My Signature Sampler Week #11

My Signature Sampler Week #11

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The weeks are moving along quite fast on this sew along and we're already to block 11 out of 16!

Today's block comes from the Quilter's Planner 2018 magazine (Block 7 in the magazine) and I'm calling it Flying Geese block for this sew along. 

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If you're just joining in on the fun, take a look at my first post for this sew along and pick up the quilt layout and color book page to start planning your sampler! The My Signature Sampler is based off block instructions from the Sewcial Bee Sampler (SBS), Community Sampler (CS), AGF Quilt Block Collection (AGF), and the blocks from the Quilter's Planner 2018 magazine (QP). If you have different favorite blocks and would rather include them in your quilt, please feel free to make this sampler with your own signature-style. 

If you need extra help with your patchwork or would like to learn how to control the direction of your prints in half-square triangle units and other piecing techniques, visit my Tutorials page for lots of great tutorials all in one place. Also, when making any Sewcial Bee or Community Sampler blocks you can access the original blog posts for each block and find additional tips and tutorials for piecing. If needed, just use the search bar at the top of the this page on the right and simply type in the block name.

Don't forget our blocks will be set on-point so if you have a fussy cut center, cut it on-point for best results. Note: I don't recommend cutting any other pieces of the blocks (other than a center square on-point for fussy cutting) because it will create bias edges along the outside of the block and increase chances of distortion. Keep any bias edges in the center of the block.

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I love this block from the Quilter's Planner magazine but admit that it's a tricky one to piece. This block is my third attempt at it! But, The Quilter's Planner has you covered on this with additional Hints and Tips for this, July 2018 Block of the Month. Plus, if you're wanting to try your hand at foundation paper-piecing (FPP), they also have the instructions and template for constructing this block by FPP.

I used traditional patchwork construction for my block. My first attempt, I made the classic mistake of not reading the directions and making assumptions about the construction. For this block you must follow the cutting and piecing instructions to the minute details (accept for one part I'll discuss in a bit). Cut and make the Flying Geese units as directed in the magazine as these are set on point into the block and don't comply to standard dimensions. DON'T trim down to a standard size like I did the first time around!

My suggestion for deviating from the instructions comes with the 3-7/8" squares that will be cut in half diagonally and used as the corners of the Flying Geese sections. 

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I suggest that instead of cutting the squares 3-7/8" you cut them 4" square. That way, after you attach the three triangles to make a quarter section of the block you have a tiny bit of wiggle room for squaring it to 6-1/2" square. 

 2019 Quilter's Planner

2019 Quilter's Planner

Orders are now being taken for next year's planner and you have a choice of two cover designs for the planner plus they come with the Quilter's Planner 2019 magazine loaded with projects from the calendar plus and new sampler quilt project. 

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My blocks are made using Art Gallery Fabric Pure Elements for the solids together with prints from the Signature fabric collection that I designed for Art Gallery Fabrics. For stock lists of online shops that carry my Signature and other collections I've designed for AGF, visit my Fabrics page or the Where to Buy page on the Art Gallery Fabrics site.

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I've been adding my setting triangles to my finished blocks as I make them and have been sticking to original layout in the first week handouts. I'm using a combination of my Perennial print from Printemps Fusions and Untamed Beauty Daybreak from Signature as the background setting of my quilt but because this block will be in the middle of the quilt it only uses the Untamed Beauty print in the setting triangles. 

The setting triangles are made by cutting a 9-1/2'' square on the diagonal to make two setting triangles. Be mindful of print direction, if applicable. See Community Sampler Week #13 for block setting instructions. 

If you're interested in adding a chevron border to your sampler quilt, take a look at the week #6 blog post and pick up the border supplement PDF. I'll review the border option closer to the end of this sew along but just in case you wanted to sew or plan ahead, you have the information now.

GIVEAWAY

Every Friday when I reveal a new block to My Signature Sampler, I'll also be posting the weekly giveaway. This sew along is being sponsored by the most amazing companies and have generously donated incredible prizes to share with you. 

OUR SPONSORS

THIS WEEK'S GIVEAWAY SPONSOR IS: ART GALLERY FABRICS

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Art Gallery Fabrics was started in 2004 by Pat and Walter Bravo. Since then creativity, beauty, and design have been their passions, and to this day, they have not changed--bringing a chic and modern perspective to the quilting industry.

