I promised I’d show you more of my blocks from The Splendid Sampler! This is block #4, called “Happy, Happy,” designed by Jen Kingwell. I liked the idea of using a floral fabric for the vase, to make it look like one of those vintage pitchers you might pick up at a flea market:

Block4-JacquelynneSteves-SplendidSampler

Instead of hand embroidering the stems, I decided to free-motion stitch them on my machine. First, I arranged the applique pieces on my background according to the pattern and used a wash-out embroidery marker to draw in the stems:

Block4-SplendidSampler-JacquelynneSteves

Then I removed the applique pieces and stitched the stems. I recommend putting stabilizer behind your background fabric. I dropped the feed dogs on my machine and used my darning foot (just like you would for free-motion quilting), followed along the lines I had drawn in. My stems aren’t perfect- but that’s the look I was going for! I stitched along each line 2 or 3 times, to give some “weight” to the stems:

Block4-SplendidSampler-JacquelynneSteves-b

Then I replaced the appliqued pieces, fused them in place, and machine appliqued them.

Another block which I managed to complete is called “Friends Around the Square,” designed by Julie Karasek. I used a light gray for the large triangles- I thought that would be a nice “frame” for the cheerful colors in the center:

Block8-JacquelynneSteves-SplendidSampler

Have you been following along with The Splendid Sampler free sew along?? The block that I designed will be featured in November, so you’ll have to wait a little while to see it!

See my previous blocks here and here.

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