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Summer Sampler Block 19: Horsetail Falls

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Is it really the second-to-last week of Summer Sampler 2016? I admit I’m okay with that: It’s been a lot of work. LOL. And I’ve fallen behind on blogging my blocks, but I promise you’ll see them eventually, since I’m aiming to finish up this quilt top by next week!

Anyway, I think you’ll like Horsetail Falls, a block by the lovely Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter. After all the flying geese and half-square triangles we’ve made over the course of the past 19 weeks, this one will be a breeze! And with a fab design too.

Come back next week for the very last block in the series! And Faith, Katie and I will be following that up with three very different and very fun layouts for our blocks. See you then!

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The Quilt Block Cookbook

img_9178  I tend to love quilting books that not only provide gorgeous patterns, but also give readers the tools to get creative with those patterns and put their own spin on them. In fact, that was one of the goals Katie, Faith, and I had when we wrote our own book, Vintage Quilt Revival. So I knew Amy Gibson‘s newest book, The Quilt Block Cookbook, was going to be right up my alley.

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The Quilt Block Cookbook features 50(!) blocks, 7 sampler quilts made from those blocks, and a ton of design inspiration, all wrapped up in a beautiful package, so it’s a lot of bang for your buck. All of the block designs are mixed-and-matched from a variety of building-block units—a very cool concept that expands the possibilities far beyond even the 50 blocks that are in the book. And as usual with Amy’s books, the photography and styling is so gorgeous, that alone makes the book worth the price!

 

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There are a lot of blocks in the book that I love, but for some reason I was especially drawn to this one, Windsong. But because I never like to do things exactly the way I’m supposed to, I decided to drop the corner units in favor of a more minimalist look. Thanks to Amy’s block-recipe concept, that was very easy to do! This really is a flexible book, and I love how my blocks turned out.

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I ended up making six of these yesterday, so all of a sudden I’ve got pretty good start on a baby quilt! Now all I need is a girl baby to give it to. : ) Check out the Quilt Block Cookbook on Amazon!

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Stitch Fix – You Need It!

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I used to love shopping for clothes. As a teenager, all I ever wanted for Christmas was a gift card to the Limited. When I got my first “real” paycheck, my big treat to myself was a velvet blazer (don’t judge, it was the ’90s!) Then I got older and became a stay-at-home-mom. I didn’t know what to wear anymore or where to buy it. Typically I’d walk into Loft, scoop up a bunch of boring t-shirts, and call it a day. And then go pick my kids up from school and see at least 3 other moms wearing the same t-shirts I just bought.

So last year, in the interest of breaking out of my style rut, I decided to try Stitch Fix. And you guys! I love it! (No, Stitch Fix did not pay me to say this. This is a 100% unsolicited opinion.) If you’re not familiar with Stitch Fix, here’s how it works: They send you five clothing items in your size, budget, and preferred style. You keep as many of the items as you like, or return them at no cost. Shipping both ways is free. There is a $20 fee to send your “fix”, but that $20 is applied to the cost of anything you keep. You can schedule your “fixes” whenever you want (once a month, once a quarter, whatever).

After doing Stitch Fix for over a year now, at this point, almost everything I wear is from Stitch Fix! I’ve kept a lot of things I would not have tried on if I had only seen them on the hangar at the store, so they’ve definitely expanded my horizons. Plus, they’ve sent me unique items I’ve never seen on anybody else in my ‘hood, and I never have to go to the mall anymore. Winning. : )

So anyway, want to take a peek at my September fix? If you’re considering Stitch Fix, this is a great example of what you can expect.

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(Clothes model I ain’t, but my 10-year-old daughter did enjoy being the photographer for this fashion shoot.)

Item #1 – Evella Boatneck Top from Market & Spruce – Keeping it

Item #2 – SeaVees Monterey Lace-Up Sneakers – Keeping them

I love me some horizontal stripes. Probably shouldn’t, but I do. And these sneakers are perfection. I’ve been wanting a pair like these for a while, but couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. So basically, my Stitch Fix stylist read my mind. (The skinny jeans are from a previous Stitch Fix shipment.)

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Item #3 – Aldama Scoop-Neck Blouse by Le Lis – Keeping it

Was skeptical about this top when I pulled it out of the box, but I like the pin-dot pattern and decided it was cute on me. It’s paired with the same skinny jeans as the first photo.

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(Full disclosure: There was dog poop on the ground right next to me in this picture. I’m mostly just trying not to step in it. Makes for a great modeling pose, right?)

Item #4 – Evie Draw String Funnel Neck Sweatshirt by Loveappella – Keeping it

Oh yes, I could see myself living in this one. Paired with a boyfriend jean from a previous Fix.

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Item #5 – Maura Zip Pocket Skirt by Le Lis – Would have returned this, but keeping it for discount

This was the only item in this month’s Fix that I didn’t think I was keeping, simply because I don’t often wear skirts, especially in the winter. But one of the great things about Stitch Fix is that if you keep all five items, you get a 25% discount on all five. Which in this case meant that I actually paid $18 less by keeping this skirt than I would have if I had returned it. Okay then, in my closet you go! Paired with a J. Crew top and Target sandals.

