Thursday, July 28, 2016

Pineapple Log Cabin Progress: 25 Blocks Done, 11 To Go

Pineapple Log Cabin Blocks 23, 24 and 25
Hello!  I know everyone must be tired of seeing these blocks by now (just as I am tired of making them!) but thought that since I went to the bother of making a few more of these blocks, I might as well post them up here.  These are blocks 23, 24, and 25.  I need 36 for of these 17 3/4" blocks in order for the quilt to end up big enough for my California King bed, but I'm taking a break from them for a few days at least.  Sewing all these strips is getting a bit monotonous!

I'm linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, and then I'm heading upstairs to start another Farmer's Wife or Farmer's Wife 1930s block.  Happy stitching!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Farmer's Wife Block 58: My Mother Dreams of Dragons

Hello and happy Saturday!  We are all in high spirits at my house this morning because Son the Younger, a.k.a. Anders, is returning from Confirmation Camp this afternoon and we have all missed him.  Yay!  Even Lars tells me that he keeps walking into Anders' bedroom to tell him something, and then remembers that he isn't there.

I finished another 6" sampler block yesterday, Block 58 "Mother's Dream" from the Farmer's Wife book

Farmer's Wife Block 58, Mother's Dream
Isn't it CUTE?!  I think these simpler blocks with larger center squares are perfect for fussy-cutting random novelty prints that live in my stash, like this dragon print.  And so, apparently, MY mother dreams of dragons...  I am having so much fun with these little 6" blocks.

I also started another one of those huge 17 3/4" pineapple log cabin blocks yesterday, and I plan to finish that up within the next hour or two.  That will be block 24 of 36, if I'm not mistaken.

And yet, new projects keep bubbling up in dark corners of my mind.  These 6" blocks are so much fun that I'm thinking about starting a few of those 4" Dear Jane blocks.  I have seen so many Dear Jane quilts that I love, and what I love about them is the variety of intricate, tiny blocks and the unique scalloped triangle border.  This is my favorite Dear Jane quilt, pieced and appliqued by a quilter named Gwen and quilted by LAQ Judi Madsen:

Gwen's Gorgeous "Dear Jane" Quilt
Gwen's Quilt, Judi's Quilting, completed in 2011
What I do NOT like about making a Dear Jane quilt is that thousands of other quilters have made their own version of this quilt already, and I am not sure I have anything unique to add to that tradition.  I mean, I love everything about Gwen's DJ quilt, from the crisp white background fabric to the bright, splashy Kaffe Fassett prints (I have a lot of these exact same fabrics in my stash), right down to Judi's spectacular custom quilting.  I don't want to copy someone else's quilt, do I?  But my Farmer's Wife blocks aren't coming out looking the same as everyone else's, so maybe my Dear Jane would come out with its own personality, too.   I could always start making some blocks for fun and see where it goes.  It's not like I don't have enough fabric or anything...  Ahem!

Another project I'm tempted to begin is the Amish Baby Storm at Sea quilt that I designed in EQ7 back in 2014:

Amish Baby Storm at Sea, Coming Soon to a Studio Near Me
At the time, I was worried about whether my skill level was up to piecing these Storm at Sea blocks, so I opted to go with my other baby quilt design using 54-40 or Fight blocks instead.  But after paper piecing all these itty bitty 6" sampler blocks, I feel like the big Storm at Sea blocks will be a piece of cake.  I already have the fabric for this quilt, so why not, right?  It never hurts to have a baby quilt on hand, especially since it takes me longer to finish a baby quilt than it takes to actually gestate a baby from conception to delivery!

Anyway, I've got to go hop in the shower and get ready.  My mom is picking me up to take me to see the musical If/Then at the Belk this afternoon, and although matinees are more casual than evening performances I'm pretty sure that my nightgown won't pass for a sundress.  Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

I'm linking up with Esther's WIPs on Wednesday.  Which reminds me of even MORE projects on my Wanna Do list, like Hazel and Love Entwined...

