The Story Behind the Sampler

My mom taught me to quilt about 10 years ago. The first quilt I made was a very simple rail patch for my niece, sadly I do not have any pictures – although the quilt now lives at my mom’s house so the next time I am home I will have to take some.  My niece loved it to death – literally! There are holes worn right through it.

This summer I was telling my mom that I wanted to stretch my quilting skills and she suggested doing a sampler quilt. She had given me 3 or 4 books on different sampler quilts.  Well, I took her advice (to an extent) and decided that I would make my own sampler. Thus, my Vintage Christmas Sampler was born!

The reason behind the fabric choices is even more simple to explain. It is what I had on hand! I did not want to have to spend very much money to make these blocks since I didn’t know how it would turn out, or if I would even like it in the end. It seemed silly to invest a ton of money into an experiment.  In the end I have so much fabric left over that I could probably make a second vintage sampler if I wanted to (and maybe some day I will).

So there you have it, my sampler is only a vintage sampler because I used older fabrics that I had on hand and because more than half the blocks have their origins in blocks over 60 years old.  The rest of the blocks are examples of me playing around.

I’ll tell you what, it worked! My skills have stretched beyond my imagining. I now know how to design my own blocks, figure out all the math for my own blocks and break down other blocks just by looking at them. If these are skill you are interested in learning, let me know and I will do some very simple tutorials for you!

Let me know if you would plan on making my Vintage Christmas Sampler. I would be more than happy to start a flickr group where we can all share our progress and finished quilts!

Happy Sewing!

About Melissa Dunworth

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5 Responses to The Story Behind the Sampler

  1. Thanks for sharing the story behind this quilt. I love that you used older block patterns, as well as vintage fabric. It looks lovely so far. 🙂

  2. Karin says:

    I love hearing the stories behind the pretty pictures!! And as a novice quilter, I read every tutorial I can get my hands on. I may not always make them, but I do save all the ones that even remotely look like something I’d like to do in the future. I love the idea of skill building by the block – if it’s a real chore, then you can simply elect not to repeat that block & if it’s something you love the look of, you can return & do a whole quilt with it. Smart cookie! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  3. Lisa L. says:

    I LOVE your sampler!! It is a fabulous idea and even better execution! I also really enjoy all of your tutorials. 🙂

  4. Vicki Freeman says:

    How lucky you are that your Mom taught you to quilt! What a great resource. Does she still do a lot of quilting? Oh yeah – and count me as one of those making your Sampler! Everyone who’s making it should post here so we know how many “sampler sisters” we have and can share with each other! 🙂

  5. quiltzyx/sue says:

    Great Christmas quilt! While I do like the newer holiday fabrics with purples & pinks, etc., I really like regular reds & greens the best. I even like your woodgrain sashing & borders! LOL

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