Summer Sampler Series: My Finished Top


Summer is winding down—the cicadas are buzzing, summer activities are wrapping up, and the kids are getting ready to go back to school. So it’s only fitting that I’m wrapping up my “summer of the sampler quilt” with a finished sampler top!

I just couldn’t be happier with how this top turned out. I think it’s clear that the Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns is a gold mine of design possibilities—I can’t wait to scour it for more gems like the blocks above.

To finish the top, I decided to sash the blocks in white. I wanted the sashing to look more like background than actual sashing. With white sashing, a white border, and a fair amount of white in the blocks themselves, the blocks look like they’re floating in a field of white instead of trapped in block-sized boxes. And all the white keeps the focus on these fabulous blocks, rather than distracting from them. To add just a bit of additional interest, I made teeny pinwheels for cornerstones.

White is still my go-to neutral background color. Yes, even with grubby little hands around. Kona Coal and Kona Stone are fun ways to mix things up sometimes, but I still think there’s nothing like fresh clean white in a quilt. It really brings the contrast like nothing else. Plus, the more a quilt is washed and used, the softer it gets, right?


For anyone looking to do something similar for their Summer Sampler quilt, here are some specifics on my sashing and border. You will need 1.75 yards of fabric for the sashing and borders.

– For borders, cut 2 strips 4″ x 54,” and 2 strips, 4″ x 48″

– For sashing, cut 15 strips, 2.5″ x 12.5″

– For pinwheels, from background/sashing fabric, cut 12 squares 2″ x 2″, and from prints, cut 12 squares 2″ x 2″ (2 squares each from 6 prints)

Use the 2″ squares to make half-square triangles, and trim the HSTs to 1.5″ square. Sew together the HSTs to make 2.5″ square pinwheels. Assemble blocks with sashing and pinwheels, then add borders, starting with the longer border strips along the long sides of the quilt.

1. SSS12, 2. Summer series block 8 , 3. Untitled, 4. SummerSampler.FlowerGardenPath, 5. Evening Star Block for Charity Quilt for KMQG, 6. Minnesota, 7. Block # 12: Kansas Dust Storm, 8. Star of Virginia Block, 9. sharp., 10. SummerSampler.GreekCross0001, 11. SSS8, 12. Summer Sampler

I want to thank each and every one of you for quilting along with Faith, Kate, and me! You all are a huge part of what made this QA so enjoyable. Above are just a few of the fabulous blocks from the Flickr group. Enjoy, and I can’t wait to see all your finished quilts!

47 replies
  1. Lee Heinrich
    Lee Heinrich says:

    It's fantastic, Lee! I love those little pinwheels. What's the finished size of the quilt top?

    I wasn't able to participate in the quilt-along in real time, but I followed along. The best part for me is that I could see myself making each of these blocks for bees, swap projects, or just making a whole quilt from one block. I have the series bookmarked, and I know I'll be referencing it.

  2. Karen
    Karen says:

    I couldn't join and with every block finish I wished I could have. This is one that I will get done someday.
    Your version is AWESOME. The colours and the white scream summer.
    I so wish I could have done it with everybody else 🙁

  3. Charity
    Charity says:

    Your quilt looks fabulous, and so many other fabulous blocks. I could be in love with flicker, and spend my day looking at beautiful things online. Maybe I need to leave the computer a bit. I have to say that I am lagging behind.:( Maybe this is just the inspiration I need to get it into gear, finger's crossed.

  4. Nicky
    Nicky says:

    I have been watching this QAL but may have to jump in after the event! Too much to do just now but I will get around to it! Your top is fab – love those cornerstones and your colours!

  5. CT
    CT says:

    I love how your quilt looks. the sashing and pinwheels are awesome. I would like to make this quilt but I want it to be a queen size so I have to figure everything out still.

  6. Marg
    Marg says:

    Even though I didn't join in I loved seeing all the beautiful blocks that were used in the Summer Sampler. It certainly has given me a new appreciation for classic blocks. Your quilt is so pretty and the tiny pinwheels are perfect as cornerstones.

  7. Sel's Quilting Blog
    Sel's Quilting Blog says:

    Oh, that's gorgeous! The sashing is a great idea!

    I particularly love the shot from the back where it looks a bit like stained glass (thanks to the darker seams).

    Although you've finished this QAL, I'm actually just about to start it – but with a Goth/crooked theme to it instead!

  8. Amorette
    Amorette says:

    wow, i really love your fabric and color choices, it looks very summery and bright without being overwhelming. the shots of sunshine through quilt tops are always so lovely! have you seen anyone post an idea about how to create this look in a finished quilt?

  9. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    Your quilt is gorgeous! Love the little cornerstones and I think I will do this too…
    Thanks again for the great job you´ve done on the Summer Sampler – I had a lot of fun!

  10. Kate
    Kate says:

    Lee, thank you for the great QAL and for featuring my Star of Virginia block! There are so many great blocks in the flickr group to choose from, I can't believe you picked one of mine. Your quilt is beautiful. I was thinking of using contrasting fabric for sashing, but because of you I'm leaning toward using my background fabric. akmajor (at) gmail (dot) com

  11. Teje
    Teje says:

    Hi Lee! this quilt became special beauriful! I agree with you about white! I love to use white, because it makes other colours so bright!
    xxx Teje


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