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Two New Farmer's Wife 1930s Blocks: April and Priscilla

Now that the evil Windows 10 gremlins are no longer conspiring against me, I'm back to my 6" sampler blocks again.  Both of these new blocks are from the Farmer's Wife 1930s book.  First we have Block #86, "Priscilla:"

FW1930s Block 86, Priscilla
Priscilla is one of this week's blocks in the FW1930s quilt along.  It seemed like a very simple block to whip up at first, but it does have those two angled seams.  I foundation paper pieced this block, as I've been doing for most of the other sampler blocks.  I'm glad I've been working on blocks with Y-seams lately, or inset seams, or whatever you want to call them, because assembling the segments of this block was a lot like a Y-seam.

Precut Priscilla Fabrics, Ready to Sew
The next block was easier technically in that it was all squares, HSTs and rectangles to precut, and all straight seams, but it was still very time consuming because there were SO MANY PIECES, and there were a LOT of little foundation segments that had to be trimmed and then traditionally pieced together once the foundations had been covered.

FW1930s Block 6, April
I love how easy it is to get everything to match up nicely with sharp points when I'm foundation paper piecing.  But see what I mean about all the different pieces in this block?  Uff da!

Precut April Pieces, Ready to Sew
That is a LOT of little pieces for one 6" block!  I've got a big bag of leftover colored pencils from the kids' school supplies, and I've been using them to make a little blue, yellow or red scribble on each patch of my foundation papers, to make sure I use the correct fabric in each location.  I only had to use my seam ripper ONCE on this block.

I've got my fabrics all picked out for the next block as well.  Might start it tonight, or might wait until tomorrow if I decide to go for a walk.  I hear the neighborhood is rife with Pokémon...

Completed 6" Sampler Blocks
I'm linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation.  Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Quilters Using Windows 10: Read This Before Printing PDF Files!

Do you have Windows 10 on your computer, and have you been having trouble getting your PDF quilting patterns to print out at the correct size?  If so, read on!

On my new Windows 10 laptop, I discovered that my Farmer's Wife 1930s foundation paper piecing pattern files (the ones that came on the CD with the book) were all printing out too small, so that my resulting blocks finished about almost a quarter inch too small.  I faulted my piecing precision, I accused myself of going nuts with the steam iron and shrinking paper AND fabric, and I even wondered whether the pattern files themselves were too small.  I checked my printer settings, both on the printer itself and through the computer's printer settings, and verified that both were set to print at 100% actual size with NO SCALING.

Finished Edge Should Measure 6" but Printed at 5 13/16"
And yet, when I printed my own templates or foundation piecing patterns directly from my EQ7 software, THEY printed out at exactly the right size.

Finished Edge of Block Exactly 6", Printed from EQ7 and Not a PDF File
Then I tried printing the PDF templates for one of Esther Aliu's beautiful BOM quilt projects and -- you guessed it -- it ALSO printed out slightly too small, just like the Farmer's Wife PDFs.  All of my PDF patterns, regardless of where I got the files, were all printing out at only about 96% of the correct size ever since I "upgraded" to Windows 10.  So I figured that something was telling my computer to scale all of my PDF documents specifically.  And that's exactly what the problem turned out to be.  I found the solution here on superuser, where someone else had posted about their multi-page poster PDFs automatically shrinking down to fit on one page in Windows 10.

Windows 10 has its own built-in PDF viewer "app" that opens PDF files by default, and that program automatically scales all of your PDF documents (shrinking them slightly) when it prints them.  This handy-dandy Win 10 PDF reader does not show you anywhere that it is doing this, and there is no way to print a PDF document at actual size through the Win 10 PDF viewing app.  How stupid is that?! 

Fortunately, the solution is an easy one.  Just go to Adobe's web site and download their free Adobe Acrobat Reader DC here, and then set Adobe Acrobat as your default program for opening PDF files.  When you open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat, you will see your options for scaling or printing at actual size.  That way your 6" block patterns will result in actual 6" blocks, not 5 3/4" blocks. 

My 6" Sampler Blocks
Please share this with other quilters you know.  It is such heartache to spend two days precisely piecing an intricate block, only to have it finish too small due to unforeseen technical difficulties.  Now that I have wasted half a ream of newsprint working this out, I deserve to go back to my studio to make a block as a reward -- a CORRECTLY SIZED block this time!

I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts and Esther's WIPs on Wednesday.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Design Wall Monday: Vintage Block QAL #2, "Night and Day" by Alice Brooks

This post will be a quickie so I can get back to work.  I pieced together Block 2 in Charise Creates' Vintage Quilt Block Quilt Along, "Night and Day" by Alice Brooks. 

