October 26, 2015

Chart 9: Mirror Image and Granny, Block #41 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew-along

We Have Finished Four Weeks!

Can you believe we've finished our first four weeks of the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew-along?! We've already made 10 blocks! It has been fun and inspiring to see all the different fabric combinations and techniques in the blogs, Facebook group, Instagram, etc. You've had quite a few different piecing experiences with Set A -- and it only gets better!

Heads up! 

Didn’t those four weeks go fast? All of the blocks that use templates in the next four weeks will also use Set A, but after that we are moving to Sets B and D and an occasional Set N piece. So, if you still need those sets, you won’t want to wait much longer.

Mirror Image Alert

When units are identical in form but reversed, they are called mirror image units.

On page 200 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt book, Granny is shown with 4 pairs of mirror image units. We have included cutting information for them in the template conversion chart.

However, we prefer a method that incorporates a cutting trick with template A-2 and a little appliqué. Making the block this way reduces the number of pieces to cut and sew from 16 pieces to 8 pieces! And, even better, it eliminates having to think about mirror images. Look for our method in the right hand column of the conversion chart.

The conversion charts for our next two blocks have opportunities to learn more about mirror image units.

"Meet My Granny"

Fronts and backs are shown. Click on the image for a larger view. Please read the following short discussion before downloading the conversion chart.

On the back of my block halves, you will see that "one of these things is not like the others" for illustration purposes. On the right side of the back of the block, we cut 2 red mirror image pieces and joined white triangles to them, then we sewed the 2 units together and pressed the seam allowances open.

On the gray side of that half of the block, we created the same visual effect using full triangles with small black appliquéd triangles. After they were joined together, we pressed the seam open. It's an improvement, but we knew we could cut one triangle to take the place of two.

The result of our method is shown on the left side of the back. We cut 2 large triangles and joined them. Then we cut and joined 2 contrasting 1-1/2 inch squares and appliquéd them in place. You can see the reduction in the number of seams and how much less bulk there will be if you choose to join the block halves.

Click the link below to download the Template Conversion Chart for Granny:

for Block #41, Granny

End of Row Blocks

If you are using Laurie’s layout given in the book for your final quilt, there will be some end-of-row blocks that are half blocks, regardless of what size quilt you make. I made a short list of potential blocks that have a diagonal seam from corner to corner that I might use as half blocks. (I'll talk about them as we get to them.)

Since Granny is the first one I have decided for sure I will use at the end of a row, I have left it in two halves. Of course, if I change my mind about the layout, I can still sew the halves together.

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



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.


  1. I like the planning ahead for the end of row units, Marti! And as for planning for quilting, the seam reductions using applique are smart...but that's why I'm following along with you. :)

    1. Thanks, Tammy! I'm glad you find our tools and techniques helpful! :)

  2. I really love your templates Marti; had them for many years. My daughter who lives in England has them also. Sure makes fitting blocks together a lot easier. I really hadn't noticed the use of half blocks and so glad you mentioning and planning.

  3. Very clever tip for the half blocks! Thank you!

  4. Running a little behing, so just starting Granny.
    I just got the Q set and think the Q-C template is the right size for the applique square in Granny. I'm going to give it a try.
    Never thought I'd be able to piece triangles, much less a 15 piece 6.5" block. Thank you so much for your wonderful products and the great tutorials.

    1. Hi Denise -- Glad to know the templates are helping you piece more successfully. :) The Q-C square template is 7/32 of an inch larger than the 1.5 cut squares in the chart -- but since they are appliqued and the center seam on the pair of squares only has to match the seam in the triangle unit, you can use Q-C. Your squares will just be a little bit bigger, and the block will look the same as ours. :D