When it comes to designing a fabric collection, AGF always keeps originality and uniqueness on the top of their list. Find your favorite fabric designers who create enticing color palettes and artful, intricate prints that make AGF collections one of a kind. Art Gallery Fabrics designs modern fabrics that keep up with ongoing trends and at the same time it encourages customers to use new colors and patterns so they venture out of their usual comfort zone.

Art Gallery Fabrics believes strongly in the quality of the fabric which is transcended in their superior thread count and fine weave making premium cotton as soft and smooth you can get. You really feel the difference with just one touch!

Blog  *  Facebook *  Instagram  * Pinterest

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AGF has created a collector’s box of fabrics like no other! Hand-picked for makers to use in a multitude of creative projects. An explosion of color and design made of unique groups of AGF’s signature quality cotton paired up with an original and collectible box made exclusively for them! Color Master boxes include a selection of 10 prints in two choices: FAT QUARTERS or HALF YARDS. CHECK YOUR LOCAL STORE FOR AVAILABILITY OR BUY IT ONLINE.

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This week's My Signature Sampler giveaway will put this beautiful Quite Peachy box of 10 fat quarters into one lucky winners stash! 

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Giveaway now closed. Congratulations to Michele!

Note: This giveaway is open to EVERYONE! If you're a "no reply" or anonymous commenter, please remember to include your email address in your comment--you can't win if I can't get a hold of you!

1. Simply leave a comment here under this post! (First comment entry).

2. Follow Art Gallery Fabrics on any of their social media platforms (see links above). Just let me know that you did by making a separate comment here to record that entry. (Separate comment-second entry). 

3. My followers get a third entry! If you follow me via subscribing to my posts, on Pinterest, and/or Instagram, just let me know by making a separate comment here to record that entry. (Separate comment-third entry).

4. Help spread the word!! I know that many of you already do, so I thought it would be nice to add that as another way to enter! Spread the word about the My Signature Sampler sew along on YOUR instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest by pinning any of my pretty images in this post, etc... (separate comment-fourth entry). 

That’s FOUR possible entries! Enter now through Monday, September 3rd! The winner will be picked at random around 4pm Eastern. I will post the name of the winner on this post once they've been notified and responded to my email.

Don't forget to enter into this same giveaway on Instagram by posting images of your sampler inspiration, sampler fabric pull, or blocks. Use the official #mysignaturesampler hashtag every time you post your My Signature Sampler makes (to a public account) and you're automatically entered into the weekly IG drawings as well! See my Instagram giveaway posts @sharonhollanddesigns for full details. 

Happy Labor Day weekend!

Sharon

Yo-Yo Pillow

Yo-Yo Pillow

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The final installment in my pillow series is this fun Yo-Yo Pillow. Yo-yos and pillows made from yo-yos are nothing new but it's something I've not seen done for awhile and there may be lots of new sewers out there that don't know how to make them.

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Yo-yos are hand stitched from circles of fabric. I used a 6'' diameter circle to make mine but you can use whatever size you'd like. The smaller the starting circle, the smaller your finished yo-yo will be. They shrink considerably once stitched up and my finished yo-yos measured around 2-1/2'' across.

Yo-Yo Pillow

Materials needed to make an 18'' square finished pillow

  • For front foundation and backing: Two 18-1/2'' squares for 1/4'' seams Lapped Zipper Back or two 19'' squares for 1/2'' seams Hidden Zipper back
  • For yo-yos: Sixty-four 6'' diameter fabric circles
  • One 14'' invisible zipper
  • Aleene's No-Sew Fabric Glue
  • One package 1/4'' -wide Dritz Wash Away Wonder Tape
  • Zipper foot attachment
  • Needle and thread
  • Embroidery thread and needle
  • Marking tool and ruler
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Knot the end of a length of thread. Hiding starting knot on the wrong side of the fabric, turn circle edge 1/4'' under to wrong side while hand basting a running stitch 1/8'' from edge. Leave thread in needle and do not knot end when basting stitch reaches the starting knot. 

Pull loose thread end to gather, forming a yo-yo. The gathered edge will be pulled to the center. 

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Flatten the yo-yo, centering the gathered closure. Secure thread with a double knot and hide thread inside the yo-yo. Make a total of 64.

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There's a few ways you can connect your yo-yos for a pillow top. One way would be to stitch the yo-yos together with tiny stitches along the edges at four points like a compass then attach the connected circles to the pillow top. 

Another way would be to blanket stitch the yo-yos to the pillow foundation (leaving the appropriate 1/4''-1/2'' seam allowance around the edges of the foundation for pillow assembly.

