March 28, 2016

Chart 44, Viola and Nellie in the 1930s Farmer's Wife Sew Along


This is a 2 for 1 day!

Why you might ask? One answer is that now that you have had a couple of warm up sessions with strip techniques and checkerboard designs, you can turn out these 2 blocks in no time!  Another one says that while you are cutting 1-1/4 inch strips, you might as well cut a bunch. Besides, the more strips you cut and press and sew in one session, the more efficient you will be.

The real answer is these blocks look like twin sisters that don’t like to be separated but just don’t want to dress alike. Back in the 1930s they probably married brothers and lived on farms no more than ½ mile apart.

Happy strip piecing on 2 for 1 day!

My Blocks

Nellie

Viola 


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

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

http://gnomeangel.com

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

http://www.downgrapevinelane.com/



March 21, 2016

Chart 43: Emma, our version of Em, Block #30 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along


The block we call Emma looks just like Em, except we have eliminated a dozen unnecessary seams by making 8 Flying Geese units and 4 rectangles to replace 16 half-square triangles and 8 squares. Plus we used strip techniques to make the checkerboard units instead of cutting tiny individual squares.

UPDATE March 28, 2016 -- WINNER
Today's the day we promised to pick a random name from the comments below to win a set of our new Starry Path templates. Random Picker chose Christine Young! Christine, please send your snail mail info in an email to Patti via our "Contact Us" page on our website,  http://www.frommarti.com/contact_us.shtml (We don't put our email address in public places to prevent spammers from picking them up.) Thanks for reading the blog! P.S. The contest is now closed.


You may have forgotten, I wrote in a previous post that my Mom was an Iowa farm wife in the 1930s.  So, when I decided that I would substitute a very template-friendly block for Aimee that was only barely template-friendly, I named the new block Alta, after my Mom. I also decided that whenever I offered an optional template-friendly block, it would be named in memory of a 1930s Iowa farm wife who was either my mother’s friend or one of my friends' mothers. Emma was both.

Emma’s son Clarence was a classmate of mine for 12 years. Even though our small graduating class of 26 has spread from coast-to-coast, we have kept in touch. It was fun to find out at a class reunion about 10 years ago that Emma’s granddaughters and Clarence’s daughters, Susan and Julie, are two of the partners who own Ladybug’s Quilts in Manteca, CA, about 60 miles south of Sacramento. Don’t miss it if you are in the area and make sure you tell them “Marti sent you!”

Photos courtesy of Ladybug's Quilts

Emma’s Signature Quilt

It was especially fun that, just as we were starting the Farmer’s Wife quilt-along, Emma’s family members discovered a signature quilt from the 1930s which included Emma’s embroidered name. They shared a snapshot of the quilt and her name block.


This quilt has the earmarks of a good fundraising signature quilt. It was common for people to contribute money to have their signature included in the quilt. Usually that also gave those people an opportunity to win the quilt when it was completed, and it looks like Emma won.


You can make your own 6-inch signature block or blocks. If you and several friends are cheering each other on as you make the Farmer’s Wife quilt -- it might be fun to put their signature blocks on the back of the quilt.

Use triangle template A-2 for the triangle corners. Cut 3 strips a scant 2 inches wide by 4-3/4 inches long for the signature area. True up the signature square with template C-15 (a 4-3/4 inch  square) if you own Set C or use My Favorite 6-1/2 inch Squaring Up Ruler. Don’t forget to press freezer paper to the back of the signature area to stabilize it for signing.

Join triangles to opposite sides of the 3-strip square, press toward the center and then add the remaining triangles to the remaining opposite sides.


My Emma Block


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

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

http://gnomeangel.com

http://sweetlittlepretties.com/


Thanks for reading this to the end! Leave a comment below to enter our giveaway and you could be one of 3 random commenters to win a set of our new multi-size Starry Path Templates for 6-, 9-, and 12-inch blocks. The 6-inch size would be perfect as an extra block in your Farmer's Wife quilt. We'll do a random pick on March 28.

P.S. Jinny Beyer's Quilters Album of Patchwork Patterns credits the Starry Path block design to Alice Brooks Design, Chicago Tribune, 1936.





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.

March 18, 2016

Free Quilt Shows for Worldwide Quilting Weekend!


