January 16, 2018

Week 3: Anne & April | 2018 Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along

This week, if you are making your blocks in numerical order, we're making Anne and April, Blocks #5 and #6 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt book.  Links to my blog posts with the template conversion charts and tutorials for those blocks are given below.  ** If you are making two blocks per week in the same order that I did, you will want Charts 5 and 6 to make Belle #13 and Coral #24 in the "Blocks Made in the Order of Tools Used" list on my blog. Remember, you will not be eligible for sew along prizes if you do not follow the order given in the book. **

Anne, Block #5

Our template conversion chart for Anne is #51, which you can get on my blog post here.  We made a simplified version that we called Annie and appliqu├ęd the narrow strip onto a large triangle.  We also played with mirrors to see what the design might look like if we put four blocks together to make a larger block or new design. "Duplicating" a block in a pair of folding mirrors is a great way to preview fabrics for different positions in a block, too.

April, Block #6

April is our Template Conversion Chart #42. Even though it's not a Log Cabin block, I used our ruler #8037 with 3/4 inch finished strips to cut perfect size squares and rectangles for this block (illustrated in the article).

You'll find all the links for the blocks here on my blog.

And here's the link for Gnome Angel's tutorials -- you'll want to read both of our blogs so you don't miss anything!

Info about the From Marti Michell tools used to make the blocks is also on my blog.

If you have any questions about the sew along, the answers may be in Gnome Angel's sew along FAQs or the official Facebook page for the sew along.

If you are looking for our 1920s template conversion charts, that is an email program that we do about every six months. Complete information about those charts is here on my blog.

January 4, 2018

Tools Used for the 2018 Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along

The 2018 Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along is underway, and we love that our Perfect Patchwork Templates can be used to make all but seven of the blocks in the book. If you're a From Marti Michell tool user, thank you for believing in them and making them your go-to tools! You may already have the most commonly used templates for making these blocks. The complete list of blocks and links to tutorials are on my block here and on the Gnome Angel's blog here. Be sure to read both blogs before making your blocks so you don't miss any sewing tips and tricks along the way. From start to finish, Angie and I have both added lots of details, photos and illustrations along with extra bits of info to help you make your Farmer's Wife quilt.

Below you will find info about the Perfect Patchwork Templates and tools that Angie and I used to make our Farmer's Wife blocks.  It looks like a lot of tool sets -- we introduced Sets A through E in 1995 and have been adding new sets ever since.

Scroll down a bit for the most commonly used tools and click on the bold/colored tool name to get more details about it and ordering info.

If Acrylic Templates are New to You

You might want to start with Set A and make the first group of 16 blocks listed in my blog post dated January 1, 2018. Triangles and squares have never been easier to sew together for accurate results! (Click photo above for a larger view.)

Suggested grainlines are silkscreened on each piece so the edges of all your sewn units will be on the straight grain. This also means the edges of your completed block will be on straight grain, and that ensures a nice, square block that won't stretch when you press it (especially important when making small blocks). Following suggested grainlines also means that when blocks are sewn into rows, the rows also have straight grain on the outside edges, and that means your rows will stay "square" as you press and measurements will be accurate. All this easy accuracy adds up to a quilt top that's the desired size and is nice and flat for easier quilting.

The Most Commonly Used Template Sets

Our tools are designed for use with a rotary cutting system. Start with a good rotary cutter (some people like to switch to the small 28 mm size to cut small pieces) and 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.) We did a quick little introductory video about From Marti Michell templates on our website -- http://www.frommarti.com/our_products.shtml

If you want to make your blocks in the numerical order given in the book and your want to cut your blocks with our templates, you will want to have the most frequently used template sets on hand early on. They are Sets A, B, D and N. Additional tools that are very helpful are discussed in subsequent paragraphs below. Blocks are listed in numerical order in my blog post dated January 1, 2018 and on Angie's blog, too.

Set A - #8251
Set B - #8252
Set D - #8254

And Set N - #8956

Optional Starter Tools

#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.

#8973 - My Favorite 6-1/2 inch Squaring Up Ruler -- Every completed Farmer's Wife block should be 6-1/2 inches, including seam allowances. 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.

#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.

Sets That are Used Less Often

#8166 - Set S -- Specifically designed for cutting finished 6” blocks that are designed on a 5 x 5 grid. 6 inches divided by 5 plus 1/2 inch seam allowance equals what? That is why you will love Set S - no math required!

