October 24, 2016

Chart 74: Peony, Block 81 and our Substitute Double Aster in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along

Here are the From Marti Michell template conversions for the Peony block:


The Double Aster Block

Double Aster is a classic design credited to Nancy Cabot. In Jinny Beyer's book The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Blocks, Nancy Cabot is said to have presented this block, which she called Double Windmill, in her Chicago Tribune column of October 26, 1936, and attributed it to an old Pennsylvania Dutch pattern pieced in Philadelphia as early as 1800.

Nancy Cabot was on a roll -- 2 weeks later, she added 2 triangles to each quarter-block and the new block became Double Aster. She "fertilized" Double Aster with 8 more triangles and a dozen squares and created a new block called Peony and Forget Me Nots, very close to block #76 Peony.

I fell in love with Double Aster in the late 1990s, when I used it in this sampler quilt. (Sorry this is only one section of the quilt. The blocks are 16 inches, it is a big quilt!)

Wherever the quilt was displayed, Double Aster was always the block that attracted people.

At that time, we developed a Double Aster class plan that we made available to stores. It was great for learning about the triangles in Sets A and B because the block has 4 different sized triangles. I had made 8-1/2, 12 and 16 inch Double Aster blocks, but not a 6 inch block.

When I first saw Peony in the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book, I thought it wa Double Aster and assumed it looked different because it was so small. Then I realized Peony had more stuff going on at the edges, which seemed to clutter the design. That settled my decision to make Double Aster for my quilt and share it with you. By the way, it was only after I decided that I compared the number of pieces. Double Aster has only 37 pieces, compared to 57 for Peony -- wouldn't you rather cut, sew and press 37 pieces than 57?

A Double Aster for our Mystery Quilt

Made with Set A, this is also a perfect block for our 8-1/2 inch mystery quilt. (Click the images for a larger view.)

Bonus Sizes

Double Aster is also a perfect block to demonstrate the versatility of the templates. You're using From Marti Michell templates to make 6-inch blocks, but our basic sets (A through D) can make up to 4 sizes each of hundreds of block designs. 

If you own Set A, you can make Double Aster in 3 sizes (6, 8-1/2 and 12 inches, finished). And you get 3 more sizes with Set B (8, 11-1/4, and 16 inches).

What's the 2+2 triangles in the 12-inch block?  It's triangle template A-2 doing a template trick! You can cut any triangle twice as big using this trick!  (It's great for Flying Geese units, too -- cut the 2 small triangles with the triangle template, then use this template trick to cut the center triangle!) See 31 sizes of Flying Geese in More Bang for the Buck!

My Double Aster Block

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

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

No comments:

Post a Comment