modern sampler quilt along: block A link-up

Welcome to the first link-up for the Modern Sampler Quilt Along, an informal and virtual quilt along where we make a block from Yoshiko Jinzenji's Modern Sampler Quilt pattern each month! You can follow the hashtag #modernsamplerquiltalong on Instagram to get a peek at everyone's blocks, fabrics, and process, as we work our way through the pattern together. On the last Tuesday of each month, we gather here to share the blocks we've made; this month we worked on Block A from the pattern.

For my quilt, I'm using the Superbuzzy Yoshiko Jinzenji bundle as the starting point for my fabric selection, and I've pulled a number of complementary fabrics from my stash to round it out, adding in pops of pink, yellow, and aqua.

For my Block A, I used out-of-date quilt labels, a vintage daisy print (I love the pop of neon coral in the flowers' centers!), solid aqua, an Ikea text print, and a Jinzenji print. One of the things that I really like about this pattern so far is that Jinzenji doesn't specify what types of fabrics to use (lights versus darks, colors versus neutrals) or where to place them, which I found quite freeing. I had fun experimenting with the layout.

In case this is your first time doing mitered corners on your borders and you'd like a bit of help, Craftsy has a step-by-step photo tutorial that shows you how to sew them, and the Fat Quarter Shop has a step-by-step video that walks you through the process as well.

Have any tips or tricks or observations you'd like to share? Leave them in the comments below.

Now let's see your first blocks!

1. Click the "Add your link" button below, and link to a blog post or Instagram photo of your Block A. In the "Link Title" field, enter your blog name or Instagram handle.

2. If you're linking to a blog post, please link back to this post somewhere in your post. If you're linking to an Instagram photo, be sure to tag your photo with the hashtag #modernsamplerquiltalong.


summer craft show wrap-up + new tote bags

This past Saturday night I attended my last craft fair of the summer season at Squam Lake here in NH. It was such a lovely evening, and a wonderful way to cap off a summer of many craft shows. I feel like I learned so much preparing and attending events these past few months---a feeling I'm sure is shared by fellow makers who sell their work in person!

I learned about which products sold best to which crowd (lavender sachets were an overall hit and drew people to my table with their scent); the best way to label items with their prices so they were easy to read; and how to fine tune my display, especially when it came to quilts and pillows. I took notes at each event and wrote down customer feedback and new product ideas. Though each show was quite different, I feel like they all taught me something---even if it was simply that it wasn't the right show for me!

One of the new items that I introduced into the line-up this summer was color-block tote bags, featuring prints from Ellen Luckett Baker's Stamped line. I have a few left from the shows, so I thought now would be a great time to share them with those of you who couldn't make it out to see me this summer---they are now in the shop!

Each one is fully lined and features double top-stitching, a sturdy cotton duck bottom, and durable cotton webbing handles. These totes are limited edition, and you can find them all here.

I'm now getting ready for holiday shows (sending in applications and building inventory) and what I hope will be a busy season. Be sure to keep an eye on the blog's sidebar, where I'll post all upcoming events and shows, to find out where I'll be this fall and winter.

Happy weekend to you all!

P.S. Don't forget that next Tuesday, September 29, will be the first official link-up for the Modern Sampler Quilt Along!  Be sure to swing by and share a link to either a blog post or an Instagram photo of your finished Block A, and tag all of your quilt along photos with the hashtag #modernsamplerquiltalong. I can't wait to see what you've been working on!


studio tour

We moved into our current house this past May, and I feel like I'm finally settled into my studio enough to share some pictures with you! So I did a bit of straightening up (trust me, it's not always this organized!) and took some photos around the room, if you'd like to see.

The house that we're renting was built in 1898, and my sunny sewing space is on the second floor. It's the largest work space I've had yet, and I've been able set it up in such a way that I can make a quilt from start to finish right here. Whenever I need to baste a quilt, I simply roll up the rug and tape the quilt to the floor.