#8955 - Set M is Set S’s big sister -- for inch blocks designed on a 5 x 5 grid. It is used in several blocks in this quilt, but the 2 sets are companions in the rest of your quilting life and we do give a price break when you buy product # 8172 Sets S&M together.

#8037 - Log Cabin Ruler -- for cutting 1-1/2 and 3/4 inch finished strips. You may be surprised how we use this! ;)

#8289 - Multi-Size Peaky and Spike Triangle Set -- If you own Set C or Set D or the Sashing Star  Ruler you can probably use them - I’ll blog about how to adapt those pieces to these blocks when we get closer.    

Other Handy Tools

#8253 - Set C -- These are the companion pieces for Set A and they come in handy in several blocks if you already own it. While I recommend this set all the time, don’t buy it just for this quilt!

#8641 - The Small Kaleido-Ruler -- used to true-up some pieces and in several optional substitute blocks.

#8158 - Kite Ruler -- used in 2 or 3 blocks.

#8212 - Set Q -- used in 2 blocks.

#8255 - Set E -- used in 1 block

#8105 - The Small Diagonal Set (No-Flip) Triangle Ruler -- If you are using the quilt layout in the book, this ruler is perfect for cutting the setting triangles and corner triangles. As soon as you have decided your background fabric, you can start cutting and adding setting triangles to opposite sides of each block and be that much closer to getting your quilt done!

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, 2, 3 and 4 - Even though part of the fun of a sew along is making the same blocks at the same time with quilting friends all around the world, there may be blocks you don’t want to make. After all, it is your quilt and you can personalize it with substitutions if you want! Or you might want to make a second, bigger quilt with different sampler blocks. If you run short of ideas for that, these books feature dozens of 6-inch blocks you can make with the template sets you already have. And when you have completed your Farmer’s Wife quilt, they are a great source of inspiration for new quilts made with blocks in other block sizes using the same templates.
Volume 1 #8342 Set A or B
Volume 2 #8343 Sets A and C or B and D
Volume 3 #8345 Set E (Eight Pointed Stars)
Volume 4 #8346 Sets L and M - 12 inch Set M blocks are easily translated into 6 inch Set S blocks.

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. We most recent template set we named was Set T in 2011 – 16 years after Set A -- so far, so good!

Week 1: 2018 Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along

It's block day! I've been reading the questions and comments in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along Facebook Group and am so happy to see that some quilters who didn't finish their quilt during the first sew along have come back. We love it when people work on their UFO's (unfinished objects) and get finished quilts onto beds, into exhibits or gift boxes, and/or on display to help a worthy cause. I have a friend who has pledged not to start a new quilt until she has finished what she's started, a worthy new year's resolution!

It's Time to Start Making 2 Blocks a Week...

This week's blocks are Addie #1 and Aimee #2 if you're working in numerical order and following the rules for contest prizes. Be sure to download the errata sheet and make note of Aimee's diagram error in the book. Aimee isn't template friendly, so I made a came up with a different block that I named Alta, after my mother, and then Richy Lainson, Jr., shared his Aimee block made with templates so I made Aimee, too! You can see our Aimee blocks and make yours with templates, too, by clicking here.

If you're just starting to plow the fabric field as you plan your Farmer's Wife quilt, you might get some ideas about picking fabrics for your quilt from the article I wrote about how I pulled mine. I think it's a fun way to get started on a scrap quilt whether you're going scrappy or using a controlled palette, buying new fabric or pulling from your stash. Thinking about 99 blocks and selecting fabrics for them can feel overwhelming, but you can start the way I start a lot of my quilts, with a small palette. Make a bunch of blocks with those fabrics and then take a few fabrics out and put new ones in. You'll get the idea when you see the photos in the article. I hope it inspires you! If you want to make Caroline #20, early, just save her for the week when she comes up in the nubmerical list.  (It's a Set A block.) You're starting the new year with a very productive week!

What Happened to Week 2?!

We missed it! Alice, Block #3 and Ann, Block #4 are next in line in the book.  Our template conversion chart #67 for Alice has a nifty triangle trick to make the small triangle easier to sew.

Ann, Block #4, isn't a template-friendly block. Use your favorite technique to make this block.

** If you are making two blocks per week in the same order that I did, you will want Charts 3 and 4 to make Betty #14 and Caroline #20 in the "Blocks Made in the Order of Tools Used" list on my blog. Remember, you will not be eligible for sew along prizes if you do not follow the order given in the book. **

You'll find all the links for the blocks here on my blog.

And here's the link for Gnome Angel's tutorials -- you'll want to read both of our blogs so you don't miss anything!

