City Sampler

City Sampler Progress

While my heart dreams of starting the Penny Sampler, my reality – both financial and time wise – compel me to carry on with the City Sampler.  See, you can even make sewing sound like drama!

I am exaggerating of course.  While its true, I’d prefer to start my new project, I’m really happy to continue along my merry way with the City Sampler.  The blocks are fun to put together, and I’m becoming much more careful in my cutting, and my seaming.  When I first started quilting (like yesterday), I was terrified of cutting the fabric the wrong way – what if I waste some of it?  But fear has never stopped me from picking up a scissors. We’ve all seen the effects of that with my Piano Keys quilt, and the sliced off border.  But, I do think that cutting each block individually has made me more economically.  I’ve gone from impulsive cutting, to plotted cutting.  I plan more, and I save my trimmings in a plastic bag instead of throwing them on the floor.

Anyway, here’s where I am –




And finally –



Ta da!

As far as the Penny Sampler goes, here are my stumbling blocks.  First, I can’t really decide on a color scheme.  While Rachel’s original quilt is fairly muted, that doesn’t mean the quilt wouldn’t look awesome with vibrant colors.  But, I have hers stuck in my head, and its making it hard to break away from her concept.  There’s a Flickr group for class members to post their photos, but a lot of people seem to be sticking to her concept as well, even buying the same fabric she used (when she started the class, she offered a bundle that was similar to the fabric she used).  While there are some who have gone their own color way, they haven’t put their quilts together yet, and it’s kind of hard to tell if they’re going to come together.

Stumbling block no 2 – I’ve looked at every hot fat quarter bundle out there, and the thing is, while there are prints in the quilt, the solids are really the important component, and for me at least, buying solids online is really hard.  What I’d really like to do is go to an actual fabric store, and handpick my fabric.  I am going to the Grace Kelly exhibit at the Michener Museum in Doylestown with my mother next Saturday, and there is a quilt shop in Doylestown – but that means waiting an ENTIRE WEEK to get started.  And, it also means shopping with my mother, who tends to get a little impatient.  But, I think that’s the way I’m going to go.  And, in the meantime, I’ll continue to work on it in my head – or perhaps, with some of the neutrals I have in my stash . . . hmmm . . .

City Sampler Underway

After much thought, and a reality check – including time, money and interest, I’ve decided to go full speed ahead with Tula Pink’s City Block Sampler, and abandon, at least for now, the Farmer’s Wife.

I’m jumping in on the Quilt A Long late, to say the least. But, it’s all good – better than good actually, because I’m picking up at a very good section for a beginner – blocks. How much can you screw up a block, right?

So, here’s one last look at my Denyse Schmidt Florence, all bundled up, neat and pretty. I read on someone’s blog that fabric bundles never look the same again once you’ve undone that sweet little bow – and now, with that thought in mind, undoing the bow is like ripping off a bandaid.


But, off the band aid without an accompanying ouch, because it’s pretty fab after it’s been exploded.


The solids aren’t part of the bundle, but rather perfect selections from Pink Chalk Fabrics that I bought to compliment the fat quarter bundle. I have no idea how far this stash is going to get me – 10 blocks? 20 blocks? Half way done? No clue. Part of me says I’ll worry about that when I get there. The other, sensible part (and mighty optimistic), is formulating a plan – I’ll either buy another bundle of the same, or maybe I’ll go with one of the other Denyse Schmidt lines – during one of my click through a linky internet adventure, I saw someone who had combined several Denyse lines, and it all worked out pretty well. (Edit – I just tried to link to the Pink Chalk solid bundle I bought, and it’s no longer available – so it’ll definitely be back to the drawing board).

But, clearly I’m getting ahead of myself – I’ve got all of four blocks done, that’s 96 more to go – NINETY SIX. As they say on Game of Thrones, Winter is Coming – I’ll have plenty of quality time with my machine and my fabric and my book. You’ll see!

And 71 –


Block 72


And, fussy cut Block 73 –


Tula’s fussy cut features a sweet little frog from her Prince Charming line. I don’t have anything like that – in fact, I have very little that’s fussy cutable. I have fabric left over from my Amy Butler birdie swing tote that has birds on it – but it’s not such a great fit with this fabric. So, I pulled this out from my stash of vintage fabrics that I got when I was putting together a Maryann Moss journal –


I said, a ha! Perfect! And I cut away.

And then, I immediately regretted it.

How cute would that panel have been in a tote bag? Argh. Oh well, it’s cut now.

And, I’ve mentally dealt with slashing this one of kind piece of fabric. I’m going to use the little calendars in other fussy cut pieces, marking special dates, and there are other bits that can be used too. All is good. It’s just quilting.

Anyway, here are all of the blocks together –


This weekend really was pretty productive – I’ll be back for WIP Wednesday to show you my other projects – but I did want to show you this – I finally pieced around my owl, sewed on his eyes, and put him in his hoop.

Love him!

Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start!