Win a copy of The Splendid Sampler

Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson The Splendid Sampler book

The new book by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson celebrates the heart of the quilters network that we all love so much. The Splendid Sampler features 100 spectacular quilt blocks from the quilting community. We’ve got a copy to give away, plus read an extract from our Designer Profile interview with Pat Sloan from earlier this year…

The Splendid Sampler bookWe loved this new book so much when we featured it in our Fresh Picks pages of issue 26  that we’ve got a copy to give away!

Pat and Jane’s book includes no less than 100 quilt block designs that use a wide range of techniques, including traditional patchwork, appliqué, foundation paper piecing, and embroidery.

How to enter

Simply fill in your details here.

This giveaway is open to UK entrants, over the age of 16, only. Closing date: 14th September 2017 at 10.55pm UK time.

Find out more about Pat Sloan…

Radio show host, quilt and fabric designer, prolific author, social networker and quilt alonger! We met the whirlwind that is Pat Sloan for our Designer Profile feature back in issue 20. Here’s an exclusive taster of our interview with her. To read the full article, you can buy issue 20 in our online store. Words by our lovely Features Editor, Jane Rae.

Pat Sloan quilt

What happens when you combine a degree in computer science, a lust for creative pursuits (sewing, fabric design, quilts, photography, gardening…), an almost inexhaustible reserve of energy and a love of meeting new people? The answer is,
of course, Pat Sloan. She is a tour de force with a beaming smile and a “can do” approach to life and quilting.  

Let it shine

For many of us here in the UK, Pat burst into our lives with as much vigour as her favourite colour “sunshine yellow” when she launched the Splendid Sampler quilt along in February 2015, with Jane Davidson of Quilt Jane. Since then Pat has been a constant “virtual” companion in our quilting lives. Her commitment is quite staggering – she has published 32 books, designs fabric and threads for Moda and Aurifil, runs virtual quilt alongs, teaches through the USA and is also the presenter of American Patchwork and Quilting Radio.

In fact, reading Pat’s programme list since the radio first aired in April 2010 is a little like reading a Who’s Who of quilting in the States. Pat likes nothing better than talking “quilt making” with other passionate makers and has over 250 interviews in the archive, equating to more than 15,000 minutes dedicated entirely to talking about quilts. It’s a wonderful resource and many listeners download the podcasts so that they can tune in while they stitch or go about their daily lives.

A splendid success

The Splendid Sampler ran as an online quilt along for 12 months from 2016-17 and every week, quilters around the world made blocks created by their favourite designers with instructions posted twice weekly. We caught up with Pat just as the book, The Splendid Sampler: 100 Spectacular Blocks from a Community of Quilters was getting ready to be published, and was keen to find out what had been their “eureka” moments since the project began. When Pat and Jane met at Spring Quilt Market in Houston in 2015 to talk about creating a unique sampler, they knew they had a solid idea. “Jane is extremely creative and very methodical and I am a born organiser. Together we knew we could do something ‘big’ and the opportunity to work with so many different designers on one project was very exciting for us.

“We invited 85 guest designers to create a block, asking them simply to think about something sewing related. And as you’ve seen, this has taken on so many interesting meanings from designer to designer.”

When she and Jane launched The Splendid Sampler online on 14 February, 2016, they held their breath and waited to see how the quilting world would respond. As the news went viral, the online community started to build and within months, over 25,000 quilters around the world had signed up. Pat is no stranger to virtual communities and her Facebook group, Quilt Along with Pat Sloan, is hugely popular with over 78,000 members. In fact, building and nurturing creative communities is as important to Pat as the content itself.

Building skills

What has been so rewarding about running the Splendid Sampler for Pat and Jane is seeing novice quilters build their skills from month to month. “Several months into the project we noticed that many of our novice quilters were able to tackle more complex blocks that had been put on the back burner, it’s been tremendously rewarding,” says Pat.

The idea of putting projects on the back burner was something Pat talked about when I asked her for tips on tackling UFOs. Pat has some sage advice… allow yourself time to master a technique and come back to a project when you have the skills to tackle it. In the worst-case scenario, she’s of the opinion that if you “just don’t love it anymore”, it might be time to liberate it and move on! Pat herself is taking part in the 2017 UFO Challenge, where you choose 12 projects that you want to finish over the year and randomly draw a number each month to decide which project to work on. Following her progress online might just be the motivation you need to complete your PhDs (Projects half Done) and WIPS!

Home hub

Pat runs her business, Pat Sloan & Company, from her home in Virginia with husband Gregg – aka the Shipping Department. It was through Gregg that Pat first encountered quilting, as Gregg’s Grandmother used to make scrappy pieced and tied quilts for the family. Pat had always loved fabric and learnt to sew at school. She made her first quilt in 1979 – an enormous pieced star made from basic calico fabrics and backed with a bed sheet. At the time she was working as a computer programmer and taking quilting classes in her free time. As she became more and more involved in the quilting community, she began making quilted items to sell at craft shows and bazaars and over time began teaching classes and making samples. In 1998, after 20 years in IT, she started a new career as quilt designer and has never looked back. “I found that I could be happier and a more excited person in life if I could create all of the time. Designing patterns came naturally to me.”

Sunday drive

At home in Virginia, she has converted a large family room with vaulted ceilings into her creative space and it’s here that all her fabric and quilt designs take shape. Her latest fabric range from Moda is called Sunday Drive. It’s fresh and modern but routed in tradition, as Pat re-imagines happy memories from family drives as a young girl: think apple orchards, blue skies and ice cream. “I remember driving up to my Great Grandmother’s on Sunday, and her house had a chain link fence around it, with that little gate in the front. Beyond that gate was her home filled with lots of love.”

Also on the design wall is her 2017 Solstice Challenge, her own personal challenge to make a quilt, beginning on the Winter Solstice and ending on the Summer Solstice. The quilt will be made of 25 blocks over 182 days and she’s creating it as she goes, from her stash. Add to this her teaching schedule, weekly radio show, online communities to support, quilt alongs to organise and all the behind the scenes work that goes into running a business of this scale, and there isn’t a lot of downtime in the Sloan household…

Read the full article

You can read the rest of this article in full inside issue 20 of Today’s Quilter magazine.