Work-in-Progress Girl

Saturday Surprise Sunday Stash


I lived in Saskatoon when I first started sewing and I didn’t have a sewing machine to begin with, so I stitched everything by hand. Then for my birthday one year I asked for a sewing machine, and I mostly wanted one so that I could participate in a block swap in a Livejournal group. It turned out I was basically terrible at sewing, even with a sewing machine. I didn’t know the first (or last!) thing about accuracy or how piecing worked and I didn’t know basic sewing terms, so when the swap group said we’d make 9.5″ blocks, I thought that meant the finished size was supposed to be 9.5″ and did you know there aren’t any blocks out there that come out to 9.5″… (strangely enough), so I sized up a shoo fly pattern with an extra half inch in the centre units. (No lie.) And I also didn’t have any money, so I was using cheap and (worse) ugly fabrics from Walmart. The blocks I sent out were appalling.

So I learned to paper piece, but I still wanted to learn to piece properly and I let myself get sucked into buying Saturday Surprise Sampler blocks from Periwinkle Quilting. In 2005/2006, the Saturday Surprise Sampler was done using primarily Robert Kaufman’s A Thousand Flowers line. It was 20 blocks and they were really tough, but I learned A LOT about accurate piecing (all of which I think I’ve forgotten since):

A very old UFO...

I kind of forgot about this project, but I was down in the basement the other day and decided to empty some drawers of crap I have down there, and what should I find but my 20 pieced blocks, all the setting squares and triangles to put the main part of the top together, and fabric that I think I intended to be borders.

A Thousand Flowers

There is about a metre of the orange fabric, but only 2 fat quarters of the purple. I also found a bunch of notes and a drawing of the border treatment I intended to use, but man are they some nonsensical notes! (Seriously: my notes on block placement included things like, “really hard mostly green one”.) All this fabric was from 2005 or so, so I doubt I’d be able to find any more. Here’s hoping 2 FQs and a metre of fabric will be enough to finish the job…

I also fished up the beginnings of the next year of Saturday Surprise Sampler blocks, of which I only bought 9 (and never made any) before stopping:


The patterns look just as complicated – yikes! But the worse problem was that the fabric wasn’t remotely to my tastes. I bought these first nine block kits and had thought to make something for my Grandma, whose house was (still is) decorated in avocados and golds.


I just don’t foresee myself ever making these blocks, though. They’re just… too much not what I like to make. If anyone out here would like these block kits, please just leave a comment below and I’ll mail them out to whoever asks for them first. The patterns all come with just enough fabric to cut out all the pieces for one block, so if you mess up your cutting, you’d have to swap in something with a similar colour palette, but it’s pretty well just autumn colours, so I don’t think it’d be a terribly difficult thing to do!

Linking up with Molli Sparkles:

Molli Sparkles


Author: clumsykristel

I'm a 30-ish quilter, and occasional sewist and embroiderer. I mostly talk about crafty things I'm working on, or wish I were working on.

8 thoughts on “Saturday Surprise Sunday Stash

  1. Funny! It does feel good to try and finish old WIPs but if you’re not feeling, don’t worry. Make something you like and I bet those old blocks will find a loving home

    • Hopefully they will! I don’t know too many people who really love those old-fashioned fussy prints that were in those kits, but someone is bound to (different strokes and all that). I don’t mind the Japanese floral one, it’s not quite my thing exactly, but it’s pretty anyway and it does kind of make me proud of myself for having made those blocks when I had so little experience 😀

  2. I love fall colors. Always wanted to try kits, this looks good.

  3. They look like wonderful blocks, well done, especially with not much experience. I do like traditional fabrics but more French General style less general civil war sort of era.

    • I don’t think I know the difference between French General and Civil War! I generally like things that have a mix of modern and traditional — usually more modern fabrics, but often using the old traditional blocks. I think it’s brilliant that there’s so many options these days, in any case.

  4. This reminds me of one of my early experiences. I still have the blocks and I no longer want to do anything with them. I’m going to donate them, along with the backing fabric, to someone I know that does a lot of charity quilts.

    • Yeah, I’ve donated a lot of things like that in the past that I’ve fallen out of love with. I don’t have any affiliation with any local quilt charities, but I have some friends in the US who work closely with Linus groups, so usually they’ve gotten whatever I’ve got. I always want to find someone local to me, but if any groups exist, they must not have an on-line presence because I can never find them!

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