Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sarah's Thoughts on the Penny Sampler

Over the next two weeks, four students will make guest appearances at Stitched in Color to share their experience of taking one of my original classes.  I hope that, through their eyes, you will be able to see which Stitched in Color course would best meet your stitchy needs.  Feel free to follow up with questions!

You'll be able to vote on your top 2 class choices starting December 15th!  Two classes will encore early 2015.  See this post for more details.

miss Sarah Schraw
Today let's welcome Sarah Schraw of Sarah's Quilts.  I first got to know Sarah last year when her color and fabric choices for the Penny Sampler quickly caught my eye.  Things have been a little quiet on her blog lately because she's about ready to pop with a new baby!  You can catch her on Instagram too.


I love quilts; really truly (pretty much) all quilts.  There's just something about the shapes and colors and textures created when fabric is cut up and then sewn back together.  Even the imperfections can be positively charming and homey.

At the same time, it's incredibly satisfying to have the skills to achieve near perfection when you want to.  If you try to stumble upon these skills on your own, it takes a good deal of practice and perseverance.  But, if you're lucky enough to find it, high quality instruction is like a fast forward button that takes you to advanced quilting much more quickly.

That's exactly what Rachel's Penny Sampler class was for me.  It clarified concepts that have been fundamental to my growth as a quilter- especially the math.  And the quilts I made in the class are still 2 of my very favorites!

Here's my Penny Sampler:

And my Dogwood Blossoms quilt:

One of my favorite segments of the class was the machine paper piecing.  I had only done one MPP project before the class, and it was amazing how simple it was to create these complicated blocks.

The skills I learned in the class have also played a significant role in the projects I've done since then.  I used my quilt math knowledge to design and sew new quilts and to teach others how to design their own quilts.

Sarah's own Barn Door Quilt.  Visit her Quilt-Along for tutorial!

And I return to Rachel's pillow method, also taught in the class, again and again.

I have no doubt that I will return to some of the blocks from the penny sampler quilt for future projects.  I'm so glad I took this class and I wholeheartedly endorse it!


Thanks so much for sharing, Sarah!  If you have any questions for her, feel free to post those in the comments here. For more details about The Penny Sampler, see this post.   Next, a new guest will share her thoughts on Curves Class this Friday!


Some favorite Penny Sampler projects and progress shots from the Stitched in Color flickr pool:

Penny Sampler ♥ Little Houses
Little Village block by TheRainbowRevolts

pixie churns top finished
Pixie Churns quilt by Lotje

Planning that #pennysampler again
Muriel's Penny Sampler in progress


  1. OK! So that sold me on the idea of the Penny sampler class! ;)
    Now I wonder how hard it will be to choose after all the other posts.

  2. I agree with Laney. I was thinking I would love to take the curves class I missed, but this one looks even more amazing.

  3. Wow! Those are all so beautiful!! I especially loooove the penny sampler!

  4. I remember when you first introduced your Penny Sampler class. I was so intrigued but held back because I didn't feel ready to take it. Since then, I have a few quilts under my belt and am ready to challenge myself further. I look forward to when you offer this class again. :)

  5. Now I am sold on the Penny Sampler. What a beautiful quilt!

  6. I took the Penny Sampler class. It was the first class I ever did with you and I became hooked on your teaching approach and the projects you teach.

    Penny Sampler really challenged and pushed me outside my comfort zone and into new skills. Most samplers are heavy on applique or patchwork piecing or heavily traditional or heavily modern. This combines elements of everything in a very balanced way. I had previously felt daunted by paper piecing (MPP) but now I will tackle anything! I was very pleased to learn a few different ways to approach applique. The regular piecing included some easy wins and some new skills. Planning the layout of a sampler meant being mindful of colour balance, and the sequence in which you teach the class enabled that to happen quite naturally.

    If you ever designed a different sampler, I would absolutely be in again!

    1. Ali, what a nice review! Now you have me thinking of designing a new sampler class someday. It really was a fun format to work through. Thanks so much for these encouraging words!

  7. Makes me want to make another one in different colors!

  8. The Penny Sampler is such an amazing class! and such a unique quilt. This might be the motivation I need to finish mine up.... I'm stuck on the Dala Horses :p

  9. I agree with Ali! Another sampler would be fun, and I like the idea of always sharpening and reinforcing the skills I learned in the Penny Sampler class. That was my first class with you as well, and I learned so much. I don't want to say more because even though the sampler was fantastic, I'm campaigning for Curves... ;)

  10. I loved the Penny Sampler class and another sampler class would be fun, but I’m sure you are busy enough as it is... ;-)
    What I also love about the Penny Sampler quilt is that you can make all sorts of small project from one of the blocks like the Dala horse or the Flower pot.
    I love Sarah’s Penny Sampler, my favourite in the group, with that special Wintery feel!!


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