Friday, January 6, 2017

getting started {Penny Sampler}

On Sunday I sent the January edition of the Penny Sampler to all registered for the 6-month and 12-month programs.  We're starting our journey with extensive lessons in applique, some optional Dogwood practice projects and several sampler blocks.  Under Contents on the pdf cover page lessons are labeled "Sampler" to indicate Penny Sampler blocks assigned to this month. 

On the 6-month track, we're to complete the heart blocks, clover, mitten and village this January.  I'm getting started!

Penny Sampler Jan blocks

I decided to make the hearts and clover with sew & turn applique.  Even though sew & turn method can be tricky with shapes that have deep clefts, if you trim the seam allowance really close at the inner points, it does work. Since I backed my shapes with muslin, they show a sliver of cream along the edges.  I don't mind.  I decided it adds an extra sense of dimension (wink).

Penny Sampler Jan blocks

Many of my first blocks are very dark with little contrast.  That's because they'll land in the "border" areas of the quilt, which I am intending to keep very dark gray.  Remember my inspiration pictureRight.  But I don't mind making simple, quiet blocks with such little contrast.  I know the Penny Sampler is a detailed quilt with lots to see and many opportunities to infuse color.  Some visually simple blocks seem like a smart way to start.

Penny Sampler Jan blocks

Each of these cuties were easy makes.  I'm attaching all of my applique with the sketch stitch method.  Wow, that's soooooo quick!  I forgot how quick it is.  Makes me want to approach an orange peel quilt this way this year.  My favorite block is the black clover.  The subtle cursive print was just the right touch.

Penny Sampler Jan blocks

If you're starting your Penny Sampler and have access to a design wall, you may like to put up some of your "first choices" fabrics to provide a visual frame for your blocks.  It helps with choosing fabrics/colors!  The First Choices lesson suggested you choose background for Hanging Diamond, background for Penny Candy Sashing and Side Border Print L.  If you've done that, you can make these cuts and put the fabric up on your design wall.  These cuts are part of the cutting process for each selection, so you are not wasting fabric:
  • Hanging Diamonds background:  Cut a 12.5" width of fabric strip.  Place at upper right corner of quilt layout.  I'm using Kona Charcoal.
  • Penny Candy Sashing background:  Cut (2) 3.5" width of fabric strips.  Make a cross with them, mimicking the quilt diagram.  I'm using FreeSpirit Solids Cosmic Blue.  
  • Side Border Print L:  Cut a 9.5" x 36.5" piece.  This is the exact size needed for quilt assembly.  I'm using Good Folks Good Fortune in gray.
  • Small Diamonds background:  If you have also chosen the background fabric for the diamond section at top/center of the quilt, you can cut (2) 5" width of fabric strips and place them side by side in that section of the quilt.  I'm using Kona Charcoal.
Making these cuts and laying them out is totally optional and technically working ahead.  I just wanted to extend the opportunity to you since it was helpful to me to do so!  Now I can add my blocks to the layout as they're created to feel my way colorwise.

::Notes for Students::
  • If you did not receive your pdf, please let me know!
  • Original pdf's have links to download your templates.  Those links were unnecessary since templates are embedded in your pdf.  The download links weren't working properly, so I've since removed them.  You can download a new version without links, if you like, but it's really not necessary.  The point is your templates are embedded!
  • Be sure to save each month's pdf to your computer.  You can view the pdf right in Dropbox OR view it in Adobe Acrobat on your computer.  If you view in Dropbox you will see comment threads in the sidebar.  Feel free to ask questions there or to email me.  
  • Trouble printing templates?  Try printing from Adobe Acrobat rather than from Dropbox.  You can tell Acrobat to print a single page.  No need to print the entire document.
  • To clarify there is not a separate class blog for the 2017 Penny Sampler.  I apologize to those of you who misunderstood and expected a class blog based on your earlier experiences with my courses.  Rather than having a class blog, I am delivering pdf's each month to you via Dropbox in the same format as a "block of the month" type of program.  The monthly pdf includes lessons for all sampler blocks to be completed that month.  For questions you may use the Dropbox comments feature or email me (see teal Contact button in right sidebar).  
  • Looking for community?  Sharing your photos to Instagram with hashtag #PennySampler will definitely connect you with lots of students.  There's already plenty of action on IG right now under #PennySampler.  In addition I will be opening a link party once a month at StitchedinColor for you to share your progress pictures, especially if you don't prefer to use Instagram.  Look for that later this month when I share my completed Little Village block!
Do you have any further questions about class format or using the pdf's?  Feel free to add your questions here or use the Contact button in my sidebar to email me.  Thank you for your trust!  I hope you enjoy the Penny Sampler!!

