August 22, 2016

Chart #65: Mrs. Taft, Block #73 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along


In some parts of the world, today is my birthday, so… I'm taking the day off!  😊 

However, I can't help but remind you that if you are using Laurie's layout for your finished quilt, you will need 8 half blocks for the top and bottom for 4 of the rows. This is easiest to do by making a block with a center diagonal seam, like Mrs. Taft, and leaving it in two halves. That means you will still have the proper 1/4-inch seam allowances.

My Mrs. Taft Block


Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the Chart for cutting and making Mrs. Taft:

Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the April block:

http://gnomeangel.com

http://betteroffthread.com/






The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W.



August 15, 2016

Chart 64: Magnolia, Block #54 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along


Magnolia from Another Angle

A cheap Kaleidoscope was one of my favorite toys as a child and I’m still fascinated with watching the changing images through a Kaleidoscope. In fact, I see 5 Kaleidoscopes on my desk and 4 more on a nearby bookshelf.

One of my early blogs “Arizona in February (Feb. 24, 2009) details my enjoyment of visiting the largest Kaleidoscope store in the world – Nellie Bly in Jerome, AZ.

All of that background information was just so I can tell you that when I show the From Marti Michell Magic Mirrors, I almost always say, “and when you don’t even feel like sewing, you can just get out the mirrors and look at your fabric like a kaleidoscope!” Typically I then show the mirrors held at either a 60° or 45° angle and reflecting fabric motifs like a kaleidoscope.

We have two mirrors available (click to go to our web store):


I have mentioned before that sometimes being in a sampler quilt does not do a block justice. Some block designs are more interesting set edge to edge for example or rotated. I felt like Magnolia might be more interesting as one quarter of a 12” block. So I got out the mirror set to look – this time with a 90° angle on one corner of the block. What do you think? View 1:


With the magnolia buds pointing outward, we might call it Magnolia Corners. Four pairs of Peaky shapes would combine to make four traditional Peaky and Spike sub-units.

Or do you prefer View 2? Here I’ve added a dark corner square and it and the dark Peaky shapes form a rounded shape – we might call this new block the Magnolia Showcase:


Meanwhile, I hope you will enjoy making Magnolia.

My Magnolia Block


Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the Chart for cutting and making Magnolia:
Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Starlight block:

http://gnomeangel.com

http://www.aquiltinglife.com/






The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W.

August 8, 2016

Chart 63: Starlight, Block #93 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along


Within a few days of making the Starlight block, I was selecting several of our antique and/or vintage quilts to share at a regional American Quilt Study Group meeting. Crib quilts are more difficult to acquire, but much easier to pack and display so I was taking all that we own.

It is always fun to show this 1930s crib quilt. Normally the size of the blocks in a crib quilt are reduced to be more appropriate to the scale of the quilt, so it is very unusual for a crib quilt to feature 12-inch blocks like these.



I can’t help but wonder why? Were these blocks intended for a full-size bed sampler and the maker got tired of making sampler blocks? Or were the blocks inherited and the new owner felt obligated to finish something? Or did the maker need a baby-gift in a hurry and just used some big blocks she had?

While I clearly remember the crib quilt and the 12-inch blocks, I have to admit that from memory I could not have named one of the block designs. However, as soon as I opened the quilt I spotted the Starlight block. There are four pale green squares that are so badly faded out it is easy to miss the design, so here is a close-up.


Now, here is my 6-inch block for the 1930’s Farmer’s Wife Sampler.

My Starlight Block


Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the Chart for cutting and making Starlight:
Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Starlight block:

http://gnomeangel.com

http://www.blog.tiedwitharibbon.com/






The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W.



August 1, 2016

Chart 62: Carol, Block #18 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along


If you own Set C of the Perfect Patchwork Templates, you can use C-15 to cut the large square-on-point in Carol. Many of you also made the 1920s Farmer’s Wife Sampler blocks and the Set C pieces were used more frequently in that book than in this one.


