August 5, 2015

2015-16 Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along || Tools Used

(The sew along has ended, but you can still get the template conversion charts on my blog and read the other bloggers' articles on their blogs, too. To get the PDF template conversion charts (one chart per blog post), read my blog posts in chronological order starting in Sept. 2015 and coming forward.)

We're having fun making six-inch Farmer's Wife blocks again! Soon we'll begin rolling out our free template conversion charts for Gnome Angel's Farmer's Wife Sew Along, starting September 28. Angie has partnered with us and Fat Quarter Shop for this project, and along with 30 other bloggers, we'll be posting about making the blocks from week to week, so be sure to follow Angie's blog and mine, as I'll be "talking tips" about making the blocks with our templates.

It's always fun for us to find new ways to use our tools, and we're happy that most of the blocks in The 1930s Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird can be cut with From Marti Michell templates. The charts will be free and available for download here on my blog each week for the duration of the sew along. Each of the template conversion charts will list the tools used to cut that block and we're organized the blocks based on what tools the blocks have in common rather than following the order given in the book. (NOTE: You must have a copy of the book to use the conversion charts, as the charts contain only information relevant to using our templates.) More details about the fools are on our website:

The Farmer's Wife Short List

The most frequently used templates are the same templates you used the most if you followed our conversion charts for the first Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt. We'll be using these in the first six weeks:

Set A #8251
Set B #8252
Set D #8254
Set S #8166
And Set N #8956

As you go along, any tools tha tyou dont have but want to use can be ordered from us or from Fat Quarter Shop.

The tool you will be most grateful for is the Pineapple Ruler Set #8262 Pineapple Ruler, especially if you are not fond of paper piecing. This set is for 4-, 5- and 6-inch Pineapples made with lots of 1/2-inch finished width strips -- it's perfect for 5-inch Pineapple blocks in this quilt. Jen's Pineapples have 8 rounds x 4 strips each, and there are 16 of them. We'll begin making them early so you won't have to fuss with finding and cutting loads of strips later on. You can see a larger image with more details about the template set by clicking on the image below.

Set Q is only used to cut the Bow Tie blocks but it is a great basic set to have on hand. Anything you can make with Sets A or B you can make with Set Q, it will just be smaller. 

The Second 6 Weeks—“Go to” Tools
#8037 Log Cabin Ruler for cutting 1½″ and ¾″ finished strips for the Chevron Log Cabins. 

#8227 Log Cabin Ruler for cutting 1″ and ½″ finished strips for the Courthouse Steps blocks.  (If you don’t have any of our Log Cabin rulers yet, consider our Log Cabin Special #8098-1 to save $11.)

#8289 Multi-Size Peaky and Spike Triangle Set. If you own Set C or Set D or the Sashing Star Ruler you can use them to cut the “60°” triangles. We call them Peaky and Spike triangles; they are actually 53½°. I’ll blog about how to adapt Set C or D to these blocks when we get closer to them. 

Other “Go To” Tools

The First Three Months
of the 1930s Farmer's Wife Sew Along

If you want to collect the tools as the sew along goes along, in the first 3 months you will use Sets A, N, B and D. The most frequently used templates are the same templates you used the most if you followed our conversion charts for the first Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt. We'll be using these in the first six weeks:

Set A #8251
Set B #8252
Set D #8254
Set S #8166
And Set N #8956

#8297 Fussy Cutter. Great for fussy cutting small pieces and for squaring up 6-inch blocks.  

#8973 My Favorite 6-1/2 inch Squaring Up Ruler - Every completed Farmer's Wife block should be 6-1/2 inches, including seam allowances. There are many other times you will use this ruler to square up sections as you go. It’s perfect for cutting 6-1/2 inch and smaller squares, too.

#8972 My Favorite 3 x 18 inch Ruler - If not this ruler, make sure that you have a “standard” ruler that is shorter than 24 inches and longer than 6-1/2 inches, as a ruler in that size range is much more convenient and accurate when working with smaller pieces of fabric.

A Small Cutting Mat, 6 x 9-ish, or small rotating mat - In addition to a big mat, a small one makes nipping off the dog ears with the engineered corners on our templates easier and more accurate. (Eliminating the dog ears at this stage reduces bulk, makes sewing more accurate – triangles and squares automatically fit together – and units press better.)

Good rotary cutter - Which size is your personal choice. Some people like to shift to the small 28 mm size to cut smaller pieces.  

