Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Plan!

Talk about not having my "ducks" in order .... I don't know how I missed this one .. actually wrote it; then forgot to post it?  Again, it has to be the Ohio winter.  Stay with me,  I'll get better. LOL

One would think that you should have your plan in play before you actually start your project.  I had a sort of plan in my head, but didn't have it quite worked out.  I was in such a hurry to get at least one of my Loyal Union Blocks made, that I hadn't worked out my "plan" of attack.

Before I picked another block to do, I had to get "my plan" laid out. So,  I constructed a diagram with block numbers of all the blocks I need to do, and printed out the block numbers and organized them on my "design wall". I left  enough room  between blocks to hang the finished 6" block under their corresponding block numbers. This is important because I want to make sure all the fabrics in the blocks can "play" well together.  Also to make sure that I am not making the same color choices of  "touching blocks.

That done .... how do I pick what block I need to do?  I have this weird mind that wants to make it some kind of game.  What better way than to put each block number on a piece of paper ... then draw to see what block number will be the one I make.  You have to have a little fun in what you do, I think!!

My second block to make will be block K-6.  It is called the Windmill Block, probably because it looks like a windmill.  I don't know for sure, since I have not read The Loyal Union Sampler from Elm Creek Quilts, written by Jennifer Chiaverini; but, I am thinking maybe these blocks play a role in this book?  I'll keep my mind open for hints to this.  LOL

Here is my design wall ....

I have my first finished block done, I-3, and hung on the wall.  This K-6 block hangs just to the right of it in the row below.  I figured I would just attach my blocks alphabetically as they are listed in the book.  My hope is to show my design wall and placement of blocks as I do them.  To the left is my envelope with the block numbers that I will draw from.  I promise, I will not cheat and put back a block number that I don't want at the moment.  Pinky swear.... LOL

I guess we are having the calm before the winter storm right now here in sunny and cold  Northern Ohio.  Probably would be a great time to pick my fabrics for block K-6,  and maybe get them cut out.  Who knows, maybe I will even get it sewn!!

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thank You Reader!

Thank you to a reader's comment on my previous post.  They asked if I had read the book that this quilt came from?  Well, no I hadn't.  I just wanted to make this beautiful quilt.  Why hadn't I been interested in its origin?  I usually have to know the why of what I am doing.
Off to the library.  I must confess I am only on the first chapter.  I have to finish a crochet afghan that I am making for my daughter, and my deadline I made for myself is to have it done by this Saturday. LOL 
The book, "The Union Quilters", by Jennifer Chiaverini, is a novel during the Civil War era taking place in her Elm Creek Valley series.  From her Loyal Union Sampler Quilt Book's introduction,  she writes: "to raise money to build a hall of their own, the Union Quilters embark upon an ambitious plan to create the Loyal Union Sampler". She also explains, the Union Quilters "invite every woman in the Elm Creek Valley to contribute a 6" patchwork block of her own design or favorite traditional pattern".  "Further, they ask each participant to provide templates and instructions on how to complete the blocks". Ms. Chiaverini adds that " the fortunate winner would claim the quilt, templates, and instructions, thus winning a lovely quilt as well as an extraordinary catalog of quilt patterns".
The Union Quilters novel is about more than a quilt. It delves into the lives of these women's involvement during the Civil War.  I can't wait to get back to the book and meet these women. 
This statement at the end of Jennifer Chiaverini's introduction says it all about us quilters: 

"As quilters across the country and around the world, united we stand!  ------
                                                      Jennifer Chiaverini

Sunday, January 25, 2015


This is the beginning ......... as I have started out behind on my monthly Loyal Union Sampler blocks,  I have decided, and hopefully true, to choose one that looks fairly easy to do.

To manage my 3 yards of background fabric, I have cut it down to a manageable size, 18" x 22".  Since all the blocks will have small amounts of fabric, a fat quarter square should work really well.

My background for all the blocks is a light beige fabric.  It is called "Floral Gatherings" by Primitive Gatherings for Moda

This block requires 2 different fabrics along with the background.  I've chosen this med. blue fabric, also from Primitive Gatherings by Moda, and a floral green and blue by Molly B's Studio, a Marcus Fabric.

First block completed, finished size 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" square.  It actually came out perfect.  On to the  next 35 blocks. LOL
Biggest challenge of this block was getting the picture into this post.  Still getting used to the new set- up with my new computer.  I will conquer this in time.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Welcome to My Blog

Welcome to my Loyal Union Sampler Blog

Hello, and journey with me into making my first sampler quilt.  After searching the internet on different sampler quilts, Jennifer Chiaverini's book, The Loyal Union Sampler from Elm Creek Quilts, peaked my interest.

Beautiful civil war era blocks.  Her Loyal Union Sampler finished 98" x 98", and has 121, 6 inch blocks.  My sampler will not be 121 blocks!  I want to finish my first sampler in "my lifetime".  LOL

So, I am going to start with 36, 6" blocks.  I went thru the book and chose blocks that weren't particularly difficult.  Leaving the remaining blocks for some future date.

My timeline is to have these 36 blocks finished within 2 years.  Which puts it at 18 blocks a year.  This sounds like a doable thing as I write this, but as we all know, life has a way of screwing up things for us.

Thinking further about this, my goal is to have this quilt machine pieced and hand quilted by my guild's next quilt show in October of 2016.  So ... I will have to shorten my timeline on this to maybe 22 months.  Giving myself at least a month to hand quilt it.  Oh my ... I think I am already behind.

I would love to hear about your journey with the Loyal Union Sampler.  Maybe you've already completed yours, or maybe you are also in the process of working on one; or, you would also want to start one.  If so, please leave any tips you found useful, or any comments to help us out.

I have my fabrics picked for my first block, now which of the 36 blocks do I choose first?  Decisions, decisions, decisions.  Please come back to see what my first block turned out to be.

Until we meet again,


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