Hi friends, I was so excited to have some time with my sewing machine on Sunday. As I mentioned last week, I'm ready to start a new quilt. I struggle with a short-attention-span problem when I'm working on a big quilt, though, so I decided that a sampler quilt was the way to go. That way each block is its own project, so I'll get a better balance of process and product to enjoy. The first block I made was a turtle block, inspired by this quilt. I've been thinking about this for three years and I was excited to finally get to try it out. Here's how I spent my Sunday afternoon: This block is made using a variation on the traditional Drunkard's Path block (same sub-blocks, different setting). I looked at this photo for reference and used these instructions to help me create the templates and assemble the pieces. Clipping the inner curve, pinning like a madwoman, and sewing s-l-o-w-l-y seemed to be the keys to success with this block. It's not one to try if you're feeling harried! When the block was sewn together, I appliquéd the head and tail, using freezer paper templates and hand-sewing the pieces to the block. (Basting folded-under seam allowance – that's the red thread you see in the bottom left photo – made this step much easier!) The finished block is 12 1/2" square – that's one big turtle! I'm pleased with this block, and looking forward to the challenge of making a sampler quilt. It occurred to me last night that I could do an entire animal-themed quilt (with blocks like Hens and Chicks, Leap Frog and Bear Paw), but there are just too many other interesting blocks out there. Do you have any suggestions for what blocks I should include?