Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Splendid Sampler II: Adventure Abounds Block

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Splendid Sampler II: Metropolis Block Giveaway Contest Results

My block called: Metropolis, found on p. 32 of The Splendid Sampler II book, available now.

My Splendid Sampler II giveaway contest, mentioned here, came to a close on Wednesday night. Thanks so much to everyone who participated; it was a grand success!

After calculating all of the entries, here are the winners calculated using random generator:

Each of the following won a Lexington Sampler Quilt Pattern:

1st Place goes to: #109, Laura P.

2nd Place goes to: #124, Sherri B.

3rd Place goes to: #149, Tambry G.

Each of the following won the Block-of-the-Month Quilt-Along I'm hosting beginning on February 14, 2019:

4th Place goes to: #179, Nancy B.

5th Place goes to: #164, Diane D.

6th Place goes to: #81, Cathy S.

Each of the following won a package of 2 spools of Aurifil 50wt. Thread:

7th Place goes to: #21, Cindy P.

8th Place goes to: #15, Shirley V.

9th Place goes to: #55, Betty M.

I will be contacting the winners within the next few days. The pattern and thread winners' packages will be mailed early next week. The BOM details will be emailed by Monday, January 21, 2019.

Congratulations to all, and thank you again for participating!



Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Splendid Sampler II: My Block Design and a Giveaway

I'm so excited that my block design is featured this week along with the blocks of 4 fellow designers: Rob Appell, Gudrun Erla, Laura Kay Houser, and Pat Sloan!

You can find my block, Metropolis, on page 32 of The Splendid Sampler II book, compiled by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson for Martingale. Be sure to also check out the Splendid Sampler website and Facebook page for much, much more!

The fabrics used in my original block (as shown in the book and the image, above) are from Moda. I always use strong, reliable Aurifil thread for all of my quilting projects; the range of colors is perfect for any of your sewing needs!

About Metropolis:

Sketching design ideas is something I enjoy doing and quilting has given me a platform to transform sketches into patterns. When I was a young girl, our family would often visit museums and historical properties in a variety of cities, such as Toronto, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., and Chicago, and I believe that's where my love of design began. I always loved seeing interesting architectural elements and the beautiful paintings and fabrics we would see while touring these places. My block represents these fond memories of learning about art and design through our travels.

The center of my block represents a city park in and amongst the 8 pointed-rectangles that represent tall buildings in a metropolitan city. The strips in the  corner patches represent the highways that come into a city center.

You may know that I've been using an older collection called Hometown by Sweetwater for Moda and some other coordinating Moda fabrics for the blocks I've made so far during the Splendid Sampler II journey. Here's the version of my design I made using the fabrics I'm using for my quilt.

Remember the scrappy left-overs you had from trimming the Splendid Sampler II, Block 1 by Alex Veronelli? I used my scraps to make 4 out of the 8 rectangles. I love how the strips of off-white in these patches add interest to my "buildings".

Before sewing my block elements together, I laid out the patches to be sure I liked where they were going to live.

Then, I added my 1" C-squares to make the "building" points, and added my stitch-and-flip 2" B-squares to my corner units for my "highways".

So there you are: My second version of Metropolis.

Tune in later in the week ahead, for tips on how to use my block in new projects.

**Contest GIVEAWAY**

I'm so grateful to be a part of Splendid Sampler II and am pleased to be a part of the momentum of this project. So with that said, I'm giving away a total of 9 items. In order to be considered to win, please carefully read through the following details:

The FIRST item I'm giving away are 3 of my very popular pattern (newly written and released in Fall, 2018): Lexington Sampler. You will have the chance to win one.

The Lexington Sampler pattern is actually 2-patterns-in-one: It includes instructions to make a throw size quilt 68 1/2" x 68 1/2") and a bed size quilt (88 1/2" x 88 1/2"). It also includes a coloring page for the quilt so that you can make this design your own. This was a project that I designed especially for National Quilters Circle last summer and over 44,000 people were members of the group that made the quilt. If you are interested in purchasing the pattern, you can do so, here (please note: if you decide to buy the pattern and also enter this giveaway and become a winner, I'll gladly refund your purchase amount).

