how to make a modern Simple sampler quilt by Sharon McConnell
Free Quilt Patterns, Quilting Interest, Summer Blockbuster 2015

Summer Blockbuster Quilt-Along: A Simple Sampler

how to make a modern Simple sampler quilt by Sharon McConnell

It is finally time to make the Summer Blockbuster of 2015! This is the third annual summer quilt-along here at Color Girl, a quilt along for finishing those orphan blocks you might have laying around, or an opportunity to make something new and fresh. This year, I am using all the blocks I made throughout this year in Quilters’ Book Club and the Super Simple Sampler series. There are few out there who have made the simple sampler blocks with me, so I hope you will quilt along with me this month and get those blocks finished into a quilt. **If you are on instagram, use #supersimplesampler to show me what you are making.

Here is how it works: For the next month of Sundays, I will post the steps for sewing your sampler blocks into a quilt like mine above. The instructions are for the setting only, you bring your own blocks, whether they are the Simple Sampler ones made from my tutorials, or any other unfinished quilt blocks you have languishing, ready to sew up in a fun setting. My blocks are all 6 1/2″ (finish 6″), but this is really easy to adapt to whatever blocks you have. I will indicate throughout which measurements you should adjust if your blocks are a different size. **the first two Summer Blockbuster quilts were made with 12″ blocks, see 2013 Here, and 2014 Here.

how to make a modern Simple sampler quilt by Sharon McConnellFor my sampler quilt, I used primarily fabrics from the Zen Chic collection called “Figures” (from Moda, fall 2014) and added a few coordinating fabrics from my stash. The white sashing is kona white and the gray sashing is two different light gray pin-dot prints (I ran out of the one I started with, so I had to improvise, but I think it just adds to the scrappy look). The navy blue binding fabric is “Sketch” from Michael Miller fabrics (the Sketch prints come in many colors, they are a great basic/almost solid). I used Hobbs Heirloom batting and Aurifil thread. Quilting was done by the ever-so-talented Darby, of Quilted Squid.

This sampler quilt has 72 blocks, set in nine rows of eight blocks, and measures 64″ x 72″. I will include instructions to make a quilt like mine (72 blocks) and also for a 36 block quilt, which is how many blocks I provided tutorials for in the Super Simple Sampler. The 36 block quilt will finish 48″ square.

In addition to your blocks, fabrics you will need:

for the 72 block quilt,

white and gray (each, for sashing) 1  1/3 yards

navy blue print (for half-square triangles) 3/4 yard

3/4 yard binding fabric


for the 36 block quilt,

white and gray (each, for sashing) 3/4 yard

navy blue print (for the half-square triangles) 1/2 yard

1/2 yard binding fabric


If you want to sew along with blocks that are something other than 6 1/2″, here is how to figure out how much fabric you need:

for the gray and white: size of quilt blocks (unfinished) + size of quilt block (finished) + 3 =_____ X number of blocks =______ divided by 42=______ X 1  1/2 = ______ + 6= ______” of fabric (this is approximate, make sure you have access to more if you should run short). Divide the inches of fabric by 36 to give you yards.

for the navy blue: number of blocks X 2 =____ divided by 15 =_____ X 2.75 =______” of fabric

That’s all for now. Sew up your blocks this week (or dig out those orphan block of the month or BEE blocks) and get ready to turn them into a finished quilt! Next week I will tell you how to cut the fabrics and the first sewing step.


12 thoughts on “Summer Blockbuster Quilt-Along: A Simple Sampler

  1. DianeY says:

    I love this setting so much! I sure wish I had a stack of blocks done, but I think I’ll follow along and keep for later reference

  2. Cindy says:

    Your quilt turned out great! Well done. I really like the setting you did. Those diagonal lines made with the sashings adds interest without being overly busy.

  3. Snoodles says:

    Wow! This is lovely! Great job!

  4. Diana says:

    Sharon, I love this line, but wasn’t sure I was liking the way they were going together~but wow! I love the way this all came together! Great layout as always!

  5. Nan says:

    I’ve just recently found your blog, and I have to say that I love your work! I’m a more “traditional” quilter in terms of color and style, but this modern quilt just blows me away. Enough so that it makes me want to try this one myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Peggy Terzian says:

    I started on the Super Simple Sampler towards the end, and only have a few. BUT..I have done a whole bunch of 6″ blocks from Quilt Pro’s free Block of the Day, mostly in Road 15 by Moda along with my scraps, and this will be perfect! I’m with ya!

  7. Sophie says:

    I love the setting for the sampler blocks … I might have to make some blocks and play along 😉

  8. Thelma Childers says:

    I stumbled across your blog while searching for a good quilt pattern for my Zen Chic Figures fabric. Is it OK if I do a similar sampler quilt using your color combinations and would you mind if I posted a picture of your finished quilt on my blog? I will link to your post. Your project is the absolute best quilt I’ve seen using Figures, I think you even topped Brigette Heitland’s Figures patterns! Thank you.

  9. Judie Harron says:

    Sharon, I just stumbled onto your blog and am sew excited. I have been making 6 inch blocks from the Splendid Sampler challenge and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your sashing and setting instructions. I plan to go back to your blog and sign up for your newsletter. Keep on keeping on!

I love comments! thanks for stopping by.