Giveaway, skills and samplers

I’m easing myself back into quilting and blogging and Skill Building…

First, be sure to pop over to A Wandering Minstrel I for her one year anniversary giveaway. Beth is in the Modern Quilt Guild that I belong to, and she has TWO prizes to give away. Hint: If you’ve ever thought about hexies but haven’t had the ambition to try them, pre-cut and basted hexies are one of the prizes!

In other news, I finally sewed something for the first time in almost two months. I’ve had major quilt block (hah! I just realized the pun!), and I just haven’t been able to work up the enthusiasm to DO something. Considering I have two challenges (solids and Habitat) that are due in September, that’s not a good sign. After a lot of hemming and hawing, I finally made a decision and cut the Habitat fabric. One thing about challenges of this type – they make you work outside your comfort zone. Habitat is so far outside my comfort zone I think it’s in another solar system. I would never have purchased these fabrics (well, maybe one or two), and they’re very difficult for me to work with. Still, I like the direction the project is going, since I’m working with a traditional block that contrasts with the very modern fabrics.


Jeanne and I have been working on a sampler project that will help you practice the skills taught in the Skill Builder Series. I think we’re going to call it the Test Your Skills Sampler, and we hope to introduce it in the next week or three. Unlike many samplers out there now, we’re going to work with blocks of different sizes. Hey, we had to do something to set this one apart from all of the gorgeous samplers we’re seeing now!

This is a preliminary peek at what we’re thinking about. There’s still room for tweaks, so it may be a bit different from this.

Test Your Skills Sampler 2

If you have any suggestions for the sampler or future skills, let us know! We still need to do part two of drafting, which will be about original creations rather than replicating existing blocks. We also have posts coming up about paper piecing (aka foundation piecing), curves, Y seams, alternate blocks, sashing, borders, batting, backing, quilting, binding and labeling. Whew!



  1. I love this!

    Great name – even better than the one I stole. 🙂
    Is there generalized math for feathered stars? I have always wanted to make one but they scare me to death. I think they are one of the classiest blocks out there. I am glad you have one in your sampler.

    I know what you mean about Habitat. It was offered as a challenge in our new guild and I didn’t sign up to do it because I wouldn’t have known what to do with it. Can you add solids?

    Don’t worry about getting back into things all at once. We will still be here.

  2. Ooo! I think that quilt will definitely test skills! SinceI didn’t do the Skill Builder Series, I might have to start there before I even consider that quilt! so many ideas, never enough time (even for a retired grandmother like me!!)

  3. 1. I saw some Habitat fabric and thought it was downright ugly. I know a lot of other people are enthusiastic about it. But it sure isn’t my cuppa tea.
    2. I’m glad you’re back.
    3. The project looks wonderful!

  4. Ditto on Nanacy’s habitat comment. I did a challenge block for our guild, and was less than enthused. The designer is special, and the cause worthy, so that made up for it.

    That sampler looks wonderful! So glad to have you back. You have been missed.

  5. The sampler looks great. I’ve just started quilting and I would like to learn as much as possible. I love that you are combining so many different blocks and techniques.

  6. Very happy to see you back! Your sampler is very inviting — would it be an absurd choice for a very, very new quilter? It seems like such a good opportunity to start building all those skills you and Jeanne have so patiently and thoroughly been teaching, but perhaps it would be too ambitious for me?


      If you haven’t already, check out our Skill Builder Series so far – click on the button on the right or the link at the top right of the page. The skills are listed in a logical progression, so we’ll be starting at the top and working our way down as we do the sampler. As the blocks progress, we’ll continue posting more skill builders to address the new techniques. As you can see in the past posts, we provide extremely detailed instructions, and often more than one way to accomplish the same thing. I will always answer questions, either directly on the blog on via an email, depending on the question.

      Please, PLEASE take the opportunity! I think you’ll enjoy it. Our goal with this sampler is to help quilters exactly like you gain confidence and experience. With this sampler under your belt, you could take on just about any other quilt.

  7. Sandi,

    In February, I started a queen size quilt for my brother that I designed in EQ6. The majority of blocks are 12″, however, I also use 8″, 9″, and 10″ blocks. (not sure what happened to 11″ blocks, though? Guess I forgot about those) I put in a few tedious blocks, meaning, the blocks have 25+ pieces. It can be challenging to design from scratch, even with technology, so I appreciate the time you are putting into the Series and the sampler. I look forward to making your Skills Sampler to use as a benchmark when completing my brother’s quilt. EQ skills are not in my strengths column. Thanks!

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