Of course Stitch Fix doesn’t always knock it out of the park – last month I only kept one item. One of the selections I sent back was a pair of purple pumps. Purple pumps, you guys. That’s, uh, not me. I laughed all the way to the mailbox with my return package. But they nail it more often than not. And when you are returning, it literally could not be easier. You throw everything into a giant pre-labeled envelope and put it in a mailbox. That’s it. As someone who frequently doesn’t get around to returning things to the store for months, I appreciate that. : )

Want to try Stitch Fix for yourself? Click here to give it a shot!

 

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Summer Sampler 2016 Block 15: Sunbeam

IMG_8983 We’re in the final days of summer at my house, as my kids are getting ready to go back to school next week. But don’t despair, fall is miles away on the Summer Sampler 2016 calendar! We’re only three-quarters of the way through our 20 blocks, and it’s my turn as your designer this week!

I’m calling this one Sunbeam. All you Summer Samplers should be getting pretty darn good at square-in-square and flying geese units by now, so I thought I’d give you a few more of them. : )

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The result is a fun, radiating block that’s actually pretty easy and quick to put together. And with lots of possibilities for a larger quilt design.

Still want to join in the Summer Sampler fun? Don’t worry, you’ll get all 13 previously-released blocks immediately, plus the 7 remaining blocks delivered to your email inbox every Monday! Click here to subscribe.

And as always, check the #summersampler2016 hashtag to see everyone else’s beautiful blocks!

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Summer Sampler 2016 Block 14: Piccolo Park

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I’m a little late with this one, but it’s a beauty, so I hope you’ll forgive me! This is Block 14 of Summer Sampler 2016, Piccolo Park by Katie Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt.

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I expected this block to be insanely complicated. And it was complicated, but fortunately not insanely so. : ) Lots of cutting and lots of little pieces, but the pieces is actually pretty standard when it comes down to it.

Still want to join in the Summer Sampler fun? Don’t worry, you’ll get all 13 previously-released blocks immediately, plus the 7 remaining blocks delivered to your email inbox every Monday! Click here to subscribe.

And as always, check the #summersampler2016 hashtag to see everyone else’s beautiful blocks!

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Summer Sampler 2016 Block 13: Diamond Ladder

IMG_8967 This week’s Summer Sampler block! It’s a skill-builder block, courtesy of Faith at Fresh Lemons Quilts. : )

Half-square triangles and a few flying geese—that’s it! But of course those are both units that you see in quilt designs over and over again, so it’s always good to get in some more practice.

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And somehow, these simple shapes add up to a unique design. One of the things I love so much about a block like this!

Still want to join in the Summer Sampler fun? Don’t worry, you’ll get all 13 previously-released blocks immediately, plus the 7 remaining blocks delivered to your email inbox every Monday! Click here to subscribe.

And as always, check the #summersampler2016 hashtag to see everyone else’s beautiful blocks!

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Summer Sampler Block 12: Around the Corner

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It’s August already, and we’re on block 12? How did that happen? At any rate, it’s another great design this week—this one is called Around the Corner, and it’s by Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew.

It’s a pretty straightforward block, which is nice after a few weeks of tougher ones! And I love the arrows and the movement they give this block.

Don’t forget, you can still join Summer Sampler 2016 – click here to subscribe! And if you want to see what everybody else is doing with Around the Corner, check out the #summersampler2016 hashtag on Instagram.

IMG_8963 All 12 of mine together! Just 8 more to go!

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Summer Sampler 2016 Block 11: Ombré Cross

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This week’s Summer Sampler block: Ombré Cross by AnnMarie Chany of Gen X Quilters. This one might be my new favorite! Although I say that every week, don’t I? : )

I really do love this block. The tiny piecing in the center might seem a little intimidating, but it actually came together very nicely for me. And of course, this block features color gradients, so you know I’m all over that. LOL.

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Here are my 11 blocks all together. We’ll be done before you know it! But yes, you can still subscribe and get instructions for all of these blocks, plus nine more in the coming weeks! Click here to subscribe. And don’t forget to check out the gorgeous blocks being posted on Instagram under the #summersampler2016 hashtag!

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Summer Sampler 2016 Block 10: Parallel

IMG_8945Block 10, you guys! Can you believe we’re halfway through already? This week’s block is Parallel, by Holly of Bijou Lovely. This was a fun one, wasn’t it? I’m always down for some paper piecing, and I’m in love with this design.

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My 10 blocks all together! Love how this is shaping up.

 

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Summer Sampler 2016 Block 9: Curves Block

IMG_8872 So, I admit, I thought I wouldn’t enjoy Block 9. It’s beautiful, of course, but I mean, look at all those curves. Ugh, right? But I was pleasantly surprised! These curves aren’t as tight as the ones in the Trail Crossing block, so they’re actually a bit easier to sew, and I had a lot of fun with this one. I still struggled a bit getting things to line up (or at least as close as possible to line up), but eventually I got it close enough. : )

IMG_8873This is also the first time I’ve really deviated from the Summer Sampler quilt block graphics that you’ve all seen. I decided a little color gradient was in order for this block, and went for it. I’m happy I did! I love how it turned out.

Can’t wait to see everyone’s Curves Blocks on Instagram, under the hashtag #summersampler2016. And if you want to join us in making the Summer Sampler 2016, you still can! In fact, you could even start in the middle and catch back up on the blocks you missed later—we’re laid back like that. : ) Click here to subscribe to Summer Sampler 2016 – all new subscribers get immediate access to all blocks that have already been released.