If you have not done the 1920s blocks, you may not know that we have also done template conversions for those blocks. Every 3 or 4 months we start a new email program with those conversions. You receive a template conversion chart for 10 blocks via email every 2 weeks. The blocks are also organized by common template sets or techniques as in this quilt. We just started mailing those PDFs out a few weeks ago, so there is still time to sign up on our website at http://www.frommarti.com/  Here's what to look for on the left side of the page:


You can also sign up through our company Facebook page. That button is also on the left side of the page (you may have to scroll down). Click on the bird holding the envelope to open the signup window (you can get to our Pinterest and YouTube Channel from the same area):


Please share this info with your friends.

Comparing Sets A and B

Sets A and B contain the most frequently used pieces in basic patchwork. 12-inch or approximately 30 cm blocks are the most popular finished sizes, and 3 x 3 or 4 x 4 grid designs are also the most common.


The pieces in Sets A and B are exactly the same 7 shapes, just different sizes. Set A pieces are components of a 3-inch square and Set B of a 4-inch square. We like to say, “Anything you can make with Set A, you can make with Set B, it will just be bigger.’’


Volume 1 of the Encyclopedia of Patchwork Blocks features 69 patchwork block designs. You can make most in 3 sizes each with Sets A and B.


For example (from the Vol. 1 Block Index on our website):


Comparing Sets C and D

Sets C and D are companion sets for Sets A and B. They contain components of 3-inch and 4-inch squares that are not used quite as frequently as those in Sets A and B. Most of the shapes are the same, but in Set C we included C-15, a square that sits on point in a 6-inch square, the equivalent of 4 3-inch squares. Set D, on the other hand, includes the Square Within a Square components for a 2-inch finished unit made with the D-28 square on point plus triangle D-29 to make the corners, the latter being a combination you have used frequently in the 1930s Farmer’s Wife Sampler blocks.


You can see more blocks that use Sets A and C or B and D in the block index on our website for Volume 2 of the Encyclopedia of Patchwork Blocks. 



My Carol Block


Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the Chart for cutting and making Carol:
Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Starlight block:

http://gnomeangel.com

http://www.sunflowerstitcheries.com/sunflower-quilting-blog/






The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W.



July 25, 2016

Chart 61: Primrose, Block 85 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along


Primrose and Marcella share the long diagonal center piece, but Primrose squeezes 26 pieces into the same size corners filled with 4 triangles in Marcella. There are lots of little N-81 triangles. Cut with the legs on straight grain for easier piecing and pressing. Don’t forget to true up the triangle sub-units with the square template A-5 and triangel template A-6.

We cut 85A with the Multi Size Half Square Triangle Ruler. If you don’t own it, you can cut with the paper pattern, but the easiest way to get the corners on straight grain would still be to cut a 6-1/2 inch square first, place the pattern corner to corner and cut away the excess, as we did.

My Primrose Block


Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the Chart for cutting and making Primrose:

Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Primrose block:

http://gnomeangel.com

http://www.ellisandhiggs.com/






The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W.



July 18, 2016

Chart 60: Marcella, Block 56 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along


Nine Easy Pieces



Hold up your hand if you have already made Marcella. I’m guessing quite a few of you flipped through the 1930s Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt book and made a bunch of the “easy” blocks before we even started the Sew Along.

As we say on the PDF, it is not difficult to just use the printed-paper patterns and cut the 9 pieces and sew them together. Besides, we don’t actually have templates for those shapes.

Grainline Geek Alert

As grainline geeks, we wanted to make sure that the corners on 56B were on straight grain, not bias!  In addition, you know how we love to share ways to “teach the templates tricks"!

We hope you will enjoy reading how we cut the pieces for Marcella.

My Marcella Block


Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the Chart for cutting and making Marcella:

Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Marcella block:

http://gnomeangel.com

http://www.bonjourquilts.com/blog/






The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W.



July 11, 2016

Chart 59: Modified Mollie (Lorna), Block 63 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along


A Funny Thing Happened When We Were Making Lorna

The From Marti Michell conversion charts for the 1930s Farmer’s Wife Sew Along are a huge team effort. Patti, Harriett and I all work together to make it happen. I do lots of the conversions, cutting of our blocks and write rough drafts of the instructions. Harriett helps with the conversions and does much of the actual sewing, following and correcting the instructions as she goes. Patti does the layouts and illustrates the instructions so effectively that you usually don’t even need to read them. Then she posts them for you.