p.s.  It's not too late for you to join us.  Choose your format HERE

15 comments:

  1. I love that you're taking a new direction with this quilt. I make mostly brightly colored quilts, but I'm loving this so far. Often stepping out of our comfort zone is just what we need to open awesome new doors, and it keeps things from becoming stale too.

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    1. That's true. I'm telling myself that at the very least it will be a learning experience!

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  2. Thanks for the large panel fabric sizes....now I can make a design wall impression too. By the way, im having tons of fun already

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  3. I'm so glad I'm doing this course! It's been a long time since I've had to do anything on a timeline, and I'm really appreciating it. I also really love the design of the penny sampler. I don't have anywhere to do a design wall, unfortunately, as it's a great idea. I also bought your sparklers quilt pattern today. I've admired it for a long time, and my oldest son has been pestering me to make him a quilt, and he liked the pattern. I'm just going to have to pare it down to a twin size, queen is a bit big for his bunk bed. :)

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    1. Oh, that's great, Heidi. I'm glad he likes the pattern! It can be hard to find a boy-exciting pattern =)

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  4. Wow, those dark applique hearts are gorgeous. I am really looking forward to your second Penny Sampler. I'll have a real "Penny" Sampler because so far I only had to purchase some fabric for the Penny Candy Sashing, all other fabrics are taken from my stash. Thanks for the idea with the design wall, I'll start cutting my fabrics tomorrow morning. I'm sooo excited.

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  5. I really like your dark background choice. ANd yes! this cursive print is really beautiful!I just finished my heart blocks!I really enjoyed the sew and turn technique and the hand stitching of the applique. It was my first time and I really think that handstitching is delightful

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  6. If you decide you don't like the muslin on the hearts popping out you could carefully use a permanent black marker on the muslin. I've done this several times and it works like a charm and doesn't wash out. I also have a collection of colored markers and use them to color in wayward stitching. Shoemakers usually keep one color of thread in their machines and routinely cover the stitching that shows using this method.

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    1. If you cut the underneath fabric slightly smaller, would it pull the outside fabric under a tad? Maybe I'll try it to see if it works or is a failed brainstorm.

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  7. I really like the dark colors and fabrics .. looking forward to seeing it unfold. So far I am really loving this course and have already improved my skills.

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  8. I'm sorry if you had to answer the question about the class blog a bajillion times! Haha. I think I get it now. Your new quilt is off to a great start. It's SO dark and different, but in a really good way. I'm excited to see it evolve.

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  9. I love the machine applique. I have not tried anything like this for years. I would love to make a petal quilt some day using that technique
    Best wishes to all of your eager students

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  10. Boy I love the Penny Sampler and am looking forward to watching it grow =)

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  11. So smokey and dreamy Rachel, I love it!
    Thank you for giving the sizes for those cuts it really helps. I pulled out my Kona card for Abi to give me an idea of the colors she was thinking of. She picked 48 colors!!! So we pulled from my stash what we could then went shopping and now I'm waiting for them to arrive. This is going to be a very saturated quilt with so many patterns. I hope I can keep it from becoming a total mess. But I guess as long as she loves it, right.
    Looking forward to seeing what others are doing :)

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