Saturday March 19 is Worldwide Quilting Day; a day for quilters to celebrate quilting with their local quilt shops. Quilting has become a pastime with creative makers worldwide. Show your love of quilting by using #WWQuiltingDay on social media. You can see more of what's happening on Worldwide Quilting Day at http://worldwidequiltingday.com/


To celebrate International Quilting Weekend, The Quilt Show, the web series hosted by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, is opening their doors to everyone!  For three special days, March 18-20, you can access over 200 shows by some of the world's leading teachers and quilt artists!  And the sponsors have donated over $11,000 worth of prizes!  My show is episode 504, about curved Log Cabins and quilt-as-you-sew.

We'd love to have you browse our catalog, too, and any orders placed during International Quilt Weekend will get free shipping! This offer is good through midnight your time Sunday night.  *Free shipping is for US orders only. Free shipping will not appear in your online order totals, but  Your order will be credited for the shipping adjustment when your order is processed by Helga or Sherry in our Customer Service Dept. Your credit card will not be charged until your order is ready for shipment.

Because I'm a star member, I can watch The Quilt Show any time, so I'm hoping to be cheering on our Iowa State Cyclones in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday!  We were so excited when we only had to drive 5 hours to see them play in Florida earlier this year, and then we got close enough for pictures! Here I am with Georges Niang, and Richard is with Monte Morris. I'm in the smallest photo with Monte's proud mom.

Go, Cyclones!

 






March 14, 2016

Chart 42: Cutting Rectangles and April, Block 6 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along


April is the first Log Cabin Ruler block in the quilt. I know it doesn’t look like a Log Cabin block, but it is very conducive to cutting with the Log Cabin Ruler because of the strip techniques used in the block.

If you didn’t read the last blog, Chart #41 for Blossom, please go back, as I wrote there in detail about using Log Cabin Rulers to cut strip technique blocks. The #8037 ruler with 3/4-inch finished strips is perfect for April's small squares. At the same time, the companion 1-1/2 inch finished squares in April can also be easily cut with the Log Cabin Ruler.

Even though there are endless variations of Log Cabin quilts, the usefulness of the Log Cabin Rulers are not limited to Log Cabin quilts. So, to emphasize the versatility of the ruler, check out this list of all the ways you will use one ruler in the April block.

1. Measure 1-1/4 inch cut strip widths when cutting “the Marti way.” (Step 1 on the PDF chart, similar to cutting the Marti Way in previous charts.)

2. Turn the strips and the ruler and cut strips to length. The illustration shows cutting b strips (step 5 on the PDF chart.)

3. Confirm proper width of sewn strips for the Nine Patch sub-units. (Step 3)
4. Measure and cut the crosscut units for the Nine Patch sub-units. (Also step 3)
5. As an option, cut small a Squares to replace small triangles. (Step 4)
6. Cut the larger squares in April with A on the wide strip of the #8037 Log Cabin Ruler.

April Fools!

Be careful or this block will surprise you. Just when you think you are almost done, you realize there are 2 different Nine Patch units.

However, no April Fools' joke, just another template trick, when we show you how to “double-cut” A-7 if you choose to cut the tiny triangles instead of the option of cutting squares to replace the triangles.

My April Block


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

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

http://gnomeangel.com

http://www.cassandramadge.com/2016/03/17/farmers-wife-1930s-april/

http://www.aquiltinglife.com/2016/03/1930s-farmers-wife-block-tutorial-april.html?m=1






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.



March 9, 2016

Chart 41: Use Log Cabin Rulers for Any Strip Technique, and Blossom, Block #15 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along


Reminder

The error on piece 15A has been posted many places, but it is good to remember the day you cut the pieces. Actually, it won't affect From Marti Michell template cutters because you will use template 100 from Set S to cut 10 pairs of #15A half-square triangles.

Starting Next Week

The next 6 blocks in a row are easily cut with From Marti Michell Log Cabin Ruler #8037 for cutting finished 1-1/2 inch and 3/4-inch strips.

What are Strip Techniques

Quilt designs which are dependent on strips to create designs or squares, rectangles or any combination of same, such as:


1. You cut strips. Often, but not always, many fabrics and the same width strips.
2. Sew strips together in a prescribed pattern and press seams.
3. Cut across the sewn strips, often but not always the same cut width as the first strips.
4. Sew these units with units of other combinations to make a design.

Using Log Cabin Rulers for Nearly Any Strip Technique Quilt

If you started quilting after 1979, the year the rotary cutter was invented, you have no idea how exciting the rotary cutter was to those of us who had previously cut everything with scissors. In the early years of the rotary cutter, the only acrylic cutting companions were long straight edges. The first rotary cutting tools were unmarked but were a specific width, such as 1-1/2 or 2 inches wide by 24-inch long rulers. They were soon followed by the 6-inch wide by 24-inch long rulers, marked in inches and quarter inches. (What a shame no one thought of size specific acrylic tools for quilters then!)