6" Night and Day Block
The patterns on Charise's site are all for 12" finished blocks, but I'm making 6" versions so I can mix them in with my Farmer's Wife and Farmer's Wife 1930s sampler blocks.  "Night and Day" was a good skill builder due to the Y seams and curved seams.  These curved seams were easy compared to the ones I've sewn previously for the Rose Dream block and for the Drunkard's Path blocks in Lars's quilt, because it's a very slight curve.  The Y-seams get a little easier every time. 

Redrafting the block from an enlarged photo and then adding curved seam allowances was tricky, and I wouldn't recommend doing it that way if you were going to make an entire quilt using this block as it's probably not 100% symmetrical and seams joining adjacent blocks might not match up perfectly.  In retrospect, I should have just drafted one quarter segment of the block and then repeated those templates for the other three quadrants; then the resulting block would be perfectly symmetrical. But I think this came out just fine for the purposes of a sampler project.

Here are my completed 6" blocks thus far:

Completed 6" Sampler Blocks
So, what do you think -- are my blocks starting to look like they "go together" better now that there are more of them?  I'm not terribly worried about it.  I'm just enjoying each block as a separate mini project.  Next time I get a chance to sew, I should probably piece another pineapple log cabin block or two.  I just received a fabric order of goodies from The Fat Quarter Shop with more solid and print blues and greens to renew my sewjo-mojo on that project.  I'm linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times, Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts, Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilts, Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework, and Moving It Forward at Em's Scrap Bag. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Vintage Block QAL #2 In Progress: Night and Day by Alice Brooks

Vintage Block 2, "Night and Day," In Progress
Not much has been happening in the sewing room this week, as I've been working on a lovely new web site that looks great on my computer, but some unknown coding error is making whole chunks of it disappear when it tries to go out into the world through a web browser.  However, I've been planning and prepping for my next 6" sampler block in odd moments.  I decided it was time for another vintage block from Charise's Vintage Block Quilt Along.  (Please note that this quilt along actually took place back in 2012, but I'm going at my own speed-of-glaciers pace).
Charise's Pattern and Tutorial for this block can be found here
So Block 2 is "Night and Day" from a pattern booklet by Alice Brooks.  It's an interesting block, incorporating more of those pesky but not insurmountable curved seams and Y-seams that modern patterns go to extremes to avoid.  Charise redrafted this for a 12" finished block for her quilt along, and you can find her templates and excellent tutorial for the block here.  I can't just use Charise's pattern for my block, though, because I want to mix it in with my Farmer's Wife and Farmer's Wife 1930s blocks. 

Unlike with my Rose Dream block, I did not luck out and find this block in my EQ7 Block Library.  I can't just reduce Charise's pattern by 50% on a copy machine, either, because her templates include 1/4" seam allowances that would shrink to 1/8".  I did try importing Charise's block photo into EQ7 to see if I could trace the seam lines in the software and then print my own templates for a 6" block, but the Arc tool wanted to draw perfect quarter circle arcs instead of the flatter, slighter curve required for this block, and I couldn't remember how to edit the arc curve.  Since I was taking a break from being frustrated with web design software, I did not invest the time to learn something new with my quilting software and decided to go old school instead.


Block Photo Enlarged to 6"
So here's what I ended up doing.  I enlarged this photo of the original line drawing of the block on the photocopier until it was as close to 6" on the outer seam line as possible.  It's within 1/16" of being exactly 6" square.  Then I used my ruler to check that the block divided perfectly at the 3" mark horizontally and vertically and that diagonal seam between the "B" patches was a true 45 degree angle (this was necessary because I was working with a photo of the printed page, not a scan, and the camera may not have been completely straight-on).  As you can see in the photo above, I labeled grainlines on every piece, highlighted the outer block edges in yellow, and numbered the patches for each of the four quadrants separately -- I doubt the patch patterns for each shape will be identical and interchangeable. 

Then I carefully cut the picture apart on the seam lines, stuck each piece down on fabric with a swipe of fabric glue stick to keep the pattern from shifting, and cut out each unit with a 1/4" seam allowance added, using my acrylic ruler and small rotary cutter.

Ready to Cut Blue Patches
I used this French Curve ruler that I bought for altering clothing patterns to add the 1/4" accurately to the inside and outside curves.

