The Splendid Sampler and Crafted Applique

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I am having a blast making blocks for The Splendid Sampler organized by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. This smorgasbord of quilting techniques is often challenging due to the block size (6 1/2″ unfinished) or a technique that is new to me.

Several of the blocks have included more emboridery than I’ve done in years and have taken me quite some time to complete. It all began innocently enough with some simple butterfly antennae. It quickly progressed to words and then these blocks happened.

Block 11

Block 11 Crocheted Thoughts by Alyssa Thomas

I love the doily effect created by the chain stitch, but that crochet hook was a beast for me. I pulled it out and reworked it so many times it is a miracle there is fabric behind it still.

Block 20

Block 20 Nature’s Walk by Vicki Tuck

I loved working on this one, but it took me fooooorevvvvvah!

Along with embroidery, several of these blocks are made with appliqué. While I can “do” appliqué, needle-turn takes me forever and I don’t like the look of raw-edge after it washes. With these opinions firmly settled in my brain, I found out a while ago that my bloggy friend Lara from Buzzin Bumble was working on a book for an exciting appliqué method she created. 

As soon as her book Crafted Appliqué, New Possibilities was available, I snatched one up.

Crafted Applique Book cover - 180 pixels

Oh my goodness! Her new technique opened up the world of raw edge machine appliqué for me. Her projects in the book are amazing! I own a half dozen or so quilting-related books, and I’m a serial ignorer of most of the text. I like to look at the pictures and have really good intentions of making most of the projects — some day. The text never interests me much, but the need to discover Lara’s new technique drew me to the text. What a delight. Her style of writing is light, conversational, funny, and (most importantly) very thorough. If you haven’t seen her projects during her bloghop for the book please do go to her site – they are gorgeous.

 So where is the connection with The Splendid Sampler blocks? Several blocks have asked for simple appliqué. I chose to needle-turn this one and didn’t stress about the circles because the design was folk-artsy.

Block 4

Block 4 Happy Happy by Jen Kingwell

A more recent block involved layers of appliqué – a technique I’ve never done using needle-turn and unfused fabric. The block came out just as I was finishing my daughter’s quilt.  I was behind on several projects and looking for a quick finish, not days worth of needle-turn appliqué. Lara’s book and method to the rescue!! Here are my two blocks made with her technique – raw edge, no fusible, machine stitched. From Lara’s experience and the experience of other bloggers, there will be no fraying after washing. Another bonus to Lara’s method is that I was able to replace the original flower for this block with a fussy cut that had a very irregular edge. This was originally a much larger flower. If I had used needle-turn I would never have gotten into those little dips. This method lets you choose exactly what you want from a design when you fussy cut.

Block 25

Block 25 Sunday Best by Anne Sutton

A little prep, and bam – done. This method worked so well, I couldn’t wait to try it again. The second opportunity came a few days ago. I loved getting to use my pinking shears on that white circle. I didn’t stitch each little triangle either, just around the circle.

Block 27 Sewing Machine by Pat Sloan

I will still needle-turn when I feel like it, but this is such an awesome technique it is definitely part of my wheel-house now.

Do go check out Lara’s wonderful blog and her new book. The book can be purchased at Lara’s blog, AQS, or on Amazon (non-affiliate links). Lara has also offered to send one of my readers a FREE book! Lucky ducks. Leave me a comment – geek out about the Splendid Sampler you are creating, commiserate with me about needle-turn circles that are bumpy no mater what you do, or just say hi. I will pick a winner with my random comment winner thingy on Sunday, May 29 at 8 AM PDT. Please make sure you can be reached by email!

Sew forth!


22 thoughts on “The Splendid Sampler and Crafted Applique

  1. Every block is so beautiful Colleen that I turned into a pinning fiend! You are creating what will be a Truly Splendid Sampler!
    Thank you so much for this amazing review of my book too! And for all the kind and wonderful things you wrote! I’m so glad that you were drawn into reading the actual text. “Serial Ignorer’ hahahah – I must confess to being a Serial Skimmer. 🙂
    You know how much I love your Sunday Best Bunny and Wow did your Sewing Machine block turn out wonderfully too! You picked the greatest fabrics for your appliques and they worked perfectly using the Crafted Applique method. So awesome to have it become part of your wheelhouse!

