Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Thirty Year Sampler

What can I say that you don't already know? We've all heard the adage "the longest journey begins with the first step," but starting wasn't the problem. Consistency was.

All are traditional blocks for which I drafted and cut plastic templates. Then I pieced each by hand. In 1989. After that it seemed logical to hand quilt. Elaborate feathers were planned but I took this on a data shoot to work on in the evenings. Since the light was bad I just stippled everywhere. Now that seems like a lost opportunity. And I also lost interest.

I put it away but dragged it from home to home. Two years ago I got it out to work on on the evenings during the news hour. Even that wasn't consistent work. With our quilt show approaching, I decided to hand quilt the inner area and small blocks then switch to machine quilting on the sashing and outer floral. Good choices. Nothing shows on the black sashing. Originally I planned spirals but changed to quarter-inch straight lines. The floral is randomly free-motion quilted. Now that it's been washed, I can't distinguish  it from the hand stippling.

Thirty Year Sampler quilt 

Each of these is a traditional design based on various grids. For example, Dervish Star is a four-patch while Fish is based on eight-pointed star.

Dervish Star and Fish blocks

Once the Alexander Henry floral was chosen, the other fabrics were selected to go with it. Several lights seemed like a good idea then and still do today but I wish I'd used more fabrics for the colors.


Fifty-four Forty or Fight and Wheel of Fortune blocks

I used the blue and pink fabrics in the four blocks to finish the inner diamond.

Devil's Claws, Goose in the Pond, my variation on Michigan Star, and David and Goliath blocks


The purple and green fabrics made the eight blocks around it.

St. Louis Star and World's Fair blocks
I tried to use examples from each type of quilt block: four-, five-, seven- and nine- patches; eight-pointed stars, circular designs.

Little Giant and King David's Crown blocks

The center medallion is a design from an 1858 Godeys Ladies Book.

1858 Godeys Ladies Book medallion

Binding. Can you believe I also saved a bit of the green and black fabrics this long?

Binding and backing of Thirty Year Sampler

Quilt Details
Size: 84" x 84"
Design: Sampler
Batting: Mountain Mist 100%cotton
Thread: Metler quilting threads, Aurifil 50/2 cotton, DMC embroidery cotton
Quilting: Hand quilting and Machine, walking foot and free motion

Just a note: Happy birthday, Mother.

Linked to Finish it up Friday.

Enjoy the day, Ann

34 comments:

  1. It's absolutely stunning and FINISHED! Way to go! XO

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    1. Finished is fabulous, Karen. Thanks.

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  2. Beautiful finish! And, yes I can believe it took 30 years as I have a few of those myself. Some "older" ufo's have been donated to my local group for auctioning off. I'm happy to see that you didn't give up on this one as it it is lovely. And I think I may have a few of those Alexander Henry's in my closet too. Thanks for finishing and thanks for sharing.

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    1. I've given many old UFOs away, too. Now I try to work more slowly so I finish what I start. But they should go somewhere. I'm pleased this one is done and still with me... although styles have changed and there are many things I did thirty years ago that I wouldn't do today.

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  3. You know what, this is a real triumph of spirit, Ann. A very difficult project, and you lost interest for a long time, but you still finished it and it looks just great. An excellent lesson for me! All the blocks are lovely, especially the centre, so it was absolutely worth the final push. Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks, Monica. This quilt is the one where I realized I'm not a hand quilter, although I love hand quilted work. You all intrigue me with the perle cotton big stitch but, after this, I'm afraid to start one of those. I may not have another 30 years. I do love the center medallion and want to make more of them.

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  4. You are in good company, I will admit to one or two in the 20+ and 30+ age range. I need to get over my hoarding self and just give them to the charity guild to finish........

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    1. That's what I did with most of my oldies but this was still dear to my heart. If I hadn't switched to machine quilting it would still be a UFO though.

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  5. Beautiful finish -- congratulations!

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  6. It is a lovely finish...I bet you are thrilled to have one less UFO in your stash!

