Community Sampler Week #6

Community Sampler Week #6


Welcome to week #6 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 the Fairground block. Download the free PDF on the Sew Along page.


Square-in-Square Unit Tutorial

Use the following link for review how to make Half-Square Triangle (HST) units and No-Waste Flying Geese units that we've already used in earlier Community Sampler blocks. There's a lot of moving pieces in the Fairground block and accuracy is always our goal. The more seams in a block the more even minor discrepancies will start to multiply into a big mess. Make sure all pieces are true to size as you work and you maintain an accurate 1/4" seam allowance when sewing and the pieces will go together beautifully.

If you're wanting to use directional prints for either the HST units or the Flying Geese units you may want to check out my tutorial for controlling directional prints that was posted during the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along. 

To see how this Square-in-Square unit is created in a video, view the Bloc_Loc method for making this units in the Flying Geese rulers tutorial or follow along with my step out tutorial below.


Cut the two 3-1/4” in half diagonally to make four HST pieces

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Fold the 3-3/8” fabric D square in half and press to crease.

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Stack two fabric A HST pieces with edges matched. Center and align the point of the stacked triangles with the vertical crease line and straight edge matching the edge of the square.

Trim dog ears of stacked triangles with edges of the square.

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Rotate the square 90° so crease line is now parallel with top edge of square. Place a trimmed triangle right sides together and edges matched to top edge of square. Stitch with a 1/4” seam allowance.

Press corner out. Repeat for the opposite side.

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Rotate the pieced section 90° and use the vertical crease line to center an untrimmed triangle. Stitch to section, noting how the stitch line enters and exits at the “V” where the two fabrics intersect. Press corner out. Repeat on the remaining side to make a Square-in-Square unit.

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Trim unit to 4-1/2” square, leaving a 1/4” seam allowance on each side. If using the Bloc_Loc 2” x 4” Flying Geese ruler to trim your Square-in-Square unit, trim one side at a time, rotating your unit 90° between each trim. Watch the Bloc_Loc tutorial for piecing and trimming of a Square-in-Square unit.


I pieced my Fairground block with a slight variation from the instructions. Instead of cutting four 2-1/2” x 4-1/2” rectangles from fabric A, I cut those four rectangles from my blue fabric D. This gave the block more visual weight on the edges and created an octagon shape within the block.


For my sampler I'm sewing with Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Element solids. I've been getting a lot of questions as to the exact colors I'm sewing with so I will start including a swatch image each week showing the sku number of each solid. Clockwise from the peach is Grapefruit, Creme de la Creme, Night Sea, and Pistachio Creme. 


My completed block! I like it's playfulness and all the second and maybe third designs these patchwork shapes make. Have fun with your block and don't be afraid to add more or even less different fabrics into it to make it your own.

If you notice I had to pull out the seam ripper to correct sewing that top row upside down--oops. This stuff happens and I don't care how seasoned a quilter you are--that's why seam rippers were invented!

Community Sampler Sponsors

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Lady Belle Fabric  Omnigrid   Aurifil Thread  Art Gallery Fabrics 

Hobbs Batting  Dritz  Fat Quarter Shop  Bloc-Loc

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!

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 will be hosting the giveaway this Friday and you'll be instructed how to enter at that time.

Happy sewing!







Sewcial Bee Sampler Block #21

Sewcial Bee Sampler Block #21

Here we are, ready to start the last row of our sampler quilt! As we near the end of this incredible journey, my co-host, Maureen Cracknell and I are looking to future collaborations together. The success of the Sewcial Bee Sampler (SBS) has been phenomenal and mostly because of your participation and the remarkable community you've created out of this sew along.  

To help us better understand what you're looking for in a future sew along, Maureen and I have prepared an 8 question survey. This quick questionnaire is completely anonymous and your answers will give us better insight into serving your needs as a quilter. To ensure the most accurate results, please only take the survey once. Many thanks to those who've participated in the SBS questionnaire already. If you've not yet had a chance to take the survey, please do, we're only keeping it open now through the end of the SBS sew along and then we'll close the survey. The link provided on both our blogs will link to the same survey. So, if you access the questionnaire from either Maureen's site or mine, your answers are compiled to the same place.  

We still have a few new Makers joining our sew along and Maureen and I couldn't be more proud of all the gorgeous blocks and the remarkable community that's being built from this sew along. Anyone just joining us may want to take advantage of the in-blog tutorials for the different patchwork techniques used throughout the Sewcial Bee Sampler. Pick up tips and block variations beginning with the first blog post The Start of Something Sewcial.

Time to get sewing this week's block #21--Hourglass. Download the free PDf for the blocks on my Sew Along page.

For the Hourglass block we use three different techniques. 2-at-a-time Half-Square Triangle (HSTs) units, No-Waste Flying Geese units, and Square in Square units. Today's tutorial will be about making Square in Square units. If you need a refresher on how to make the other units used in this block, use the links above to previous tutorials. You may also want to review working with directional prints when making different units.

Square in Square Units

Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of each 2-1/2" square. Noting orientation, place a marked square right sides together on a corner of the 4-1/2" square. Sew just a needles worth outside the line on the corner side to keep the unit square. Press to set the seam. Trim 1/4" past the stitching. 

Press corner open. Noting orientation, repeat on the diagonally opposite corner. Press. Trim and press corner open. In the same manner, add squares to the remaining corners. Note: It's very important to only add one corner at a time, press to set seam, trim, and press corner open before adding more marked squares to the remaining corners. 

Because you're simply replacing the corners of the original 4-1/2" square with a second material, the Square in Square unit does not change size and should measure 4-1/2" square when the unit is completed. To better understand the sizes of the unfinished units (the size of unit before sewing into a block), look at how the individual units fit together. Since the center Square in Square is 4-1/2" square, we then can guess the size of the finished Flying Geese units to measure 4-1/2" long by 2-1/2" high. Same goes for the corner HST units. They should measure 2-1/2" square. The Hourglass block, once sewn together, will measure 8-1/2" square before adding the frames. To double check your piecing, you will always know the square size of the block (with frames) by looking at the smallest frame length listed on the instructions. Our sampler has 20 blocks with frames and the five without frames and all should measure 12-1/2" square (unfinished) once and before setting into the final sashing at the end. 

This sampler quilt is pieced using fabrics from my Bountiful collection and Pure Elements solids from Art Gallery Fabrics. Find where to shop online for my prints by using the handy Shop Fabrics page on this blog. Right now, Llama Fabrics has a 30% off sale going on!

I liked this Square in Square unit so much that I went back to block #9-Wedding Ring and replaced the center with a Square in Square unit. It's the same size as we made for this week's block. Here you can see an example of a block with a frame and a block without a frame being the same 12-1/2" square (unfinished) size once assembled. 

It's very exciting to see projects popping up all over the interweb made from my Bountiful fabrics. I have made several quilts that will be featured in magazines over the next few months and love getting a copy of the magazine in the mail. This week I was so pleased to see my Staggered Tin Tiles quilt on the newsstands and part of the July/August 2017 issue of Modern Patchwork

Staggered Tin Tiles by Sharon Holland

Staggered Tin Tiles by Sharon Holland

Don't forget that this Friday's Giveaway Friday and this week I will be hosting the giveaway from this blog. We've got a great giveaway planned from Needle and Foot you won't want to miss!