Dressmaker's French Curve Ruler Adds Curved Seam Allowance
You just move the French curve ruler along the curved edge of the pattern piece until you find a section of the curve that matches, shift out two lines for a quarter of an inch, and cut along the edge of the ruler just as you would a straight edge.  I wouldn't bet money on 100% symmetrical perfection, but I'm reasonably confident that, if sewn together carefully with 1/4" seams, these pieces will fit together and look very much like the Night and Day block is supposed to look.

Maddeningly, as I was putting the links together for this post, I discovered that the original size for this block when it was first published was exactly the 6" size that I need, but Charise's photo of the pattern booklet does not print out "life size."

"Night and Day" Block from Alice Brooks' Collection of Needlecraft Masterpieces, photo via Charise Creates

I really wish I had access to those original templates, at least to check how accurate mine ended up before I go to the trouble of trying to stitch them together!  I was only working from a photo of the Block Chart illustration in the upper left corner yesterday.  The patch templates on this photo would have been so much more helpful for accurate resizing, since they include the stitching lines as well as the cutting lines for each patch.

Ah, well -- if the pieces I cut out yesterday don't fit together, I can go back to the drawing board and start again.  I'm a day late, but the linky is still open so I'm linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday over at My Quilt Infatuation.  I'm headed back to the misery of web design now.  If all goes well, maybe I'll get a chance to sew this block together tomorrow!  Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

My New Favorite Block: Farmer's Wife 14, Butterfly at the Crossroads, Modified

6" Farmer's Wife Block 14, Butterfly at the Crossroads, Modified
I started this block on Sunday evening and finished it up yesterday afternoon.  It's Block 14, Butterfly at the Crossroads, from the original Farmer's Wife sampler quilt book.  Except that in the book, this block is pieced with a lot of HSTs (half square triangles) instead of diamonds.  I eliminated those seams to reduce bulk, to display my print better with fewer seam interruptions, and to give me a chance to practice Y-seams.  Because of the way EQ7 divided the block up into foundation patterns that included the rectangular patches, I also got to practice partial seam construction as well.

This is my new favorite block now.  Until I make another one.  Here's my assortment of 6" sampler blocks so far:

Completed 6" Sampler Blocks
And now, back to work!  I'm linking up with Main Crush (Tuesday) at Cooking Up Quilts, Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts, and Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Farmer's Wife "Storm Signal," Farmer's Wife 1930s "Patricia," and Pineapple Log Cabin Progress

6" Quilt Blocks On the Design Wall
Good Monday morning!  I've been working hard on the design of a new business web site lately, which feels like trying to empty the Sahara Desert of its sand, one teaspoon at a time. After 8-10 hours of working on the web site, I reward myself with some time in the sewing room.  Because at least I have something to show for my labors with needle and thread!

My son Anders guilted me into finishing another block for my paper pieced pineapple log cabin quilt last week:

17 3/4" Pineapple Block, #23 of 36
Anders is scandalized that I keep starting new quilts without finishing the ones that are already in progress.  I do really like this one, but the blocks are kind of monotonous once you get the hang of them and although I cut up enough fabric strips to make TWO King-sized pineapple quilts, I'm getting bored with using the same fabrics over and over in these blocks.  I'm fighting the urge to go fabric shopping for more blues and greens.

EQ7 to Envision my Goal
I created the EQ7 mockup above after finishing the first of these blocks, so it has 36 blocks that are all identical, filled with a photograph of that first block.  My real blocks have more variety, as you can see from this shot of the last time I had a bunch of them up on my design wall:

Real Blocks on the Design Wall

So I'm now up to 23 blocks finished, 13 more to go.  Then I will find out just how difficult it is to remove the paper backing, which is a copy paper weight that is a lot thicker than the newsprint I use for other foundation paper piecing.  And then I have to figure out how to quilt this enormous beast before it can end up on my bed.

Meanwhile, I've been working on more 6" sampler blocks.  These are surprisingly addictive.  I have amassed a trove of bright, happy fabrics including thirties reproduction prints, solids and nearly-solids, Kaffe Fassett Collection prints, novelty prints, and other cheerful fabrics.  Some of my blocks are from the original Farmer's Wife sampler quilt book, others are from the 1930s Farmer's Wife sampler quilt book, and one is a vintage block that was originally published in the Kansas City Star newspaper in 1930.  I have modified some of the Farmer's Wife blocks to remove unnecessary seams, for a cleaner block with fewer bulky seam allowances and an opportunity to practice Y-seams.  And I plan to mix in blocks from other sources as well, like that Japanese patchwork book I bought back in 2012.

