Thanks for stopping by here on your SPLENDID SAMPLER adventure.. and quite an adventure it has turned out to be. Who knew it would be this kind of world wide phenomenon?? If you don't know about it, go HERE to learn more about it!
THE SPLENDID SAMPLER
In a nutshell, the Splendid Sampler is a year-long quilt-along hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. Each week they provide 2 new 6″ x 6″ quilt blocks, designed by dozens of different designers, 83 total to be exact I think!
If you want to see more, go to the Splendid Sampler Facebook Group to see all the fun so many of you are having!
I sure hope you guys are enjoying working on the huge variety of blocks and the myriad of techniques that people have been using over the weeks and months. Its really a wonderful way to work on stretching your boundaries and learning new skills… I am amazed at all the different techniques and methods that are being used for the blocks.
Even though my design schedule has prevented me from really jumping into the process of making other blocks, I sure have enjoyed watching you all!
… we have been all about the SHERBETS & CREAMS around here this summer. Click HERE to learn more!
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ME
…my Sunshine quilt, made with a fun rainbow of Fig Tree prints and colors.
For those of you who don't yet know me, here is a bit of my story:
My name is Joanna Figueroa and my business name is Fig Tree & Company [it used to be called Fig Tree Quilts and many people still use the name interchangeably]. I have been designing quilt, bag and accessory patterns for over 16 years and have been a fabric designer for MODA for almost as long.
… Strawberries for Sale. I have a serious thing for flour sack patterns.
Wow… that sounds like a really long time when I read it out loud. During the journey I have written books, contributed to dozens of magazines, taught throughout the world, designed other products and generally kept myself busy and entertained… usually doing much more than a person should at any given moment LOL! I can't imagine doing anything else as a career and I am thankful for my job and my work partners every day!
… one of my current favorite quilts, BLUE RIBBON in our upcoming Chestnut Street collection.
My husband Eric and I work on the business together, lead a wonderful group of ladies who work with us and rope in the kids whenever we possibly can. Our oldest is off to college in the fall, we have one in high school and our youngest daughter is in middle school. The oldest one was an infant when we started this crazy adventure! I couldn't really do any of this without their support.
There has been a lot going on here in the studio this summer with wool and block of the month programs and our special Little Box of Figs.
... Month #6 blocks of the 2016 MYSTERY SAMPLER BOM.
Regardless of how many summers I think that it will slow down and let me catch up a bit… I am always wrong! One of my main "extra" goals this summer has been to do a major clean up of my office and studio… well, so far that office is looking good and after hours and hours of work, I can honestly say that it is more organized than it has been in several years.
As for the studio… well let's just say there I still have hope and a month or so left of summer!
… and yes… before you say anything… this is totally cleaned up and organized! I love to be surrounded by inspiration and color always!!
THE SPLENDID SAMPLER FABRIC
But enough about me and back to the Splendid Sampler... I am very honored to share that one of the two main colorways that are being used for the sampler is based on my Strawberry Fields Revisited collection along with Vanessa's lovely Little Miss Sunshine. What fun it was to find out that this was the color grouping that Pat and Jane had chosen. Thank you ladies! Thank you MODA for your generosity for provided it to all the designers. You guys are the best!
… Strawberry Fields Revisited bundle.
My block is called Flights of Fancy or at least that is its official name. I always end up looking at blocks and calling them all kinds of things that are never the "right" thing though… flying geese cross, intersection block… I don't know, maybe Bertha? No, she doesn't look much like a Bertha. Maybe Suzie Q? But I digress.
Working on this block was really a lot of fun. I loved how each section of the block gave me an opportunity to showcase another fabric. Let me tell you that Pat and Jane sent over so many fabrics to choose from that it was quite hard to say no to some and yes to others! I wanted to make sure to use both the Strawberry Fields Revisited fabrics as well as Vanessa's. I was quite pleased with how well they all played together.
Click HERE for the official Splendid Sampler post and pattern download.
A FEW TIPS
One of my favorite techniques that I use in most of my patterns and books is what I have come to call THE SEW & FLIP METHOD. As I have taught students of all levels, I have found that this method almost always produces better and more accurate results for the most number of quilters. It is basically a way to avoid using bias and half-square triangles almost entirely. It used squares and rectangles, sewing pieces together on the diagonal, all the time completely avoiding cutting triangles and struggling with bias. I love it!
THE SEW & FLIP METHOD OUTLINED
Whenever possible, I use rectangles, squares & the “sew and flip” method in lieu of making ½ square triangles. In general, but especially with smaller pieces, I find that you have a lot more control & accuracy with this method and you can make all kinds of great final blocks with this method.
#1- Press or pencil draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of your top fabric and use it as your sewing line.
#2- Line up the 2 pieces RST & sew them together on that drawn line.
#3- Press the top piece out & with scissors trim out all the excess fabric from behind, leaving a ¼” seam allowance. Accuracy is not really that important here because you are simply trimming out excess fabric and the two pieces have already been sewn together.
When the fabric on top is cream, trim out both the cream & the fabric underneath. When the fabric on top is the color, trim only the excess color and leave the cream background intact. This gives your piece even more stability [since you are basically leaving a foundation of sorts] and ensures even more accuracy. Please refer to this method with all of the units pieced for this block.
Thanks for joining me and happy stitching,