Hooray and congratulations! We have made it to the end of the Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt sew along for 2015. We are 1/4 of the way through and I am so excited to see everyone’s quilts starting to come together!
This week we had two quite tricky blocks, Priscilla and Autumn, which both needed a bit of paper piecing from me. I took a few pictures of Priscilla as I was sewing, as I found piecing her together quite tricky.
If you are looking for the links, you can find Angie’s tutorial on Priscilla HERE, Marti Michell’s tutorial HERE, and the official blogger for this block was the lovely Kirsty from Bonjour Quilts, who shows a different way to piece the block HERE.
I chose to use Foundation Paper Piecing for Priscilla as it’s a technique I am comfortable with. If you are still learning it, you may find my extensive tutorial on Foundation Paper Piecing useful – Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE. As this block is fully symmetrical and not directional, you do not need to remember to mirror your template printout.
The easiest part of this block is making the four sections, each consisting of only three pieces. Due to the shaping of the pieces, I chose to run a basting stitch to secure the edges around most of the shapes. This helps you to align your sections accurately and hold them in place as we are curving them around to line up.
Because each of the centre hourglass triangles is pressed in opposite directions, nesting the seams is actually quite easy and you can get an accurate “X” point in the centre. I chose to leave each end 1/4″ of the seam unstitched, instead backstitching just before the seam line to secure.
I did not trim my outer edges, so that I could square up the whole block at the end. However I trimmed my sections along all the corners and seam lines, so that it would be easier to line them up. I put a pin vertically into the first joining point to help work out where they needed to lay, and then put the yellow pin you see here right in the centre of the section, well away from where I would be stitching so that I could leave it in place. Then I stitched from the end of the seam, right to the intersection where the seam then bends away, backstitching to secure then taking it away from the machine.
The second seam is very short but key in terms of accuracy so it’s a good idea to make sure that the opposite seam point is lined up before stitching down.
As before, I used a pin outside of the stitching area to secure the third seam before stitching this, backstitching as before to secure. Take a deep breath, you’re halfway there!
At this point, I tore away my paper from the seam allowances I had just stitched, then pressed the centre section seam towards the outside.
Even though it is the larger section, it is much easier to line these points up if you work with the centre section on top. Repeat the same three step seam as before, taking the time to line each intersection up and pinning, backstitching each stop to secure.
It’s almost but not quite a y-seam, but broken down like this I found sewing Priscilla very straightforward.
Here she is up close, before I took my basting stitches out, removed the paper and trimmed her down. You can also see that I am constantly making notes on the back of my templates, whether it is which fabric goes where (R for red, F for floral) or the size of fabric to cut for each template piece.
I am really happy with how my points and seams lined up with this block, it was well worth the extra few minutes that I spent lining each seam intersection up before sewing.
Next we had Autumn, who completely baffled me with her odd sizes for the centre. If you haven’t seen them already, Angie’s tutorial for Autumn is HERE, Marti Michell’s is HERE, and the official blogger, Kitty at Night Quilter has some really ingenious ideas for piecing Autumn, check them out HERE.
I had a lot of fun making this candy sweet block – even trying to fussy cut the Pam Kitty Morning birdie fabric without wasting too much in the process.
Because I have gotten rather hooked on using my Marti Michell templates at every possible chance, I was a little adrift when I realised that I couldn’t use them for the centre square section. However I rallied, printed out the Foundation Paper Piecing template and mixed the two very successfully.
After making the centre square it was a case of adding each bird triangle (keeping the rotation correct), then adding each of the side elements and finally the top and bottom rows.
Although I am not planning on piecing my quilt on point, this block is just screaming to be that way, so I may have to reconsider. Isn’t is just so sweet?
So with the last two blocks for the year completed, I am really excited to lay them all out to get a group shot soon. Don’t forget that the next game of Bingo is coming up, so if you’re a block or two behind the break will be the best time to catch up!
**Disclaimer** I received the Marti Michell templates as part of my participation as a blogger in this sew along, however all opinions are my own.