Balancing Reflection - Splendid Sampler II Block
Splendid Sampler II

Splendid Sampler II – Balancing Reflection

Hello and warm welcome to the reveal of the block I designed for The Splendid Sampler 2: Balancing Reflection! For those of you that are visiting for the first time, my name is Yvonne Fuchs and I am a quilter, designer, teacher, technical editor, blogger, and all around quilting community cheerleader and enthusiast. In my earlier career, I worked as an aerospace engineer until April 2014. My pattern writing is heavily influenced by my technical background, and I strongly believe that:

  • You are creative.
  • Nobody and nothing is perfect: You are doing your best work right now.
  • The secret to success is to show up, try, learn, modify, and repeat.
  • We all sew at the speed of sound; sometimes it will sound faster than others.

Let’s talk more about The Splendid Sampler 2 and Balancing Reflection!

Balancing Reflection by Yvonne Fuchs from Quilting Jetgirl for The Splendid Sampler 2

Balancing Reflection by Yvonne Fuchs from Quilting Jetgirl for The Splendid Sampler 2

Quilting offers me the ability to take time for myself. In the quiet moments, I often find myself reflecting on the balance of my life. Balancing Reflection shows that {elusive, rare, fleeting} perfect moment of harmony when the external and internal scales have all tipped into perfect balance.

Balancing Reflection - Splendid Sampler II Block

Balancing Reflection – Splendid Sampler II Block

I’d like to take a bit of time to talk a little bit about some of the components of the Balancing Reflection block. The first thing I want to address is pressing seams. I personally like to sew with a scant quarter inch seam allowance and press my seams open. If you haven’t tried pressing your seams open before, I invite you to give it a try with this block. If you are not comfortable pressing your seams open, no worries! Press to the dark and do what works best for you (spinning seams, nesting seams, etc.).

The first version of the block that I shared and that is included in The Splendid Sampler 2 book is made from basically non-directional prints. In the second version that I have made to include in my personal Splendid Sampler 2 quilt, I used fussy cutting to feature larger prints in the two main flying geese / balancing triangles. I also chose a directional print for the smaller flying geese blocks. If you choose to work with directional prints in your upper or lower background for this block, I have a helpful video tip I’d like to share to help you quickly and easily keep your directional prints going the same direction when you are doing stitch and flip piecing:

Next, let’s take a closer look at how I set up and fussy cut my rectangles for the larger flying geese shapes.

Prep for Fussy Cutting

Prep for Fussy Cutting

The piecing instructions will call for you to cut rectangles for the flying geese. To make sure that I had my prints positioned to best feature the fun prints once the piecing was complete, I marked the outline of the triangle on top of my acrylic quilting ruler using washi tape.

Auditioning Fabric Placement

Auditioning Fabric Placement

With the washi tape “window”, I was then able to audition how my print would look inside the triangle to help decide where to cut the rectangle for piecing.

Balancing Reflection - Color Value

Balancing Reflection – Color Value

One final tip that I would like to offer for your consideration prior to sewing the block is to think about the value of the fabrics you use in the block. Balancing Reflection was designed to have the lightest value as the background for the top half of the block, the darkest value for the bottom half of the block, and mid town values for the triangles. With this arrangement of values, the design should pop!


Balancing Reflection Repeat

Balancing Reflection Repeat

I’m a huge fan of getting to see how a block can be used and scaled into a full quilt. In the layout above, I rotated the blocks 180 degrees every other row to create a strong secondary design of horizontal stripes of background color.

Balancing Reflection Repeat with Offset

Balancing Reflection Repeat with Offset

Another option for a quilt top would be to offset every other row by a half block, which creates an interesting tension and movement.

Thank you so much for visiting today and I am really looking forward to seeing all the Balancing Reflection blocks that are sewn up as part of The Splendid Sampler 2 sew along. I hope you take some time to browse my Tutorials (I have over 70!) and Shop. Use coupon code splendidsampler20 to take 20% off any shop order through December 13th, when the next set of Splendid Sampler 2 blocks are revealed!

