Penny sampler: last update before the BIG finish (I promise)

I have been hard at work sewing the final stages of the penny sampler quilt top. (You can see my most recent previous post here).


It occurred to me that it won’t be quite as exciting to show you the finished quilt if I show too many pictures now that assembly has started, so I’m only going to show a few sneak peaks and ask for some backing advice.


Is it totally OCD that I plan to take the time to count how many fabrics I used in this quilt? I’m curious! It felt like a lot, but that may be because I was cutting from yardage (mostly half yards) and not scraps. Interestingly, it wasn’t until the very end that I ordered anything specifically with this quilt in mind. Most of it has just been pulling anything aqua, teal, purple or orange from my (overly) copious recent fabric orders. At the end I did need more white quilter’s linen (which is not linen, by the way, it’s normal quilting cotton with a linen-like tone-on-tone print) and the white Architextures crosshatch. I used almost no solids in this quilt, but I reluctantly admit that this quilt needed at least a teeny tiny bit of negative space to provide structure. Rachel’s design includes sashing that forms a cross that I didn’t want to lose in the chaos. Almost every other background besides that sashing is a print.

DSC06884 DSC06886

I’m going to keep the back really simple, because let’s be honest the party’s in the front on this one. The back is not likely to see the light of day, but of course I want to know in my head it’s pretty. And on the off chance I ever allow anyone to sleep under it I’ll want them to enjoy the back.

I love using beautiful large scale prints on my quilt backs so I’ve been stocking up on yardage whenever I see a sale on fabric that fits the bill. I pulled these 4 Anna Maria Horner options because #1 I’m completely in love with AMH lately and #2 there is A LOT of AMH on the front so it seems appropriate.

My plan is to use the WOF (width of fabric) of one of these prints down the middle and then fill out the edges with something subtle. That’s kind of my go-to backing plan because it avoids any complicated pattern repeat alignment.


I’m leaning toward one of these choices but I’m not going to tell you which because I don’t want to sway your answers. I’m curious what you guys will think!

Ok, I promise the next time you see this quilt it will be quilted and bound!

Linking up with Quiet Play’s Paper Piecing Party since most of what’s new here is paper piecing.

32 thoughts on “Penny sampler: last update before the BIG finish (I promise)

  1. Wow! That really does look beautiful Sarah. I love the way you’ve used such a wide range of fabrics together, it makes the quilt so interesting to the eye. And yum to that big peachy block in the centre ….I’ve just bought some domino dots, it’s such a great all rounder print.

  2. Oh and I forgot….this is probably not your choice so you’re welcome to ignore me, but I like the idea of the dark fabric on the left. I think it works well with the colour scheme on the front from what I can see, plus it’s a super strong design that’ll really make an impact…also I love those colours at the moment 🙂

  3. I love the way this is turning out and can’t wait to see the finish! I would pick the bolder one on the left. I love a surprising back that has a wow factor. The feathers would look nice too if you are looking for a quieter feel.

  4. Wow Sarah! I’m loving this quilt, the fabrics, the colors and the layout. It is going to be fabulous! I like the green and blue on the left and the one on the right for the back. But the others are pretty too.

  5. It looks awesome! I am so so far behind on all of my sewing Im jealous to see everyones come together. I like the AMH field study floral for the back 😉

  6. I can’t wait to see this when it’s finished! As far as the back…the more I look at your choices, the more I love that aqua and yellow on the end. But the flowers right next to it are beautiful too! I love that gorgeous dark fabric, but I’m worried you might get a bit of a shadow effect from it on the front because of all the lighter fabrics. Whatever you choose, it will be gorgeous!

  7. Count away. I am curious to see the # of fabrics used too. I love your version of the penny sampler because it looks so “collected over time”, like a well decorated space. Ya know what I mean?
    I am leaning toward the feather print and the far right print for the back. But really any would great 🙂

  8. I’d use the second one from the left. And I just love the stained glass look of your blocks with the light shining through. I admire your talent for stitching these and putting all these different blocks together in such a beautiful way. I look forward to seeing the finished product.

  9. This is fabulous! I like the third from the left – the floral – for the backing. Subtle enough without getting lost. Can’t wait to see the end result!

  10. Wow, Sarah, gorgeous. My opinion without seeing it in person is to do the entire back in the pale orange repeated flower pattern one you have hanging there…..My great grandmother made quilts all her life from the scraps of fabric leftover from her dress shop which she owned and ran to keep her family going after her husband passed away. All us greats, and even our children have quilts made for us by her. They are TREASURES with a value to us beyond measure. So sweet you are doing this! 🙂

  11. Looking so gorgeous Sarah! I need to catch up! I love the feathers for the back, would look pretty with a strip of the pressed flowers in addition to the feathers. But really, you can’t go wrong with AMH! I’m backing mine in two of her Folksy Flannels, super soft!
    Second thought here, i picked up some Dowry today and the one print that i have would be really pretty for your back. The Tangled print in moss looks like it would be a lovely match, you know, in case you needed an excuse to pick some up 😉 Any thoughts yet on quilting?

  12. out of control. out. of. control. i can’t even.

    WHAT IN THE WORLD. This is awesome. I need to do a block by block inventory of everything I love for you. it’s insane. Well done, friend!

  13. I would go with the first one on the left or the last one on the right. I love the quilt. I was with Daisy this weekend at the retreat and had watched her put some of her blocks together. There is a lot of work you guys did for these blocks and final quilt. Congrats!!!

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