that it’s going to be a colorful summer, and it will be fun.  There aren’t any over-the-top “hard” blocks in the book, and they are all 6”.  I’ll also promise you that they get quite addicting to make, especially when you see how fast your quilt grows. 

I know I want to make ALL the blocks in the book… so can I start making a few blocks now?

Yes!  I know the minute I get a book in my hands, I want to try it out right away!  I get it.  If you can’t wait, or need a little bit of playtime now, go for it.  The “quilt police” won’t be knocking at your door.  

CT SSQAL Susan's Design Wall

Susan’s Design Wall

But as a group, we are going to tackle this quilt in a way you’ve probably never thought to do before with block book, so you might want to wait for that. 

CT SSQAL Aqua & Blue Scraps

(Would you be “blue” about sewing with this for a week?)

But if you need to jump ahead and sneak in a few blocks now... do it.

You mentioned “soon” a few times… will there be any news, tips and suggestions before June?

Yes!  My friends at Martingale and Moda have pestered me with questions for blog posts, so those are coming in May. 

There are paper templates in the book to use for a few of the blocks, and if you want to know some of the acrylic templates I have purchased, I am happy to share that.  I have several that are my go-to templates.  I do splurge on templates, but only those that I know will get multiple uses, so those included in the back of the book are used often.

Favorite templates?  Tell me!

Next time.  Be patient.   

Thank you, Susan.

(Don’t worry.  I’ll make sure she shares that soon.)

Just so you know, all of the images used here are from Susan's Instagram - @yardgrl60.

We're back next week to chat more about the book.  (Orphan blocks and building a scrap stash.)

I might be off to make a block... what about you?

For a PDF of this blog post - Let's Make A Sampler