Info about the From Marti Michell tools used to make the blocks is also on my blog.

If you have any questions about the sew along, the answers may be in Gnome Angel's sew along FAQs or the official Facebook page for the sew along.

January 1, 2018

Blocks & Tutorials in the 2018 Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt

Welcome to 2018! and #AYearwith1930FarmersWife (the official hashtag!).  If you've been waiting to make a Farmer's Wife quilt, now's the time! Angie Wilson, who blogs as the Gnome Angel, invited us to join a "reboot" of the original sew along with free block tutorials and PDF template conversion charts for rotary cutting almost all of these six-inch blocks with From Marti Michell acrylic templates. Along the way, you'll discover some efficient ways to use your templates, some blocks that do double duty at a larger size, and I'll have a very cute BONUS mystery quilt for you that's made with 8-1/2 inch finished versions of some of the Farmer's Wife blocks!

It's always fun for us to find new ways to use our tools, and we're happy that most of the blocks in The 1930s Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird can be cut with From Marti Michell templates. Our specially engineered corners and perfect 1/4-inch seam allowances make cutting and sewing small pieces easier and more accurate. Info about the tools we used to make our blocks is here on my blog.  To follow this sew along, you will need a copy of the book. Also note that there are over a dozen errors in the book and you will want to refer to the author's errata sheet to be sure you are on track with how you want to work. You can find this PDF in the files on the Farmer's Wife 1930s sampler quilt Facebook group, along with a lot of other helpful info about the group.

We will be sharing the 1930s Farmer's Wife tutorials and Perfect Patchwork Templates conversion charts from the original sew along, which were published between 2015 and 2017, and we'll be completing the sew along in a year this time.  Please read my blog articles as well as Gnome Angel's tutorials, as there may be gold nuggets that will help you make the blocks more easily and accurately, plus some bonus stuff you might like. There are about a dozen errors in the book and we've pointed them out in the blog articles, too. You may want to add a bookmark in your browser so you can find this page again whenever you want to refer to it.

We will not be remaking the blocks, as we have made them all in the previous sew along, but we will provide encouragement to help you finish your quilt in a year. The templates are uniquely numbered and do not match the template numbers in the book, so each PDF includes a key to which of our numbered templates is used to cut the numbered shapes in the block. Our templates and tools used to make the blocks are discussed in my blog post dated January 4, 2018. 

This time the sew along is going in numerical order and Angie has planned for prizes along the way to keep you inspired to complete your quilt by the end of the year.  If you are using From Marti Michell templates to make your blocks, note that there are 7 blocks that are not template friendly. Those blocks are noted in my blog articles when they come up in the queue. If you want to be eligible for Angie's prizes, you MUST make the blocks as shown in the book and in numerical order, and you would make the non-template friendly blocks using another technique.  You can find all the details about the sew along, prizes, etc., here on Angie's blog

I didn't make my blocks in numerical order; I grouped the blocks together based on what template sets can be used to make them (for example, I made my first 16 blocks with Set A, then I made another group with Set B and so on). I also changed a few of the blocks for design or ease of construction reasons and substituted different blocks for those that could not be made with templates so that I could make all the blocks for my quilt using templates. If you make your blocks in the same order I did, and if you use any of our block substitutions, you will NOT be eligible for Angie's prizes. If you decide to work in the order I did, you can make our substitute template-friendly blocks for the blocks that are not template friendly. Skip down to the list below the photos shown here to work in template order.

Making the Blocks in Numerical Order

When you click on the block photo, you will be taken to my block tutorial, which includes the downloadable PDF template conversion chart and links to Angie's tutorial for the same block. Ignore any outdated references, as the articles were originally published two years ago and in a different order from the book. Thank you for choosing to make your blocks with From Marti Michell templates. Have fun making your quilt!

#1 Addie
The Patchwork Trio
#2 Aimee, Alta #3 Alice

#5 Anne #6 April #7 Augusta #8 Aunt

#9 Autumn #10 Ava #11 Bea #12 Becky


#13 Belle #14 Betty #15 Blossom #16 Bonnie



#17 Bride #18 Carol #19 Carolina #20 Caroline

#21 Carrie #22 Cat #23 Charlotte &
Half Blocks
#24 Coral

#25 Crystal #26 Daffodil &
#27 Our Dorothy,
not Dinah
#28 Our Aunt Dolly

http://frommartimichell.blogspot.com/2016/05/chart-52-doris-block-29-in-farmers-wife.html http://frommartimichell.blogspot.com/2016/09/chart-67-alice-block-3-in-farmers-wife.html
#29 Doris #30 Emma, our
version of Em
#31 Eva #32 Fanny

