Monday, February 13, 2017

Stella's Splendid Sampler

Happy Day--Stella's Splendid Sampler top is done!

I first wrote about this last February when the project first started:  The Splendid Sampler.  At that time, the Facebook group numbered just over 10,000, today, at this moment, it's at 25,622. That doesn't include the people around the world who signed up by email.  Pat Sloan and Joan Davidson can be very proud of the project they put together with a lot of work, effort, planning and coordinating of more than 80 designers.  A book is due for release soon.

My quilt, by the numbers:  100 blocks, 2757 pieces, 132 different fabrics, finished size 81" square,  I replaced 6 blocks, one with a "bonus" block that was provided, and 5 that I drafted or added myself.

This quilt is for my beloved grand-girl, Stella LeAnne, who is only 20 months old now but will move up to a "big girl bed" later this year.  As I worked on this, I thought it is possible she will take this to college years from now, it's not overly childish.  Time will tell.

What I learned from this: First, this is a mystery project--if you don't know what the finished quilt will look like when you start, that's a mystery.  Not everyone does well under those conditions--if you want to plan everything from the beginning, this isn't for you.  I was surprised at the number of embroidery blocks, though I shouldn't have been, we knew there would be lots of techniques introduced.  There were some true beginners who tackled this--I hope they learned a lot and weren't discouraged.  There was so much support online by the various designers, every skill level could learn something.

Had I known what it would look like before I began, I wouldn't have made it.  BUT I'm glad I did--I thought of Stella with every block and I hope she will like it.  Here are my favorite blocks:

I created the BB block, my grandma name, and the Coneflower I hand-appliqued while on a family beach vacation with Stella in August:

Her "surprised" face she did on command and her PopPop

This embroidery block I simply colored with crayons and heat set.  Loved the design, didn't want to spend weeks sewing it. 
 This embroidery block took me 3 weeks to complete, I do like it but, 3 weeks--I just couldn't get motivated to finish it.

 I substituted this block with a 6-pointed star--Stella means "star" in Italian, and added the embroidery

 I liked the design of this simple sawtooth star and interesting border treatment

 This was the first block with embroidery and I liked how someone added fabric to the "quilt", and colored the face and toys with crayons--I learned I could do that.

 I substituted this block I created for one that had 3 black birds on it--I love flying geese so just drew the paper pattern and made 3 "geese"

This heart block was one of the many paper pieced blocks and one I'll use again--it would be great for those gift quilts made to show love to a friend in need.

Here is Stella having a look at  her quilt in progress in October:

Here are the fabrics I started with:

I intended to use the large print as borders, having saved it after making Smitten:

BUT, a couple weeks ago I saw a wonderful strip-pieced border on Bonnie Hunters' blog and thought "What a great way to use up these fabrics!"  So, how come I seem to have just as much fabric left from this project as when I started??  I added more and the scrap stash just seems to grow.  See what I did with some of the scraps here:  Baby Quilt.

So, it's done, except for the quilting which I will do myself.  Now to baste it and get started.  And I have plenty of projects to get back to now.

Let's Quilt!



  1. It truly is splendid! : )
    I am one of those people that doesn't do well with a mystery. Quilting time is too limited for me to spend it on something I won't love--and how can I know if I will love it or not if I can't see it before I start? *LOL*
    Love Stella's "surprised" face.

  2. Thank you so much for joining us Barbara! What a gorgeous quilt for a darling girl... can't wait to see it in person. Looks like you work for Quilts Inc? You must come down to the Martingale book at spring market to say hello to Jane & I.. and bring your quilt!

  3. Fabulous finish! I love scrappy quilts and find that they always look fantastic! Thanks for sharing Stella's Splendid Sampler with us!

  4. An incredible finished project. Kudos!

  5. It is a splendid quilt! How great that you already have the top finished! Love the border and am glad you went the pieced route rather than with that wonderful print fabric.

  6. How lucky Stella will be to receive such a precious gift!

  7. Fantastic! What a labor of love!

  8. How lucky Stella will be to receive this wonderful quilt, and how lucky you are to have such a precious grandchild.

  9. So beautiful, Barbara. I love your substitutions and making it your own. Stella's going to love it as it is so colorful.
    Congrats to getting it to flimsy stage.

  10. A truly grand quilt for your grand girl!