February 27, 2017

Post #91: Nan, Block #75 in the 1930s Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt Sew Along


Thank you so much for participating in the Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along. If you missed the blog on December 5, 2016, I wrote that there were still 7 blocks for which template conversions aren’t appropriate. Because we have already offered between 8 and 12 substitute or bonus blocks, we are not offering another today.

The 8-1/2 inch Block Mystery Quilt

In case you missed Post 89 (February 13, 2017) Sonnie (Block #92), Sonnie was the 12th block we converted to 8-1/2 inches for you. Post #89 also includes the unveiling of the mystery quilt wallhanging.

Nan, Block #75

If you want to make Nan, just cut pieces and sew. Try to keep the outside edges on straight grain.Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about making Nan:

http://gnomeangel.com

http://kidgiddy.blogspot.com/


Are you ready for a new Sew Along?

Gnome Angel invited us to participate in a three-month sew along to make Jen Kingwell's Long Time Gone quilt -- you can use the same templates you used for the Farmer's Wife blocks!  Click here for more information.

February 20, 2017

Chart #90: Card Trick, our Substitute for Fern, Block #34 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along


If you have made all of the blocks we have written about, you have 95 as needed for the layout in the book. But if you have skipped a few or are making a bigger quilt or using a different layout, or want to replace a block, I think you will enjoy Card Trick.

Fern is not easily converted to templates. If you want to make Fern you can true-up units after piecing or paper piecing with your From Marti Michell templates. The center square should be the exact size of template C-15 and the corner units should match template A-2 triangles. When pieced, 34D and 34F should match our template A-6.

The 8-1/2 inch Block Mystery Quilt

In case you missed Post 89 (February 13, 2017) Sonnie (Block #92), Sonnie was the 12th block we converted to 8-1/2 inches for you. Post #89 also includes the unveiling of the mystery quilt wallhanging.

My Card Trick Block

You may recall that I mentioned my book "Quilting for People Who Still Don't Have Time to Quilt" in Post #80 (Widow, Block 99). On page 74 in that book, we introduced a strip technique for the popular overlapping coloration of the block that Jeff Gutcheon named Card Trick in 1973.



Add this block to your quilt and let people guess which block could not be included in an actual 1930s sampler quilt!



Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the PDF for cutting and making Card Trick with Set B:

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

http://gnomeangel.com

http://betteroffthread.com/


Are you ready for a new Sew Along?

Gnome Angel invited us to participate in a three-month sew along to make Jen Kingwell's Long Time Gone quilt -- you can use the same templates you used for the Farmer's Wife blocks!  Click here for more information.

February 14, 2017

Why Make a Quilt With 8 Fabrics if you could use 80? or More!


If a quilt is scrappy and easy to cut with our tools, I love it! So when Angie asked me to be part of the Jen Kingwell Long Time Gone Block of the Week sew along, I was all in! The sew along officially starts on March 15 and I'll be posting tutorials on making a block or section of the quilt every week, along with Angie at Gnome Angel and Nicole at Snips Snippets, who will offer tutorials every other week. If you'll be sewing along with us, be sure to order a copy of Jen's book now, as there is only one US distributor and we want you to be all set to start -- the weeks will go by quickly! And if you're using our templates to cut your pieces, be sure to read my recent post on the From Marti Michell tools we'll be using.

One of the first books I wrote was Scrap Patchwork & Quilting for a division of Meredith Publishing, in 1992. (It's still one of my favorite books, although it pre-dates my love affair with acrylic templates! It's often available on eBay.)


In it, I talked about how scrap quilts are great because they almost require you to go through all your fabrics, fondle them, remember where you bought them and select the ones that speak to you for that quilt! The only drawback is when you're done, you have to put all the fabrics away! So one of the things you will see on my blog in upcoming weeks is encouragement to look ahead and cut some pieces for future weeks while you have your fabrics out.

We will talk a lot about cutting strips from every fabric you are using, to create a stockpile of strips needed for future scrappy blocks. We also will talk about cutting multiple blocks from the same fabric sets. Here is an example using two of the quilts in Scrap Patchwork & Quilting.

The Blue Mosaic quilt had 35 blocks with 3 different fabrics in each block: a light background, a medium accent and a dark multicolor print. That meant selecting and preparing to cut 105 fabrics.