Flora is not a template friendly 
block but you can make her using another technique.
#33 Farmer's Wife or
our Paul
#34 Not Fern,
Card Trick

#37 Georgia #38 Golda #39 Grandma #40 Grandmother 

Heather is not a template friendly block.  We made a new block that we called Helen. To be eligible for prizes, make Heather using another technique.
#41 Granny & end
of row blocks

#43 Hope #44 Iris

#45 Jenny
#46 Jewel #47 Joy #48 Judy

To be eligible for prizes, you must 
make Lily and can use another technique.
#49 Katherine #50 Lady


#53 Lucy #54 Magnolia #55 Malvina #56 Marcella


Mary Gray is not a template friendly block but you can make her using another technique.
#57 Margaret
and our block Mabel
#58 Martha #59 Mary

#61 May #62 Milly #63 Mollie & our block Lorna #64 Monette

http://frommartimichell.blogspot.com/2016/10/chart-75-mother-block-65-in-farmers.html http://frommartimichell.blogspot.com/2016/03/chart-39-mrs-anderson-block-66-in.html http://frommartimichell.blogspot.com/2016/11/chart-76-mrs-fay-block-68-in-farmers.html
#65 Mother #66 Mrs. Anderson #67 Mrs. Brown #68 Mrs. Fay

We will be updating this article with more photos and links in the next few days. Have fun making your Farmer's Wife blocks!

Blocks Made in the Order of Tools Used 

NOTE: You will not be eligible for prizes if you make your blocks in the following order. 

(Parentheses indicate a second helpful tool) (Scroll down for the blocks listed in numerical order.) Click on the chart number to go to the block tutorial and that downloadable template conversion chart.

Chart 1: Two easy "template free" blocks! Becky #12 (6-1/2 inch Squaring Up Ruler)
and Bonnie #16 (Log Cabin Ruler #8037)

Set A, Product #8251

Chart 2: Aunt #8
Chart 3: Cutting Half Square Triangles HSTs, Swirl Pressing and Betty #14
Chart 4: Selecting Fabrics and Caroline #20
Chart 5: Eliminating Set-in Seams and Belle #13
Chart 6: Eliminating Seams and Coral #24
Chart 7: Cutting Efficiently and Old Maid #78
Chart 8: Piecing Tips, Katherine #49 and Susannah #94
Chart 9: Mirror Image and Granny #41
Chart 10: Parallelograms and Jenny #45
Chart 11: The Patchwork Trio and Addie #1
Chart 12: Margaret #57, Milly #62 and our block Mabel
Chart 13: Aimee #2 and a new block, Alta
One Good Aimee Deserves Another Making Aimee with Set Q
Chart 14: Triangle Grainline and Nancy #76   
Chart 15: Paper Flowers and Jewel #46
Chart 16: Diagonal Block Grid and Sara #90

Set B (Parenthesis indicate a second helpful tool)

Chart 17: Patience #79 and Patricia #80 
Chart 18: Grainline and Grandma #39
Chart 19: Template Cutting Tricks and Ava #10 (Set D)
Chart 20: Try Fusible Applique for Daffodil #26 
Chart 21: Perfect Grainlines and Malvina #55 (Set D)
Chart 22: Setting Triangles and Cat #22 
Chart 23: Priscilla #86 (Just Set D)
Chart 24: Autumn, #9 (Set N)
Chart 25: Joy #47 (Set D)
Chart 26: Lily #51 and our block Lillian (Set D)
Chart 27: Mrs. Morgan #72 (Set D)
Chart 28: Mrs. Brown #67 and Lucy #53 (Set D)
Chart 29: Kansas City Star and Grandmother #40 (Set N)
Chart 30: Heather #42 and our block Helen (Set N)
Chart 31: Dolly / Aunt Dolly #28 (Set D) 

Sets A + C

Chart 32: Scrappy Quilt with Pat's Basket Bonus Block

Deluxe Corner Trimmer

Chart 33: Border Quilt Pattern and May #61

Set S

Chart 34: Measure and Cut Strips the Marti Way for Georgia #37
Chart 35: Block Order and Mrs Keller #69
Chart 36: Half Blocks and Charlotte #23 (Set M) 
Chart 37: Mirror Images and Bea #11 (Set M)
Chart 38: Mexicali Rose, our substitute for Rosemary #88 (Set M)
Chart 39: Mrs. Anderson #66 (Set N)
Chart 40: Partial Seams and Hope #43 (Set M)
Chart 41: Use Log Cabin Rulers for Any Strip Technique and Blossom #15 (Set N; Opt'l L)

