Mary Jo’s Sampler Quilt: a Good Example of a Classic Design

Mary Jo's Sampler Quilt with spring greens and butterflies

We have all seen a sampler quilt. These quilts contain many different blocks to create a beautiful modge podge of color just like Mary Jo’s sampler quilt. These quilts also had a purpose beyond being pretty. Before the internet and a plethora of quilting books and magazines, a quilter would make and keep a single block of a pattern he or she wanted to keep. They would collect these blocks in a stack and when they had enough, maybe they made a sampler quilt. Some quilters even sewed them as a stack along one side like a book with the name and/or date of its origin written right on the fabric. Whether you wanted a sample of different blocks to refer to, or you just like the way a sampler looks, these are fun quilts to create.

Mary Jo's Sampler Quilt with spring greens and butterflies

Mary Jo’s Design

Friendship Star Block Variation in Mary Jo's Sampler Quilt

Mary Jo’s sampler quilt has a whole rainbow of colors, with an emphasis of green. While every block is a different star, they are all variations of the same concepts. She alternated between pinwheel stars, sawtooth stars, friendship stars, and Ohio stars. This way all those different blocks still look connected. Of course, using the same fabric throughout the quilt goes a long way in keeping cohesiveness.

Different blocks in Mary Jo's Sampler Quilt

Quilting Mary Jo’s Sampler Quilt

Marrakesh 108" Light Green Backing Fabric on Mary Jo's Sampler Quilt

I was happy to quilt Mary Jo’s sampler quilt with a backing she found here in the shop. I have over a hundred different wide back fabrics so you don’t have to piece the backing of larger quilts. Marrakesh Green was a beautiful choice for this quilt. It’s tone is the same as the green in the top, but darker. This gives a nice contrast between the front and the back.

North Star Block Variation on Mary Jo's Sampler Quilt

I quilted it with an edge to edge design with the IntelliQuilter system. I can alter and customize designs to fit any top with this computerized quilting system. The design she chose was Butterflies and Daisies. It is so sweet and pretty on this fun and flowery quilt top. I can almost imagine the butterflies flittering around the flowers in the prints.

Butterflies and Daisies edge to edge design on Mary Jo's Sampler Quilt

If you are interested in making a quilt just like Mary Jo’s sampler quilt, there are so many resources out there to choose from. You can buy books with patterns, or just slowly collect sample blocks like our grandmothers would have.  But with the joys of the internet, a lot of the work has been done for us. My favorite resource is Quilter’s Cache. There are hundreds of blocks out there, you just need to find them. Pick out your favorite blocks, and sew them together.

Friendship Star Block Variation on Mary Jo's Sampler Quilt

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