Friday, July 23, 2010

A New Generation of Sampler Quilts is Upon Us

Consider the sampler quilt. That venerable staple that so many quilters learn on has a long but boring history: make six (or 12 or some other even number) blocks, each different but all the same size. Sash them, make cornerstones, add a simple border and voila - your first quilt. Teachers and students love samplers for combining all the basic techniques in one neat package, but they can be so blah.

Well, it's a new day in the quilt world, given Marianne Hatton's approach in Simply Dynamic Sampler Quilts. Gone is the concept that all blocks must be the same size. Her GridMap (copyright) technique shows and encourages the accurate use and placement of blocks of diverse sizes.

Gone are boring, matchy-matchy color schemes. Now samplers can be thematic, evocative, and artful.

This experienced teacher pulls all of this off while giving excellent basic how-to-quilt instructions, so shops will still love giving sampler classes to beginners. In fact, this book is a gentle exercise in design, which frightens so many new (and some not-so-new) quilters and so many people find difficult to teach.

If you're looking for a fresh approach to teaching, have a sampler idea of your own you wish were snappier, or like designing traditional-but-contemporary-too quilts, the next generation sampler quilts in this book are for you. AQS #8237 (800-626-5420)

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