1930’s Farmer’s Wife Quilt finished!

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I put all my finished blocks into the layout I wanted.  Then I moved things around until I thought everything looked the best.

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These setting triangles required some math ( that didn’t quite work out because I added the sashing dimensions to each block).  They ended up larger than I needed and so it was easy to just cut a little off.

Then it was just the tedious task of sewing the rows all together.

You can see I laid out my border fabrics to see how all the different colors would look together.

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I had this sweet lavender fabric that I originally wanted to use for my smaller border but after laying everything out, I realized there was a lot of yellow in the quilt and a different yellow fabric seemed to pull the whole thing together.

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The quilt came out looking very feminine and summer-y with all the pastels.  It now measures at 72 inches x 91 inches.

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It was so much fun to make but now I have to decide if I’ll hand quilt it or have it machine quilted.

84 Blocks

The day has finally come when I’ve finished all the blocks that I need to make my Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler quilt!


I had decided (probably last year) that I wasn’t going to make my 1930’s Farmer’s Wife quilt like the one in the book.  I just hate when patterns call for you to cut blocks in half.  I mean, you made the whole block – you want to see the whole block!  That’s just my opinion.

So the quilt layout in the book called for making all 99 blocks included in the book.  My layout plan calls for making 83 blocks.  I plan to set them on point with sashing and setting triangles, a lot like the original Farmer’s Wife quilt.

I was more than ready to finish making these blocks since I started with the easiest and they were getting really hard by the end.  You might have noticed that I said I needed 83 blocks but I made 84.  Yes, one came out very badly so I don’t think I can use it.  After that block, I thought I would paper piece the last few but the paper pieced patterns were completely messed up.  I went on Laurie Hird’s website and found 19 pages of corrections for the book which explained my problems.  I went back to using templates after that.


Using the templates was slow going but it worked.

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These are some of the last few blocks I made and you can see they’re very intricate.


Today I’m cutting out white sashing pieces and hope to start laying everything out.  I can’t decide if I should make my sashing cornerstones all one color or a scrappy variety of these 1930’s prints that I’ve used.  I have a 1930’s green for my setting triangles.

I think I’ll just have to lay everything out and see how it looks.


I’m so happy to finally be able to put this quilt together!

Some 1930’s Blocks

It’s always amazing to me what I can accomplish when I don’t want to do something else!  I finished the last flying geese blocks of the “On Ringo Lake” mystery quilt last week and I felt like I couldn’t look at anything from that quilt for a while.

About the same time, I had to get something off the shelf where my Farmer’s Wife quilt was and knocked it off so I had to pull it out and re-fold it and I forgot how much I love that quilt!  I had pulled my 1930’s Farmer’s Wife blocks out of the bin while I was digging around and this got me to thinking – maybe I should finish these blocks.


I didn’t realize I had 17 blocks finished and there are 99 in the book.  So… I started working on them again and putting my flying geese blocks (from “On Ringo Lake” quilt) in between like leaders and enders.  Now I have 26 1930’s Farmer’s Wife blocks finished!

I forgot how quick and addictive they are.  My only problem is having enough 1930’s fabric on hand.  (I’ve ordered more.)


This book is a little different from the last one because there are many different directions for the blocks on the disk.  They give rotary cutting directions for some parts of some blocks – some blocks you can cut out completely with just a ruler and rotary cutter.  There are paper piecing patterns for almost every block.  I tried one block that way.

Most blocks still seem to work best by using the templates.  I use the templates and my ruler on top of them & my smallest rotary cutter (which is not shown here in the picture.)  I have to do a lot of moving around the cutting board.  It’s a little awkward but it works for me.

Some blocks are easy.

Some are a little harder.

This is the one I paper-pieced.  There were lots of little pieces.

So the thing about this quilt that I didn’t like was the finished layout.  The blocks are set on point but with a zig-zag type of sashing in between and then 4 of the blocks are cut in half and half of the block is at the top of the quilt and the other half is at the bottom of the quilt.

I just really hate when quilt blocks are cut in half but that’s just me.

I’ve been working on sketching an alternate layout for this quilt.  Unfortunately, I think there’s only so many ways to make a quilt with blocks on point so it will probably look a IMG_1824lot like the original Farmer’s Wife quilt.  I think I’ll use white sashing strips since these quilt blocks are very light in color.  I’m wondering how it would look if I use different colored center blocks between the sashing and then maybe I’ll use that 1930’s green for the setting triangles.

Depending on how many rows I use, I may only need 84 blocks or if I make it more of a square quilt, I could use 98 which would be almost all the blocks from the book.  I may do that if it’s too hard to choose which ones not to make.


I’m sure the layout of this quilt will evolve depending on how things work out.  I really love adding to the blocks on my design wall and then being able to look at them and move them around.

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.

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.