It’s our Splendid Sampler Sew-Along day! Flying geese with Martingale’s Chief

Good morning and Happy Valentine’s Day to our Stitch This! readers AND to all the “Splendid” stitchers visiting us for the first time!

We’re honored to be the publisher of Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson’s two best-selling books: The Splendid Sampler and The Splendid Sampler 2. Pat and Jane have united quilters from all over the world with their books and their Splendid Sampler Sew-Along Facebook group, which you can visit anytime for a melting pot of friendship, education, and inspiration.

The Splendid Sampler series

Today’s a special day, as Martingale’s own Publisher and Chief Visionary Officer, Jennifer Keltner, is hosting the delightful quiltmaking journey known round the world as the Splendid Sampler Sew-Along.

At Home Anywhere quilt blockThere’s Always One is the name of the block Jennifer designed for The Splendid Sampler Sew-Along—if you’ve been quilting along since the first Splendid Sampler book, you’ll remember her adorable At Home Anywhere block (right). In The Splendid Sampler 2, she’s created a Flying Geese–style block that reveals a little more about her love of quilting. Here’s Jennifer to tell you more.


Jennifer Keltner“My block is called There’s Always One, because in my life, there’s always one. One more idea, one more thought, one more chance, one more thing I have to complete, one more thing I want to do . . . you get the idea.

In my quilting life, I dream of being a precision piecer with an ultra-organized work surface and all my patchwork pieces lined up with military precision. But my dreams are indeed not my reality. I tell my sewing buddies that I’m a serial encroacher, with my sewing supplies leaking into shared spaces. I like to chain piece, but I also like to see a block come together. Consequently, I start and stop more than I should and scurry between my machine and ironing board and stop to grab a cup of coffee (or two) in between steps. The result? I get to use my seam ripper more than most, because I sew the seam on the wrong edge, or I get the pieces turned the wrong way when I pick them up. It used to drive me crazy. Now, I just accept it as part of being me.

There's Always One quilt block
There’s Always One block by Jennifer Keltner (on page 13 of
The Splendid Sampler 2)

I love to quilt. I love to retreat and sew with friends. I might as well embrace it all! Why not? So rather than stressing when I find an error in my block, I just remind myself that there’s always one.

Friendly disclaimer: If the orderly among you can’t bear the thought of turning that one Flying Geese block upside down, go ahead and sew them all pointing in the right direction. Not everyone appreciates a misfit in the block crowd.

You can piece this block in the traditional sew-and-flip way, but I tried a new tool when making this block. Here’s a little tip I’ve included in the book if you want to try something new.”


I’m not one for sewing with too many gadgets. But after sewing alongside some of the best quilt designers I know, I noticed one gadget that kept appearing on their cutting mats: the Bloc-Loc Flying Geese ruler.

Cutting is my least favorite part of the quilting process; sewing oversized blocks and trimming them down isn’t a technique I’m drawn to. But, I gave it a try, and guess what? The Bloc-Loc Flying Geese ruler gave me a perfectly shaped unit every time. So, if your flying geese aren’t all you want them to be, try a specialty ruler like Bloc-Loc. You might just like it!

Can you spot Jennifer’s block in Pat and Jane’s 100 Blocks + 1 sampler quilt below? You’ll find a link to download complete directions for making four beautiful sampler quilts, both big and small, in The Splendid Sampler 2.

100 Blocks + 1 sampler quilt

Have you been following the Splendid Sampler Sew-Along?

  • Yes, every block, every week, every month since the beginning!
  • Yes, and sometimes I keep up!
  • Not yet but the group and the books sound fun—can I be a Splendid, too? (Of course you can!)

Tell us your Splendid experience in the comments!


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