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    1. What a delight to have this one done. And I'm thrilled I still like it.

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  7. Wow! You hand pieced those blocks? That alone is an enormous accomplishment! I have only dreamed of hand piecing a block or two and nothing as complex as this quilt!
    It's a beautiful quilt! Congratulations on a finish! The note took me back to last year...Let's meet soon. xo

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    1. I remember piecing all of them even as I wondered why I wasn't using the machine. Thanks for writing, Sujata.

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  8. A wonderful finish! It's a complex pattern, amazing! I'm glad that you still like it too!

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    1. While I don't think it's as wonderful as it appeared 30 years ago, I do still like it. Amazing!

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  9. I applaud you for keeping and finally finishing. I would have trashed by now...
    It is very pretty.

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    1. I always loved the center and the fabrics so I kept it for years. Silly not to have finished it before now but it was a recent decision to switch to machine quilting. Otherwise this would never have been completed.

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  10. Oh my goodness! 30 years! It's gorgeous and hand-sewn and quilted makes it extra special. The center medallion looks complex but you've done such a good job with it. Congratulations on the finish!

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    1. Thanks, Mary. I love optical illusions from these circular patterns. I want to make a larger one sometime... but it will definitely be machined.

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  11. wow this is fantastic and has not dated at all wonderful design blocks and loving the fabrics too.So good that you finally completed it

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    1. Thanks, Margaret. I think there would be more detail around the borders if it was made today. But I do still love the colors.

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  12. Goodness, that centre medallions is stunning! Wonderful finish and amazing that you pieced by hand - congratulations are in oder for the beautiful quilt and your perseverance over the years.

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    1. Thanks, Maureen. The center is a treat. Hand piecing wasn't hard but this was the quilt that showed me I haven't the patience to hand quilt.

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  13. That center block is an amazing piece of work! I can see why you wanted to hang onto this one. It's an incredible feeling to finally finish something you've lost interest in so long ago, but still feel that it's a worthy project. Is this to be gifted to your mother then? I wasn't sure, but if so, what a wonderful way to give honor to it.:)

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    1. Oh, Audrey, I just read about your latest "old' finish. What a delight that is! I especially love that you incorporated borders and lively applique into your work. If I had any more of these fabrics or something that would have gone with it I kept thinking that additions to the corners would spark some more interest for me. The real killer was the hand quilting. I'm a machine girl.
      These are not my mother's colors so I'm keeping it for now. She lets me know when she want something I'm working on and has quite a collection.

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  14. Congratulations on the finish. It's an achievement just to have kept track of it for 30 years, never mind all the work that's gone into it! I especially like the centre block - what an undertaking to do it all by hand.

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    1. The center wasn't as hard as it appears. At least that's how I remember it. I'd like to make another optical illusion style some day. The hand quilting is what did me in. This quilt told me in no uncertain terms that I'm a machine girl.

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  15. Oh, gosh...I'm impressed! You chose some blocks that look very difficult and probably needed to be hand pieced to look so good. Congrats on that beauty and the finish.

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    1. Several of these blocks were favorites of mine: Delectable Mountains, Goose in the Pond, Little Giant and of course, the center medallion. It was fun to find a way to incorporate all of them.

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  16. I agree, amazing amount of hand work and dedication.
    Congratulations, Ann.

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    1. So good to have it finished. And washed. Thirty years of grime even though it had been covered for storage.

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  17. Good job for getting this one done. I have a very old top that is nagging me to finish it. I made it in the late 70's and it is a very big log cabin quilt. I started hand quilting it, but that fell by the wayside and I didn't work on it. Life got in the way and it just sat. It got dirty during several remodeling projects and moves so I finally took out what little hand quilting there was, toss the dirty polyester batting, and washed the top and backing. So now it sits waiting for me to finish it. I remember saving the binding for it - I wonder where that is? LOL!! I swear I am going to finish it!

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    1. Lucky you to take the hand quilting out and restart. It will be a good place to practice machine quilting!

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