This is my third quilt. I made another scrap quilt on my own first (pretty bad, but no lumping since I used a blanket for batting) before I sought professional help and took a class at a quilt shop.
And it was, for a while. About 30 years.
I made this quilt with the quilt-as-you-go method, too, but this time I machine quilted the blocks. It didn't take me 3 years to get it done, either.
Samplers are fun to make, and really are a good learning experience for new quilters. In my volunteer work with the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts &Fiber Arts, I have seen many, many samplers made in the 1970s and 1980s. This was the first quilt many people made, their first step into the amazing world of quilting.
In the past, quilts of many patterns were made, but were not necessarily called samplers. The term sampler comes from embroideries, done to teach a young girl her stitches and sometimes her alphabet at the same time.
According to quilt historian Barbara Brackman's classic book, Clues in the Calico, when the block style became popular in the 1840s, quilts of multiple different blocks began to be made. In the early years, they were often appliqued album quilts, either made by one person or by a group of friends. The famous Baltimore Album quilts are of this type. Later, when applique was less fashionable, friendship quilts were more often made of pieced blocks. The ones we call samplers were made with many different block patterns by the same person, not by a group of friends.
Many quilt historians believe some quilters kept a collection of various different blocks as a way of remembering the patterns. The quilter might see a block she liked at a friend's home or a quilt show, and make up a block herself. She could then keep the block itself as a pattern. As you can imagine, a person could end up with quite a lot of blocks. Either the quilter herself, or her heirs after her death, might make these test blocks into a quilt. This quilt could then be called a "pattern quilt". Quilts of this type often have blocks of several different sizes.
I found one of these sets of blocks at a flea market several years ago.
I don't know if I'll make my antique block collection into a quilt. Some of the blocks are not in good shape, so couldn't be used. Some of them are stained, probably from the basket they were stored in. But it might be fun to put the good blocks together like a "puzil".
It's fun to look for sampler quilts (or any other kind of quilt!) on the Quilt Index. Here are a couple of antique samplers.
Want to see more? Click on the link, and search for quilts.
And finally, this is my all time favorite sampler:
Yeah, I've got a weakness for chocolates. I do like having the map included, so I know which ones I'm getting.
I hope your week ahead is full of quilting fun.