The World Without End quilt had 48 blocks that required a light background, a medium accent and a dark multicolor print.



Can you believe both quilts were made with the same fabric sets?  Are you beginning to see the possibilities for efficient cutting? Right!

1. Select the sets! In this case, three fabrics: light, medium and dark.

2. Identify the shapes needed from each light fabric for each block.

3.  Layer the light fabrics for 4 blocks (or the number of layers you are comfortable cutting). Cut the pieces and separate back to individual blocks.

Repeat with the medium and dark fabrics, always sorting cut pieces back to the proper set for each quilt.

If you liked the fabrics together for one quilt, you should like them for another quilt, right? So in Long Time Gone, if you like the fabrics for the Jacob's Ladder, why not look ahead and cut at least some of the combinations of Churn Dash blocks.

Even if you don't want to cut pieces for both blocks at the same time, fold neatly and stack the fabric combinations to save the selecting time and pressing time when you get a few weeks down the road.

If you are selecting from big piece of fabric in your collection, start by cutting yourself a fat quarter the first time you use it. It's much easier to keep those pieces neat and tidy.

Cutting Tips

I made this video for the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along but the ideas apply to any quilt, including Long Time Gone.

Finally, if you love scrap quilts as much as I do, this Top 10 list will help you justify and rationalize why you need more fabric and you will always be ready to start the next quilt, just like I am!!


February 13, 2017

Post 89: Mystery Sampler Quilt Reveal and Sonnie, Block #92 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along

Your Last 8-1/2 inch Block


Sonnie is the 12th and last block we are converting to 8-1/2 inches. Substitute the Set B pieces listed below for the pieces in the 6-inch conversion chart included in this blog post.


The strip width measurement for the strip piecing is a full 1-1/8 inches, almost 1-3/16 inches. If your ruler doesn’t have 16ths of an inch marks, go halfway between 1-1/8 and 1-1/4 inches wide. If you can cut in metric, the strip width is 30mm. The length is at least 10-1/2 to 11 inches long. True-up the strip piecing with B-12 squares.

And Now, Revealing The 8-1/2 inch Mystery Quilt!


The 12 sampler blocks were combined with a 16-inch center section cut with Set D pieces to make a 42- 46 inch square wall quilt sampler. The 16-inch center unit was made for the Marti Michell Mini Quilt Blog Hop. Complete instructions are posted on my November 4, 2016 blog. 


Click here to download the color diagram with color key you can customize.
Click here to download a line drawing with a block key that lists the other 11 block names and their corresponding blog post numbers so you can find them easily in the blog archives. The Chart number is always given first. Example: Addie, FMM 11 means the 8-1/2 inch Addie block was discussed in Chart 11.)





Here's a list of the blog posts that have the 8-1/2 inch block keys (click on the links):  Addie, Jenny, Old Maid and Caroline; Sonnie is above on this page; Cat and Ava; Carrie; Tracy; Aunt Gladys; Nancy and Martha. You may want to click on the template key in each of those blog posts to isolate it in your browser and print those keys for reference.

 

My Sonnie Block


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

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

http://gnomeangel.com

http://thecraftymummy.com/

Are you ready for a new Sew Along?

Gnome Angel invited us to participate in a three-month sew along to make Jen Kingwell's Long Time Gone quilt -- you can use the same templates you used for the Farmer's Wife blocks!  Click here for more information.

February 6, 2017

Rotary Cutting Tools for Jen Kingwell's Long Time Gone Sew along



If you are a regular reader of my blog, you already know we've partnered with Gnome Angel on a new sew-along to make Jen Kingwell's scrappy Long Time Gone quilt -- all the pieces can be cut with From Marti Michell tools! If you're just finding out about the Sew Along, for 16 weeks, starting March 15, we'll be posting about cutting and sewing the blocks or sections, then we'll put it all together in June and July. Sew Along details can be found by clicking here.

I love finding new ways you can use your From Marti Michell tools so you can get more bang for your buck! (And not coincidentally, that's the name of my newest book!)  Our tools can be used for millions of quilt designs, not just Farmer's Wife blocks or Jen Kingwell's quilt. Ok, not millions of projects, hundreds would be more accurate! Many hundreds! If you were in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along with us, you probably have most of the tools you'll need for this quilt.

