Friday, November 21, 2014

Sampler Sets in Traditional Fashion

Cookie's Creek's version of my Dixie Diary BOM
12 Blocks Set with Sashing

I've been designing block-of-the-month (and block-of-the-week) samplers for several years for my various blogs and books. I'm thinking about sets for next year' series on my Civil War Quilts blog so I've been collecting ideas. I've often used some basic sets.

20 Blocks set with sashing from my book Facts & Fabrications

Cass County (Missouri) Historical Society's
 version of my Butternut and Blue sampler.

But the stitchers who follow the samplers sometimes come
up with great sets.

Setting the blocks and sashing on point gives you a different look
(and a bigger quilt.)

Stitch & Knit's version of my 2012
Grandmother's Choice sampler of 36 blocks

She alternated half-square triangle blocks, which can give you
the look of  a strip set when sampler blocks and HST's are
set on point.

The alternate block

Lori Smith has used this set to great effect in her
Road to Freedom sampler pattern for 5" blocks.

Westering Women 

You get a diagonal set if the blocks are set on the square rather than on point.
This is a sampler I did for my guild several years ago.

Ruth in Dallas's prizewinning version of my 
Civil War Sampler

If you shade the alternate blocks correctly you 
get the illusion of a medallion quilt.

Back Home Again by Kaye England

Another good period look is a true strip set
in which the blocks are set on point with large
triangles. A striped print between them separates the strips.

Jo Morton and her Leesburg sampler.

Vintage quilt about 1870-1890

If you offset those block strips and forget the separating
strips you get the classic zig-zag set.

Here's a diagram of how the blocks are set in strips.

In this case the 12th block was cut in half
to finish out the edges. The photo is  was one
of those Pinterest orphans, floating around the
internet with no i.d. Maybe you know whose
clever design this is.
Rae found it. It's 
Dawna's Cherry Fizz Sampler
on her Dawna's Folk Art Flickr page

If you'd rather think innovatively Jen Kingwell's 
Gypsy Wife sampler set is
nothing but new!


  1. lot of choices. I seem to favor the on point. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Woohoo -- we're going to have another series next year! :) Love all these ideas you're tossing around today.

    I set the earlier Civil War Sampler blocks in strips. Not sure if this link will work:


  3. A quick Google image search brought up this source for the one with the block cut in half.


  4. Thanks for putting my quilt on your blog! I just received it back from the International Quilt Festival in Houston, where it was in the "Texas Guilds' Award-Winning Traditional Quilts 2014" exhibit! Of course, it wouldn't have even been a quilt if it wasn't for your Civil War Blog!!

  5. It is amazing how many quilts you can make form one design and changing the settings, sashings, fabric choices, etc. I need to see if I can find the pattern I scanned from your book, has basic squares and little leaf type appliqu├ęs on the outer edges, I may use that with my flannels for a winter quilt.


  6. Thanks for the links. I updated the post with the Cherry Fizz sampler.

  7. Fabulous layout.On ppoint is my best fav.

  8. Loved Gypsy Wife so much I actually bought the pattern. This is a great reference for when we ask ourselves "now what"?