I have become such a believer that when we say no to some opportunities in life be it a relationship, a job, an expensive purchase, or a major quilting project, we often create room for something that is a better fit for us. I have been SO tempted to participate in several quilt/sew-alongs this year, but over and over I have felt an inner twinge to not over-commit myself as I did last year. But when I saw the mock-up in May for the 2017 Summer Sampler hosted by Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced, Katie Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt, and Faith Jones of Fresh Lemons Quilts, I knew this was the project I wanted to focus much of my time and energy over the summer of 2017. These talented women are the authors of Vintage Quilt Revival: 22 Modern Designs from Classic Blocks, and it is my current favorite quilt book. I love the designs tips in the book, especially related to color choices which is still an area of quilting that I want to grow. I definitely will sew some of the blocks out of it since I am no longer terrified by paper piecing, especially since I have been using Lee’s mind-blowing paper-piecing tip. I shared more about this awesome tip in my June ’17 OMG post. I have found that my biggest challenge is sewing the block units together rather than the actual paper piecing, and once again Lee helped me out with the nested seams in her Princess Cut Star block. Below are the eight blocks I have made so far using all the colors in the 2017 Summer Sampler mock-up except I have substituted Kona Coal for the white background:
We get a tutorial for a new block every Monday, and I am finding that I am really looking forward to Mondays these days! I have been known to wake up in the wee hours of Monday and have taken a peek at what block we will be sewing that week. What I really like about this project is the inherent flexibility. In the finished quilt, there will be nine large 12-inch blocks, and eight smaller 6-inch blocks along with filler sawtooth star blocks, flying geese, and a half-square triangle border (see mock-up below). The tutorials for each block include instructions for both the 12-inch and the 6-inch blocks, so we can choose which blocks we want to feature more prominently. I have to tell you I think this is an excellent value for $25. I have chosen to feature my three favorite blocks in the large-block format. They are on the top row of my photo above. From left to right is the Princess Cut Star block by Lee Heinrich, the Turning Star block by Lynne Goldsworthy of Lily’s Quilts, and finishing up the top row on the right is the Celestial Star block by Holly De Groot of Bijou Lovely.
I’m sure there will be a very detailed-oriented reader who will notice that the middle block of the smaller blocks I have sewn so far is different from the mock-up. It is the Marine Star block by Katie Blakesley. I follow Sofie Nix @augenbeere on Instagram who is using a gorgeous purple and blue palette for her 2017 Summer Sampler, and when she posted about it being much easier to make this block without the center square, I decided to also use her modification (Modified Marine Star block by @augenbeere). I will probably make this modified Marine Star block in the larger version for another project I plan to start later this year. (Update: Sofie let me know that Katie has also made a version of the Marine Star block that is featured on her SwimBikeQuilt blog.)