And like the Farmer's Wife quilt along, you must have your own copy of Jen Kingwell's book to make the quilt. The tutorials will guide you as we follow Jen Kingwell's book from block to block. For quilters in North America, the Long Time Gone book can be ordered on our website for $28 plus $5.95 S/H (our S/H charge is a flat rate for any size order) and may be available from local quilt stores. There's only one US distributor; they order from Australia and then send books to us so we can send the book to you -- so order your copy soon to be sure you will have it in time to start the sew along in March. If you live in Australia, Jen's shop is Amitie Textiles in Melbourne.

Tools Used in the First 6 Weeks

The most frequently used templates are the same templates you used the most if you followed our conversion charts for the Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt. We'll be using these in the first six weeks (not shown to scale):

Set A #8251
Set B #8252
Set D #8254 (We only use piece D-28 and D-29 in Jacob's Ladder.)
Set N #8956

The tool you will be most grateful for is the Pineapple Ruler Set #8262 Pineapple Ruler, especially if you are not fond of paper piecing. This set is for 4-, 5- and 6-inch Pineapples made with lots of 1/2-inch finished width strips -- it's perfect for the 16 5-inch Pineapple blocks in this quilt. We'll begin making them early so you won't have to fuss with finding and cutting loads of strips later on. You can see a larger image with more details about the template set by clicking on the image below.


Set Q is only used to cut the Bow Tie blocks but it is a great basic set to have on hand. Anything you can make with Sets A or B you can make with Set Q, it will just be smaller.



#8972 My Favorite 3 x 18 inch Ruler - If not this ruler, make sure that you have a “standard” ruler that is shorter than 24 inches and longer than 6-1/2 inches, as a ruler in that size range is much more convenient and accurate when working with smaller pieces of fabric.

A Small Cutting Mat, 6 x 9-ish, or small rotating mat - In addition to a big mat, a small one makes nipping off the dog ears with the engineered corners on our templates easier and more accurate. (Eliminating the dog ears at this stage reduces bulk, makes sewing more accurate – triangles and squares automatically fit together – and units press better.)

Good rotary cutter - Which size is your personal choice. Some people like to shift to the small 28 mm size to cut smaller pieces. 
 

Go-to Tools for the Second 6 Weeks

#8037 Log Cabin Ruler for cutting 3/4″ and 1-1/2" finished strips for the Chevron Log Cabins.


#8227 Log Cabin Ruler
for cutting 1- and 1/2-inch finished strips for the Courthouse Steps blocks (we'll be cutting 1/2" finished strips to exact length). 

Special Offer!

If you love Log Cabins and don’t have any of our Log Cabin rulers yet, consider our Log Cabin Special #8098-1 to save $11. Each ruler cuts 2 strips widths with a 1:2 ratio so you can make Curved Log Cabin blocks with them, too. Click here for the special offer in our store.

#8289 Multi-Size Peaky and Spike Triangle Set. If you own Set C or Set D or the Sashing Star Ruler you can use them to cut the triangles called “60° triangles.” We call them Peaky and Spike triangles; they are actually 53½°. I’ll blog about how to adapt Set C or D to these blocks when we get closer to them.



Other Favorite Tools I'm Also Using

#8297 Fussy Cutter.  Great for fussy cutting small pieces and for squaring up 6-inch blocks.

 
#8973 My Favorite 6-1/2 inch Squaring Up Ruler - There are many other times you will use this ruler to square up sections as you go. It’s perfect for cutting 6-1/2 inch and smaller squares, too.


#8064 Corner Trimmer - A corner trimmer isn’t necessary if you are cutting with the templates, as they all have engineered corners. But if you want to try ruler-cutting the squares and half-square triangles, the corner trimmer allows you to trim away dog ears and match the engineered corners for sewing.

  
#8217 Deluxe Corner Trimmer - Especially nice if you are planning on doing any hand-piecing, as this tool makes it easy to mark dots for “dot-to-dot” sewing and draw a 1/4 inch stitching line on rotary cut pieces.



Our Product Line is Like a Family

And family parties are always more interesting when the aunts and uncles and cousins add to the fun! We've teamed up templates and companion books to help make Perfect Patchwork Templates your go-to tools for all the quilts you make! 

