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Need tips on designing a sampler quilt

Need tips on designing a sampler quilt

Old 01-08-2018, 09:52 AM
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Default Need tips on designing a sampler quilt

I would like to make some sampler quilts, and I am looking for hints and tips on how to create a good design. For example, how best to use color and fabric to unify, how best to lay out the blocks to highlight each one, etc. I am not a fan of just throwing a bunch of blocks together for a scrappy, random look. I am sure there is a science to the design, and would be interested in learning from experienced quilters/designers. Thanks in advance for any suggestions/help.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:13 AM
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Not sure I can answer your questions as I’ve not done this but I would think a limited color palette spread around the blocks would be one thing. Pick a Focus fabric and work off of that. I don’t think every block needs to use all the colors but any color should be used in three or more blocks and the Focus should be in every block.
Then pick block patterns in a similar way. At least 3 with similar lines, in a very broad way— stars, angles (like wrenches), curves, stripes. Quilter’s Cache would be a good resource for the block patterns.
Just what I would do. Certainly not the only way.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:59 AM
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I agree with bjchad, quilter's cache has over 1600 blocks all free. I have downloaded a pattern called The Confetti Quilt, sixe 64x82 designed by Diana Lacy, c2006, Rainbow Fabrics. Or use a nine patch set on point with a neutral colored background. I showed my cousin that one for she had never done a quilt before and its quick and easy to do. . Or use a disappearing nine patch just to make it a little different. Good luck and be sure to show us the quilt when you finish.
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:23 AM
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What is your purpose in designing a sampler quilt? I believe that is the first thing you must decide. Is it to learn all the techniques related to the various quilt block patterns. Will it be only patchwork or appliqué or a mixture of techniques. Reproduction or more contemporary , etc., there were many books printed in the 1970' and 80 about sampler quilts. They were basic, while the newer one' s are more detailed.
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Old 01-08-2018, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TAMARATJO View Post
I would like to make some sampler quilts, and I am looking for hints and tips on how to create a good design. For example, how best to use color and fabric to unify, how best to lay out the blocks to highlight each one, etc. I am not a fan of just throwing a bunch of blocks together for a scrappy, random look. I am sure there is a science to the design, and would be interested in learning from experienced quilters/designers. Thanks in advance for any suggestions/help.
Tamara, you might want to look into a block of the month/week program. There are a lot of new (free) ones that are starting up this month and the QB has a forum you can check out https://www.quiltingboard.com/blocks-month-week-f9/

If you want to go this route here are a few links you can check out:
https://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f...r-t293711.html
http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/quil...-of-the-month/
http://www.piecingthepastquilts.com/
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Old 01-08-2018, 12:26 PM
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There are soooo many sampler quilts out there, some free designs. Even if you want to design your own, do a google image search on "sampler quilt" and make notes on the elements you like and dislike. There are many different types of sampler quilts.

just grabbing a few images at random ....


Some sampler quilts have various blocks that have similarities in design and/or color - each block is the same size with or without sashing, some set straight and some on point. Sometimes there is one large center block with smaller blocks surrounding. straight-no-sashing.pngpoint-sashing.jpg



Other sampler quilts have a mish-mash of block types and sizes (including long rectangular blocks). These sampler quilts *typically* share the same background fabric to give the illusion the blocks are all floating on the same background and the blocks typically have color/fabric in common throughout. For example ... a dozen shades of blues with white on a white background.

random-blocks.jpg

And then there are sampler quilts that have a common theme ....

theme.jpg

Lastly ... there is the mother-of-all sampler quilts ... the Jane Stickle quilt, aka "Dear Jane". You can buy this pattern, along with the software to help you design and make the quilt.

jane.jpg

So ... what kind of sampler quilt did you have in mind??
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Old 01-08-2018, 01:23 PM
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I would like to do a sampler quilt so that I can make several different blocks that I like, but only have to make them one time each. I hope to improve my piecing skills by attempting more difficult blocks. I tend to prefer more traditional blocks. I am planning to make a pieced only quilt. My problem is not finding the blocks, (I have way more blocks I want to make than time to make them!) but making a unified, attractive quilt that is not too busy.
I have looked at many sampler quilts. I have a hard time limiting my color palette, but may have to do so to get the look I want. I also see that perhaps I need to narrow my block selection down to blocks with similarities. So next problem is the layout. I want to highlight each block, separating them in some way from one another, so that each block can be appreciated on it's own. Maybe a white background with no sashing (or white sashing to give more space between the blocks?) The discussion is great, and gives me things to think about. I really appreciate everyone's thoughts, comments, suggestions and ideas.
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Old 01-08-2018, 01:44 PM
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From what you describe, I think the 1st and 2nd pictures are more what you are aiming for, yes??

I would start by deciding ... do you want a straight set or on point?
Sashing?

You don't necessarily have to stick to one color palette, but perhaps a group of *like* colors ... for example, all primary colors, all pastels, etc.

Also, I personally like a "balanced" sampler quilt. So choose (for example) star blocks for corners and the center with other blocks filling in the balance.

Sometimes it helps to go shopping for fabric, find a focus fabric (something you will use in all of the blocks, not as a background, but part of the block), then choose other colors within that fabric in solids or tonals to balance it out, and a complimentary background and sashing if desired.
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:58 PM
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For cohesive fabric choices, I would consider purchasing a FQ bundle and pair it with yardage of a neutral background fabric. THe bundle will all be from a specific line of fabric so will all coordinate.
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Old 01-08-2018, 04:28 PM
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Good luck with designing your own pattern. I am not good at that part of quilting. I can search for sampler quilts and copy what others have done, even though I might not like every block in the quilt. Nancy Zieman had a pretty Sampler last year. Hers is done in reds and whites. This quilt would be pretty in any single tone color. I prefer blues or reds. http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/quil...-of-the-month/ And the good news is that it is free and a large 15 inch block.
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