Even though all three of us had looked at the finished Lorna block, it was at least 24 hours after she went up on the design wall that I noticed a little problem. Do you see it?



So, I got out a “Magic Mirror” and started looking. I felt like I was getting an eye exam. You know how the doctor says, “Better 1 (click) or 2? Better 3 or 4?” So I sent Harriett this text:

Better 1?



Or 2?



Just like the eye exam, we all had to compare 2 or 3 times to decide.

How about you? Better 1? Or 2?


My Modified Mollie Block: Lorna



Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the Chart for cutting and making Lorna:

From Marti Michell Chart #59

Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Mollie block:

http://gnomeangel.com

http://shequiltsalot.com/






The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W.


July 4, 2016

Chart 58: Carrie, Block 21 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along, and Dimensional Carrie



Dimensional Carrie

Just as we finished making Carrie, I was reminded of the Dimensional Bow Tie block that we featured in Volume 2 of the Encyclopedia of Patchwork Blocks, Product # 8343.

To make this version you need 5 squares the same size, 3 for the bow tie and 2 for the background. To make a Dimensional Carrie quilt block those squares needed to be:

   6 in. (the desired finished size of the block)
 - 1 in. (the finished size of the sashing)
= 5 in.  =  4 sections @ 1-1/4 in. each + 1/2 in. seam allowance

Now I have 2 Bow Tie blocks!

And we have 2 PDFs for you to download this week!  I couldn’t resist making a 6-inch finished size Dimensional Carrie block! If you own Set Q, you can make one, too, using square template Q-c and the instructions in our BONUS "Dimensional Carrie" PDF!


It is hard to see the dimensional part in the picture, but almost impossible to look at it in life and not put a finger there to touch it. Will I use them both and pass on a block between now and the end? Replace a previous block? Make a bigger quilt? Or just enjoy having made it and shared it with you?

What About an 8-1/2 inch Dimensional Carrie (Bow Tie)?

“Why knot?” she couldn’t resist saying. In fact, you may want to make the 8-1/2 inch version first, because the smaller the squares, the tighter the knot to make.

Start with 2-1/4 inch cut squares. (If you owns Set E, that is template E-34.) The sashing strips will be 2 inches wide cut, 1-1/2 inches finished. I haven’t decided on my fabric for the 8-1/2 inch blocks, but “Kaffe” is in the running — hence the cute 3-1/2 inch Bow Tie block  (which is one quarter of an 8-1/2 inch Carrie block) shown at the top of this article.

My Carrie Block


Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the Chart for cutting and making Carrie:
Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Carrie block:

http://gnomeangel.com

http://woodenspoonquilts.blogspot.com/

My Dimensional Carrie Block



Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the PDF for the Dimensional Bow Tie technique:








The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W.



June 27, 2016

Chart 57: Our Block Paul or Farmer's Wife, Block 33 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along


Since so many of you have discovered the versatility of the #8037 Log Cabin Ruler for strip techniques, it seemed appropriate to use it to make one of the blocks it was designed to make, the Courthouse Steps variation of a Log Cabin block. I’ve named the block Paul – the token male in this quilt. He was a farmer, but he was also our family's attorney and good friend, and he spent a lot of time going up and down the Courthouse Steps!


(Click on the image to visit the Shades website.)

This quilt is called "Magic Steps" in our Log Cabin ABCs book, Product #8043. In case you are tempted to make a similar wallhanging or quilt, I’m going to share a secret  that is in the book. I learned it when looking at an antique quilt. It is quite common to see what I call  “double-wides ” in Courthouse Steps quilts. That happens when people make blocks all the same size (which is a sensible thing to do…) and all of the blocks start with pairs of light strips and end with dark or vice versa. Then, when the blocks are set together, the smooth stair step design you see in the quilt above doesn't happen because it is broken by the double wide strips.


Here is the Trick

In this block, the last pair of strips in the block are dark.