I chose a middle road and "X" stitched my yo-yos directly to the foundation at four points. 

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Since I only had an 18-1/2'' square piece of Art Gallery Fabrics Apricot Sunrise Smooth Denim I needed to take care not to stitch my yo-yos in the 1/4'' seam allowance area. I used the 1/4'' mark on my Omnigrid ruler as a guide. 

Since my yo-yos aren't perfectly sized and I wasn't sure if the amount made would fit my pillow foundation I wanted to have all the yo-yos in place before I started sewing. To keep my yo-yos in place without pinning, I put a dab of Aleene's No-Sew Fabric Glue on the back of each yo-yo and worked from the outside edges of the foundation in toward the center.

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Once all in place and working on a flat surface, I hand stitched the yo-yos to the foundation with 3-ply strands of Aurifloss embroidery thread. Tip: Leave the side of the yo-yo nearest the foundation raw edge unstitched until after pillow is assembled. By leaving these sides free, the edge yo-yos can be folded in toward the center of the pillow durning assembly and stay free of the seam allowance area.

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Stitch at four points and secure on back with double knots. 

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Assemble the pillow using either my Lapped Zipper Back or Hidden Zipper tutorials.

I finished my pillow with a lapped zipper back in Signature fabrics Extempore Gala canvas.

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After the pillow has been assembled, go back and finish hand stitching the edge yo-yos to the pillow. Insert an 18'' square pillow form.

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Hand stitching yo-yos is a great take along pastime and perfect for lazy summer days of relaxing, mindless sewing on the go or just sitting at home. 

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I hope you enjoyed these pillow projects. I've still more projects to post here before the Signature Look Book is published so come back and visit real soon for more summer sewing ideas. 

Community Sampler Week #14

Community Sampler Week #14

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It's bitter-sweet that we're at the border assembly part of our sew along. This week we'll put on the optional borders and have a finished top! Looking ahead, next week Maureen and I will post about how to sandwich your top, batting, and back and I'll have some suggestions for quilting. The final week #16 is the full reveals and grand finale prize giveaway so stick with us just a few more weeks. 

If you've just found out about this sew along, don't worry, you can still join in on the fun but you may want to start from the very first post and work up to the present. There are eleven blocks in our quilt, block setting, and optional borders. Each Wednesday will be a new PDF block release or finishing step for the quilt. If you are just joining us, pick up the Introduction PDF on the Sew Along page and you'll get a material list along with coloring pages so you can get started planning your quilt. Then, work your way through the first Community Sampler post to the present.

My co-host and sister Art Gallery Fabrics designer Maureen Cracknell and I are so happy to have you sewing with us and can't wait to see your finished quilts.

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Accurate cutting and use of a true 1/4'' seam allowance is a must for successful patchwork piecing. All your set blocks will measure 17-1/2'' square (unfinished). Review how to cut strips, sew with a true 1/4'' seam allowance, and other helpful piecing tips on my "Are You Ready to Sew" post.

Let's add some borders! Download the free PDF on the Sew Along page.

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If you're using directional prints, you may want to check out my tutorial for controlling directional prints that was posted during the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along. I know you know how to stitch our No-Waste Flying Geese by now but if you'd like to look back on our past tutorial, revisit week #3 post, here.

Those of you that may have made your quilt bigger by adding more blocks will need to increase the length your borders and more materials will be needed for the added size. 

Adding the Borders

In a perfect world we all could sew perfectly square blocks that are true to size but let's face it, that rarely happens. The cutting and piecing sizes given in our PDF Borders instruction are written for that perfect case senecio which means you're probably going to make a few tweaks to your cutting and piecing to get this baby together.

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Cut and stitch your Flying Geese (FG) units to the size given in the instructions, making them 2-1/2'' x 4-1/2'' (unfinished). Please read the rest of this blog post and through all the instructions on the PDF before cutting the A and B rectangles for the pieced borders.

My original plan for my quilt was to make all the Flying Geese units and rectangles white on a peach/pink background to match the block setting background solid. But, the peach/pink is a very light shade and to do all that Flying Geese and rectangle piecing in white against light seemed like a waste of all that piecing! I decided to select a few mid-tone solids that were predominate in the blocks and do a mixed solids border treatment. To do this I needed to divide the number of different fabrics by the number of "pop beads" as I like to call the border shapes. Remember, that with every No-Waste Flying Geese method you'll get four units in the end and will need one 5-1/2" square and four 3-1/8" squares to get four matching FG units. The PDF instructions give the total number needed (if using the size of quilt given) to cut so use those numbers as a guide when dividing in your number of fabrics.