    • I JUST finished my sewing machine and Sunday Best blocks today!! I did raw edge figuring I would never wash it anyway…..I so wish I had Lara’s book! I am very happy with how my blocks turned out. I suck at applique and embroidery but gave it the old college try. Your bunny is adorable. I just remembered I did not do a pocket. Not sure he needs one. Perhaps I shall give it a shot with my poor embroidery skills.

  2. Your blocks are looking lovely Colleen, I’m very much enjoying seeing them popping up in my Instagram feed – though some of these I haven’t seen yet. I can’t wait to see them all together, there’s such a variety of styles. Embroidery takes me a long time too and I tend to only attempt it when I’m really in the mood for some slow, slow stitching.

    I’m very intrigued by the applique technique you learned in the book. Looks like it gives great results.

  3. Hi, I hopped to you from Lara, and your wee bunny and his flower, fabulous. I can see this book is a must have for any quilter who enjoys applique, I have usually used fusible web, with 2 lots of ironing. I will add you to my ever increasing blog list, and look forward to seeing more fab appliques from you and others.

  4. Oh that is so great! I love your blocks for the splendid sampler so much! And now I need to now more about this technique. I love applique , needleturn and buttonhole, but love to try this method especiall with small pieces and those circles. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Your Splendid Sampler blocks are awesome. I especially like applique and find Lara’s new technique interesting. I look forward to trying it. I don’t like the frayed edges either and sewing them down takes forever!

  6. Your blocks are beautiful and using Lara’s method for applique opens up so many new possibilities especially for working with small pieces. Your little rabbit is really cute!

  7. love your block and can’t wait to try this new raw edge applique technique.

  8. Right now I’m just admiring Splendid Sampler blocks. I haven’t decided if I want to join it. I love the look of the applique I’ve seen (online) using Lara’s method and really want to learn how to do it. It would open up so many possibilities for adding applique to my quilts.

  9. I followed a link on Bloglovin’ that led me to Lara’s blog and am amazed at the applique and have been delighted with her posts. I followed the link on her post today to your blog. I looked around and am now following by Bloglovin’. I am so hoping to win a copy of her fabulous book more and more with examples like your lovely flower applique. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Not so fond of needle turned appliqué. I am enjoying following and seeing the splendid sampler blocks but haven’t joined in. I really want to do the sewing machine by Pat Sloan. Hopefully I can win the book and try Lara’s technique. tljeo@yahoo.com

  11. I love the work you did on the Bunny block with the irregular edge on the flower – and the pinked circle on the sewing machine. They look great. I hope I win this book so I can add this technique to my quilting toolkit.

  12. Just gorgeous and so “you” blocks for the sampler QAL. Nice going!
    I love the detail esp on that Bunny block. Just sayin…..lol

  13. Love Love LOOOOVE your blocks!!! I have only done a little Hand Applique..and tried Raggedy Edge App. too… This Hop has sure changed my mind about applique..sooo encouraged to try again! 🙂 Would love to win the book! Thanks for the chance! 😀

  14. thanks so much for the giveaway – love your Splendid Sampler blocks, I’m falling behind a bit but love this quilt along !! your circles are so adorable and you are the only one that can feel the lumps !! and I love your Sunday Best block – so sweet ! thanks for sharing. Leanne – daisyandjack@hotmail.com

  15. this is just one of those times when procrastination pays off! Working on Lori Holt’s Blossoms quilt along right now and was thinking it would be my last appliqué quilt. Maybe this book will change my mind…

  16. Your blocks look great! I love making The Splendid Sampler blocks – well, most of them. Some have been real challenges. It has given me a new love for appliqué. I’m hoping and praying that I win “Crafted Appliqué”. If not, I’m definitely adding it to my library. Thanks for the opportunity.

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