August 5, 2015

Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt | Tools Used

Welcome to the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along. Details about the 2020 sew alongs for making both the 1920s and 1930s Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilts can be found on Gnome Angel's blog. Below you will find info about our tools that have been used by quilters for many years to make almost all of the blocks in both books. Maybe you already have some (or all!) of them in your toolbox. Click on a specific tool name to get more details about the tool and ordering info.

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 28mm 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 --

If you want to cut your blocks with our templates and you are making your Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Blocks in the order given in the book, 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 paragraphs below.

If you want to make your blocks in groups that used the same template set rather than in chronological order, start with Set A and add template sets as needed, according to the following discussion.

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.

Tools Used in the Next Group of Blocks That I Made

#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.    

Tools for the Remaining Blocks and Finishing

The rest of the blocks will be cut with all the previous sets, and some pieces can be cut with one of our other tools. You might also want to use them:

#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.
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!

August 3, 2015

Farmer's Wife 1930s Template Conversions and Sew Along

We're excited to announce that we will soon be sharing free template conversion charts for the 1930s Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt!  We've been sharing our PDF conversion charts for the original book for several years now and we're gratified by how many people have asked us to do the same for the new book. We're thrilled that you want to use our templates to cut this new group of blocks! (You can still get the PDFs for the original book by using the "join our list" button on our website.)

It's a little different this time, and we think you will love it!  We've partnered with Angie at Gnome Angel, Fat Quarter Shop and a band of bloggers for a year-long sew along that starts September 28, 2015. Angie and the bloggers will be posting about the blocks as they make them, Fat Quarter Shop will be offering fabric kits and if you don't already have the Perfect Patchwork Templates Sets used to cut the blocks, you can buy them in our online store or Fat Quarter Shop's.

All the details are on Angie's blog. Head on over there to meet Angie! And join her Facebook group to share the fun all along the way!