6" Sampler Blocks
After church yesterday, I spent most of my afternoon making Farmer's Wife Block #90 Storm Signal and FW1930s Block #80 Patricia.

Farmer's Wife Block 90 "Storm Signal"
Farmer's Wife 1930s Block 80 "Patricia"
Oh, and I discovered why my last few blocks finished at about 5 3/4" rather than 6".  I just am not sure how to fix it!  The 1930s Farmer's Wife book comes with a CD that contains both templates and foundation paper piecing patterns.  When I print out the foundation piecing patterns that came with the book, the little reference line at the bottom of the page is so close to an inch that I thought I was good -- but when I measure along the solid line on the pattern itself that represents the finished edge of the block, it only measures about 5 3/4"!

FPP Patterns from FW1930s Book Print Too Small!
I had printed out several blocks' worth of FPP patterns from the book, and they are ALL too small.  Interestingly, the reference line at the bottom is labeled to indicate that it should measure 1 inch or 2.5 centimeters, although 1 inch is actually equivalent to 2.54 centimeters.  On my printouts, that line measures a scant inch, so close that it's just the thickness of the lines on a cloth measuring tape, but it measures exactly 2.5 centimeters, definitely not 2.54 cm.  I am wondering now whether it's some weird Windows 10 printer setting that I haven't discovered that only affects certain types of files, or whether the foundation piecing patterns on the book CD are actually too small?  If I was making a quilt using only the blocks from that book, it wouldn't be a problem because all of the blocks would finish the same size.  But for the original Farmer's Wife blocks I'm either printing out my own foundation patterns from EQ7 software or using the foundation patterns that someone else created in EQ5 (an earlier version of the same software) and has posted to a Yahoo group.  Whether I'm printing the patterns after downloading them from the Internet or printing them directly from my own software program, they come out exactly 6", but when I print the patterns that came off the CD, they come out too small. 

6" Churn Dash Pattern from EQ7 Measures Exactly 6"
I can mark the too-small blocks that I've already completed and compensate for the size difference when I add sashing, but going forward I'll need to be more careful about checking the accuracy of my patterns so that my new blocks all measure 6".

If you're making the Farmer's Wife 1930s quilt using the foundation paper piecing patterns on the book CD, can you please double check and let me know whether your patterns are printing out the correct size?  I had a lot more print options on my old computer before I "upgraded" to Windows 10.  When I open these files from the CD and click print, I don't even see any option for printing at 100% versus scaling to fit, so I don't know if the files themselves are off or if Windows 10 is "helping me" by scaling the document to fit the page with a certain size margin or something.  I've checked the settings on the printer itself and it's set to 100%, and since it prints the correct size directly from EQ7 I don't think the problem is happening at the printer itself. 

Anyway, it's Monday morning so I've got to set this conundrum aside and get back to work.  Today's goal is to figure out what I did wrong in Dreamweaver to mess up the home page of my business web site.  I spent at least an hour trying to solve this problem before I threw in the towel for the day on Saturday, so wish me luck!  Meanwhile, I'm linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times, Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt, Design Board Monday at Bits 'n Bobs, Show and Tell Monday at Bambi's blog, and Moving It Forward at Em's Scrap Bag.

Farmer's Wife "Storm at Sea," Farmer's Wife 1930s "Patricia," and Pineapple Log Cabin Progress

6" Quilt Blocks On the Design Wall
Good Monday morning!  I've been working hard on the design of a new business web site lately, which feels like trying to empty the Sahara Desert of its sand, one teaspoon at a time. After 8-10 hours of working on the web site, I reward myself with some time in the sewing room.  Because at least I have something to show for my labors with needle and thread!

My son Anders guilted me into finishing another block for my paper pieced pineapple log cabin quilt last week:

17 3/4" Pineapple Block, #23 of 36
Anders is scandalized that I keep starting new quilts without finishing the ones that are already in progress.  I do really like this one, but the blocks are kind of monotonous once you get the hang of them and although I cut up enough fabric strips to make TWO King-sized pineapple quilts, I'm getting bored with using the same fabrics over and over in these blocks.  I'm fighting the urge to go fabric shopping for more blues and greens.

