Inspiration come from everywhere. I'm searching through my quilt books right now to find blocks that scale to 8" to make a new sampler quilt. It started out as a block a week project.
One of the members of Quiltville Chat mentioned the Civil War Quilts blog by Barbara Brackman which is showcasing a block a week for a year to make a sampler quilt. I was interested and decided to participate. But you know me - impatient! One block a week? Not fast enough!
Also this week's block was applique, and I really wanted a pieced sampler. So, I started looking through all my books for a substitute block. I found many, many possibilities. And I started sewing.
I have 22 blocks so far.
Yeah, I know - obsessive much?
But aren't they cute?
An 8 inch block is perfect - large enough not to make you crazy piecing it but small enough to complete quickly. And you can include a lot of 8" blocks in a sampler quilt. One of the best sources for these blocks - surprise! - is the book "The Civil War Diary Quilt" by Rosemary Youngs. I'm so glad I had it. It has a bunch of block designs but no patterns so you have to draft them yourself. Not a problem for me, but I was really expecting patterns and cutting directions, or a CD with the book containing the templates like in "The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt". This book just tells you to trace templates from the drawings. How chintzy.