Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sylvia's Bridal Sampler, Pearl's Pieces, The Farmer's Wife and Salinda W. Rupp quilts

At the recent quilt show we were excited to find sampler quilts representing some of the most popular designs around:  Sylvia's Bridal Sampler, The Farmer's Wife, and the Salinda Rupp quilt (aka Nearly Insane).  In addition there was a beautiful and unique sampler, exhibited as a memorial to a local quilter.  Here are sampler quilts from the 2013 DVQG show.

Sylvia's Bridal Sampler, 98 x 98", by Christine Taylor

The design for this quilt is Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler. The story is in the book called The Master Quilter by Jennifer Chiaverini, in which the friends of Elm Creek Quilts founder Sylvia Compson plan to make her a special quilt to celebrate her wedding. For her version of the quilt, Christine Taylor changed the setting and added four more blocks (and modified some blocks) to total 144 different blocks.

close up, Sylvia's Bridal Sampler by Christine Taylor

The blocks are mostly pieced and paper-pieced with some applique, as shown above. We loved Christine's choice of colors, which matched the elegant floral fabric she used in the sashing and borders.

Pearl's Prized Pieces, 92 x 92",  pieced by Pearl Denison, quilted by Elaine Beattie

Pearl Lillian Denison (1928-2012) was born in Vanguard, Saskatchewan and came to the United States in 1954. During her 20 year retirement she enjoyed traveling, gardening and quilting.  Fran Schweitzer, who owns the quilt and entered it in the show, says: “[This quilt has] 112 totally different pieced blocks, many blocks with more than 50 pieces. Beautiful work by Pearl (RIP).”  In this clever setting, the blocks are offset at three different levels around the quilt, such that the blocks appear to tumble around the border. 

close up, Pearl's Prized Pieces

The use of ivory and cream provides a unifying background for the many-colored blocks; in this photo you can see an airplane, stars, pinwheels, shoo fly, a shamrock, a schoolhouse and hearts. The blocks surround large and small trees of life.

The Farmer's Wife, 84 x 95", by Carroll Stephens, quilted by Sharon Graves

First published in 2009, the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt is filled with letters from 1920s farm wives and the quilt blocks they inspired.   The quilt was designed by Laurie Aaron Hird and consists of 111 classic 6" blocks. Carroll Stephens' classic version is true to the original; the blocks are set on point and topped with cornerstones.

close up, The Farmer's Wife quilt by Carroll Stephens

In this close up photo you can see Carroll's perfectly pieced blocks, rendered in a multitude of colors.  This quilt is challenging to construct; for reviews and readers' tips see the book web page at Amazon.
Nearly Nearly Insane, 55 x 65",  by Pam Creason

Pam Creason says: “Every once in a while I enjoy making a quilt that is really challenging. This was one of those quilts… The original quilt had [93] blocks and my quilt contains 40 for if I had made all of the blocks I would have gone Nearly Insane.”  The 1870's-era Salinda W. Rupp quilt was brought to light by Liz Lois, who spent 3 years reproducing the blocks; she named the pattern Nearly Insane. The full quilt has over 5,500 pieces.

close up, Nearly Nearly Insane by Pam Creason

You can see some of the incredibly detailed blocks in this close up photo, with their tiny triangles, diamonds and squares.  Pam Creason did a fabulous job piecing and quilting her masterpiece.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.


  1. I enjoyed the variety of sampler quilts. I have several books of blocks and often use them when I am looking for a block to represent an event or a person ... or as with the book club, a story. I have seen several of my blogging friends making blocks for Dear Jane or some other pattern but I would have trouble sticking to one pattern with so many parts and different fabrics. When it comes to arrangement and fabrics, each quilt, no matter the name given, will be unique.

  2. I remember Pearl Denison. We were in the same small quilting group when I lived in California. So sorry to hear she passed away. Someone tell Fran Sschweitzer I said hello!


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