I'd run out of enough fabric to include a terra cotta colored pop bead so I substituted with the more muted PE-472 Cinnamon of Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements color seen on the far right of the above photo. 

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As you can see, the Flying Geese units will measure up nicely to the 4-1/2" square corner squares in the pieced border and the 2-1/2"-wide inner border (even though my points are less than perfect, you get the idea here :).

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You're quilt center (before adding any of the borders) should be measuring somewhere in the neighborhood of 51-1/1" x 60". If you're way off that mark or increased the size of your quilt by adding more blocks you'll need to make some adjustments... 

Obviously, if you've made a larger quilt than our sampler you will need to get out the calculator and cut more strips for those inner and outer boarders and make additional Pop Beads in the middle borders. Note that the rectangles in the Pop Beads are two different sizes and are labeled A and B on the PDF instructions. 

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Before you really get crazy and cut all the A and B rectangles, cut just a couple (and label) then sew some of the Flying Geese units to rectangles and check your sizing. 

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Since the B rectangle/Flying Geese units are stitched directly against the top and bottom of the quilt (no inner border between) that's a good place to start for checking sizes. If your seams match up on major points and seams of the quilt top center then you're in that perfect world senecio and are in good shape to proceed with piecing the borders as given in the instructions. 

If you're considerable off you have two options. 

One, do the math to figure what sort of adjustment is needed to the A and B rectangles to hit on those major seams in the quilt top center. Start by measuring the opposite sides of the top and average those number (subtract 1/2" for total seam allowances and work in finished sizes for now). Each FG pair will measure 4'' finished so add up the number of 4'' units needed. From the remaining amount, figure how many rectangles are needed. Divide that amount by the number of rectangles needed to get the total length per rectangle. Remember to add in the seam allowances after figuring the finished length needed for an A or B rectangles. Yeah, I know, no fun at all.

Okay, option two. Cut and piece as stated in the instructions (unless of course you need to cut more because you made a bigger quilt). After piecing each border section as directed, the adjustments will be made to the end rectangles only. You're border may not hit on the major seams and points of the quilt top but will be easier to figure up and still look balanced in the end.

Remember, don't change the 4-1/2" measurement on any of the rectangles as this side will match the length of the Flying Geese units and corner squares.  

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I truly hope these pieced borders don't cause heartache and frustration but I do want to cover any possible problems that could occur do to the variables of sewing. Do a few samples like stated above and test the waters before jumping in.

If you're not up to this challenge then maybe consider a simple 4" -wide finished solid middle border (4-1/2" x length needed cut size) and follow the same steps as for making the inner and outer border. 

Remember to use your sew along community on Instagram (#CommunitySampler) if you have questions or need some moral support!

COMMUNITY SAMPLER SPONSORS

My co-host Maureen Cracknell and I are continually amazed by the joy and excitement each of you bring to our virtual community. Thank you for making this sew along so special. Please visit Maureen's blog and see the progress she's making on her sampler quilt, using her beautiful AGF fabrics Love Story collection. Be sure to use the #CommunitySampler hashtag when posting your blocks to Instagram and tag both my @sharonhollanddesigns and @maureencracknell so we don't miss any of your beautiful work! But, please be patient with both Maureen and I over the next few weeks if we don't comment back. Both Maureen and I are preparing sewing samples for our new spring collections and there's just not enough hours in the day (or energy) to get it all done!

Don't forget that this Friday's a Giveaway Friday on the Community Sampler sew along. Maureen and I will take turns hosting a giveaway each week where one of our generous sponsors will be featured and offering amazing prizes both here on our blogs and also on Instagram. I'll be hosting the giveaway this Friday and you'll be instructed how to enter at that time.

Happy sewing!

 

Community Sampler Week #4

Community Sampler Week #4

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Welcome to week #4 of the Community Sampler sew along where we not only work on our patchwork piecing techniques but also share our makes on Instagram and have fun with a like-minded community of quilters. My co-host and sister Art Gallery Fabrics designer Maureen Cracknell and I are so happy to have you sewing with us and look forward to spending the next few months with you.

