Monday, August 21, 2017

Friendship and the Antique Wedding Sampler Quilt

It's been almost a year since Paula and I struck up an online friendship. We have very similar tastes when it comes to fabric, quilt styles/designs, cats and food! Paula found me via my blog and after corresponding about various projects we were working on Paula asked if I would be interested in working together on a project and I thought it was a fine idea. She had previously mentioned that she had made four blocks from the Antique Wedding Sampler quilt designed by Di Ford Hall, a quilt that I admired greatly. The pattern is in Di's first book, Primarily Quilts. Each of the quilts in the book is inspired by antique quilts.

I believe that the quilt that inspired Di Ford's Antique Wedding Sampler is a Quaker quilt made by Charlotte Gillingham c 1842-1843. It is part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art's collection. You can read more about the original at Quaker Quilt History.

I had seen the Antique Wedding Sampler quilts made by Carole of Wheels on the Warrandyte Bus and the G'nT Sisters. Their blocks and quilts are very inspirational and exciting. Carole had assured me that the blocks were very doable.

Paula wasn't happy with her first four blocks so I suggested that she address her concerns with those blocks and while she was doing that I would make the first four blocks. Thereafter we would work on two blocks a month. We figured two blocks a month was manageable and we would be able to support and encourage each other and more importantly there would somebody with whom we could problem solve. There are twenty five blocks in the quilt and as it turned out we decided that when we both completed our two blocks we would move on to the next two. While the blocks did present some challenges, they were not as difficult as I had originally thought.

Over the next little while I plan to share our 12" blocks with you. Without further ado here are the first two blocks. I'll discuss some of the methods we used and areas where you can get creative!

Block 1 - The compass looks difficult but we English paper pieced it and then appliqued it to the background. My points are a little bit wobbly (I can live with that) whereas Paula's are perfect! The motifs in the corners are done in the broderie perse method of applique. I chose to applique a butterfly in the middle of my block and Paula chose a lovely circle print.

UPDATE #1: I posted a couple tips on constructing the compass and sewing the broderie perse flowers in the corners. You can find them here.

UPDATE #2: I just discovered that I posted versions of Paula's first two blocks which she later changed. In block 1 she replace the broderie perse in the corners and block 2 was remade. Notice that she substituted a hexagon rosette for the tiny 8 point star that the pattern called for! I've updated the post with both revised blocks.

Karen's block 1

Paula's block 1 (first version)

Paula's block 1 (final version)

Block 2 - This was a simple pieced block with some traditional applique in the corners. The centre of the block called for a tiny star which I English paper pieced and then appliqued in position. I thought it needed a little pizzazz so I appliqued a little circle in the centre. Note that it is the same fabric I used for the circles in the north-south-east-west positions in block 1. Paula didn't relish the idea of making the tiny little star so instead she fussy cut a beautiful birds and flowers piece of fabric for the centre.

 Karen's block 2

Paula's block 2

Paula's block 2 (remade)

Next time I post I'll share blocks 3 and 4.  Until then, happy sewing!

Karen H


  1. Nice! I have block 5 done and most of block 1 and part of block 9.
    It is on my to-do list for the coming year.

  2. The blocks are beautiful! I have often looked at this quilt in Primarily Quilts but never felt brave enough to start her, maybe someday. I especially like Carole's quilt in the blues. Happy stitching!

  3. How exciting to follow your progress and I'm especially grateful that you are telling us the methods you have used. Carole's work is wonderful too isn't it!

  4. Oh, Karen! I am so excited to see this blog post!! Sharing your methods with each block has given me the confidence to "take the plunge"! You and Paula have been so supportive on IG and your blog will provide valuable help for me. Thank you SO much. I look forward to starting soon!!

  5. Just wonderful blocks. I have that pinkish background your friend used for the round star blocks. It looks very good. I look forward to watching your progress.

  6. The blocks you and Paula have made are beautiful! I think block #1 is the most difficult with those points that stick out beyond the pieced circle so the rest should all be smooth sailing ;) Many thanks for linking to my blogs and I look forward to seeing many more blocks.

  7. Di Ford's quilts are so unique and I am bound and determined to get there - maybe in 2018. Beautiful work! I did work on the first block a year ago or so by trying a different way to make the block, but it did not work out. Cudo's to you both for some beautiful work.

  8. Looking forward to watching this quilt grow. Love seeing two versions of the same block.

  9. Love the blocks! The one thing that holds me back is the broiderie perse! Not quite sure how to cut out. Can you reccommend any good tutorials?

    1. Hi Leslie - I had a hard time finding tutorials. I did publish what I do and there is a link in my post. Also I've added some tips on broderie perse in a post dated August 22. Hope this helps!

  10. I find it fascinating how different a design looks in fabrics selected by different folks. Each block here is so striking and yet with such wonderfully different choices!

  11. What a beautifull idea to make that sampler together. Nice to see the differences. Groetjes, Dientje

  12. Both your blocks are gorgeous - lovely to see the two variations. This is going to be a beautiful project to watch you sew!

  13. They are all winners to me. Well done, ladies.

  14. Such beautiful work! I especially love your block 1.

  15. Oh, this is a pretty quilt, and a very nice one to do with a friend this way.