More Bang for the Buck book #8352 - Once you use From Marti Michell templates you will want to use them on more projects and get more bang for the bucks you’ve spent!  This book is full of info to help determine which templates are perfect for other quilt designs. And when you want to know how many pieces of a particular template size you can get from one strip of fabric, this book can tell you -- for any of our template sets that include a square or right triangle. We included a section on how to figure yardage for a quilt, too.


Encyclopedia of Patchwork Blocks
, Volumes 1 and 2 -
When you have completed your Long Time Gone quilt, these books are a great source of inspiration for new quilts using the same templates you used in Long Time Gone.

Volume 1 #8342 Set A or B
Volume 2 #8343 Sets A and C or B and D


Why Most of the Template Sets Have Letter Names

If you are new to From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates, you may not realize that our template sets multi-task. Each set includes 7 to 11 size-specific acrylic shapes that fit together many different ways to make square (or hexagonal) blocks. Because they were planned around the concept of popular finished block sizes, designs and a grid system, the template sets are very versatile. The same acrylic template might be used as the smallest piece in one block and the largest in another.

So, if we named template sets with block names like 12-inch Evening Star, 12-inch Clay’s Choice, 12-inch Rambler, etc. we would have made dozens of sets and they would all have many of the same pieces! Hence, they are named in alphabetical order in the order in which they were introduced, starting in 1995 with Sets A, B, C, D, and E. We quickly realized that we would run out of letters, so we started naming new templates sets for specific designs they are used to cut, such as Drunkard’s Path, Winding Ways and Dresden Plate. The most recent alphabet template set we named was Set T in 2011 – 16 years after Set A! So far, so good!
 

Chart 88: Pharlemia, Block 82 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along

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Pharlemia, the Mystery Block

Look at this block and there is only the slightest trace of familiar patchwork. You  certainly do not  see a template-friendly face looking back! How will we make it?

Then you see the name and she is even more exotic and mysterious. But after a few months and a closer look, she becomes quite template friendly. We think you will like how she adapted to templates.



Fortunately, we were able to get one picture of a very lovely Pharlemia before she slipped away into the night. Yes, we have a picture! We know she was here! But Pharlemia has disappeared! We've looked for her, to no avail. Where could she be?

    • hiding in the studio?

    • jumped to her death in a waste basket?

    • caught up by batting that is now sewn in a quilt?

Unfortunately, Pharlemia remains the aloof mystery block that will not be part of my quilt.

My Missing Pharlemia Block


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

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

http://gnomeangel.com

http://intheboondocks.blogspot.com/

Are you ready for a new Sew Along?

Gnome Angel invited us to participate in a three-month sew along to make Jen Kingwell's Long Time Gone quilt -- you can use the same templates you used for the Farmer's Wife blocks!  Click here for more information.




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.




January 30, 2017

Post 87: Mrs. Lloyd, Block #70 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along


Mrs. Lloyd, the Block

This is the third block in a row framed with the same Flying Geese on each side. Complete the block with your best 4-patch corners and a Nine Patch center square.

Mrs. Lloyd, the Person

For me, this block is for Mrs. Lloyd Richardson. Her first name was Edna. She was officially my mother’s aunt, but she was only a few years older than Mom and they were more like cousins or even sisters, they were that close. When Mother talked about Edna, she never referred to her as Aunt Edna, she just called her Edna.

To complicate things, my Dad’s older sister was also named Edna, and both Mom and Dad identified her to my sister and me as Aunt Edna. It was all very confusing to little girls. So, one night when my sister Mary was trying to identify who was coming to the house, she said, “So, is it Aunt Edna who is coming or Just Edna?” That was the perfect solution. For the rest of their lives, Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Richardson were “Just Edna” and Uncle Lloyd to us.

They had no children and lived around 20 miles away in the town that was the county seat. As a treat, we girls sometimes got to go and spend the night. Just Edna delighted in doting over us. I remember being absolutely awestruck at her salt and pepper shaker collection -- There were 6 or 8 glass shelves at every window all around the breakfast room loaded with dozens of different sets! I would love to know how many there really were. I’m sure in a little girl’s eyes 24 actual sets could seem like 200. Maybe there were 200. Right now, there are over 37,000 vintage salt and pepper shakers for sale on eBay! Someone had to own them! (Oh my, someday my grand kids will be saying that about fabric!) I was heartbroken when Just Edna and Uncle Lloyd moved to California when I was 6 or 7, and I think of them often whenever I see an interesting set of salt and pepper shakers.

