Friday, November 4, 2016

How would you like your Penny Sampler?

the Penny Sampler

Three years ago I created the Penny Sampler quilt and class.  This intermediate online class centered around the making of an epic quilt with 30+ Scandinavian-inspired sampler blocks.  Students learned how to use machine applique, precise piecing and machine paper piecing to create tricky traditional geometric piecework and picture-motif blocks.



I'm proud of this particular design. I wanted it to be lively, unexpected, definitely different than your everyday sampler quilt. So, I threw out regular gridwork and traditionally placed sashing. Instead blocks are a smorgasbord of sizes, sashing falls here and there for movement, layers of interest. The border is broken up and resized in a decidedly unpredictable way. All this aiming to be true to the quirky charm of modern Scandinavian style.

The Penny Sampler was a wildly successful class and has often been requested... yet I've never encored that particular class.  It's quite a commitment as a teacher, since the course was delivered over 3 month's time.  There is so much content in the class that the compiled pdf course book is 400 pages long!  As mentioned, the class and quilt are designed to teach three intermediate quilter's skills:  machine applique, precise geometric piecing and machine paper piecing.

the Penny Sampler - registering now!

Well, I'm thinking 2017 is the year to bring back Penny Sampler.  What do you think?  Is it time?  Is there enough interest?  I'm actually thinking I want to make the quilt again!  Here are some posts from the original class release that provide more information:

**Penny Sampler Prelude
**Penny Sampler FAQ
**Why Applique? (with block samples)
**The Key to Precise Piecing (with block samples)
**The Joy of Paper Piecing (with block samples)
**Registration for 2013 version

Penny Sampler blocks

You still here?  Great!  Than I'm guessing you might be interested in taking the class, which means you are just the person I want to ask, "How would you like your Penny Sampler?"

{Option A}
I could deliver the course exactly as I did last time: content delivered on a private class blog several times per week, over a period of 3+ months.  Under this model you'd be making an average of 3 blocks per week to keep up with the course!  It's a bit of a whirlwind, but the good news is you'll receive a compiled pdf course book at the end of our journey, so the pattern and all instruction is yours forever.  You can finish the quilt at your leisure.

{Option B}
Or, would it be even more fun to set up the Penny Sampler as a year-long adventure?  Sort of a block-of-the-month sampler... but we'd actually do more than one block a month.  We have so many special blocks to explore!  We would begin in January to cultivate a vision for your quilt, discussing color choices and gathering supplies, plus getting started with some simpler blocks.  As the year progresses I'd deliver a pdf Penny Sampler chapter on the first of each month, including all instruction, photos, videos and patterns for that month's work.  The last installment in December would include assembly and finishing instructions.  Plus, you'd still receive the 400 pg compiled course book at the end of the year for a convenient final reference.

Dala horse project

In both of these Penny Sampler versions you'd receive the same content, which teaches machine applique, precise piecing and machine paper piecing in detail, along with a few additional simple quilts and small projects that allow you to practice these new skills before working on your sampler, if desired.  Both versions would cost $55, which is my typical class fee, even though Penny Sampler has more than twice the content of my typical course. 

The difference is how the content is delivered.  Do you like the idea of a three-month long class blog at a fairly focused pace OR do you prefer a year-long epic sampler, delivered in monthly pdf chapters?

Oh, look!  I've made a poll:



I'm counting on your feedback to help me to decide, firstly, whether to encore the course at all and, secondly, how to format it.  Thank you, thank you for helping a girl out!

Small Diamonds for the Penny Sampler

40 comments:

  1. I have such wonderful memories of the Penny Sampler quilt class and of all the clear instructions, picking fabrics and making the quilt. It’s lovely to go down Penny Sampler memory lane!

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  2. I took the Penny Sampler class and absolutely loved it! I learned soooo much! That being said, my sampler blocks are all done, but not all attached yet. I think I'd vote for the year-long (or maybe a 6-month??) and include some finishing ideas/encouragement in the last month or two! I really hope to get mine put together this winter!

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  3. I LOVE this quilt! So beautiful and so unique. I've never seen anything like it.

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  4. Wouldn't you be there for questions all the way along? I guess for you with a little baby at home the year long option would be better :)

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    1. I'm not sure which option is better for me, so I decided I prefer to do whatever is better for everyone else! And, yes, either way I would make myself available for questions. Absolutely!

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  5. Love the penny sampler and voted for the 12 month but would do the 3 month if that is concensus!

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  6. Hi Rachel - I was kind of sad that the patchwork class was over and I was wondering what might be next! :)
    I love this idea and I voted for the year long option! Thank you!

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  7. I know exactly who needs this unique and charming quilt. I voted 'undecided', although 3 months would be better, if they were the RIGHT 3 months. I suspect that might be true for a lot of folks, so the more extended class is probably more practical for those of us with other time driven committments. That would mean time to catch up after those periods where you are possibly too busy to keep up. Yeah, not a lot of help, am I?!

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  8. I loved Penny Sampler class and made many enduring online friendships while taking part. You can't go wrong with either option and I wish you a successful class :o) Absolutely worth an encore session!

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  9. i missed it the first time around looks like fun I voted for over a year, I work full time and just don't think I can do it over a few months plus gives me something to look forward too each month :)

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  10. Sooo glad you are thinking about this!!! I missed it the first time and was very disappointed. I voted for year long and would do either!!! Thanks, Rachel!

