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Thread: Making sample block

  1. #1
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    Does anyone else besides me make a sample block before they go out to buy yardage for the quilt you desire to make. I don't know anyone that does that and some are very unhappy with their quilts...So what do I do with those sample blocks...put them in a box and will make a sample quilt sometime!

  2. #2
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    I have done that on occasion only to see how the block comes out. You could use those spare blocks in a sampler down the road, make pot holders with them or give them to a charity group who makes quilts for the homeless etc.

  3. #3
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Yes!! I do it all the time! Well, not before I buy fabric :oops: , but certainly before I cut it.

    I use the fabrics I no longer like, those I never liked, those that have misprints, any of the 'uncool' stuff that seems like it will never get used. Being chosen for a sample block gives them a 'reason for being'. They sacrifice themselves to become a test case for a new block, a new technique, a new frontier! It has saved me a great deal of time, fabric. frustration and boredom over the years. :-D Can't say I would ever want to put all those blocks together in anything though.

  4. #4
    Senior Member diannemc's Avatar
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    I do! I draw my patterns most of the time so want to make sure they work out before I cut..learned that the hard way..

  5. #5
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    I always make a sample block out of the fabric I'm going to use to see how the fabrics look together as well as to determine how difficult the pattern will be. I keep that block by the machine as a reference to how to piece it. When I'm finished with the blocks, the "sample" is just thrown in with the rest and becomes part of the quilt. :D

  6. #6
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    sometimes i try a block to see what all it takes, or to see what it looks like

  7. #7
    Super Member Pzazz's Avatar
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    My first quilt was made from playing with different block patterns. As timing would have it, my folks were moving from their house to an assisted living complex, and had to downsize their bed. So they were now looking for a new spread for a queen bed. I asked if they would like a quilt. I put all my "learning" blocks together with some sashing, a border, and lo....there was a queen quilt!! They loved it. Even tho' I knew where all my mistakes were, they didn't. Because there were so many different fabrics, it really made a lovely colourful quilt. So, yes...you can put them together to make a quilt. If you REALLY don't like the look because of not your favourite fabrics, donate it. There are so many wonderful places out there that would love to have it.

  8. #8
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    One of the main reasons I do this as my friend went to a quilt retreat with me and they gave the fabric list for the quilt involved. I took some scraps and thank goodness all the time.
    She and several other ladies there were not happy with their selection of fabrics (after they bought all that yardage) and she hated the piece. I was able to use 3 of my materials but at lunch time I bought a fourth fabric that worked like a charm. She just made a small quilt for one of her babies (a dog) as the dog loves it.

  9. #9
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    All my orphan blocks will go into a sampler quilt..I want to make it double sided :D:D:D

  10. #10
    Super Member Pzazz's Avatar
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    Another idea for orphan blocks...make then pet bed size and donate them to your local animal shelter.

  11. #11
    farscapegal
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    I always do that.

    Sybil

  12. #12
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    Most of the time I make a sample block. I want to make sure I understand how its done so I have a little less ripping out to do later.

  13. #13
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    Since peicing is not my favorite thing I often try one block before I even purchase any fabrics. If I got to frustrated or it didn't look like I hoped I am only out a little bit of fabric. I belong to two differnt guilds that have a regular BOM. I sometimes try one of their patterns if it looks good. To be truthful I have made very many quilts but rarely ones that are made from complicated blocks that I pieced.

  14. #14
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Now I feel stupid... never thought to do a practice block :oops: Will have to start doing that and as you say save them for another quilt :lol: See I learn something here everyday :thumbup:

  15. #15
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I don't use other people's patterns, free or purchased, but if you do, a sample block is also a great way to find any errors that the pattern writer made before you cut all the fabric for a quilt.

  16. #16
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I started doing practice blocks a while ago. It is a great way to test the size of the finished block, check the cutting and sewing order, and test out pressing the seams in a helpful manner. Recently, I joined the monthly block swap. I can try out new patterns, or refine known patterns in the color line of my swap partner and I get a block in my color selection back. So it's a win-win.

    If you don't want to make a sampler quilt, you can always donate the blocks to someone who is making charity quilts.

  17. #17
    Power Poster oksewglad's Avatar
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    I've never made a sample block-really don't know why. Have some Farmer's Daughter blocks that are fine by themselves but when I put them with coordinating fabrics they just scream at me. Friend told me to tea dye or better yet fabric dye to subdue the color. Think I'll give it a try.

  18. #18
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    That is what I should be doing and just don't. What a great idea to preview the block first and what a wonderful sampler quilt they all would make.

  19. #19

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    Hi,
    I sometimes use the sample blocks for the center of a table runner. Makes a useful item for a gift.
    Peewee from Pa.

  20. #20
    Super Member Elisabrat's Avatar
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    That is a pretty darned good idea. Sometimes blocks look so simple to make and arent so I bag the idea after one block. Colors are hard for many so seeing it in reality would be smart. High five for the suggestion. There could always be a block swap here too for those who don't like theirs but love someone elses!

  21. #21
    Junior Member crazicorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bevanger
    sometimes i try a block to see what all it takes, or to see what it looks like
    I've done the same and also to audition 2 blocks in order to decide which one I may want to use.

  22. #22
    Super Member Lneal's Avatar
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    I have never done a practice block. What do most quilters find with the advantage in this? Sorry I have not been quilting but 3 yrs.

  23. #23
    FinelyFabricated's Avatar
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    I often do a practice block especially when it's my own design. It helps when I'm deciding which fabric goes where, sometimes the fabrics work together but not right next to each other.

    I also design quilts. It helps me know if my sizes are right before I send the pattern to the testers.

    Now I just need to get back to designing.

  24. #24
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lneal
    I have never done a practice block. What do most quilters find with the advantage in this? Sorry I have not been quilting but 3 yrs.
    It helps me decide whether I REALLY want to make that block or just admire it from afar.... :lol:

  25. #25
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lneal
    I have never done a practice block. What do most quilters find with the advantage in this? Sorry I have not been quilting but 3 yrs.
    This whole discussion has been about the advantages of doing sample/practice/test blocks. It's your decision to weigh whether or not you might benefit based on the experiences of others.

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