I have a dedicated wall for photographs, which is where my fabric shelves reside. I added wheels to the Expedit bookcases I keep my fabric in, so whenever I need to photograph something, I simply wheel them out of the way. The flexibility has been so helpful!

My cutting table consists of an Ikea table top with adjustable legs, so I'm able to cut fabrics while standing. I keep a yellow stool from Target nearby, which I use whenever I want to sit and work at the table. Two wall quilts hang next to the table: my Star Blossoms Mini Quilt and the Cross-Stitch Heart Quilt made for me by Alyssa Lichner of Pile O' Fabric.

My design wall (a vinyl tablecloth tacked to the wall with the flannel side out) hangs between the cutting table and my sewing machine. I've hung all of my threads above my machine, along with the hexagon wall quilt I made from Sara Lee Parker's hand-printed fabrics.

One section of the wall features embroidery hoops filled with past projects, including my Hello and Joy samplers, my old shop logos, an embroidered doily design, and a holiday ornament.

I keep finished quilts tucked away in the closet, along with various supplies and WIPs.

And finally, my glass shelves hold my favorite sewing and quilting books, bins of shop fabric, jars of buttons and ribbons, and various notions. A pink wire basket sits next to the shelves and holds bolts of fabric.

I hope you enjoyed this mini tour, and I'd love to hear about where you sew! What's your favorite feature of your space?


oakshott scandinavia + a bartow baby quilt

The lovely team at Sew Mama Sew recently sent me a bundle of fabrics from Oakshott Fabrics' Scandinavia collection. When they asked that I create something Scandinavian-inspired, I immediately thought of the interiors of Scandinavian homes I'd seen on Pinterest and Design*Sponge, and wanted to create something that would fit into those clean, modern spaces. When I received the stack of shot cottons, I experimented with a few different quilt blocks based on Scandinavian surface patterns---including improv curves and plus signs---but none of them seemed quite right.

While continuing to brainstorm ideas, the Bartow Quilt pattern by Carolyn Friedlander came to mind. The clean lines and simple layout of this free pattern for Robert Kaufman suggested to me that it would be right at home in a modern interior, so I set to work cutting strips from each of the pastel fabrics to create a baby quilt.

I used a combination of cream shot cotton and white cotton for the top's background, and I backed the quilt with a soft Melody Miller linen-cotton print that I picked up in Japan last year, which included many of the colors from the bundle: baby pink, lavender and mint green.

I used cream thread for the cross-hatch quilting, and I machine bound the quilt with leftover Oakshott scraps, using my newest favorite method for binding.

Many thanks to Sew Mama Sew and Oakshott Fabrics for this beautiful fabric bundle! I enjoyed working in a new-to-me color palette and taking on a fun challenge.

Be sure to check out the beautiful projects made from the same bundle of fabric by these other talented makers: 

Jessica Skultety from Quilty Habit
Jennifer Fullerton from Never Just Jennifer
Mary Kolb from Mary on Lake Pulaski
Casey York from The Studiolo
Deborah Fisher from Fish Museum and Circus

P.S. A winner was selected for the Modern Sampler Quilt pattern giveaway and announced in the last post. There's still time to grab a pattern from the Zakka Workshop store for 20% off with the code QUILTALONG, and sew your first block for the Modern Sampler Quilt Along by the end of the month!


pattern giveaway + link round-up

It's almost the weekend! Let's celebrate with a giveaway, shall we? I have a copy of the Modern Sampler Quilt pattern by Yoshiko Jinzenji to give away, which means that if you've been on the fence about participating in the Modern Sampler Quilt Along, this is your chance to snag a pattern and join in!

There are two ways to enter:

1. Leave a comment, any comment, below.


2. Sign up for the Salty Oat Newsletter, and leave a comment below letting me know you've done so.

That's it! Comments will close at 11:59 pm EST on Thursday, September 10, and I'll announce the winner here next Friday. There's also a giveaway for a second copy of the pattern over on Instagram, so be sure to pop over there to increase your chances of winning a pattern!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered, and congrats to Carol of Quiltmaker Napa, who won the pattern!