EQ7 to Envision my Goal
I created the EQ7 mockup above after finishing the first of these blocks, so it has 36 blocks that are all identical, filled with a photograph of that first block.  My real blocks have more variety, as you can see from this shot of the last time I had a bunch of them up on my design wall:

Real Blocks on the Design Wall
So I'm now up to 23 blocks finished, 13 more to go.  Then I will find out just how difficult it is to remove the paper backing, which is a copy paper weight that is a lot thicker than the newsprint I use for other foundation paper piecing.  And then I have to figure out how to quilt this enormous beast before it can end up on my bed.

Meanwhile, I've been working on more 6" sampler blocks.  These are surprisingly addictive.  I have amassed a trove of bright, happy fabrics including thirties reproduction prints, solids and nearly-solids, Kaffe Fassett Collection prints, novelty prints, and other cheerful fabrics.  Some of my blocks are from the original Farmer's Wife sampler quilt book, others are from the 1930s Farmer's Wife sampler quilt book, and one is a vintage block that was originally published in the Kansas City Star newspaper in 1930.  I have modified some of the Farmer's Wife blocks to remove unnecessary seams, for a cleaner block with fewer bulky seam allowances and an opportunity to practice Y-seams.  And I plan to mix in blocks from other sources as well, like that Japanese patchwork book I bought back in 2012.

6" Sampler Blocks
After church yesterday, I spent most of my afternoon making Farmer's Wife Block #90 Storm at Sea and FW1930s Block #80 Patricia.

Farmer's Wife Block 90 "Storm Signal"
Farmer's Wife 1930s Block 80 "Patricia"
Oh, and I discovered why my last few blocks finished at about 5 3/4" rather than 6".  I just am not sure how to fix it!  The 1930s Farmer's Wife book comes with a CD that contains both templates and foundation paper piecing patterns.  When I print out the foundation piecing patterns that came with the book, the little reference line at the bottom of the page is so close to an inch that I thought I was good -- but when I measure along the solid line on the pattern itself that represents the finished edge of the block, it only measures about 5 3/4"!

FPP Patterns from FW1930s Book Print Too Small!
I had printed out several blocks' worth of FPP patterns from the book, and they are ALL too small.  Interestingly, the reference line at the bottom is labeled to indicate that it should measure 1 inch or 2.5 centimeters, although 1 inch is actually equivalent to 2.54 centimeters.  On my printouts, that line measures a scant inch, so close that it's just the thickness of the lines on a cloth measuring tape, but it measures exactly 2.5 centimeters, definitely not 2.54 cm.  I am wondering now whether it's some weird Windows 10 printer setting that I haven't discovered that only affects certain types of files, or whether the foundation piecing patterns on the book CD are actually too small?  If I was making a quilt using only the blocks from that book, it wouldn't be a problem because all of the blocks would finish the same size.  But for the original Farmer's Wife blocks I'm either printing out my own foundation patterns from EQ7 software or using the foundation patterns that someone else created in EQ5 (an earlier version of the same software) and has posted to a Yahoo group.  Whether I'm printing the patterns after downloading them from the Internet or printing them directly from my own software program, they come out exactly 6", but when I print the patterns that came off the CD, they come out too small. 

6" Churn Dash Pattern from EQ7 Measures Exactly 6"
I can mark the too-small blocks that I've already completed and compensate for the size difference when I add sashing, but going forward I'll need to be more careful about checking the accuracy of my patterns so that my new blocks all measure 6".

If you're making the Farmer's Wife 1930s quilt using the foundation paper piecing patterns on the book CD, can you please double check and let me know whether your patterns are printing out the correct size?  I had a lot more print options on my old computer before I "upgraded" to Windows 10.  When I open these files from the CD and click print, I don't even see any option for printing at 100% versus scaling to fit, so I don't know if the files themselves are off or if Windows 10 is "helping me" by scaling the document to fit the page with a certain size margin or something.  I've checked the settings on the printer itself and it's set to 100%, and since it prints the correct size directly from EQ7 I don't think the problem is happening at the printer itself. 

