Splendid Sampler Fun Times

Oh my golly!!! It's been a couple of months of whirlwind fabric fun!

Each of my recent adventures deserve their own post but then I'd be here for days, so but here's a quick catch up before we chat about today's exciting news!

I've been travelling and teaching workshops around Australia.

Such fun times at Cottage Quiltworks

Happy smiles at Calico and Ivy 

and a fabric fiesta at Cotton Rose!

In early July I was pinching myself as my folded fabric circles appeared on the catwalks of Paris as part of Haute Couture week for Australian fashion designers Romance Was Born in collaboration with Jenny Kee

The Waratah Plantation Coat was inspired by Jenny Kee's favourite flower, the luscious red Waratah. 

It's been very exciting to see the coat pop up in fashion social media all over the world. 

I really enjoyed playing with different fabrics such as silk, taffeta, organza, but more about that another day.

Then a couple of weeks ago I made some sets for a musical performance. The Kites of Tianjin written by Adam Simmons and performed by The Adam Simmons Creative Ensemble. 

For anyone who's curious you could read this review about the performance here.

But the real reason I'm blogging today is because it's my turn on the Splendid Sampler 2 schedule.

Yay!! A big WooHoo!! 

And a big Welcome to all the Secret Sampler 2 super sewers who are visiting today!! 
If you're new to Splendid Sampler 2 it's a book of 100 different 6in blocks designed by quilters around the world. 
To get the party started there are 20 free blocks, one released each week until the book comes out in November. 

Today I get to share the block I designed.

We were asked to make a block that addressed the idea 
"I'm living my best quilting life when..."

I tossed around a few ideas, and decided that my favourite thing about my quilting life is the chance to be creative, to use my imagination and play with ideas. 

This is what I came up with:

Around Four Corners

" I like to travel around the four corners of my imagination. My creative adventures lead me through glorious fabric gardens, under magical rainbows of colour, over mountains of geometry and through oceans of ideas. It's a place where circles can even become squares. "

I hope you like my block. Feel free to enlarge the size to sew bigger versions.  
I'm tempted to make a whole quilt out of them with little faces peeking out from the centers. 

The circles in the block are appliquéd rather than pieced. I know there are many different ways to appliqué circles but here is the method I use. (I've pulled this tutorial from the deep archives so excuse the photos for having a vintage look about them.)

My technique is nothing new, just the good old Freezer Paper method.

Get a piece of freezer paper. (I just have to say 3 Cheers for whoever thought of using freezer paper with sewing- absolute genius!!) To draw a circle you could use a template from a particular pattern you are making, a compass or I like using some of my pretty saucers. 

Draw and cut out a circle of the size you would like your finished circle to be.

Iron the freezer paper circle, waxy side down onto the wrong side of the fabric. Cut out the circle with a quarter inch seam. 

Using your friendly iron press the quarter inch seam inwards over the edge of the freezer paper circle.  Use your fingers to press out any creases or gathers. Press it really, really well!! 

Go around the circle a few times to get a nice crisp edge. 

Nice crispy edges!! 

If you feel as thought the fabric will hold the shape well then you can remove the freezer paper. 

or with larger circles I leave the freezer in and pin the circle to the background fabric. You'll have to tuck the fabric under a bit as you go to keep those crispy edges.

To stitch, after making a knot, bring the needle up through the backing fabric and through the edge of the applique fabric catching just a few threads and then insert the needle back into the backing fabric and then repeat about every1/8th inch.

When you still have an inch or so to go reach in, loosen the freezer paper and pull it out. The rest of the circle edge will still hold it's shape from the good ironing you gave it. Continue sewing it down until the circle is completed. 

If you get carried away and sew the circle all the way around before removing the paper you can make a small cut behind the circle and pull the paper out. 

Press it with the iron and...

Hello Circle!!

So there you go, you'll be sewing circles onto everything now. 

Pop over to the Splendid Sampler website here to download this pattern and the other free patterns and to find out more about book.

I'll be back with more stories soon but don't forget you can find me on Instagram at @bluemountaindaisy.com. 

Splendid Sampler Fun Times


  1. Thank you so much for joining our Splendid Sampler Team, we love your block!

  2. Congrats Rachel for all your activities! your block is so cute!

  3. I'll have to emigrate to Australia... sigh... so much fun there !
    Love the kites and the coat with your wonderful circles...

  4. It looks like you are spreading colorful joy everywhere! Love your fun block!

  5. Love seeing your wonderful work. And thank you for this block with so many possibilities!

  6. So cool to see your folded flowers in clothing! You are having entirely too much fun these days.:)

  7. Wow Rachael! So many fabulous things happening in your life. I was delighted to see that you have a block in SSII. The only downside is that I have to wait for four weeks to stitch it, as we are in Wales at the moment. It will be perfect for the 30s fabrics I'm using. In my mind I can just see a little creature peeking out of my version. Thanks for sharing a great looking block and introducing a new to me method of making partial circles. I can't wait to get stitching.

  8. You have been so busy and with so many different things.
    Lovely to see you busy with your teaching, but what fun to be part of a performance as well. That is very different.
    Thank for sharing your fun design for the Splendid Sampler. As always, very special. I agree with the idea that it would make a great quilt all on its own.

  9. Rachel you know howmuch I enjoy pine cone quilts, wow what an amazing experience with the fashion world!! Everything you touch becomes an enchantment. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Woohoo! You have hit the runway! Of course I would rather have seen you on the catwalk, but she looked pretty good too. I'm not much for sampler quilts, so I did not start the Splendid Sampler with a few of my friends, however, I can see myself making an entire quilt with your fabulous block. I could applique circles all day! Love this block.

  11. What an exciting time you have been having. It must have been an amazing thrill to see your blocks turned into a coat and then appear on a catwalk and in fashion magazines! Love the kites too.

  12. Oh my, you have been a very busy lady!! How exciting to be on the Paris runway!!! wow!!! And the kites for that set! And to be in the splendid sampler! Your work is exploding across the world!! (I love your block for the Sampler!) Congrats on so many fun experiences! What a wonderful time for you!! Hugs, H


Thank you so much for leaving me a comment. I love to hear your thoughts. I don't always have time to reply but your wonderful words encourage me to keep sharing my work and stories.


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