😊

Are you ready for a new Sew Along?

Gnome Angel invited us to participate in a three-month sew along to make Jen Kingwell's Long Time Gone quilt -- you can use the same templates you used for the Farmer's Wife blocks!  Click here for more information.

My Mrs. Lloyd Block


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

Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Mrs. Lloyd block:
http://gnomeangel.com

http://www.bonjourquilts.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.





January 25, 2017

Picking my Fabrics for the Jen Kingwell Long Time Gone Sew Along


We're starting March 15 -- it will be here before you know it! And in a few months, it will be over!  So, there I was in my studio, picking fabric for my Jen Kingwell Sew Along quilt, and gravitating toward orange and purple -- I've been in my orange and purple period for years! I love those colors together! Among many other quilts, I've made an orange and purple Spinning Star quilt...



And a Bear's Paw quilt that we call Scrappy Bear's Path. It doesn't sing orange and purple as loudly as Spinning Stars, but, as the saying goes, it's all in the family!



For big quilts, I usually add green into the mix. It's a stabilizing, calming color in the orange-and-purple party! Here's a photo of the fabrics I pulled to get started. Don't these look great together?


Then I decided to search my fabric collection and go for a little lighter and softer palette than my usual orange, purple, green palette. I had a pretty good group when I hit my personal theme fabric jackpot! It's got all the colors in it that were already in my sew along fabrics! I love shopping in my fabric stash!


The colors in this novelty Hoffman print really pulled everything together. Oh, my gosh, I wonder what year I bought that fabric! I have absolutely no memory of buying this, but it is my standard 3/4 yard purchase and it is in my studio, so obviously I did buy it -- I'm glad I did, it's perfect with this group!

The ladies reminded me of one of my favorite Kaffe Fassett "shirt stripes" that I've been hoarding, and a Holly Holderman hydrangea print, and the two of them made me think of a favorite green basic dot that I have from one of my own fabric lines.


Then, when I thought I was all set for the Long Time Gone Sew Along, I was searching for something else and found this perfect Moda Layer Cake called "Saturday Morning" by Basic Grey. In a quilt made with 1-inch squares and 1/2-inch strips, a 10-inch square of fabric will go a long way!


Now I really was all set to start sewing! 

That's a lot of different fabric, but there is a method to my madness. I call it "Anticipation Cutting" -- I love using lots of different fabrics in a quilt, and I loved getting all these fabrics out for this project. What I don't love is cutting what I think I need for right now, putting the fabrics away, sewing, getting them out again, cutting some more, sewing, etc. As we go along, I'm going to share some neat tips for anticipating what you're going to need to cut soon and killing two blocks -- or more! -- with one rotary cutting session.  😊

Read More About It

That's how I "shopped at home" for my fabrics. Angie and Nicole wrote about picking fabrics on their blogs, too, sharing links for curated fabric bundles and offering a discount code on Allison Glass fabrics. Use these links to read their articles:

http://gnomeangel.com

http://www.snipssnippets.ca



Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell. Copyright 2016 by Jen Kingwell Designs. Available on the From Marti Michell website, www.frommarti.com
 

January 23, 2017

Post 86: Martha, Block #58 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along


Martha, that’s my name too!

The Martha block is very much like last week’s Sarah block except the pinwheel is smaller. I think it is a very neat little block. I was happy to see that it is very template-friendly! When you realized the blocks were mostly first names, did you look right away to see if your name had a block? If you found it, did you like it? Mystery Quilt

This is another Mystery 8-1/2 inch block and here is the conversion for From Marti Michell Template Set A, Product #8251:


This is a clue: After this block, there is one more to be revealed. That will be 12 blocks for our mystery sampler.

Here is a HUGE clue to the quilt design: Did you read my blog post "Bear's Paw in the Bee Hive" on November 4, 2016?

The 11 blocks that have already been revealed and the blog posts that include the conversions are listed below by block name followed by From Marti Michell Blog Post Number and Farmer’s Wife Block Number: All of the posts are still on my blog, so if you did not print them out, you can still go back in the monthly archive and read them or print them now.

