Block Testers: A Quilt Gallery

Early in the process of developing Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, we knew that we wanted real people to test the block patterns before we went to press. We strive for 100% accuracy in our patterns, and we also enjoy getting readers involved whenever possible.

QM100BlocksCover350px Block Testers: A Quilt Gallery

With these facts in mind, we began recruiting a group of regular quilters for each 100 Blocks issue, months before the issue comes out. We send them fabric and block patterns, and they make the blocks they’re assigned and then give us feedback. They’re not shy about telling us what they really think (and that’s okay)!

QMMS 120022 COVER shadow 500 43120 Block Testers: A Quilt Gallery

Beginning in Volume 5 from Summer 2012, we invited some of our block testers to design quilts using any combination of the blocks they tested.

The results were good! Now the Tester’s Gallery has become a regular feature in each new volume of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks. Today I wanted to share the tester quilts with you from Volume 8, which is on newsstands now.

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Quilt by De’Dee Brown

De’Dee Brown created a unique on-point setting using five different blocks, above. I love the color recipe in this quilt! The fabrics are Let It Rain by Simon + Kabuki for Quilting Treasures.

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Quilt by Mary Jane Cardwell

Mary Jane Cardwell created a striking sampler using shades of red and tan. Fabrics are Esprit de Noel by French General for Moda. We had the pleasure of meeting Mary Jane in person when we taught at Georgia Quilt Show in September. It was great to put a face with the name!

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Quilt by Rachel Dreher

Rachel Dreher’s unique sampler features a woven effect. I love the calm, serene gray with the unexpected pop of the yellow. Timeless Treasures provided the fabrics, which are Eclipse Cotton and Tonga Batiks.

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Quilt by Joanne Harris

A multi-color print frames the blocks in this nine-block sampler by Joanne Harris. Fabrics are Feathered Friends by Deborah Edwards for Northcott. The colors say “spa” to me.

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Quilt by Joyce McCollum

Joyce McCollum added a little spark to her sampler by sashing the blocks with a gradated green fabric from Troy Corporation. Kind of shouts “spring,” doesn’t it?

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Quilt by Shannon Ownby

Shannon Ownby chose two blocks for her quilt center. The corners of the blocks created their own sashing. She set a third block on point in the border. Fabrics are Autumn Haze by Pink Light Design plus basics, all from Robert Kaufman. Wouldn’t this be a great gift for a guy?

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Quilt by Shelly Pagliai

This lively beauty is by Shelly Pagliai. She created a lovely sampler by setting three different blocks on point. Shelly knows her to let the fabric do some of the work. The setting triangles and the border print, both from Hoffman California Fabrics, really pull it all together. I love this piece!

QMMS 130037 PINNEY gallery Block Testers: A Quilt Gallery

Quilt by Nancy Pinney

This quilt is doing a lively little dance! Nancy Pinney added a  variety of frames to three different blocks for her quilt, using shot cottons and Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics from Westminster Fibers, Inc.

QMMS 130037 RODGERS gallery Block Testers: A Quilt Gallery

Quilt by Becky Rodgers

Becky Rodgers used four different blocks in a symmetrical setting for her sampler quilt. Again, she’s letting the fabric do some of the work. The borders (as well as the rest of the quilt) use fabric by Gudrun Erla for Red Rooster Fabrics. They’re just perfect.

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Quilt by Anne Welker

Finally, Anne Welker used five block patterns and several different techniques in her quilt. I really love the block treatment: narrow dark brown narrow frames around each of the nine blocks, then tan sashing with dark brown cornerstones, finished up with a teal border.

Didn’t these quilters do a nice job? We really appreciate the investment of time and energy they made. Well done!

*     *     *     *     *

If you’re interested in testing for Quiltmaker, please follow us on Facebook, where we recruit people as needed. Here’s a complete list of block testers for Volume 8. Quiltmaker gratefully acknowledges these folks:

Christine Archer, Marie Atkinson, Carol Baker, Angelia Barger, Carol Berge, Martha Briese, De’Dee Brown, Mary Jane Cardwell, Cheryl Dimiceli, Rachel Dreher, Megan Ferris, Maryln Fleming, Mary Ellen Futch, Patty Happel, Joanne Harris, Tiffany Hayes, Traci Hoglen, Vicki Holloway, Sondra Horn, Brenda Jacobs, Karlene Larson, Joyce McCollum, Sue Monsey, Nan Newell, Shannon Ownby, Shelly Pagliai, Nancy Pinney, Nikki Rainey, Cynthia Reaves, Becky Rodgers, Tammie Schaffer, Wendy Wallace, Karen Watson, Anne Welker.

About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email:
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5 Responses to Block Testers: A Quilt Gallery

  1. Nicole says:

    I am interested in becoming a pattern tester, but do not know where to begin! What are your requirements, do you look for bloggers? ( I am NOT one :( . ) Do you know of anyone that might be interested? Thank you for your feedback !

  2. Deanna says:

    I like Shelly’s quilt a lot. Beautiful on-point setting.

  3. Lynne in Hawaii says:

    A creative group of testers! Excellent!

  4. Those are all so beautiful and inspirational. I really enjoyed my time as a block tester, too. Thanks for showing all the “tester” quilts. What wonderful variety. Have a super day!

  5. Melanie says:

    They are all beautiful, but I especially love Rachel Dreher’s design. Very creative!

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