March 7, 2016

Chart #40: Partial Seam Lesson with Hope, Block #43 in the Farmer's Wife Sew Along

Measuring Strips when You Cut the Marti Way

When you are using a template to measure strip width, you want to use the template that is the correct width, but also, the one with the longest parallel sides. That means that in Set S you will want to use S98 to measure the strips for everything but 100a and 101. The surprise may be that you also want to use it to measure the strips for M77 when the hypotenuse is on the straight grain as it is in Hope.

Using a Partial Seam

A partial seam is the name given to a seam that is completed in two steps. It is frequently used when multiple pieces surround a center unit. Hope is a perfect example of both the use and effectiveness of a partial seam. A partial seam generally replaces either set-in seam or extra seams, usually in pieces of matching fabric.

Hope, Without a Partial Seam

Instead of the instructions on our PDF which show using a partial seam and adding 4 of these matching units …

... the instructions would say:

Make 2:

Make 2 each:

And assemble the block like this:

See how disruptive those extra seams are?  It's worth a partial seam!

Another Block Design Made with Partial Seams

You might also see a partial seam surrounding a hexagon center such as our very popular Interlocking Hexagons shown in this quilt called Ode to Asia, 41 x 50½ inches (104 x 128 cm). The hexagons as well as the strips that surround the hexagons using a partial seam are cut with our Multi-size Hexagon, Product #8060

The pattern is Product #8535. You may want to add these products to your wish list.

My Hope Block

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

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

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. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your instruction on the Hope block. I had never done a block with partial seams successfully, and this one was a joy. Each step, as I went around the block, I would exclaim, "oh, look". The excitement when it joined together beautifully was hard to contain. It's too bad I live alone, with just my doggie to share my joy, so I had to write and thank you.

    1. Hi Pat! I'm sure your puppy appreciated your excitement as much as we do! There's nothing hard about patchwork, it's just a matter of knowing which technique to pull out of your toolbox. That's what we love about this sew along. We hope the PDFs give people more opportunities to try something they hadn't tried before, like a partial seam, especially when using small pieces like some of the Farmer's Wife blocks have in them.

      We're so glad you are having fun making your blocks! We are, too!