Caroline, Post #4, Block 20

Old Maid, Post #7, Block 78

Jenny, Post #10, Block 45

Addie, Post #11, Block 1 (Post #11 is the post that has the 8-1/2 inch conversions for the first 4 blocks and is when we decided to do the mystery quilt.  It and Nancy below are in November 2015 history.)

Nancy, Post #14, Block 76

Ava, Post #19, Block 10  (Ava’s conversion not in post 19.)

Cat, Post #22, Block 22  (Cat’s conversion not in post 22.)

Interestingly Post #24 has the conversions for Ava and Cat and picture of Nancy in both 6-inch and 8-1/2 inch blocks in December 2015.

Tracy, Post # 46, Block 97 (Tracy’s conversion seems to be a separate PDF, the link is in the #46 blog post, but you have to click on it, you will not see it until you click on the link – look in April 2016.)

Carrie, Post #58, Block 21, July 2016

Mrs. Thomas/Aunt Gladys, Post #77, Block 74 (The 8-1/2 inch conversion is actually for Aunt Gladys, our Set A substitute for Mrs. Thomas in November 2016.)

Martha, Post  #86, Block 58, and you are reading it in 2017!  We began this quilt journey in September of 2015!

There is just one more block to come and the reveal of the quilt design!

My Martha Block


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


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

http://gnomeangel.com

http://www.charmaboutyou.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.



January 16, 2017

Post 85: Sarah, Block 91 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along



I’m not counting, but do you realize there are only 10 block posts to go?


Sarah is a great review block. You have already used all of the techniques in countless blocks on this journey. So show off just a little!

Make sure the large triangles From Marti Michell template A-4 or pattern number 91C in your Flying Geese units are cut with the hypotenuse on straight -- preferably lengthwise -- grain.

Then make the perfect swirl press on your pinwheel, join the units and pat yourself on the back!

I never use that expression without thinking of a patchwork vest my friend Sally Paul made years ago. Here it is shown as a guest garment in Jean Wells's A Patchworthy Apparel Book published by Yours Truly, Inc. I think I mentioned before that Yours Truly, Inc. was the patchwork company Richard and I started in 1972 and sold in 1985. At the time I am writing this post, there are 16 copies available on eBay and a few on Abe Books.




My Sarah Block



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

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

http://gnomeangel.com

http://catandvee.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.




January 12, 2017

Announcing the "Long Time Gone" Sew Along!


It's a new year and we've got a new sew along for you! Australian designer Jen Kingwell originally ran "Long Time Gone" as a popular year-long block of the month. Now the book is available in the US and Jen has given her permission for a new sew along, brainstormed by Angie Wilson, who blogs as Gnome Angel! The quilt is fun and scrappy, and all sewn with straight seams. It is a lot of cutting and sewing! But I've got some neat tricks for you and I think you'll have as much fun working on your Long Time Gone quilt as I'm having making mine. Some of the blocks are really cute!


The Sew Along Hosts and Timeframe

I''ll be providing free template conversion charts here on the blog so you can follow along and rotary cut the pieces for the sampler blocks from strips using your From Marti Michell tools. If you were with us for the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along, you probably already have the tools and know our partner for this quilt along, Angie Wilson. Nicole Carver will also be joining us from Canada through her blog, Snips Snippets.  Sign up to follow my blog and theirs so you won't miss any of the weekly tutorials! We'll be sharing how-to's and options for making the blocks and working with small pieces -- easy peasy with accurate sewing, which starts with accurate cutting.

Accurate cutting doesn't have to start with our tools, but we don't call them Perfect Patchwork Templates for nothing! 😊 They're laser-cut, include 1/4 inch seams and the special engineered corners makes it easy to match squares and triangles for perfect points -- really, it's easier than you may think!

The Sew Along starts March 15 and will keep you sewing until July 28, 2017. Two tutorials will be posted every week, one by me and one by Angie or Nicole, who will alternate week to week. 

What You Will Need

The Long Time Gone Book
The tutorials will guide you as we follow Jen Kingwell's book from block to block. For quilters in North America, the Long Time Gone book will be available from your LQS or you can order from our website for $28 plus $5.95 S/H (our S/H charge is a flat rate for any size order). The exclusive US distributor expects delivery from Australia any day now and we will be adding it to our web store soon after. If you live in Australia, check with Angie for where to shop.

