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Thread: Do You Make A Sample Square ?

  1. #1
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    I do because a long time ago, I made a throw & nothing matched in size.Had to cut the blocks down,add sashing etc.I prob had to cut the sashing down too, as I was pretty new.
    There are several reasons for making a sample square.With blocks that all have to be turned/sewn in a certain order,you check each against the sample.Think pinwheels & log cabins.
    Checking the block size can save hrs of work.
    If the sample is good to go...it's stuck right in front of my machine.If not, it goes into my pile of orphan blocks :-)that will someday be sewn together & given away.

    The main reason being sure I want to spend the time/work /fabric making that quilt.When it comes down to the nitty gritty,often times the answer is no.The block speaks to me & that alone has saved me buying a ton of fabric.You would think just seeing a pic of a quilt would work..& sometimes it does, but making a sample block works best for me.

  2. #2
    FortMyers's Avatar
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    It depends on how complicated the block is.

  3. #3
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I will from now on... If I had made a sample block of the ugly quilt I am making, I wouldn't be making it. It is all cut out, so I don't have any other option than to finish it. I know the reasons it is ugly to me though. #1 It is too dark for my taste. #2 There isn't enough contrast for my taste. I just hope someone will fall in love with and just have to have it. HOPE! HOPE! HOPE!

  4. #4
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    Think every quilt is loved by someone, sooner or later.I can hardly force myself to work on a quilt I don't like,for whatever reason.If I make 3-4 blocks & don't like it,that's my limit for sure....but took too long to learn it.:-(

    Quote Originally Posted by Sadiemae
    I will from now on... If I had made a sample block of the ugly quilt I am making, I wouldn't be making it. It is all cut out, so I don't have any other option than to finish it. I know the reasons it is ugly to me though. #1 It is too dark for my taste. #2 There isn't enough contrast for my taste. I just hope someone will fall in love with and just have to have it. HOPE! HOPE! HOPE!

  5. #5
    Super Member quiltmaker's Avatar
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    I always do a sample block/s so I can determine whether I like the colors and look of what my quilt will be when finished. It saves a lot of frustration/heartache if I decide I don't like it.

  6. #6
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    I do but not for size. I do it to decide how to press seams - especially in a complicated block.

  7. #7
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    If a pattern looks to be quite challenging, I will make 4-6 blocks first....enough to get the hang of it and see if I like it enough to finish a full quilt and then go ahead and cut more or if I'm not really in love with it, I can make those few blocks up into a small dolly quilt or a table runner.

    Jodi in Leavenworth

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by eparys
    I do but not for size. I do it to decide how to press seams - especially in a complicated block.
    Sometimes I'll even piece a complicated block by hand to figure out how to press the seams.

  9. #9
    Super Member AlwaysQuilting's Avatar
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    I don't make fabric samples.
    I draw the whole quilt onto graph paper with colored pencils.
    I can try out block sizes, color placement and shades this way.
    I assign a measurement to each sq. of the graph, such as all red colored sqs equal 1", all yellows equal 3.5" etc.
    This is just easier for me.

  10. #10
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadiemae
    I will from now on... If I had made a sample block of the ugly quilt I am making, I wouldn't be making it. It is all cut out, so I don't have any other option than to finish it. I know the reasons it is ugly to me though. #1 It is too dark for my taste. #2 There isn't enough contrast for my taste. I just hope someone will fall in love with and just have to have it. HOPE! HOPE! HOPE!
    Sadiemae, I am laughing as I read this! You're so cute and funny :D
    To answer the question, no I don't but probably should!

  11. #11
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    I love your ideas Nadine and Jodi!!

    As a newbie it is always nice to hear of tips and ideas ... I will add these to my notebook ....

    I never thought of making a runner or anything like that ... that I didn`t think I would like my blocks on a quilt and also love the idea of using graph paper ...

    Thanks for sharing. :)

  12. #12
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    Always - helps to figure out the pattern - and then I save the sample for use later with the other samples for a crazy quilt...should be interesting to put together...

