Catching Up on my 1930’s Farmer’s Wife Blocks

I finally found some time to do a couple new Farmer’s Wife blocks this week.  (I’m behind but who’s keeping track?)  I managed to get 2 done this week.

Here’s #86, Priscilla:

#86 Priscilla

And #75, Nan:

#75, Nan

So my total count is now 16 blocks out of 99 or however many it takes to make a queen sized quilt.  I’m making these with my sewing machine and mostly using the templates from the book.

30's Farmers Wife blocks

I got to thinking that while I’m working on these (ever so slowly), maybe I should pull out my other 1930’s project and do one block each time I make one of the Farmer’s Wife blocks.

Glorified 9 patch

I’ve been working on these Glorified 9 patch blocks for around four years now.  The 9 patch part isn’t hard but all the curved piecing is tedious.  So I made this block right after making my two Farmer’s Wife blocks.  We’ll see if I can make any progress this way.  I just really want to finish up some of my unfinished projects and move on to other things.

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1930’s Farmer’s Wife blocks

I’m back after a week with my husband riding our bicycles on the Katy Trail across Missouri.  I had a lot of time to think while biking the 225 mile trail and I think there’s a Katy Trail quilt in my future!  It’s such a beautiful trail and it really shows off the beauty of my home state.  It passes through farm fields and follows along the path of the Missouri River as it winds it’s way across the state.  Most of the trail has a nice covering of trees so it feels like you’re biking down a shady lane.

Katy TrailSo that’s what I’m working on in my head but in the meantime, I’m back at work on these Farmer’s Wife blocks.  I’m hoping to do around 5 a week so I did the math and it should take me about 5 months to finish enough for a queen-size quilt.  Here’s what I’ve done so far:

1930's Farmer's wife blocksI just keep pulling more fabrics out of my stash so I’m jumping around in the book to use fabrics that I have.   It’s good to mix up some easier blocks with the harder ones.  These blocks are actually a great summer project because each one goes together so quickly.  I spend a lot of time during these warm months on yard work or just doing fun things outside but I can manage an hour making a block here or there.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

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.