Tale of Two Cities Blocks – Finally

City Sampler by Tula Pink

City Sampler by Tula Pink

City Sampler by Tula Pink is block book that was written/designed in 2013. The project has been all over Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and other social media outlets as quiltmakers make the blocks, the quilts and share them. BAMQG has just started a project using this book in one of the small groups. So far, I have only seen a few blocks and some members seemed to imply Instagram would be better for sharing than Flickr. I am not a huge user of Instagram and don’t find the way the app crops photos to be appealing, but whatever. My view is probably the old fart quiltmaker view.

Julie got the book for me, as I mentioned, and we agreed to do the project as a way of doing something together while she is in China. One of us thought of the name Tale of Two Cities and I decided to be inspired by the colors of winter here. I haven’t selected all of the fabrics, but there are a lot of blues and greens and they are very clear.

I have been feeling bad that I haven’t done the blocks until now. I finally got busy and I knew that once I started, I wouldn’t be able to stop.

City Sampler block No.1

City Sampler block No.1

The first group of blocks shown in the book are crosses. These are, or feel like, log cabin blocks. I admire log cabin quilts and the variety of layouts possible with the log cabin block style. That being said, I don’t like making log cabin blocks. The strips make me crazy. I don’t know why. Strips are fine, but somehow sewing these types of blocks makes me crazy.

City Sampler block No.2

City Sampler block No.2

The group of cross blocks are part of the City Sampler, which is a group of 100 blocks. I said I was going to participate in the project, so I am making the cross blocks. There are 15 of them and not all have a log cabin-y feel when I sew them, so I can suck up the ones I don’t like making. After making 5 of the blocks, I found that they go together quickly.

No.2 (all the blocks are numbered and there is a spot where you can fill in the name) looks the most like a log cabin. I took the opportunity to fussy cut some motifs from one of the prints. This will provide a surprise for those who decide to look closer at the quilt. This is the one that set my nerves on edge, because of the small pieces. The others, so far, have had larger pieces.

All of the blocks are 6″, which contributes to the small size of the pieces. When I say “larger pieces” I mean that the pieces are relatively larger.

City Sampler block No.5

City Sampler block No.5

I don’t know if these are all original blocks. I haven’t taken the time to look through The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns (have you bought yours yet??) or the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns (or the BlockBase equivalent). I might at some point.

I know I added 3 browns to my original group of fabrics. I used the brown dot in No.5 and the corners might be too much brown. It is hard to tell with only a few blocks, but I can always make this block over if the corners look like big holes in the middle of the quilt. After making this block, I decided I would use the brown in less prominent areas of the quilt and for smaller pieces.

City Sampler block No.4

City Sampler block No.4

I used this idea for block No.4.

I cut very small brown pieces to see how the idea would work. This block has all new fabrics except for the brown. I used the brown in small pieces, as I said. I want to use it as an anchor to relate No.4 to the other blocks. The blues are subtle.

A word about the octopus. Tula Pink put out that octopus print as part of the Salt Water line. I thought the print was amusing, so I bought a fat quarter. I am going to sprinkle it into the quilt, but I am not planning on making this a Tula Pink quilt. If I had to assign this quilt a theme it would be either blue or calm.

City Sampler block No.3

City Sampler block No.3

Block No.3 is another one where I could use fussy cutting. I skipped it initially as I was waiting for the Thomas Knauer Asbury fabrics to arrive and be washed. Instead of going through with that plan, I pulled some fabrics out of my scrap bin and used those.

I am not sure I like this block with the others, but I am reserving judgment until I get more blocks and see if they fit my theme and how they look with the other blocks.

I think I will use a lot of fabrics in this quilt, so I am trying to use as many fabrics as I want, but also trying to use them in multiple blocks so that there is some continuity.

City Sampler/Tale of Two Cities Posts

About Jaye

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.
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6 Responses to Tale of Two Cities Blocks – Finally

  1. Charlotte says:

    I’ve liked just about every one of these quilts I’ve seen so far. I think they work because it’s a bit like a scrap quilt even if it’s not scrappy, because there are so many blocks and they are small enough that they play nicely together. When the quilt is together are no large bits of fabric to draw your eye.

  2. Patti says:

    I made about 10 of the cross blocks and then moved on to rectangles. Because there are so many blocks I’m counting on all the different batik color combinations coming together some how. In a few days I’ll upload the new ones to the BAMQG Flikr site for this quilt.

    • Jaye says:

      I am mostly going through them in order, but we will see. There are a lot of blocks. I am keeping track of which ones I make in the book. I think that your batiks will work together well, especially if you decide to use a background fabric for setting. That will bring them all together.

  3. Patti says:

    I really like the one you did with the colorful cake in the middle! #3

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