|1930s Farmer's Wife Block #2, Aimee|
If you're a quilter and you've been online lately, you know that there's been a 1930s Farmer's Wife quilt along in progress since last September, based on the patterns from Laurie Aaron Hird's The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt book. I bought the book and read it months ago, but I'd been holding off on starting anything because I had so many other WIPs (Works In Progress). But then I decided that I don't have to be a goal-oriented quilter. I cut up fabric and sew it back together again because it makes me happy, not because I have some quota to fulfil. I do want to finish my pineapple log cabin and all those other things, but I need some variety mixed in with the monotony of making 36 giant pineapple blocks. My other projects are made up of multiples of the same blocks, too. Maybe I'll make all of the blocks in this book, and maybe I won't. Maybe I'll make some of the blocks from this book and combine them with other interesting blocks from other sources. That's the beauty of a sampler quilt, after all. Many of the blocks in this book will be challenging for me, and they will allow me to explore new techniques. They all finish at 6", so I plan to just make blocks whenever I feel like it and chuck them into a basket. Someday, when there are enough blocks, maybe I'll put them together.
|I Like to Decorate My Books with Coffee Rings|
1. The block pattern has to be pieced in multiple foundation sections that get joined together at the end.
2. The fabric pieces for this block were not all just strips; there were a variety of shapes to contend with and it's not always easy to figure out how to align the pieces before you sew them together.
This book came with a CD that included templates as well as foundation paper piecing patterns, but there are no instructions for making any of the blocks. So I referred to instructions from other paper piecing books I owned, as well as tutorials on the blogs of paper piecing divas like Charise of Charise Creates and Very Kerry Berry. Seriously, what did we ever do before the Internet?!
I used vellum to print my foundations because that's what one of my books recommended, but I HATED the vellum. Maybe there are different kinds of vellum, different weights or something, but when I precreased the seam lines and then stitched them, my vellum cracked apart along some of the stitch lines and separated immediately after the seams were sewn! It was also very stiff and bulky, and I found it difficult to work with. When joining foundation sections together, I had trouble feeling where the seam allowances were through the stiff vellum, which made it harder to nest the seams properly for perfect seam intersections. Also, the stiff vellum pulled the top thread away from the fabric quite a bit as the stitches were formed, so that the seams seemed a bit looser than I'm comfortable with once I pulled the paper away. So, I'm using something else next time. If anyone out there has a favorite foundation paper that they use, please let me know in the comments!
|Heavy Vellum Made it Difficult to Feel Whether Seam Allowances Were Aligned|
|See That Loose Seam? Vellum Held the Stitch Away From the Fabric|
Anyway, my finished block measures 6 1/2", just as it should, and although it is not 100% perfect, I think it's good enough for the first try. I really like the fabric combination and it was nice to pull out that striated blue from my scraps.
Next I'm planning to piece Block #1, Addie, using templates to cut out the pieces. This is new for me because I've only ever rotary cut my patches before. I've never made templates, traced around them, and then cut out the pieces with scissors before, and it's a skill I want to learn because so many vintage patterns just don't lend themselves to rotary cutting, if the shapes don't work out to ruler-friendly numbers. I haven't decided yet whether I'll piece that block by machine on one of my vintage Featherweights, or whether I'll attempt to piece it by hand. Stay tuned!
|Design Wall for Monday, February 15th, 2016|
I'm linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.