Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Forgiving Sets for Sampler Blocks



When stitching 12 different star blocks you are going to have different sizes. In theory the EQ8
patterns for a 12" block will produced a variety of stars all nicely measuring 12-1/2" before sewing them together. But the nature of samplers is uncooperative. Different seam allowances when you are sewing, more seams in one block than another, more easing to fit, etc = Different size blocks.

 The set above is not very forgiving.
Perhaps a different set will make your life easier.

One solution is to turn each 12" square on point and
piece it into another square. You now have a block finishing
(in theory) to 17".

Cut the triangles a little larger than what the pattern calls for. My handy-dandy, blue Fons & Porter's Quilters Need to Know Card tells me to cut squares 18-1/4" to set a 12" finished block. Cut them larger---19".
Cut into triangles with 2 cuts.

Deirdre Bond-Abel used this square-in-a-square solution for sampler blocks for her Hat Creek Quilts
pattern Hopkins Quilt.

You could set these side by side but here's what Deirdre did:

She pieced them into strips and then joined the strips together with an offset or half-drop repeat giving her a traditional streak-of-lightning or zig-zag look. See more here about her pattern:

Another option was used by several stitchers for last year's pieced BOM Yankee Notions.

Here's Shawn Priggle's in progress.
It looks to me like he framed each sampler square in a yellow frame.
He could then narrowly trim the yellow in any blocks that were larger than the rest
and get them all the same size before he sashed with the dotted black.

(He's such a stitch-meister that they probably did not need trimming but for the rest of us...)

Jean Etheridge had a similar solution.
Her frames are different prints, which would make it
even harder to notice that one was 2" and one 2-1/8".

Make the frames a little larger because you are going to trim
them and you want some room to fudge.

See Shawn's and Jean's quilts and other finished Yankee Notions tops here:

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