Bonfire Sampler - A Sister Sampler Quilt

I had the pleasure of hearing AnneMarie Chany of Gen X Quilters talk about her book, Sister Sampler Quilts, at a recent meeting of Columbus Modern Quilters. Her talk was inspirational, and her quilts were gorgeous! I picked up a copy of her book, and dove right in.

The book features traditional piecing methods and modern, out-of-the-box layouts and quilting. The premise of Sister Sampler Quilts is that each block in the sampler is made in pairs - giving you an instant opportunity to change the way you work with the colors and prints to achieve different looks. I chose a selection of fabrics from Elizabeth Olwen's Park Life collection, along with a few Kona cotton solids.

AnneMarie's directions are clear and very well-written - each pattern was easy to follow, and the technique tutorials really helped with some of the trickier bits (curves, for example). I learned some new things that are sure to show up in my future quilts.

I had so much fun making the Bonfire Sampler from the book, in part because I didn't have a chance to get bored. Since you're making just two of each block before moving on, you don't get burned out doing the same thing over and over. I'm pretty sure I finished this quilt in record time - for me, anyways!

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Embracing this sampler as a learning opportunity, I opted to do something outside of my comfort zone for the quilting. Instead of doing a basic meandering pattern or straight line quilting, I did different types of FMQ (free motion quilting) for each of the blocks, with an orange peel sort of frame around them all. I used straight line quilting and a meandering pattern in the border, and while I can see I need more practice on the FMQ, I'm really pleased with the end result.