New Farmer’s Wife project!

1930's Farmer's WifeMy new 1930’s Farmer’s Wife quilt book recently came in the mail!  It was almost exactly 4 years ago when I started the original Farmer’s Wife quilt and enough time has passed that I’m ready to do another.  This quilt is based on letters from a column in The Farmer’s Wife magazine called “Letters From Our Farm Women” that were published from 1930-1939.  Those were some tough times and the letters describe the lives of these women beautifully.  The author & quilt designer, Laurie Aaron Hird, made these blocks in 1930’s type fabrics.  I don’t know if she had actual feed sacks or if she used reproduction fabric.  I’m going to try to make my blocks with similar fabrics.

There are 99 blocks in this book and if you make them all, you’ll have a king size quilt.  94 blocks are needed for the queen size and 84 for the twin-size.  The quilt is designed with the blocks set on point with white fabric used for the setting fabric.  The design in the book has you take four blocks (or more or less depending on the quilt size)and cut them in half to use at the top and bottom.  I don’t like the idea of cutting the blocks in half but I’m not sure how I would make this quilt if I didn’t do that.  There’s plenty of time to figure that out I guess.

The good news about this book is that the publishers have included better cutting directions.  The CD-ROM included with the book now has paper piecing directions, 3 pages of rotary cutting directions for some of the blocks and templates that are now broken up so that all the templates for one block are included in one page.  The first book had one template on each page which was a terrible waste of paper.

I decided to go the template route since that’s how I did my last Farmer’s Wife quilt.  I had a method going and it worked out pretty well.

First I printed out the templates and cut them out:

templatesThen I actually cut those pieces out of fabric using a small ruler and a small rotary cutter.  A swivel cutting board would also be great for this.

cutting out the piecesSo far, I’ve made three blocks:

#48 Judy#48 Judy

#45 Jenny#45 Jenny

#43 Hope#43 Hope

These blocks measure 6 inches finished and of course, all the blocks in the book are different.  That’s the addictive part.  They’re all so pretty and you think, oh I’ll make this one, and then maybe I’ll make this one too, etc…  I dragged all my 1930’s looking fabric out but I didn’t have as much as I thought.  I found last time that a layer cake worked great because you need a big variety of fabrics but only a small amount of each.  And if they’re the same fabric line, they’ll go together well.  I’ll be on the hunt for a 30’s layer cake now.

I hope you’ll make this quilt with me or at least follow along on my journey as I make my Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler quilt.

Mystery Block #5

Here is this month’s mystery block:

mystery block 5We also had to make several hourglass blocks that will go in between the mystery blocks.  I’m going to wait until I make the 6th block before I put everything together so I can see how they’ll go together best.  I like the blocks individually but I’m not sure about them all together.  We’ll see next month….

Vintage Compass Quilt top finished!

I finished this quilt top a couple days ago and wanted to show the pictures!

vintage compass quiltI’m so happy with how this turned out and can’t wait to get some custom quilting done to it.  It went together extremely fast.  The directions were detailed and kept me organized.  It was very step by step with the pattern cutting and then the fabric cutting and finally, the piecing together.

The border went much faster than I thought it would because it was chain pieced with strips of fabric.

chain piecingchain piecingSuper cool! ( I wish I had known about this technique before I made that double wedding ring quilt.) So I would definitely make another Judy Niemeyer quilt.  I enjoyed making this one and love the finished product.

Vintage Compass Quilt Part 2

Well my personal weekend retreat is over and I got quite a bit done!  I started bright and early Saturday morning and after spending 45 minutes or so trying to figure out what the directions were saying; I decided to just do the paper piecing the way I usually do.  (I think that’s what the directions were saying anyway.)  If you’ve never done paper piecing before, I would not start with this project.  The pieces were fairly precise as far as size so there wasn’t much room for error.  I did have a few problems.  First of all, you really do need your glue stick to keep that first piece in place and apparently mine had dried out.  I didn’t want to waste my retreat time going to the store so I used scotch tape.  Hey – it worked and it came off when I took the paper off.

Then, I wasn’t used to so many lines on the pattern.  I accidentally folded my paper on the seam allowance line instead of the sew line a couple of times which resulted in a bigger seam allowance and the piece didn’t fit.  I’m not sure what all my problems were – maybe the three cups of coffee I had, but I had to rip out the first seam 3 or 4 times.  It got a little better as I got the hang of it and I definitely think that it’s good that I used some of the same fabrics where the pattern called for 2 different.  It might have gotten a little more confusing.

So by Saturday night I had the main points of the compass done.

center compassOn Sunday I really wanted to get the whole middle of the quilt finished.  There are 16 little half points and then the background.  I didn’t follow the pattern directions exactly because after doing the half points, it has you work on the snake-y border pieces.  I decided to get the middle mostly finished and work on those later in the week.  Putting the background together went a lot smoother.  I only got 2 pieces turned sideways and had to rip out those seams.  By 10pm last night, I had everything together!

antique compass quiltAs you can see, my helper was there to keep me company and hold down those pieces.  So the center is sewn into 4 quadrants and then the border pieces are sewn on and then the whole quilt is sewn together.  I could only go this far without the border.

center of Antique Compass quiltThe blue of the last compass points seem to read more grey than I wanted even though they were in the same William Morris line as the center points but overall I’m happy with my color choices.  Another note about this pattern is that it called for butterfly pins and those would come in very handy.  I used my tiniest pins several times to pin where I would sew, then opened up the piece to check for the correct positioning.  Better to do that a couple times than to have to rip out seams.

So today I’m starting on the border pieces.  I would describe the border as looking like bits of a wedding ring quilt with the little pieces inside curved pieces snaking around the outside of the quilt.  I’m curious about the chain piecing technique this pattern uses.  I’ll share pictures when I’m finished!