Loyal Union Sampler Blocks 23, 24 and 25/121

Plodding along with the Loyal Union Sampler from the book by Jennifer Chiaverini.

First up, an easy one called Cornerstone. This is the first block on the third row.

C-1 Cornerstone

Next is Cotton Boll (funny name). Another quick one to make. I think it has lots of secondary pattern possibilities for a one block quilt with different colour placements. Must try it some time.

C-2 Cotton Boll

The last one was a bit more tricky but very enjoyable to make. I quite like two colour blacks. This is called Crosses and Losses. Again, loads of pattern possibilities for using lots of these in one quilt.

C-3 Crosses and Losses

Here’s the virtual quilt so far. The other blocks are shown in previous posts.

LUS 25 BlocksWe’re snowed in here. The main road near us is closed to traffic and there are several abandoned cars along the route. British weather, eh? Oh well, I’ll just have to sew 😉


Loyal Union Sampler Blocks 20, 21 and 22/121

Hurray! That’s the first two rows finished.

This one is called Combination Star.

B-9 Combination Star

Next up is Connecticut.

B-10 Connecticut (My version)This is actually my own adaptation of the original block design in the Loyal Union Sampler book by Jennifer Chiaverini which shows all 12 pieces meeting at the centre. I suspect the Moda fabric I’m using is just too thick to work with this block. I had several attempts which seemed to be getting progressively worse in appearance. All went well every time until the final seam and then there was nowhere for all the bulk to go. I tried spiralling the seams, opening them and also pressing to one side but that final seam just didn’t want to play and knocked everything gonky. I even trimmed the seams with no luck. If I’d been working with prints it would have probably been OK but these solids are so unforgiving. Hence, the final solution after discussion with Claire was to piece the centre in 4 instead of 12 and it’s worked really well.

I was initially approaching this project as a purist. I’m usually more than happy to change designs and patterns to my liking but I’d set out to follow this one to the letter and I found it so hard to “give in”. Anyway, after looking at several of the other blocks that are still left to do, I found a couple with appliqué and I definitely have no intention of doing appliqué blocks for this quilt. Once I’d made that decision it was easy to change Connecticut.

Finally, to complete the second row, is a block called Constance’s Pride. You can see the virtual quilt so far to the right of the screen.
B-11 Constance's Pride

Do you ever change designs? Maybe use patterns just as inspiration and then go off on a tangent? I suppose if we do change things it means our projects will be unique.

Loyal Union Sampler Blocks 18 and 19/121.

I’ve been away from the land of blogs for quite a while, except for my three weekly posts at Sewing Beside the Sea. I’m not going to make any excuses because I don’t have any, other than that my spare time was precious and I chose to craft rather than blog. That doesn’t mean I’ve been a crafting Ninja while I’ve been absent but I have made a few things during the last year which I’ll show you now and again if I don’t decide to disappear back into my crafting cave. Yes, it’s over a year since I posted here. My friend Claire has been going on and on at me encouraging me to write some posts so I promised to dip my toes back in again and see how it goes. Claire has been sending me lists of things I’ve made that I could show and write about here, some of which I’d forgotten and others that I hadn’t even bothered to take photos of before they were gifted. She’s even sent me some photos that I’d originally sent her via email in case I needed to use them here. Where would I be without her?

During the last couple of weeks I’ve put on a bit of a spurt with The Loyal Union Sampler from the book by Jennifer Chiaverini. The last time I worked on these dinky 6 inch blocks was in November 2016 so this project was well overdue some of my attention (notice a theme here?).

Anyway, here’s Christmas Star which has a white background in real life and not pale blue. Electric light does my photography no favours. I gave up counting how many pieces it has. Too many for a tiny block but I enjoyed making it.

B-7 Christmas Star

This is Coffee Mill. I like how it rotates but that isn’t what caused the blurring!