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There are eleven blocks in our quilt and each Wednesday will be a new PDF block release or finishing step for the quilt. If you are just joining us, pick up the Introduction PDF on the Sew Along page and you'll get a material list along with coloring pages so you can get started planning your quilt. Then, work your way through the first Community Sampler post to the present.

Many of the patchwork units (like Quick-Corner, Flying Geese, Half-Square Triangle, and Square-in-Square units) used in this year's sampler have already been oversized to allow for trimming and squaring of units before assembling your block. Please cut your pieces EXACTLY as given in each of the PDF instructions because bumping up the size of the pieces from the measurements give will not bring great results in some cases. Take advantage of my in-blog tutorials for each of the different quilting techniques used in our sampler.

Accurate cutting and use of a true 1/4'' seam allowance is a must for successful patchwork piecing. All your blocks will measure 12-1/2'' square (unfinished). Review how to cut strips, sew with a true 1/4'' seam allowance, and other helpful piecing tips on my "Are You Ready to Sew" post.

Let's start sewing our third block--Ribbon Star. Download the free PDF on the Sew Along page.

Triple-Square Triangle Units

I love how you can put squares together to come out with intricate patchwork units like this Triple-Square Triangle (TST). All the cut sizes have already been sized up for trimming and squaring. I'm using the 6'' HST Bloc-Loc ruler to help me keep my units square. You can see some great video from the Bloc-Loc site to better explain how to use their tools. 

If you're wanting to use directional prints for either of the following patchwork techniques you may want to check out my tutorial for controlling directional prints that was posted during the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along. 

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Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the lighter fabric of your 6" squares.

Place a marked square right sides together with a same-size square. Sew a 1/4" seam on each side of the drawn line. 

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Press to flatten. Cut apart on the line to make two Half-Square Triangle (HST) units. 

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Press open toward the dark print. I press my seams in one direction. Read more about pressing seams open on Maureen's blog post for the Ribbon Star block. Tip when pressing seams in one direction: Place the fabric you want to press toward face up on the ironing board. When you open to press the seam will automatically be pressed toward the desired fabric. 

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Trim units to 5" square. Since these HST units are oversized, the first trimming pass will cut off about an half an inch on the right side and top for a right hander. If you're left handed you will be trimming the left side and top. Notice the Bloc-Ruler is using the diagonal line to square the unit and the two sides not being trimmed on this first pass will still need squaring up as the 5'' marks of the ruler does not align with the outside edges.

Rotate the unit 180° and trim about 1/8" off the two remaining side to square to 5" square. Repeat on the remaining (untrimmed) HST unit. 

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Draw a diagonal line on each of the 5" squares. Pair a 5" square with a HST unit right sides together and the drawn line perpendicular to the seam line of the HST so the seams make an "X" (see first image below). 

Sew a 1/4" seam on each side of the marked line. 

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Press to flatten (you can see the seam line orientation of the HST unit creates an "X" in the pressing photo).

Cut apart on the line. Open and press toward the large triangle. Makes two, mirror image Triple-Square Triangle (TST) units. Make a total of four. Note: Be sure to pay attention to orientation of the TST units when assembling your block! 

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Trim the TST units in the same manner as you did with the HST units, using the diagonal seam line as a guide and taking care that all the points stays sharp. Trim only about 1/8" or less off the sides to trim to 4-1/2" square. Make a total of four TST units. 

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For my sampler quilt I'm using Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements solids. Using all solids is a personal challenge for this pattern designer and is not without it's own set of additional challenges. See my first week Community Sampler post for the inspiration behind my color palette. I've already made a few of the blocks for this sampler to work ahead and have found that I really need to bring my A-game for piecing because solids are very unforgiving and show every little missed point. Again, this is a good challenge even for a quilter that's been doing this awhile and I will need to take extra care in my stitching!

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Thank you for making this sew along so special I love seeing all the blocks being posted. Please visit Maureen's blog and see the progress she's making on her sampler quilt, using her beautiful AGF fabrics Love Story collection. Be sure to use the #CommunitySampler hashtag when posting your blocks to Instagram and tag both my @sharonhollanddesigns and @maureencracknell so we don't miss any of your beautiful work!

Community Sampler Sponsors

Don't forget that this Friday's a Giveaway Friday on the Community Sampler sew along. Maureen and I will take turns hosting a giveaway each week where one of our generous sponsors will be featured and offering amazing prizes both here on our blogs and a second chance on Instagram. I will be hosting the giveaway this Friday and you'll be instructed how to enter at that time.

Happy sewing!