  13. #13
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    Never

  14. #14
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    I may draw out on paper where I want colors to be on a difficult block, but for the most part.... I like to jump in by the seat of my pants and let the Quilting gods do what they want. More fun that way.

  15. #15
    Senior Member GrammaO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jodimarie
    If a pattern looks to be quite challenging, I will make 4-6 blocks first....enough to get the hang of it and see if I like it enough to finish a full quilt and then go ahead and cut more or if I'm not really in love with it, I can make those few blocks up into a small dolly quilt or a table runner.

    Jodi in Leavenworth
    I don't draw it out or make a sample, I tend to fly by the seat of my pants and usually regret it later. My logic has been at 1) I can't draw and have trouble visualizing from the graph paper and 2) didn't want to 'waste' the time and fabric. ha! I lost count of the yards of fabric I've wasted doing it my way! I never thought of using the sample blocks for table runners or toppers. Duh! thanks for the tip!

  16. #16
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I like to sew out sample blocks, they can always go into a scrappy sampler quilt :wink:
    I like to have all of the kinks worked out, pressing issues, etc.. before I start a quilt :D:D:D

  17. #17
    Super Member bluteddi's Avatar
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    I fly by the seat of my pants and just MAKE it work..... I'm too disorganized to plan ahead and make sample blocks!

  18. #18
    Super Member FancyFoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadiemae
    I will from now on... If I had made a sample block of the ugly quilt I am making, I wouldn't be making it. It is all cut out, so I don't have any other option than to finish it. I know the reasons it is ugly to me though. #1 It is too dark for my taste. #2 There isn't enough contrast for my taste. I just hope someone will fall in love with and just have to have it. HOPE! HOPE! HOPE!
    Been there....Done that

  19. #19
    leonajo's Avatar
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    I am still a newbie, I thought I would make a sample block of Maple Leaf to see if I could get the stem right? may have to change to a Bear Paw lol I want to enjoy making my blocks, not go crazy doing something more advanced..tried that once and it was a heartbreaking.

  20. #20
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    It depends. If it's a complicated block - definitely. If it's a block I haven't done before, and there are HSTs - generally. If it's a pattern I have done before and I want to test a new color combination - often.

    Doing a block helps test out if the instructions are correct, if the fabrics go together, and if the instructions give a good process. As fabric is getting more expensive, bad/incorrect patterns should be eliminated.

  21. #21
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    That's for sure :thumbup:


    As fabric is getting more expensive, bad/incorrect patterns should be eliminated.

  22. #22
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    I do, unless it is something I have made before, a special request by someone, or a block for an exchange. I too really like to know if I want to bother with something before I reach the point of no return.

  23. #23
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    No. I'm not patient enough. I just want to GO! On the other hand, the first block is always a sample by definition right?

  24. #24
    Super Member Jenniky's Avatar
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    Wish I had thought to do this. I started a quilt that has appliqued hearts on twelve of the square centers.. so I prepared all 12 of them so I would just have to sew on the finishing pieces of the square. Doh... I centered them squarely and they all turned out really beautiful..only they were suppose to be centered on a vertical diamond.. so all the hearts will be laying on the side. Bleah.. gonna have to make a trip back to JoAnnes to get more matterial and the fusible stuff to remake them correctly. I will have to figure out how to use the bad ones some other way they just to beautiful to toss.

  25. #25
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    Baby quilt? tote bag,table runner ?
    I bet if you made it as sewn, no one would even notice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenniky
    Wish I had thought to do this. I started a quilt that has appliqued hearts on twelve of the square centers.. so I prepared all 12 of them so I would just have to sew on the finishing pieces of the square. Doh... I centered them squarely and they all turned out really beautiful..only they were suppose to be centered on a vertical diamond.. so all the hearts will be laying on the side. Bleah.. gonna have to make a trip back to JoAnnes to get more matterial and the fusible stuff to remake them correctly. I will have to figure out how to use the bad ones some other way they just to beautiful to toss.

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