From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates
Not necessary but definitely helpful for sewing accuracy! We've got an info sheet that you can download for reference by clicking here, but here's the lowdown:

The most frequently used sets are A, B, D and N. We'll be using them for the first 6 weeks of the sew along. Set Q is used to cut the Bow Tie blocks.

I'm going to show you some tricks for accurate, efficient cutting (which leads to accurate, efficient sewing!) for "now and later", and you'll love our Pineapple Ruler Set #8262 -- it's the #1 go-to tool for making this quilt! If you don't use any of other tools, you will be so glad to have this set on hand for these 16 blocks! Pineapple is shown in the "Order of the Blocks" below as #15, but we have a tried-and-true way to make them that we think you'll really like. We're going to begin working on them in the first 6 weeks, probably around week 3.



In the second 6 weeks, we'll be using Log Cabin Rulers #8037 for 1-1/2 inch and 3/4 inch finished strips for the Chevron Log Cabins, and #8227 for 1 inch and 1/2 inch finished strips for the Courthouse Steps blocks. Some people think cutting strips to exact length is a bit fussy but you'd be surprised by how much difference it makes to the finished block -- not only will it be the same size on all 4 sides, the interior strips will also be straight and "square" from row to row.

We'll cut the "60-degree triangles" with the Peaky and Spike Set #8289 (we used quotation marks because the triangles in these blocks are not really 60-degree triangles; the angle is actually 53-1/2 degrees). Or, if you have Set C or D, or the Sashing Star Ruler, we'll tell you how to cut these triangles with one of those tools.

Our tools are sold through local quilt shops and are also available on our website here.

Fabric, of course!
We'll be talking about selecting fabrics soon so you'll have time to gather together some yummy cotton goodness before we get down to business. I had a blast shopping for my favorite colors in my studio! Angie will be using Andover fabrics by Alison Glass, and Nicole is making her quilt using FreeSpirit solids by Anna Maria Horner.

The Order of the Blocks

We're hoping this list will help you plan your approach to completing your to-do list each week. If you already have the book, we hope you'll hold tight until March 15 before you get started -- you just never know when a bit of info could turn into a personal gold nugget, no matter what your experience level!
  1. Bow Tie – Make 2
  2. Square in a Square Stars – Make 1
  3. Crosses of the U.K. – Make 6
  4. Jacobs Ladder – Make 9
  5. Trip Around the World – Make 1
  6. Plus a Star – Make 1
  7. Churn Dash – Make 21
  8. Courthouse Steps – Make 9
  9. Log Cabin – Make 4
  10. Half Square Triangle 1 – Make 1
  11. Half Square Triangle 2 – Make 1
  12. Half Square Triangle 3 – Make 1
  13. Flying Geese – Make 64
  14. 60 Degree Triangle – Make 30
  15. Pineapple Log Cabin – Make 16
  16. Checkerboard

Sponsors and Prizes

Angie has put together a great lineup of sponsors and prizes! More info about prizes and how to qualify for them will be published shortly. So far we can share this list of sponsors:

We hope you'll be quilting along with us!  If you have any questions, feel free to email us through the contact page on the From Marti Michell website.

January 9, 2017

Chart 84: Stella, Our Substitute for Mary Gray, Block #60 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along


Mary Gray is not template friendly.

Now, straight from template tricks in my book More Bang for the Buck! we present a 12-piece block we love.  The block we usually call Twinkling Star is named Stella in this quilt. Stella was our closest neighbor to the north when I was growing up. I'm actually being very familiar when I say Stella, as we only referred to her as Mrs. Tucker.

Stella, or Twinkling Star, is a quick and easy block that looks much harder -- it looks like you can't easily cut the shape of the star points but you will see how easy it is to make when you download the PDF!

If you made Mary Gray, you still may want to make this block as a back-up or substitute for another block, or as an extra block if you are making a king-size quilt. This block makes a great controlled scrap quilt in your favorite color scheme when you need a quick gift, too!


My Stella Block


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

Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Mary Gray block in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt:

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; RRP $28.99. 
Click here to purchase.