The nearly insane quilt: a machine quilting sampler

The Nearly insane quilt is a sampler quilt based on a quilt made by Salinda Rupp in 1870. When Liz Lois saw the quilt in an out-of-print book she got inspired and created patterns and a book for everyone to use. The title is chosen because many of the blocks in this quilt have an insane amount of pieces and many a person has lost their respective mind trying to make these blocks. On the book cover below you can see the original quilt by Salinda Rupp. There are 93 blocks in total in this quilt.

On her website, it says that Salinda created the Nearly Insane quilt for her quilting classes, which makes her sound like a very tough teacher. Like Bach who created the toughest violin pieces for his pupils to practice. The diversity in the blocks is amazing though and they give lots of opportunities to try different quilting techniques. As with the Dear Jane sampler quilt, I will occasionally blog about my progress with the Nearly Insane blocks. I will talk about my mistakes, my achievements and the techniques I’ve used and all other interesting stuff I can think of.

The Nearly Insane quilt is a similar project to the Dear Jane quilt and I also decided on this sampler project for a similar reason: People told me it was nearly impossible to make, so that made it perfect in my mind to learn a new skill with. Sometimes I feel I have way too much to prove. The Dear Jane quilt is to build my hand quilting skills, the Nearly Insane to build the machine quilting ones. Therefore, the nearly insane will be completely made by sewing machine. Here is a link to my Dear Jane quilt project:

Design of the quilt

Because the Dear Jane quilt is made with solids, I decided this one should be made with floral fabric. Now I’ve finished some of the blocks it turns out that this decision makes it a hundred per cent sure that the look of the finished quilt is going to be as insane as the name. But well, once decisions are made, one cannot go back. And what’s wrong with a bit of craziness once in a while anyway.

Each block consists of two fabrics: one that will be used in every block and another flower fabric. I’ve decided to use a light blue – greyish flower fabric in every block to create some cohesion in the quilt and because I had lots of it.

Another new technique I will be trying for this quilt is the quilt as you go technique. For that technique, you don’t wait until your quilt top is finished before you put all the layers of the quilt together and start quilting, sewing, through all the layers. Instead, you finish each block soon as it’s finished and join the blocks later. This technique is beneficial when you only have a small sewing machine and thus cannot manoeuvre a big quilt through it or when you have as little patience as I have and want to try something new. Here is a post that will explain the steps to make a quilt in more detail:

Finished pieces:

Here are two pieces to give you an idea of the style of my Nearly Insane quilt. Underneath you can see a list of the other finished quilt blocks and the blog post where they are discussed.

30, 35
47, 48
82, 85

Would you like to know more?

I’ll just drop some other quilt posts here until I have more to tell about my Nearly Insane quilt sampler. Also, a question to you all. Are you doing a sampler quilt? Which one is your favourite? I love samplers and always enjoy seeing what other people make and to learn more about them.

See my DeviantArt or Instagram (username: for more artwork and WIPs. You can also follow my blog by clicking on the button on the left or by filling in your email address. There will be a monthly update at the end of every month and a new blogpost every Sunday or Monday.


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