If you started quilting after 1995, when we began to manufacture and teach how to use many other acrylic shapes both size-specific and multi-size, you probably don’t know that starting in 1980, I was one of the original quilting “strippers!” My quilt history includes several years of making, teaching, and authoring best selling books on quilts with only straight cuts. Every piece in every quilt was a square or a rectangle. Over 700,000 copies of my book, Quilting for People Who Don’t Have Time to Quilt, published in 1988, were sold. People often tell me that was their first quilt book, and I love to hear it.

Ten years later, the expanded version, Quilting for People Who Still Don't Have Time to Quilt, was published and it introduced strip techniques to tens of thousands more quilters.


As the From Marti Michell templates and specialty rulers became well known, people begged for templates for Log Cabin blocks—surely with templates they could make Log Cabin blocks that were square and all the same size. Instead of templates, we created the very versatile From Marti Michell Log Cabin Rulers to make it easy to cut Log Cabin strips to length and on the lengthwise grain of the fabric.

It wasn’t long until I realized the Log Cabin rulers are easily adapted for use with many strip technique designs. Why? Because the Log Cabin Rulers are "width-specific." They can be used to easily measure and cut strip widths, as well as to do the second cut to create or help create the piece needed.

Why Log Cabin Ruler #8037?

When you divide 6-inch blocks on an 8 x 8 inch grid, the finished size of each unit on the grid is 3/4-inch square, or 1-1/4 inch cut. The narrow strip on the #8037 Log Cabin Ruler is exactly that wide.


Measure Strips for a Sixteen Patch

If you want to practice this, pick fabrics you like for Nellie (block #77) or Viola (block #98), which are coming soon!

Slide the ruler a few inches to the left (or right), out of the way.



Measure 1¼″ strips by placing the 1¼″ cut side (wide side) of the Log Cabin ruler on the fabric so that the trued up edge and the vertical line that is 2″ from the edge of the ruler are aligned. Hold it securely with the right (or left) hand as you slide the 3″ x 18″ ruler on the fabric so the ruler edges touch.


Remove the Log Cabin ruler and cut against the edge of the 3″ x 18″ inch ruler.



Join pairs of strips and press toward the dark. Join pairs of pairs and press in the same direction as before. (Illustrations are colored for block #77, Nellie.)


Cut the units. Use the 3/4-inch side of the ruler to measure the width and to confirm length and accuracy of strip width at the same time.

My Blossom Block

Click on the image for a larger view.


Click the purple link below to download the cutting and sewing chart for Blossom.

From Marti Michell Template Conversion Chart #41
for cutting and sewing the Blossom block

Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about
Blossom, Block #15:

http://gnomeangel.com

http://prettybobbins.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.


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:

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



March 2, 2016

Chart 39: Mrs. Anderson, Block #66 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along


We had already made the Mrs. Anderson block when the publisher's corrections arrived, so I'll just share the process we went through to make the block. It worked very nicely.

Since these are 6-inch finished blocks, we decided to use measurements that were as easy as possible. The center square and sashing strips should finish at 1-inch wide and the squares with diagonal patchwork in each corner should finish at 2-1/2 inches square. You probably have already used From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Template Set S for several blocks. Piece 101a in Set S is perfect for cutting the 16 small triangles. Make sure the hypotenuse is on the lengthwise grain. The edges of the units are very vulnerable to stretching.

Set Q is both "optional" and Wonderful!

Set Q, the 2-1/2 inch square basic set, Product #8212, is barely used when making this quilt. However, if you own it, Q-93 is perfect for squaring-up the corner units!  If you don't own it, we can provide dozens of reasons why you might decide you will. For example:

Using Set Q is a great way to get a real understanding of the grid system that most patchwork blocks are designed on: 2 x 2 (2 squares across and 2 down), 3 x 3 (3 across and 3 down), 4 x 4, etc.

Or use Set Q with Set T and Set R to make quilts in Five is Fabulous, Volume 5 in the Encyclopedia of Patchwork Blocks.


If you love sampler quilts, you will love making the 15-inch blocks for Aunt Sukey in Volume 5. This quilt measures 79-1/4 x 104 inches, finished.

Here Set Q was used to make the blocks for a wallhanging made by Brenda Asmuth:



My Mrs. Anderson Block


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

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

http://gnomeangel.com

sunflowerquilting.com.au






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.