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December 2016

November 2016

The Splendid Sampler ~ Minnesota Maze

Splendid Sampler pm

It's hard to believe that a year ago exactly, I was frantically sewing my block for The Splendid Sampler in order to meet the deadline. And here it is ... 12 calendar pages later and it's my turn to show you Block #83! Pat and Jane have created this wonderful quilting community through the Splendid Sampler and it's been amazing seeing how differently each block looks. I love it when people load them up to the Facebook Splendid Sampler group . If you haven't joined the group, get over there pronto!! I can't wait to see what you do with Minnesota Maze!

Grandpa Waldoch

Minnesota Maze came about because of this guy ^^^ ... my Grandpa Waldoch. Grandpa had a full time job as a lithographer and another full time job as a farmer. This photo of him is etched in the minds of all of my cousins, and the aunts and uncles who remain. It's how we remember Grandpa. My cousins run Waldoch Farms now and as a tribute to him last year, designed their corn maze off of this photo.

Grandpa Waldoch maze

This amazing maze was on my mind as I was working on my Splendid Sampler block. As I was twisting and turning the pieces, I was thinking "this block is like a maze" while I shuffled them into the right places.

Splendid Sampler 2

This is how it always starts for me ... on full size graph paper ... 1" grids ... so I can make sure the measurements are correct. Light, medium, and dark fabrics.

Splendid Sampler 15

Then a little bit of playing around to see what happens when you switch some of the colors. In this case, I made the triangles around the center square to match the adjoining pieces instead of using the background fabric ... the results gave a different look. I sent the block that I did first off to Pat Sloan and then watched the Splendid Sampler come to life.

Splendid Sampler 4

Those of you who follow me on Instagram know what happened next! As time spun out from last year to now, I've been busy making things for Quilts and More, Sizzix, and something else that I can't reveal yet. All of it was stitched by hand. I didn't touch my sewing machine until a few weeks ago when I decided to make a few more Minnesota Maze blocks. 12 months. Yikes ... I couldn't remember how to use it! I had to call the sewing center to find out how to move the needle so I could get my 1/4" seam allowance. Talk about panic! Because I was getting ready for my quilt retreat too and was short on time, I decided that I would do what Huckleberry Finn did ... get my friends to help 'paint the fence'.

Splendid Sampler 9

Splendid Sampler 8

Splendid Sampler 22

I asked my guests at the retreat to make some blocks ... it was all top secret of course because the pattern wasn't out yet but I knew they wouldn't tell. I let them choose from 10" layer cakes I had gotten from Moda. I can't wait to see what their blocks look like! A few finished them at the retreat and the results were so different ... part of the charm of the Splendid Sampler. There's no right way to make them.

Splendid Sampler 6

Splendid Sampler 17

I loved seeing that other retreaters were working on Splendid Sampler blocks during the retreat. It's always fun to observe others work.

Splendid Sampler 3

It's fabulous to get tips from others, too ... like this lovely bunch of Splendid Sampler designers who were there for the group photo at Quilt Market. They've compiled a list of piecing tips that you can rely on to make your blocks come out just right. Here are some more, too.

Splendid Sampler 21

Keep your pages organized. My friend Chris used a three-ring binder with page protectors. She slid her cut pieces and finished blocks together with the instructions into the protectors. It was fun to flip through her book to see the finished blocks. Use the appropriate rotary cutters ... a larger one when you cut bigger pieces and a small one for paper piecing. An Add-A-Quarter is is another great tool for the paper piecing blocks. My favorite tool of all times is the Folded Corner Clipper for any blocks that have you drawing a line to do a corner flip. I'm terrible at getting them to turn out right so I use the Corner Clipper to trim the corner before I sew ... it allows for the 1/4" seam and trims the dog ears. It was a lifesaver on Minnesota Maze when I was using 1 1/2" squares.

Folder Corner Clipper

Splendid Sampler 16

More tips. When you make the Flying Geese units, press the first seam toward the goose and the second seam away or towards the sky. It eliminates bulky intersections. And while I don't usually press seams open, I did for the last few in order to make the block lie flatter. A few squirts of Best Press at the end and you're done.

I'm constantly putting tips for sewing, quilting, and crafts on my Rosebud's Cottage Facebook page .  Join my Wild Roses Quilt and Craft Club  and Wool Workers  too!

Don't forget ... time is flying and the free blocks won't be available forever. After Block #100 they'll be retired and Martingale will publish them all in a beautiful book with layout options and even more tips! We can't wait to get it in our hands!!

Splendid Sampler 23

It'll be a two-toned Christmas this year!

Red sock 1

Here in Minnesota with it's huge Nordic heritage, it's normal to see red and white holiday decorations. So what better way to use my Sizzix stocking die cut and recently released dies!

For this project I used these dies ... they can be found here on my Rosebud's Cottage spot at Sizzix. You need the Stocking, Circles and Tongues, Hearts and Scallops, and Winter Wonderland die cuts. Just use the photo ^^^^ above to figure out which pieces to cut. Of course, you need a front and back to the sock and a hanger. And if you didn't want to use the pine tree, you could use a snowman or a bunch of hearts ... no rules ... just red and white.

Sizzis stocking

Sizzix circles and tongues

Sizzix hearts and scallops

Sizzix winterwonderland
The other things you'll need are red and off white wool and floss, embroidery needles, Roxanne's Glue Baste, some pins ... and that's about it! All the stitching is done with one strand of floss ... except for blanket stitching the front and back together ... that's done with two.

Red sock 2

Trim a piece of the scallop and fit it under the cuff. Use Roxanne's glue to hold in place. Put the cuff over the top and whip stitch the bottom edge to the scallop, going through to the stocking. Use one strand of off white floss for this. Place the stars and dots on the cuff. Use red floss to whip stitch the stars and to make a star stitch over the top of the circles. Backstitch along the edge of the cuff.

Red sock 3

Center the tree and star. Whip stitch them both with off white floss. Make star stitches over the top of the snowflake circles, the red ones on the tree, and the one in the center of the star.

Red sock 4

Whipstitch along the top edge of the toe with off white floss. Whip stitch the heart with red floss and make a star stitch over the circles. Backstitch in red along the toe.

To finish, match the back and front and pin together. Use two strands of floss to blanket stitch ... off white for the toe and cuff ... red for the body and the cuff edge of the back. Stitch a hanger in one corner between the layers.

You can order the dies from me ... and if you're local, a Big Shot Plus, too. Email me at or message me on my Rosebud's Cottage Facebook page. I'll send you a Paypal invoice and get your things on their way.

This is a quick and easy project ... mostly because of the die cutting ... and would make a great gift for someone at the office or a friend. Stuff it with special things they'd enjoy. Happy holidays!

Red sock 5