Next up, I'm thrilled to announce that I'm offering a new Block-of-the-Month (BOM) program called: Tea with Milk and Honey. My sample quilt is made using Jen Kingwell's collection called Looking Forward for Moda.

Although I haven't yet announced it publicly until now, the BOM will begin on the first Thursday of February, February 7, 2019, and new installments will occur every first Thursday of the month with the last installment scheduled for Thursday, October 3, 2019. More information will be announced through all of my social media channels and on my website this coming Monday, January 14, 2019.

So, this SECOND giveaway consists of the 9-month, monthly pattern to complete a quilt top (no fabric; monthly pattern, only) for 3 lucky winners!

Finally, for my THIRD giveaway, I'll be choosing another 3 winners to win a set of 2 full-size spools of Aurifil Thread. Two of the sets include (one, each): light cream and cream (just a tad darker than the light cream), and the third set contains 2 light gray spools.

How the giveaway contest works:

Step 1: For a chance to win, please visit my website's CONTACT page; fill out the contact form with your name, email address, and in the comments write: Splendid Sampler 2 Giveaway. Here's a link to my HOME page if you'd like to start there.

Step 2: For a second chance to win, please complete Step 1 and then leave a comment on this blog post letting me know what kind of quilting and/or sewing projects you like working on best, such as: "I love hand appliqué," "I like to make quilts that challenge me so that I can learn or improve upon my skills," "I love to make quilts using traditional blocks," "I prefer to make quick quilts," "I like making table runners," "I enjoy projects I can make in a group," "I like making modern quilts," etc., etc.

Step 3: For a third chance to win, please complete Steps 1 and 2 and then visit your choice of ONE or ALL (for extra chances to win) of my social media pages (Susan Guzman Facebook Page - "Friend" me, SuzGuz Designs Facebook Business Page - "Follow" me, or SuzGuz Designs Instagram Account - "Follow" me).

Step 4: For a bonus chance to win, please complete Steps 1-3 and then look for my post that has an image of my Splendid Sampler II Metropolis block on any of my social media pages listed under Step 3 and let me know what you've enjoyed most about the blocks you've been making. Please note: I won't be posting the image of my block on my social media pages until sometime before Noon, US Mountain Time, today; January 10, 2019. Thanks!

The contest will be open for one week. Anyone can enter (no country exclusions). Everyone who enters will have all of their chances entered for each of the drawings; chance to win (1) pattern, (1) free participation in my upcoming Block-of-the-Month, and (1) chance to win a package of 2 spools of Aurifil thread. In other words, if you complete all of the chances to win (Steps 1-4, above), you'll have a total of 6 chances to win EACH of the prizes. So if you happen to win a pattern, your entry/entries will still be viable for winning the Block-of-the-Month and thread giveaways. Prizes will be given away using random generator.

DEADLINE FOR COMPLETING THE STEPS TO ENTER: 11:59 pm, US Pacific Time, Wednesday, January 16, 2019.

After calculating all entries, and due to the expected large volume of entries, winners will be announced through a blog post sometime on or before Friday, January 18, 2019, US Pacific Time.

Thank you so much for participating and good luck!

**One More Giveaway!**

In addition to my giveaway, Martingale is hosting a book giveaway. All you have to do is make my block and post a photo of your finished block on the Splendid Sampler website to be entered. The giveaway is for both US residents as well as for International residents. The prize for US residents will be physical books and for International residents, you'll receive a set of digital books.

If you haven't yet purchased your copy of Splendid Sampler 2, you can do so, here.

Happy quilting!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Splendid Sampler II, Week 16: Cathedral Windows

Today is Week 16 of The Splendid Sampler 2 Block-of-the-Week quilt along.

Last week, we introduced you to the block, called: Cat Nap by Nicole Vos Van Avezathe. You can see my version of Nicole's block, here.

The incomparable Jenny Doan, of Missouri Star Quilt Company, is this week's featured designer. When I first started viewing her quilting videos, I thought about how much I admired her. Teaching via video came so naturally for her and I so wished I had the courage to do it, back then. She definitely paved the way for many, many quilting teachers to step outside of their comfort zone and teach in front of the camera.

The very first video I did was following a McCall's Quilting School at Sea quilt cruise. The quilt we taught on the cruise was done as a Mystery Quilt project. I had the pleasure of being on camera with the incredibly talented Sherri Driver, who designed and taught the Mystery Quilt project on the cruise simultaneously with me. It was such a pleasure to be teaching the quilt again, especially because Sherri had a way of making me feel comfortable on camera and I don't know how I could have done it without her.  

Jenny Doan's block is called Cathedral Windows. I love how clever this block design is and I'd love to see it repeated into a quilt.  Here is my version:

I chose to go more subtle on my fabric choices for this block. I love the light blue prints in the Hometown collection by Sweetwater (Moda Fabrics) that I'm using. I then decided to use the honeycomb dark gray/gray for my center patch and finally, framing it out with the ivory/gray/blue typography print.

I've never made a Cathedral Window quilt before, and I love how Jenny designed this block because she took, what I believe is the original design of a Cathedral Windows quilt, and made it into a square block.

According to my (very worn) favorite book on blocks, Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, American Quilter's Society, 1993, she shares this version by Erica Wilson. Barbara notes: "Lozenge shapes are open work, squeezed square is bound with bias." 

Here is another version from the book noted as published in the Iowa Farm & Home Register, June, 1956:

Finally, though it carries the same name, this version is unlike the previous two Cathedral Window examples. This one was designed by Nancy Cabot in 1933. Please note that the number below the block is Barbara Brackman's reference number in the book:

The Splendid Sampler 2 book is available this month. It is currently available for pre-sale so order your copy, now!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The Splendid Sampler II, Week 15: Cat Nap

Today is Week 15 of The Splendid Sampler 2 Block-of-the-Week quilt along.

Last time, we introduced you to the block, called: Fruit Bowl by Jo Avery. You can see my version of Jo's block, here.

Nicole Vos Van Avezathe of Follow the White Bunny is this week's designer and her embroidery is gorgeous! After reading her blog post about her block, I encourage you to browse through her site to see her wonderland of creativity. The details of her pieces are divine!

Nicole's block is called Cat Nap, and it is a combination of embroidery and applique. Here is my version:

I realized after the fact that I didn't add in the extra embroidery elements to the floor of the design. At this time, I'm probably going to leave my block as-is. At a later time, I'll re-visit adding those elements in. I'm deciding to handle it this way because my schedule is seeming to have become extremely busy lately, and I'd like to get back ahead of my schedule.

I chose to applique my cat using a black solid fabric and then chose to embroider the outline of the cat using an off-white Aurifil embroidery thread using a one-strand thickness. The floor is stitched using one strand of a heather gray wool embroidery thread by Aurifil. It gives the block some nice texture.

My block was made in remembrance of our kitty, Charlie Chaplin. 

He was such a pretty one. And boy, could he talk!

Although the quality of this photo is poor (it was taken at night with bedside lamp on), he's curled up similarly to Nicole's Cat Nap block. If you look closely, he's peeking out at me with his left eye showing and his tail is covering the right side of his face. He was a goofy cat (made us smile a lot) and I miss him so.

The Splendid Sampler 2 book will be available October 2018. It is currently available for pre-sale so order your copy, now!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Splendid Sampler II, Week 14: Fruit Bowl

Today is Week 14 of the Splendid Sampler 2 Block-of-the-Week quilt along.

Last time, we introduced you to the block, called: Betty's Bloom by Carl Hentsch. You can see my version of Carl's block, here.

Jo Avery of My Bear Paw is this week's designer and I ADORE her sense of style! I'm also envious of the fact that she lives in Scotland! Right now, she's hosting a giveaway, so check out her blog post and the details, here.

Jo uses such gorgeous colors and prints in the fabrics she works with; I love her eclectic mix. She has a playful style and her applique and embroidery designs make you smile! Earlier this year, Jo was featured as the Aurifil 2018 March Designer of the Month. Through the interview post on Aurifil's blog, you'll learn even more about her, as well as view some awesome photos of architectural elements she came across while in Portugal with her husband.

Jo's block, called Fruit Bowl, is an applique and pieced block. Here is my version:

I did something a little bit differently than what the pattern called for when I made my block. Before beginning, I trimmed out the Convex template. As I was thinking through how I was going to be making the block, I decided to make it easy on myself and applique the Convex shape to a 3" x 3" square.

Steps to Make an Applique Drunkard's Path Patch:
Please Note: Along with the following steps, refer to Helen Stubbings' video instructions (there are 3 videos, total) on how to use her Hugs 'n Kisses applique paper.

  1. As shown in above image, trim off the 1/4" seam allowance along the curve of the Convex paper template, ONLY (leave the 1/4" printed seam allowance along the two sides of the 90 degree angle).
  2. Trace the trimmed Convex paper template shape twice onto Helen Stubbings' applique paper; cut the shapes out.
  3. With glue-side of the applique paper shape onto WRONG side of cream/gray dot fabric, press the applique paper Convex shape in place.
  4. Trim the applique paper Convex shape from cream/gray dot adding 1/4" seam allowance to the curve ONLY; you'll trim the 90 degree angle edges even with the applique paper because it already includes 1/4" seam allowances.
  5. Using a glue stick, glue the added 1/4" fabric along the curve of the Convex shape onto the back side of the applique paper.
  6. Cut two squares, 3" x 3", from your background fabric (the light gray/medium gray dot fabric shown in previous photo).
  7. Line up the prepared Convex applique paper shapes into the corners of the 3" squares from Step 6 and carefully glue in place according to Helen Stubbings' instructions.
  8. Use desired hand (what I used) or machine applique along the curve to adhere the Convex shape onto the 3" square base fabric.
Note: I did fussy cut the Convex shapes.

As with all of the applique I've done with the blocks I've made for The Splendid Sampler II, thus far, I used Helen Stubbings' Hugs 'n Kisses applique paper for the circles in the bowl, as well, and hand appliqued them in place.

The Splendid Sampler 2 book will be available October 2018. It is currently available for pre-sale so order your copy, now!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Splendid Sampler II, Block 13: Betty's Bloom

This past Thursday, we began Week 13 of the Splendid Sampler 2 Block-of-the-Week quilt along.

Last time, we introduced you to the adorable block, called: Free as a Bird by Irene Blanck. You can see my version of Irene's block, here.

Carl Hentsch is this week's featured designer. I was so thrilled to learn how he named his block in memory of his dog, Betty. Although Carl and I have never met, I so appreciate his thoughtfulness. This warms my heart because I'm a huge dog lover and miss my beautiful boy, Boomer, who spent countless hours as my companion, protector, and best friend before I met my husband. Of course, Boomer's roles continued, but he also made room in his heart for Erv; from the beginning when they first met.

Boomer: Christmas, 2002, in Pittsburgh, PA

Once I started my design business, Boomer and Maisy, who we adopted in 2005, loyally followed me around and laid at my feet while I sat at the computer working on new quilt designs and writing patterns, and also while I was planning and sewing my designs together in my sewing room. When we lived in South Carolina, I had the entire space above our garage for my studio. One of my favorite photos is when I caught the two of them on the sofa curled up while I was working.

Maisy and Boomer in Lexington, SC, January, 2010

Those were great times, for sure! Back to Carl's block...

Please do check out the blog post Carl wrote about his block. He not only touches on his beloved dog, Betty, he shares his block in two settings: One, a repeat of the block and the second one . . . well, I'll let you see it for yourself; a great alternative idea, should you wish to use his block duplicated in a quilt setting.

Carl's block, called Betty's Bloom, is a Foundation Paper Pieced block. Here is my version:

When I started making my block, I was having a difficult time deciding what fabrics to use (and it was well before I decided to incorporate my Circa 1934 fat quarter bundle and the additional fat quarters I've since purchased). So with that said, I decided to just use two prints in the starburst-portion of the design, instead of the four prints Carl used. I kept the red/cream and blue/gray theme going with the perpendicular strips, and then decided to use the mottled yellow print that I had for the center to tie in the yellow I've used in earlier blocks, as well as give the center of my bloom added interest.

So there you have it: Betty's Bloom!

The Splendid Sampler 2 book will be available October 2018. It is currently available for pre-sale so order your copy, now!