Anyway, it's Monday morning so I've got to set this conundrum aside and get back to work.  Today's goal is to figure out what I did wrong in Dreamweaver to mess up the home page of my business web site.  I spent at least an hour trying to solve this problem before I threw in the towel for the day on Saturday, so wish me luck!  Meanwhile, I'm linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times, Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt, Design Board Monday at Bits 'n Bobs, Show and Tell Monday at Bambi's blog, and Moving It Forward at Em's Scrap Bag.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

ANDERS IS HOME!!! Also Farmer's Wife 1930s Block 78, The Old Maid Wears Purple With a Red Hat

Oh, I said I was going to make a pineapple log cabin block next, but I lied...  Totally out of order numerically, I bring you Block 78 from the 1930s Farmer's Wife sampler book, "Old Maid:"
FW1930s Block 78, "Old Maid"

My old maid likes to dress in wild colors and splashy prints, like the fabulous Iris Apfel.  Remember that poem "Warning" by Jenny Joseph?  Well, here it is in case you're not familiar with it:

Warning


When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple. 
                
                                              


Fabric Bits Laid Out, Rearranged to Balance the Print Across the Block
That's what I was thinking about while I pieced this block.  It's an out of print Kaffe Fassett large scale print of irises and poppies, the same one I used in that math quilt top that is languishing on my design wall (where I try to avoid looking at it).  I love red and purple together, and I like the effect of cutting up a large scale print into pieces so small that the print motifs disappear into painterly splashes of color.


(Pieces Laid Out Incorrectly)
I've been coloring in the block key drawings and then labeling which fabric goes where on my foundation papers to reduce the frog stitching (rip-it, rip-it).  The one thing I keep forgetting with FPP is that the foundation pattern is a REVERSE IMAGE of the block.  Other than that, I'm getting into the swing of it and enjoying the accuracy and ease of this piecing method.


Motley Assortment of 6" (finished) Sampler Blocks
Oddly, my last two foundation pieced blocks have finished about a quarter of an inch too small.  On the Anne block, I thought it might be the accumulated bulk of all those diagonal seams sewing the sections together, but this block finished at about 6 1/4" too and it only had two seams joining the sections together.  What did I do differently from the previous foundation paper pieced blocks that were coming out exactly 6 1/2"?  The only thing I can think of is that maybe my iron is too hot and/or maybe it's because I started using steam and/or starching to try to get the pieces to lay really flat.  Maybe, even though I prewashed all of these fabrics, they are undergoing additional shrinkage from the pressing and steaming throughout construction.  Maybe my newsprint paper foundations are even shrinking!  I'm going to have to test that, by drawing a square on the newsprint paper and measuring it before and after steaming and pressing it with my iron.


Double Trouble, Reunited
Meanwhile, we collected Kiddo the Younger this morning from Davidson College, where he's been trying out college life for the last three weeks.  My boys missed each other while they were apart!


Gladiolas Like My Old Maid Block
Coincidentally, I happened upon these gladiolas on the Davidson campus, in exactly the same colors as my Old Maid block.

Here we have father and son being goofy on the college campus as Anders was giving us a walking tour of where he ate meals, where his classroom was, and the library where he researched his debate topics:


Silly Nut-Nuts, Junior and Senior
And here they are smiling sweetly for the camera at lunch:


Anders and Bernie

Lars-of-Ours
I recently, begrudgingly, upgraded to an iPhone 6s (because my 6+ kept freezing up on me) and they told me in the store that the 6s had a better camera.  I was skeptical at the time, but I have to say -- these are pretty good phone pictures, don't you think?  Of course, they're pretty cute kids, so it's not like they ever take BAD pictures!

One more picture, then we can wrap this up.  Earlier in the week, Bernie recruited Lars to help him build some Adirondack chairs for the back yard.  Lars was a reluctant apprentice for the first two chairs, but then he lost interest and wandered off with a video game.  Bernie has soldiered on alone, and now he has all six chairs finished.  The last step is staining them, which is what he worked on this afternoon:

My Sweetie.  He's Handy.
One Down, Five More to Go
I think these chairs are going to need some pillows...

Happy Fourth of July to all of my fellow Americans!  I'm linking up with Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework, Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts, Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt, Moving It Forward at Em's Scrapbag, Visa ovh Berätta måndag at Bambisyr med sin Quiltglädje, and Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.


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