Monday, May 23, 2016

Summer Sampler 2016 Block 2: Summer Slice

It's our second week of blocks for Summer Sampler 2016! This week, we're making "Summer Slice" by Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew.

This was such a fun, deceptively simple block to make. Although it looks like a lot of seams, relatively few of them actually have to line up. LOL.


And you could do some really interesting things with color and value in this block. In fact, Allison is showing the block in several other color schemes today on her blog. Amazing how different this block can look with just a few small changes!

There's still plenty of time to join the Summer Sampler 2016 quilt-along! Although we're now on week 2, you can buy the full block-of-the-week subscription and get immediate access to all of the blocks that have already been released. And going forward you'll receive emails to download a new block each and every Monday, along with the rest of us!

And as always, check out the #summersampler2016 to see how everyone else is doing with their blocks! I've been so impressed by what you all have done so far!


Monday, May 16, 2016

Summer Sampler 2016 Block 1: Turkey Vulture


Today's the day: We're kicking off Summer Sampler 2016! Every Monday, all summer long, those of you who have signed up for the Summer Sampler 2016 subscription will receive a link to download full instructions for a new block. The blocks are by Faith of Fresh Lemons Quilts, Katie of Swim Bike Quilt, myself, and seven of our bestest blogger friends, and we'll be sewing right along with you as we go. After all of the block instructions have been delivered, you'll get patterns for three different sampler quilt options using the blocks we've been making together. Faith, Katie, and I have been blown away by the response to this quilt-along and are really looking forward to a summer of sewing with all of you!

This week's block is called Turkey Vulture, by AnneMarie Chany of Gen X Quilters. AnneMarie is the queen of samplers—she's run a popular Block-of-the-Month program for the last several years, and she recently wrote the fab sampler book, Sister Sampler Quilts. So we knew she'd be a great designer to contribute to Summer Sampler 2016! And Turkey Vulture might be one of my favorite blocks in the series.

Selecting the fabric for my blocks ended up being a pretty easy choice: I decided to emulate the digital mock-up we made of all of the Summer Sampler 2016 blocks. I figured the mock-up was appealing enough that one of us should go ahead and make it a reality. LOL. And those are the colors that tend to call out to me anyway—I actually already had on hand most of the solids that coordinate to the digital colors we used. (I know, you're shocked that I had aqua and teal in my solids collection, right? SHOCKED.)

So here's my Turkey Vulture block, done up in yummy solids inspired by our mock-up. This block was not difficult, and I absolutely love the pixelated look of the center. My advice is to be sure to keep the color choices in that center unit random, yet balanced—don't be afraid to play around with the layout of those little squares until they're perfect.

It's not too late to join in the Summer Sampler 2016 fun! Click here to purchase your subscription. No matter when you buy, all previously-released files will become available to download immediately, and you'll automatically receive a link to download the new patterns each Monday going forward. We also have a fun and busy Facebook group which is available only to subscribers! (Customers in the European Union should click here to purchase.)

For those of you who have already subscribed, you should have already received an email with a link to download this week's block! If you did not receive it, please check your junk/spam folder. And don't forget to hashtag your Instagram photos #summersampler2016 (or just click here to check out what everybody else is making!)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Summer Sampler 2016 - Quilt Along With Us This Summer!


Five years ago (could it really have been so long?), Katie, Faith, and I hosted a quilt-along called The Summer Sampler Series. Hopefully a few of you have been around here long enough to remember it. : )

Our goal back then was pretty simple: Teach modern quilters how to make traditional blocks. Crazy though it seems now, at the time, there wasn't a lot online with that specific focus. There were traditional block tutorials online, using traditional fabric—and then there was modern quilting. Only infrequently did the two mix and mingle.

To our delight, we found that people were very interested in combining those two quilt genres. The Summer Sampler Series was more popular than we ever expected! It eventually led to the three of us authoring our book, Vintage Quilt Revival, in which we tried to take modern-traditionalism to a new level. These days, I'm happy to say that modern traditionalism is everywhere—it even has its own category at QuiltCon. I like to think (hope) that the three of us played a role in that.

And what better time, on the 5-year anniversary of the original Summer Sampler Series, to bring it back? We are so excited to announce Summer Sampler 2016

One block a week, starting May 16, running through September 26. Ten designers (Katie, Faith, me, and seven of our blogger friends.) Twenty blocks total. Quilt along with us all summer long!


This time around, we're offering the Summer Sampler as a block-of-the-week subscription program. Click here to pre-order Summer Sampler 2016 for $19.99. That's just $1 per block—for a limited time, ending May 15. After May 15, the price goes up to $24.99, so don't miss out on the chance to save! (European Union customers: You can purchase the Summer Sampler 2016—and now all my other patterns!—through my Etsy shop. Click here to purchase.)