B-8 Coffee Mill I’ve updated the virtual quilt and I’m pretty determined to make some headway on this project now so watch this space. It would be nice to get the second row completed wouldn’t it?

LUS 19 Blocks I hope you’re enjoying a crafting weekend.


The Loyal Union Sampler Block 12/121 (Part 1)

Good evening everyone,

Can you believe it’s eight months today since I last worked on the Loyal Union Sampler from the book by Jennifer Chiaverini? In my last post about this quilt on 29th February, showing block 11, there were 56 teeny weeny pieces of fabric sewn together to make a six inch finished block. You can see it by clicking here. Today, I set myself a different kind of challenge. Three hours later…

California (part)

I can hear you giggling! This might not look like much progress in three hours to you but it was a huge challenge for me. I now know why this project got put to one side for so long. The next few blocks all have Y-seams which have tested my patience almost to the limit in the past. I had to sew the white patch on several times and take it back off again but I’m now very happy with it. I know Y-seams are so much easier to do by hand and, I suspect this sampler is supposed to be sewn that way, but that’s part of the challenge isn’t it? I will not be beaten!! If it’s virtually impossible to do a three quarter inch long Y-seam on a machine, why not give it a go? Success is so much sweeter when the challenge is tougher 😉

If I can muster more patience tomorrow, I might be able to show block 12 at the left hand end of the second row. There’s still such a long way to go. What tries your patience the most?

LUS 11 Blocks


Another Happy Dance

Hi everyone,

Ta-daaaaa! Here are some photos of my finished quilt which I promised to share with you the other day. I hope you like it.

f2f Finished

If you visit and read this blog regularly you will know that I’ve been participating in a block swap with eleven other ladies who live all over the world. The swap, called Foot Square Freestyle, was organised by Kate and Sue. We were asked to choose a colour scheme for the blocks we’d like to receive and I chose bright blues and purples.

My original plan was to set the blocks on point but the quilt would have been way too big. My finished quilt has turned out to be a very usable 82 inches square. I tried to achieve a stained glass window appearance by adding the thin black sashing and broad frame. I’m really happy with the overall effect.

The backing is a rich purple print and the quilting is simple, so as not to obliterate the strong lines of the blocks. I wanted this quilt to be squishy and snuggly because it is going to be used.

Backing f2f

Here are a few photos showing each quadrant.

Quadrant 1 f2f

Quadrant 2 f2f

Quadrant 3 f2f

Quadrant 4 f2f

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the organisers, Kate and Sue, and all of the other ladies who sent me these beautiful blocks. I couldn’t have made this without you. It has been so much fun to be part of this group. I’ve already made my final blocks to send all the way to Australia, so apart from tidying up a few loose ends on my own quilt, that’s me done. I look forward to seeing all of the other F2F quilts as they appear in the gallery during the coming months.

Come on ladies, if you’ve received all of your blocks, make a run for the finish line. It feels so good to be Happy Dancing again 🙂


Feeling patriotic?

I’ve been a bit  busy for the past couple of weeks so I didn’t get a lot of sewing done. However, I have now managed to finish this quilt top which has been in progress for a couple of years 🙂

The white fabric is a very pretty white on white Makower Ivy Leaf  design. The others are all Makower Spraytime. They are all lovely quality and really nice to work with. I didn’t set out to make a sampler style quilt. It just happened! I made a few practice blocks and quite liked the colours together. I picked it up and put it away again several times. The sashes were also a bit of an after thought but I wanted to make the blocks stand out and it seems to work.

Now I need some help from my blogging friends! I plan to back this one with white cotton fabric but I’m struggling to decide on the colour of the thread for quilting. Should I play safe and go with white or choose one of the other colours in the quilt top? I think I should probably go with white because of the crispness of the design and the colour contrasts but I’m happy to consider all of your thoughts if you would be kind enough to share them. I can easily be persuaded to do something different 🙂 Any ideas?


%d bloggers like this: