I posted earlier about my experience with American Quilting's Saturday Sampler program. In case you missed it, or just don't want to check out the post, I loved it. In that post, I laid out some really specific reasons why I'm a huge fan of Saturday Sampler programs.
As I mentioned, I did two years. The first year I did was the Halloween Sampler. The second year was a Quilter's Alphabet. It was really a fun concept: we did a block for every letter of the alphabet. While we were doing it, I loved (almost) everything we sewed. There were just a couple of blocks I didn't love. And I was really excited to see it come together.
When I went to the revealing class, though, I was so disappointed! The layout didn't wow me, probably because of the sashing colors, which were so dark. Here's a sample. Amy, the shop owner, had promised optional appliqué, and delivered: the pattern called for appliquéing on wool letters to each block if desired. It looked alright, but I didn't really want to do the appliqué, even though it was wool (which I actually like sewing for some reason…).
I bought the finishing kit just in case, though I really doubted I would ever really love their design. I went home and shelved the project.
Then, I saw a pin that lead to this blog post. She actually picked out prints to replace the sashing, but when I first saw it, I thought it was my favorite Kona gray: Ash. I decided to keep with the solid idea from American Quilting but switch it out for the colors that the blogger had picked. I did use the binding that Amy had picked out for the kit, because it worked with the gray, and I have used the other fabric from the finishing kit on the back (I hand embroidered the names on it. I had forgotten that the blogger also did this until I went to grab her link) and I've used the teal solid in other projects as well. It's a great teal, just too dark for the sampler.
What's amazing is that I went from hating the finished product to absolutely loving it, just by switching out the sashing. I do wish I had made one other change. There's one block that, in my opinion, absolutely doesn't match the color family of the rest of the quilt. I wish I had remade it in different fabrics so it would work better. But it's obviously WAY too late to do that…
I had Abby of Latimer Lane Quilting quilt it with flirtatious. This is one of my favorite quilt pantos, and she did an amazing job.
So, don't be afraid to switch things up! Even if it's a part of a kit and you have to supplement with your own fabric or purchase additional fabric, it's worth it to make sure it's something you love. After all, even quick quilts take hours. If you have spent the time (and money…quilting's not cheap either…) you should make sure it's something you're going to love.
Completion Date: October 2014
I learned this the hard way on another project several years ago. I made a table runner from a tutorial by Allison Harris, but added some additional sashing. I used a gray that I had on hand, and in certain light, it seemed to work, but when I put it on my table (where it would live), it was the way wrong gray.
But, I was too lazy to unpick it and start over, and thought it would probably be okay. But, the more I look at it, the wronger it looks. It was a huge mistake and now it sits in a closet. It makes me really sad because I used some of my favorite fabric that I had been hoarding in it, and now I don't like it. Unfortunately, I can't package it up as a gift because one of my daughters spilled chili on it and I've not been able to get it out…
Approximate Completion Date: Summer 2013