In the meantime, here's a round-up of a few fun links from around the web I wanted to share:
  • Ashley from Film in the Fridge used Maze and Vale heart fabric from the shop in this gorgeous baby boy quilt. I love seeing what customers make with the fabrics I sell, so be sure to tag photos of your own projects with the hashtag #fabricfromsaltyoat so I'll see them!
  • Have you ever overdyed a quilt? I haven't, but would be open to it, especially for a thrift store find in less-than-stellar condition. The comments on this post about the topic are interesting---people are divided!
  • Love this technique used to create fabric for a set of community quilts which were hung in a California family shelter.
Have a wonderful weekend!


modern sampler quilt along

Happy September! Today, I'm so excited to announce the launch of the Modern Sampler Quilt Along, which I will be hosting and organizing here on the blog! Each month, we'll make a block from Yoshiko Jinzenji's Modern Sampler Quilt pattern, working our way through the entire pattern together for the next year.

Yoshiko Jinzenji is an accomplished quilter from Japan whom I've long admired, and I was quite smitten with this pattern she designed when I first saw it---it's such a unique take on a sampler quilt! I thought it would be the perfect project to sew alongside friends (a.k.a., you, my dear readers!), which is what inspired me to put this together.


On the last Tuesday of each month, I'll post my completed block and include a link-up for you to post your finished block as well. Our tentative schedule for the quilt along is below. I'll update each date with links to the finished blocks as they're completed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015: Block A

Tuesday, October 27, 2015: Block B

Tuesday, November 24, 2015: Block C

Tuesday, December 29, 2015: Block D

Tuesday, January 26, 2016: Block E

Tuesday, February 23, 2016: Block F

Tuesday, March 29, 2016: Block G

Tuesday, April 26, 2016: Block H

Tuesday, May 31, 2016: Block I

Tuesday, June 28, 2016: Block J

Tuesday, July 26, 2016: Block K

Tuesday, August 30, 2016: Block L

Tuesday, September 27, 2016: Assemble top and appliqué pieces a-l.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016: Post finished quilts for a chance at prizes!


The quilt pattern can be purchased online through Zakka Workshop, the pattern's publisher, or check with your local quilt shop to see if they carry it.

To help you get started, Zakka Workshop has kindly provided a coupon code for Salty Oat readers to take 20% off all Yoshiko Jinzenji patterns in their online shop. Simply enter the coupon code QUILTALONG at checkout to receive the discount. 


An assortment of scraps from your stash will work well for this quilt. Alternatively, Superbuzzy, a fabric store based in Ventura, California, which specializes in imported Japanese fabrics, has put together a special fat-eighth bundle of Jinzenji's fabrics and coordinating Kona solids, just for us!


The quilt's finished size is 52" x 65 ¾" (132 x 167 cm), so it will make an excellent throw quilt.

Use the hashtag #modernsamplerquiltalong for any images you post online, so that we can all follow your progress for the next year. And if you'd like to add a button for the quilt along to your blog, simply copy and paste the code generated below into your blogging template.

grab button for Modern Sampler Quilt Along
<div class="modern-sampler-quilt-along-button" style="width: 150px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://saltyoat.blogspot.com/2015/09/modern-sampler-quilt-along.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> <img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-iBd-pFY1DjY/VeWnukp36XI/AAAAAAAANC4/THNYMRE_9zs/s150-Ic42/Modern%252520Sampler%252520Quilt%252520Photo%252520150x150.jpg" alt="Modern Sampler Quilt Along" width="150" height="150" /> </a> </div>

I'm so excited to work on this quilt, and I'll hope you'll join me (at any time)! Excited? Questions? Let me know in the comments below. I can't wait to see your first set of blocks at the end of this month!