Set A + Log Cabin Ruler #8037

Chart 42: Cutting Rectangles and April #6
Chart 43: Emma, our version of Em #30
Chart 44: Nellie #77 and Viola #98
Chart 45: Fabric Key and Fanny #32
Chart 46: Tracy #97 Large and Small
Chart 47: Quick Four Patches and Mrs. Smith #72

Multi-Size Half Square Triangle Ruler

Chart 48: Setting Triangles and Iris #44 (Set A)

Tools We've Already Used

Chart 49: Half-Square Triangles HSTs and Eva #31 -- Set A
Chart 50: Lady #50 -- Sets A, N and Log Cabin Ruler 8037
Chart 51: Anne #5 or our simplified Annie -- Set A + Fusible

Multi-Size Peaky & Spike Template Set #8290

Chart 52: Doris #29 (Sets B and D)
Chart 53: Judy #48 (Sets N and B)
Chart 54: Poppy #83 and our block Pippa (Set S) 

Other Blocks That Benefit from Using Templates and Specialty Rulers

Chart 55: Dorothy, not Dinah #27 (Sets A and C)
Chart 56: Long Skinny Sashing Stars and Augusta #7 (Sets D and B)
Chart 57: Farmer's Wife #33 or our block Paul (Set A and Multi-size Peaky & Spike)
Chart 58: Carrie #21 and Dimensional Carrie (Set Q and strips)
Chart 59: Lorna, our modified Mollie #63 (Sets B and N and strips)
Chart 60: Marcella #56 (Set A)
Chart 61: Primrose #85 (Sets A, N and Half Square Triangle Ruler)
Chart 62: Carol #18 (Sets C and N or D)
Chart 63: Starlight #93 (Sets A, D and N -- Opt'l C or Multi-size Peaky & Spike Set)
Chart 64: Magnolia #54 (Sets A, C and Log Cabin Ruler #8037)
Chart 65: Mrs. Taft #73 (Sets A and C)
Chart 66: Ruby #89 (Set A or Flying Geese Ruler)
Chart 67: Simplified Small Squares and Alice #3 (Set A and Log Cabin Ruler #8037)
Chart 68: Bride #17 (Set E and Multi-size Kite Ruler)
Chart 69: Carolina #19 (Sets C and N or D)
Chart 70: Prudence #87 (Sets A and N or D)
Chart 71: Sylvia #95 (Set Q, 6-1/2 inch Squaring Up Ruler and 3" x 18" Ruler)
Chart 72: Crystal #25 (Sets B and N)
Chart 73: Golda #38 (Large or Small Kaleido-Ruler and Set N)
Chart 74: Peony #81 and our block Double Aster  (Set A)
Chart 75: Soft Edge Applique and Mother #65 (Sets B and D -- Opt'l N)
Bear's Paw in the Beehive Mini Quilt (Sets B and D)
Chart 76: Mrs. Fay #68 got a facelift! (Set B and N or D)
Chart 77: Mrs. Thomas #74 or our block Aunt Gladys + Bonus 8-1/2 inch size (Set L)
Chart 78: Lola #52 (Sets A and D)
Chart 79: Monette #64 (Set A)
Chart 80: Slightly modified Widow #99 (Set B and any metric ruler)
Chart 81: Template tricks with Tirzah #96 (Sets B, N and A)
Chart 82: Directional fabrics and Ruth #84 (Set S)
Chart 83: Mary #59 (Set A)
Chart 84: Stella (or Twinkling Star), our substitute for Mary Gray #60 (Sets A and C or D)
Chart 85:  Sarah #91 (Set A)
Chart 86: Martha #58 and 8-1/2 inch mystery block (Set A)
Chart 87:  Mrs. Lloyd #70 (Set A)
Chart 88: Pharlemia #82 (Sets B and D)
Chart 89: Mystery Quilt Reveal and Sonnie #92 plus 8-1/2 inch size (Sets B and D) 
Chart 90: Card Trick, our substitute for Fern #34 (Set B)

If you have followed the above list of links and made all of these blocks, you will have 95 blocks, the number needed for the quilt layout in the book. We have included 8 to 12 bonus or mystery blocks in some of the articles so you can use those extra blocks in place of the remaining "not template friendly" blocks in the book. Thank you for your support of our products.