19 thoughts on “Splendid Sampler II – Balancing Reflection

  1. What an awesome post! Your encouragement regarding creativity and showing up and doing the work is absolute truth. I remember feeling so awestruck by all the talented quilters out there and for quite a period of time referred to myself as a newbie. Letting that label go was so important in my growth as a “modernish” quilter. I saved this post to my Fussy Cutting Pinterest board primarily because of your use of washi tape on your quilting ruler as well as for your helpful directional video. I like your first version of your Splendid Sampler II block, but I LOVE your second version with the awesome fussy cutting. Take care, Mary.

  2. Cindy Pieters says:

    Balancing Reflection is a splendid block! I love your fussy cut flying geese.

  3. Daisy Dianne Bromlow says:

    ABSOLUTELY LOVE the fabrics and the pattern . Your quilts are interesting !

  4. PatSloan says:

    awesome tips Yvonne, I love your block, and the repeat of it is fantatic! Thank you for being part of our sew along!

  5. Amista Baker says:

    I really like this, it is super unique! The fussy cutting is great too 🙂

  6. jayne says:

    Great block Yvonne! I am so glad you showed a version of a quilt using solid colors as I was thinking it would be a beautiful block using solids before I made it down the page! Your tips are always great ones too!

  7. aquilterstable says:

    This is a really striking block and reflects you well. I like it!

  8. barbgrandon says:

    I love your block. Thank you for tip

  9. shannon miller says:

    You totally read my mind!! After seeing your block, I kept trying to imagine what it would look like in repeat, then I kept reading!! Such a fun and beautiful block!

  10. Robbie says:

    Thank you so much for this beautiful and intriguing block. Love the tip of using washi tape to make a fussy-cut window, and also the tip about the values. I’m writing tips in my book, as I have had to take a wee break from Splendid Sampler for Christmas. Thank you & Merry Christmas!

  11. Suzanne says:

    That is one very cool block pattern. If made in very bright opposing colors, (red/green, blue/orange, purple/yellow, etc.) it would be an outstanding quilt that would make eyes blink. Or maybe use some 1960’s “psychedelic” colors \- that would be an eye popping piece of art!

    I went back and read your blog posts about creativity, daydreaming and failure. I can relate! I’ve always been a bit of a daydreamer (my grammar school teachers would confirm this) My “lawnmower time” is when I lie down at night and before I go to sleep. I start thinking about something I need to fix or want to make and try to figure out how. Often when I’m relaxed like this an idea pops into my head as I drift off. Usually, I’m lucky enough to remember it in the morning.

    Your statement on failure is very insightful. I know people who talk about failing their way to success – how true! If Thomas Edison had not persisted through thousands of failures, we wouldn’t have had the light bulb when we did.

    I remember my mother telling me I was her “easy” child. She could give me scissors, paper, glue, crayons, etc. and I’d be happily busy for hours creating something to play with or a piece of kiddie art. I was happiest when I had something to make with my hands. She also began teaching me to sew when I was around 7 years old. I’m sure that’s why I now love quilting so much.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and creativity!

  12. I really love your block, I think it would make an interesting quilt!

  13. WOW! I love how this block comes together in a quilt – such stunning results!

  14. Patty says:

    Love the inspiration for the block – it is quite the interesting block!

  15. Ooh, I love seeing the potential for this block! Great tips within this post, and love the opening with the four main beliefs, which I share. 🙂 well, maybe not the sewing at the speed of sound lol

  16. Lorraine says:

    What an interesting block – I wasn’t sure about it at first, but the more I looked at it the more I liked it. I think it really shines when you showed what it looks like repeating. Also wanted to say I am enjoying the posts on your Overland vehicle. You seem to making great progress. I really like the holder for your cast iron pan – I had to show it to my husband to see if it would work for our little trailer!

  17. sue7oaks says:

    Great block! I love the offset layout, I might have to put it on my list

  18. Anja @ Anja Quilts says:

    What a great block. Both of the layouts are striking.

  19. This is a great block, Yvonne and I love both of the quilt layout options you shared. I think the offset one is my favourite, though. There are lots of interesting interactions in that layout.

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)