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  11. Yay! I have been waiting for this one to return. I voted 3 months because I've done year-long quilt alongs before, even hosted one, and I think it's better to dig in and focus. As good as the year spread sounds, in the end, for me, it's diluted the experience, and people tend to fall out precisely because there is so much time in between sessions. It totally works for some, but it's not my preference. However, with teacher having a new baby, she may need to spread her involvement out. (Although I could see you getting fed up with it after several months and wishing it were over all ready. Just maybe.) I'm most likely in either way!

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  12. Hi Rachel, It looks like a beautiful quilt, and I would love to do it, I would prefer to do it over 12 months, I work four days a week, but really if it is over three months I'm not going to miss it. I love your blog and I've been following you for a few years now, thank you. You are one brave amazing young woman.

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  13. I love the quilt and prefer the year-long option. With work and other commitments, I know I would not be able to participate in the 3 month course. Thank you for offering to teach the course again. I missed it the first go round :-)

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  14. I voted for the 3 month option. I think it would dilute the enthusiasm to stretch it out over 12 months.

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  15. I understand why people think they would want the year option but I would never finish. I would get enchanted by other things during the course of the year. A year is a long time to keep stuff together and find it again every month or keep the skills you are teaching sharp if it takes a year to learn them :-). It will be a great course either way but I voted for 3 months because I believe it will bring the best success for the most people. The 3 month with blog will also be more personal. As there is the PDF at the end of the course those that need the year can take a year. I

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  16. I took this class and loved it! I learned so much and the instructions were very clear and easy. I have it finished but need to quilt it.

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  17. Hi Rachel, I love the penny quilt, it is so completely different from other quilt designs and I am sure I'll learn a lot when doing it. I voted for the year long version because the idea of a block of the month project is less frightening for me than Option A.

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  18. I would love to join in, and I put undecided because 3 months might be a little short, but 12 months is a long project in the making. I don't know if an EU time zone would make a difference in your course? Is it live, or can blocks/courses been done as it fits time wise?

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    1. Hi Allison! I usually have many students on different time zones, including in Europe and Australia. It works just fine! You can access and complete the course at the times that suit you best. =)

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  19. Ive been hoping you would do this again. My laptop that i had the patterns and book on died and it could not be retrieved so i never got to make it... count me in for either option.....

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    1. But you've already taken the class! I just verified that you were a Penny Sampler student in 2013. I will be reaching out to you to deliver a new copy of the class pdf course book right now!

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  20. I'm Definitely in for this course! I've been waiting and wishing for it to come around again!

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  21. Would this course/quilt be suitable for a beginner-level quilter? I've made one quilt (all pieces square-ish)and I'm adventurous.

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    1. I don't recommend the Penny Sampler to a beginner level quilter, as most would be overwhelmed. However, you know yourself best. If you enjoy a big challenge, this would definitely be it!

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  22. The Penny Sampler was one of my first efforts as a quilter and I thoroughly enjoyed the process. I learned so much, so I do think a confident beginner could tackle it. Funnily enough I recently highlighted my Penny Sampler on my Instagram account (@sewingontheqt) and labelled it as one of my favourites! Also wanted to add that I am in the UK and work full time, but I was able to keep up with the online content over the original timescale, so any European participants would be fine, I'm sure!

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  23. To chime in as someone who's taken this excellent class I highly recommend the year long approach. There is a ton of content and it becomes overwhelming if this is not your only project. I had made only about 6-8 blocks before putting it aside for a while and then took the finish-along challenge earlier this year to get it done in less than three months. I followed the class outline and worked section by section. This is an amazing class that teaches so many piecing techniques and well worth the $55. I think there are several (many?) out there who haven't finished - wonder if is worthwhile to provide them a way to join in on the fun?

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    1. Thank you, Agnes, for your glowing review! I will give some thought to your suggestion of trying to help those who haven't finished to connect with the 2017 version.

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  24. I took the class last time and made three versions of this quilt, all at once, in different colorways. It was a wonderful class. It was not overwhelming for folks with even a little bit of experience, and you learn all sorts of different techniques, which is fun. And the final product is so great. Anyone thinking of taking this class should definitely do it!

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  25. While I think the class itself would be great, is there an option to purchase just the PDF? I'm a fairly skilled quilter and have been looking for my next challenge.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Cynthia. I plan to open registration for this class on Nov 17. I will add an option to purchase the complete PDF (400 pgs) for a one-time, complete delivery. That should suit those of you who are confident and just want to dive in with no time limitations.

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    2. I absolutely love that option! I definitely want to do this, but need the ability to work on it a little faster! Thanks so much Rachel-it is a beautiful design!

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  26. My Penny Sampler is currently on the guest room bed and brings a smile to my face every time I see. I LOVED this class so much and all the blocks. Great to see it being offered again. :)

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  27. Hi Rachel, Do you think that it's possible to make this quilt with some self dyed fabrics, ie: no printed patterns for fussy cutting or highlighting areas. There would only colour pops.

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    1. Oh, absolutely possible! I can't think of a quilt design that doesn't suit solids. As you said, you'd want to have some "pop" colors that allow you to highlight favorite blocks, most likely.

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  28. I've been waiting and waiting for you to revisit the Penny Sampler when you were ready to do it, and have periodically searched your page in the vain hope that it was back. Hooray!! Personally I would prefer the year-long approach. Three months sounds intense for me and I imagine it would inadvertently put pressure on me to 'keep up' if real life manages to get in the way from time to time, as it does. Very excited!

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