Sew Sampler Box from Fat Quarter Shop – October 2020 Unboxing

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Do you want to see what’s inside the October 2020 Sew Sampler Box from Fat Quarter Shop? Watch the unboxing here (SPOILER ALERT!).

Sew Sampler Quilting subscription box

You all know that I have been obsessed with my new Bernina 475 QE sewing machine.

I am not a sewist but I have been trying to learn as much as I can and hone in on my skills.

After a bit of research, I learned that the Sew Sampler monthly subscription box from Fat Quarter Shop usually contains the tools and materials that you need to complete a quilting related project.

This seemed like a good way to dive into a project without having to figure out all the supplies etc on your own.

Of course, being a subscription box, the actual contents is a surprise until you receive it.

The October 2020 box was my first one – and here is what was inside.


The Theme

When you first open the Sew Sampler Box you are greeted with a large card announcing the theme of the box.

Sew Sampler Subscription Box with lid open.

For October 2020 the theme is “My Happy Place”.

On the reverse side of this card is a coupon code that is exclusively for subscribers.

This month’s coupon code is for 25 percent off of all quilt patterns and it expires on December 20, 2020.

There is also a little leaflet that describes each item in the box and it’s retail value.


The highlight of the box, for me, is the fabric – because that is what you will be making the project with.

a selection of 10 inch fabric squares in fall colors and prints

The October box included a petite “stacker” – which translates to 20 ten inch squares of fabric.

The design is Paintbox Basics by Elizabeth Hartman for Robert Kaufman Fabrics which actually features prints from Hartman’s past collections.

As far as colors go, these fabrics feature fall colors in sort of retro rust, avocado, marigold, and blue shades.

To be honest, I have to say that the patterns are cute but the colors are not really my style.

My goal here is to learn quilting techniques and get some practice, so I am not going to get too hung up on the colors.

Quilt Pattern

Also included in this box is a quilt pattern – so you can use the fabric.

La Casita quilt pattern.

This month’s pattern is La Casita and you can choose to make either a 28.5 inch by 28.5 inch wall hanging or a 16.5 inch by 52.5 inch table runner.

There is enough fabric in the box to make the blocks but you will need to order the separate finishing kit if you want coordinating fabric for the border and binding (I don’t think that the finishing kit includes fabric for the backing).

Courthouse Steps Foundation Paper

To make the blocks for the La Casita quilt pattern you will need to use Courthouse Steps Foundation Paper.

tablet of Quilt Block Foundation Paper in the Courthouse Steps pattern.

Luckily, there is a tablet of that included in the box as well.

Whether you choose to make the wall hanging or table runner, you will need 16 sheets of this foundation paper.

The tablet includes 42 sheets – so you will have plenty leftover. Or, if you are like me and have never used foundation paper before, you will have enough sheets to create a practice block first.

In fact, there are 20 stacker squares of fabric – but you only need to use 16 for the pattern – so you can use the additional 4 stacker squares for practice or for some other project you might have going on.

Sewing Tools

The October Sew Sampler box also includes some fun and useful sewing tools.

Creative Grids 9 inch Seam Guide Tool

The Creative Grids 9 inch seam guide tool is a pretty cool quilting ruler.

9 inch seam guide quilting ruler

You can use it to mark your sewing lines and your cut line when you are making blocks that are 2 triangles sewn together.

I had no idea it could be this easy – and I have never seen anything like this before.

Scissor ID Magnetic Silicone Clips

The Scissor ID Magnetic Clips are cute little clips that magnet right onto the handle of your scissors.

These magnetic scissor ID tags are too cute! Find out where to get them on my blog.

There are three in the bag – one labeled fabric, one for thread, and one for paper.

If you go to sewing classes, these clips will keep your scissors from going home in someone else’s bag. 😉

Or it can keep your family from using your precious fabric scissors to cut paper or other materials.

Do you like those gold scissors? You can find them here.

Greatest Hits Quilt Track #7

Finally, there is a pattern in the box to make a quilt block.

Apparently, every April the Fat Quarter Shop hosts a 12 month long quilt along trough their Sew Sampler Box.

Each month you get a pattern for a new block and in March you get the pattern for the final block and instructions on how to assemble the quilt.

Since this is my first box – I don’t have Tracks 1 through 6. But you can purchase each track separately on the site if you want to catch up.

Personally, I think I will pass because I will have my hands full just trying to make the project for the current month.

But I will hold onto the pattern for the quilt block in case I want to use it to learn a new technique or make a mini quilt down the road.

What I Like and What I Don’t

So, you want to know what I think about this box.

Well, being that it is my first one, I was pretty excited to tear it open and see what was inside.

Collection of quilting tools, fabrics, and patterns that were included in the Sew Sampler Subscription Box for October 2020.

The Pros

I really like that it includes the fabric, pattern, and foundation paper to make a project right out of the box. I will probably even get started on it today.

Since it is a subscription, I also like that it gives me a soft deadline to complete the project.

It would be great to have this one finished before the box for next month ships.

If I get too backed up then I probably will need to cancel because I don’t want a lot of “work to do” sitting around staring me in the face. Quilting is supposed to be relaxing and a stress reliever.

The notions in the box are fun, too. I was introduced to a very unique quilting ruler and I now have some cute scissor ID clips.

The Cons

Overall, there are only 2 things that I didn’t like about this box.

First, I was not thrilled with the fabric patterns and colors – but that is really a matter of taste. The patterns are definitely cute.

Second, I did order the finishing kit, but honestly – I just wish it was included in the box itself. I would be willing to pay more for the box if everything I needed was in it – and then I wouldn’t need to pay for shipping again on the finishing kit.

Not only that, if the finishing kit does not include fabric for the backing (which I don’t think it does) then I either have to order backing material (and pay shipping again) or dig into my stash to see if I have something that matches.

I’m all for making it really easy.

Follow Along With Me

I would love for you to follow along with me as I make the project from the subscription box.

My goal is to have this project completed by Friday November 20, 2020.

This is my rough timeline:

  • October 23 – Choosing Fabric Pairs
  • October 22 to 23 (remainder of this week) – Learn how to use foundation paper
  • October 24 to 30 – cutting all pieces (I may even try to do some of the cutting using my Cricut Maker machine since the pieces are very geometric) and sewing the blocks
  • October 31 to November 6 – sewing blocks
  • November 7 to 14 – assembling the quilt
  • November 15 to 20 – free motion quilting and binding

I will post each week (or more often if needed) to detail my progress.

Happy Quilting!

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