Does that sound like a guest list to a very interesting quilting bee, or perhaps just me playing catch up on the first two weeks blocks for the Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt for 2016. The year has started with a whoosh and I found it a little hard to get back into routine after two weeks off, as well as some other deadlines that had become rather urgent.
Luckily for the most part these 5 blocks were very straight forward, with the double blocks of Mrs Brown and Lucy being practically identical.
For those who are struggling to make the time to sew these up each week, especially with all the fiddly pieces, I certainly can’t recommend strongly enough using chain piecing and efficient time and motion. I cut 4 of these blocks out all at once, and made them almost simultaneously. I would chain piece as many sections as I could for one block, before adding that chain to the pressing board and grabbing the next set of pieces. This meant I spent less time hopping up from the machine to the iron and back again, and more time sewing! So lets have a look at them all one by one.
Like many others, I wouldn’t say that Joy really lived up to her name. I tried to love her, I really did. I even gave her a pretty outfit of cherries and gingham but she was a pest to sew. You can see my outer triangles don’t all quite line up, but that’s a fudge I’m willing to live with! As normal, I did use my Marti Michell templates for cutting out Joy.
If you are looking for the tutorials on Joy, you can find Angie’s tutorial HERE, Marti Michell’s tutorial HERE and the official guest bloggers for Joy were Melissa from Oh How Sweet – check out her beautiful use of directional fabric HERE, and Nat a super sweet French blogger at her blog, Works of Nat HERE.
In my close up block shot, front and back here you can see that I managed to handle all the bulky seams and point intersections ok. One thing I did try to pay particular attention to when pinning seams was the points where the green gingham arrows meet the corners of the blue square blocks. I also found it very useful to follow Marti’s tutorial in cutting the parallelograms as mirror images. This saved me a lot of time and fussing around, leaving me more time for sewing!
Next up we had Lily, which was the only block of the 5 that I foundation paper pieced. I had a little bit too much fun playing with the fabric selections for this block, so it ended up pretty bright but I love how fun it is. I did add an extra fabric selection in for the “basket”.
If you are still struggling with Foundation Paper Piecing, please check out my two part tutorial which takes you through the whole process of making a small free block, step by step. Part 1 is HERE and part 2 is HERE.
If you are looking for the tutorials for Lily, Angie’s tutorial can be found HERE. Marti Michell offers a lovely alternative to Lily if you are not able to foundation paper piece her. You can get the tutorial for template friendly Aunt Lillian HERE. Finally the official blogger tutorial for Lily is by Lucy from Charm About You. Her absolutely charming version of Lily can be found HERE.
Here is a closer view of my Lily block. I did take the papers out straight away for this block, those tiny triangles got pretty wrecked. I followed my regular Foundation Paper Piecing method for this block, however as a shortcut I cut all my yellow triangles (all 19 of them) using the Marti Michell template B14. This saved me probably an hour of stress and guessing. They all fitted perfectly first time with no issues, and very little waste to boot. Because I used the triangle both ways along a strip, as Marti teaches you, I didn’t need to cut up much fabric either. Win win!
Of my massive sewing session, I think Mrs Morgan was my favourite block. I loved how the colours turned out, loved her quirky shape and she was surprisingly easy to put together following the cutting directions that Marti provides in her tutorial. Speaking of tutorials, Angie’s is HERE, Marti Michell’s is HERE, and the official blogger for Mrs Morgan, Jodi from Tales of Cloth has her English Paper Pieced version HERE.
I’m pretty sure that centre vertical seam is straighter than it looks here, but I took some extra time over piecing this block to line up all the points and I was so happy with how it came out in the end!
Great opportunity presents with this block to “spin” your centre seam intersection. Anytime you can cut down on bulky seam intersections you will be thankful at the quilting stage!
Mrs Brown needed to be blue in fact. Showing off my cute little tulip prints from this Pam Kitty Morning print. I would cut this block and Lucy out together if possible, as they are practically identical. Find Angie’s tutorial for Mrs Brown HERE, Marti Michell’s double tutorial HERE and the official blogger tutorials for these two blocks, Tonya at The Crafty Mummy is rocking out with amazing bright and stripe prints on her tutorial HERE also Alyce from Blossom Heart Quilts has her Kate Spain beauties HERE.
Let’s just jump straight to Lucy, shall we?
Everyone else wrote a double tutorial, but Angie split her’s up into two, so Angie’s version of Lucy is HERE.
Again, this was a block ideal for spinning the seams of those little four-patches in the centre squares.
In case you need a refresher, you can find my Spinning Seams tutorial HERE. It’s a great little trick to have in your patchwork toolbox!
I am back in the Farmer’s saddle and I couldn’t be happier!
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