1. When the blocks are joined into horizontal rows, position the light strip on the sides and the dark strips on the top and bottom. But, don’t join them yet.

2. Cut additional strips of the light fabric(s) the same width as the strips in the block, and the length of the block. Sew them between each block and at each end of the rows.



3. To keep those new light strips from connecting when the rows are joined, cut dark strips the same width as the block strips and as long as the rows and sew them between the rows of blocks.

4. To complete the look, sew a dark strip on all four sides of the quilt interior as we did in the "Magic Steps" quilt shown at the beginning of this article.

Here is Paul, our Courthouse Steps Block


Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the Chart for cutting and making Paul:

From Marti Michell Chart #57

Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Farmer's Wife block:

http://gnomeangel.com

http://www.onelittlepooh.net/blog-2/






The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W.



Sale-a-bration!

Our July 4th holiday weekend is coming, and that means parades, cookouts, fireworks -- and shopping! Even better, online shopping, right from home, so you can enjoy all the weekend fun and include some time for quilting, too. Maybe that means catching up on your Farmer's Wife blocks... or working on a UFO that you can't wait to finish... or starting a new project in patriotic fabrics!

Now through July 5 at midnight EDT (US Eastern Daylight Saving Time), we're offering 50% off all patterns and "Just (one shape) Templates", and 30% off all fabric and kits!  The bundle of "Just" templates is more than 50% off, and some kits even include the tool or several tools.  

Click here to shop our sale.

Do you know why we celebrate our independence on July 4?  You may be surprised!

Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy













June 20, 2016

Chart 56: Augusta, Block 7 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along


What Do Augusta and Long Skinny Sashing Stars
Have in Common?




One of the things I say a lot about our templates and tools is, 'The more you use them, the more you love them!" And the more you realize new ways they can help you cut better and sew more accurately. Avoiding seam rippers is such a good thing!

Having said that, you may still wonder why I’m talking about the Long Skinny Sashing Star Set. Well, if I hadn’t developed the Long Skinny Sashing Star Set (#8232) and the octagon frame layout you can create for 6-, 9- or 12-inch finished blocks, I might not have ever seen the easy solution for cutting and sewing the “X” sub-units in Augusta.


While I’m talking about it, I can’t stop without showing our favorite teenage boy quilt or a guy "who is still a teenager at heart" quilt. Pattern #8532 Long Skinny Smashing Sashings.




The triangles in Augusta do not have the same angles as the Long Skinny Sashing Stars Set, in fact, the “X” unit in Augusta is just another version of the famous “Peaky and Spike” triangles. However, it includes a cut-away trick to get the long triangles on the side with Peaky angles at both ends.  It is the sewing technique in the “X” triangles for Augusta that is the same as the units that make the octagon frame in "Let the Good Times Roll" shown above.

All of the rest of the pieces in Augusta are very straight forward pieces from Set B and Set D.

My Augusta Block


Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the Chart for cutting and making Augusta:

Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Augusta block:

http://gnomeangel.com

http://woodenspoonquilts.blogspot.com/






The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W.



June 13, 2016

Chart 55: Dorothy, Not Dinah Block #27 in the Farmer's Wife Sew Along



Dinah is a 52 piece block. She is not really template friendly. We could make Dinah using templates -- 27D is A-7 double-cut, 27E is A-7, 27 H, I and G pieces could be cut with the multi-size Peaky and Spike template set. 27A, B and F pieces would be easy to cut oversize and trim down. The end result just did not seem worth the effort.

So, we are replacing Dinah with a new block that we're calling Dorothy. My Mother had two friends named Dorothy who were both farm wives in the 1930s and both of them had children who were my friends. I was in the 4-H with the daughter of one and went to the Homecoming Dance my junior year with the son of the other. We all went to the same church.

Dorothy borrows Dinah’s best feature, the pinwheel Square Within a Square center, and allows it to be the design feature in the block. Dorothy is made with 24 pieces and is cut with template Set A.

My Dorothy Block



Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link to download the Chart for cutting and making Dorothy:

Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Dinah block:

http://gnomeangel.com

http://www.msmidge.com.au/blog/







The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W.