Each Monday, starting May 16, you'll get a link to download that week's block pattern. The last block will be delivered on September 26, and instructions for three sampler layout options will be delivered on Oct. 2.

The Summer Sampler 2016 subscription includes:
• fully-tested instructions for each weekly block, with step-by-step diagrams
• three sampler layouts and full instructions for each, delivered at the end of the subscription
• digital mock-ups of ways to use each block in its own quilt layout, for future inspiration
• coloring pages for planning purposes
• access to a private, subscribers-only Facebook group, where you can interact with the designers and other quilters


More about the Summer Sampler 2016 skill level and techniques:
• The different blocks vary in skill level, with some being simpler, while others are more advanced. I would say the overall skill level of all 20 blocks is intermediate—but if that's not you, don't be afraid to try it! We'll include lots of links to tutorials for the techniques involved, so it's a great skill-builder!
• Several are paper-pieced, while others use traditional piecing. There are four blocks with curved piecing, so it's a great opportunity to learn more about that technique!

The Summer Sampler 2016 designers are:
Katie Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt
Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced
Faith Jones of Fresh Lemons Quilts
AnneMarie Chany of Gen X Quilters
Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft
Holly DeGroot of Bijou Lovely
Lynne Goldsworthy of Lily's Quilts
Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew
Karen Lewis of Karen Lewis Textiles
Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter

We can't wait to quilt along with you this summer!

Friday, April 29, 2016

May Is For Makers


You all know I don't get up on any soapboxes very often—only when it's something extremely important to me. Today is one of those days. So grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine or other beverage of your choice, and settle in. : )

I love blogging. I may get busy and disappear from time to time, but trust me, I'll always be back, because my need to write is second only to my need to create visually. But no matter how many pins you see on Pinterest screaming about making $20,000 a month blogging, ain't nobody making a living wage with a sewing blog, believe me. And yet, where would our modern quilting world be without the tutorials and free projects that are out there online? How many of us would never even have taken up sewing (or come back to it) if it weren't for bloggers? I don't think I would have.

But here's the thing. At some point, in some way, the people creating this content need to be paid for their efforts. Anything less is not sustainable. Free patterns are great, and they may sometimes serve a purpose for both the designer and the customer. But not every pattern can or should be free. And very few designers can afford to put in the work to self-publish a pattern without getting something in return. No matter how much they may love what they are doing. In my opinion, free content should be a fun, unexpected bonus from time to time—it shouldn't be automatically expected.

So that's why my friend Lindsey from LR Stitched has created the May Is for Makers campaign. To support the independent designers and content-creators who add creativity, beauty, and knowledge to our world. Lindsey is pledging to buy a pattern from a different independent designer every week in May, and I'm going to join her. I hope you'll consider joining in as well!

Here's how it works:
- Each week in May, I'll purchase a pattern from another pattern-maker. There are five Mondays in May, so that's five independent designers that will get my support over the course of the month!
- Every Monday, starting May 2, I'll share my pattern purchase on social media with the hashtag #mayisformakers.
- Hopefully, in the process, we'll send support and appreciation to independent designers all over the world.

Just to be clear, this is not about guilting people into buying my patterns (though if you want to buy from me, I won't argue! LOL.) This is about supporting all the innovators and creators of the quilting and sewing worlds. I am just one of thousands of independent designers trying to make a go of it in this business, and we all need your support. Consider buying a pattern as a way of saying thank you for a free tutorial you learned from, or a free pattern that you especially loved—after all, that free tutorial or pattern was probably only made possible by that designer's paid patterns. 

Let's join together to support all the Makers this May! I can't wait to see what (and who) you choose to support!

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Disclosures

In addition to my paid sponsors, I sometimes accept free fabric, notions, or tools in exchange for posting about it on this blog or my other social media platforms. But I pledge that this practice will never change one of my product reviews or lead me to use fabric or other items that are not "my style."

I also am an Amazon Affiliate and receive compensation for items ordered via my Amazon links.

Copyright and Permissions FAQ

Can I make a quilt that looks just like one of yours? Of course! You don't need my permission for that. But remember, it's polite (and helpful to others) to credit your source of inspiration.

Can I share one of your photos on my blog or website? Probably! But please contact me for permission first. Use of my photos for commercial purposes is prohibited.

Can I pin your photos to Pinterest? Yes, please do! I love Pinterest!

Can I sell individual items made from your tutorials or patterns? Yes! As long as you don't open a factory and start churning out hundreds of them. : ) And please do not reproduce or sell the patterns or tutorials themselves. Thank you!