October 12, 2015

Chart 5: Elimnating Set-in Seams and Belle, 1930s Farmer's Wife Sew-along

Cutting Trick

Where is this template?

One of my favorite things to do with the templates is to show people how to cut a shape that looks like a shape for which they know they don’t have an exact size template. Your From Marti Michell templates know a lot of tricks! The Belle block features the first “cut-away” cutting trick of this quilt, in step 1 of the template conversion sheet.

Modification to Eliminate Set-in Seams

If you followed the first Farmer’s Wife conversions, you know I love to eliminate unnecessary seams.  I always say, “If you can eliminate a seam, it is one less piece to cut, one less seam to sew, one less seam to press and” a class member usually breaks in at this point to say, “one less place to mess up!” And, of course any seam you can eliminate makes a quilt easier to quilt.

So, it is a surprise when I choose to add a couple of seams. I chose to divide the #13C squares in the book into four A-4 triangles and make 3 straight rows in the block rather than deal with several set-in corners.

Note:  If you want to make your block in rows like I did, choose a print that won't be disrupted by the seam across the center of the "square" where the large light triangles meet. You'll see in the photo of my block (scroll down a bit) that I used a tone-on-tone print with a small scale pattern.

Fussy Cutting? If you want to fussy cut the #13C squares but you still don’t want set-in seams… can do! Divide all of the #13A squares on opposite corners of the block, make 4 big quarter-square triangle units, and join them into a 6-inch block.

Flying Geese Units

If you are modifying as we did, this will be the first block in this quilt with Flying Geese units. However, the next two blocks also have Flying Geese units. I hope you will be pleased with how easy exact-size pieces are to sew with our engineered corners. We call our Flying Geese the “no-waste, no gimmick” method of making Flying Geese. You just cut the three triangles and sew them together.

Are you familiar with this popular method for making Flying Geese? Using this method means cutting and discarding almost twice as much fabric as needed for each Flying Geese unit! It’s cheaper, and easier, to cut and sew three triangles rather than throw away four!

My Belle Block

Click the photo to see a larger version. Clink below to download the next template conversion chart:

for Block #13, Belle

In addition to our template conversion PDF download, you will want to read Gnome Angel's tutorials for these blocks.

I hope you're having fun making your blocks with From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates! Come back again soon!


  1. I like your color selection and the Block! Thx for all the hard work.

  2. OH do I wish I would have seen this sooner! I am making a quatrefoil quilt as shown on Missouri Star and DID waste fabric doing that flippy corner thing. I'm doing mine from yardage, not charm or layer cakes but still! Your way would have been a whole lot better!

    1. Hi Linda -- Your quatrefoil quilt is probably great! We work from yardage all the time using the templates and cut a strip the width and length needed for the pieces we want to cut, and whenever we can, we layer the strips, getting more pieces for fewer cuts.

  3. Great tutorial and thank you! I would love a tutorial on the conversion chart - explaining them.

    1. Hi Lisa -- The conversion charts feature info about using From Marti Michell templates to cut the pieces for the blocks and are to be used in conjunction with The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt book. The template sets come with instructions and tips for cutting triangles, etc., from strips. I hope that clarifies. :)