Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Sampler Quilts are learning tools that turn into heirlooms!
If you are like me the word 'sampler' conjurs up images of 12-inch blocks, each one a different star or pattern. They march across the quilt in straight rows and down the quilt in straight columns with a simple strips dividing them and a plain border boxing them in.
They were all the rage when women (and men) found quilting again in the 1960s-70s. Everyone made a sampler quilt and owned a copy of Diane Leone's "The Sampler Quilt" that featured traditional patterns that used pieced, appliqued and curved piece patterns that we all recognized -- Ohio Star, Flower Garden, Card Trick, Orange Peel, etc. Since this original publication, Leone has put together a new and improved version of Sampler Quilts. The NEW Sampler Quilt and it offers alternatives to the traditional rows and columns.
These Sampler Quilts were the threshold, the entryway for many into the world of quilting. Lorchen Nunn explained the story behind her golden sampler quilt displayed here.
Maria explains: "I think of this quilt as my "sampler quilt" because I tried several different techinques for the first time: watercolor wash in the border, machine trapunto for the wings which were then only stitched down on the upper portions, hand applique using Charlotte Warr Andersen’s techniques, free motion machine embroidered lettering (these are not computerized letters), use of metallic and sheer fabrics, and hand quilting with sliver metallic threads."
For the past couple of weeks I have been surfing the net looking at a variety of quilts that fall under the heading of 'sampler.' A Google search of sampler quilt images will bring many inspiring images to view.
A sampler is not only a thing of beauty, it is a learning tool. Women/quilters have used this technique, this project to grow their craft throught he centuries. Each square is a separate project where I learn something new. And since I'm the product of parents who came of age during The Great Depression, everything I make must have a use. Whether I hang it on the wall to decorate my home or use it as a baby quilt or a full sized bed quilt, even my 'practice' squares become useful.
I would be remiss if I didn't point out that these one-square wonders make perfect 'hugs' for the Snuggles Project. And they are even less expensive because one uses flannel or used clothing or pieces of worn blankets as the batting. For more information about the Snuggles Project, please visit their home page where they welcome quilted/sewn, crocheted and knitted 'hugs.'
Brady Sparrow's Summer Sampler Quilt. A great project to make using a fabric collection that will mix and match and bring cohesion to the various star squares that Brady includes in her quilt. She offers well written tutorials with photos to help those undertaking this project. And she also offers a beginners version.
One of the most engaging samplers I ran across is designed by Jane Tenorio-Coscarelli. I don't have permission, yet to post a photo. But I encourage you to check it out at her facebook photo page.
This is of course only a tiny glimpse at the number of samplers available online. Many of the BOM (block of the month) quilts might fall under this heading as do calendar quilts. I'm not very good at making two dozen identical squares, so a 'sampler' is perfect for my short attention span. And the cat quilts are even better!