Optional Starter Tools

#8064 Corner Trimmer - A corner trimmer isn’t necessary if you are cutting with the templates, as they all have engineered corners. But if you want to try ruler-cutting the squares and half-square triangles, the corner trimmer allows you to trim away dog ears and match the engineered corners for sewing.

#8217 Deluxe Corner Trimmer - Especially nice if you are planning on doing any hand-piecing, as this tool makes it easy to mark dots for “dot-to-dot” sewing and draw a 1/4 inch stitching line on rotary cut pieces.

The Next Three Months

#8166 Set S - This set is specifically designed for cutting finished 6” blocks that are designed on a 5 x 5 grid. 6 inches divided by 5 plus 1/2 inch seam allowance equals what? That is why you will love Set S - no math required!

#8955 Set M is Set S’s big sister - 12 inch blocks designed on a 5 x 5 grid. It is used in several blocks in this quilt, but the 2 sets are companions in the rest of your quilting life and we do give a price break when you buy product # 8172 Sets S&M together.

#8037 Log Cabin Ruler for cutting 1-1/2 and 3/4 inch finished strips. You may be surprised how we use this! ;)

#8289 Multi-Size Peaky and Spike Triangle Set - If you own Set C or Set D or the Sashing Star     Ruler you can probably use them - I’ll blog about how to adapt those pieces to these blocks when we get closer.     

The Remaining Months 

The rest of the blocks will be cut with all the previous sets, and some pieces can be cut with one of our other tools. You might also want to use them:

#8253 Set C - These are the companion pieces for Set A and they come in handy in several blocks if you already own it. While I recommend this set all the time, don’t buy it just for this quilt!

#8641 - The Small Kaleido-Ruler is used to true-up some pieces and in several optional substitute blocks.

#8158 - Kite Ruler is used in 2 or 3 blocks.

#8212 - Set Q is used in 2 blocks.

#8255 - Set E is used in 1 block

Our Product Line is Like a Family

And family parties are always more interesting when the aunts and uncles and cousins add to the fun! We've teamed up templates and companion books to help make Perfect Patchwork Templates your go-to tools for all the quilts you make! 

More Bang for the Buck book #8352 - Once you use From Marti Michell templates you will want to use them on more projects and get more bang for the bucks you’ve spent!  This book is full of info to help determine which templates are perfect for other quilt designs. And when you want to know how many pieces of a particular template size you can get from one strip of fabric, this book can tell you -- for any of our template sets that include a square or right triangle. We included a section on how to figure yardage for a quilt, too.

Encyclopedia of Patchwork Blocks, Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4 - Even though part of the fun of a sew along is making the same blocks at the same time with quilting friends all around the world, there may be blocks you don’t want to make. After all, it is your quilt and you can personalize it with substitutions if you want! Or you might want to make a second, bigger quilt with different sampler blocks. If you run short of ideas for that, these books feature dozens of 6-inch blocks you can make with the template sets you already have. And when you have completed your Farmer’s Wife quilt, they are a great source of inspiration for new quilts.
Volume 1 #8342 Set A or B
Volume 2 #8343 Sets A and C or B and D
Volume 3 #8345 Set E (Eight Pointed Stars)
Volume 4 #8346 Sets L and M - 12 inch Set M blocks are easily translated into 6 inch Set S blocks.

Why Most of the Template Sets Have Letter Names

If you are new to From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates, you may not realize that our template sets multi-task. Each set includes 7 to 11 size-specific acrylic shapes that fit together many different ways to make square (or hexagonal) blocks. Because they were planned around the concept of popular finished block sizes, designs and a grid system, the template sets are very versatile. The same acrylic template might be used as the smallest piece in one block and the largest in another.

So, if we named template sets with block names like 12-inch Evening Star, 12-inch Clay’s Choice, 12-inch Rambler, etc. we would have made dozens of sets and they would all have many of the same pieces! Hence, they are named in alphabetical order in the order in which they were introduced, starting in 1995 with Sets A, B, C, D, and E. We quickly realized that we would run out of letters, so we started naming new templates sets for specific designs they are used to cut, such as Drunkard’s Path, Winding Ways and Dresden Plate. We most recent template set we named was Set T in 2011 – 16 years after Set A -- so far, so good!

August 3, 2015

Farmer's Wife 1930s Template Conversions and Sew Along

We're excited to announce that we will soon be sharing free template conversion charts for the 1930s Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt!  We've been sharing our PDF conversion charts for the original book for several years now and we're gratified by how many people have asked us to do the same for the new book. We're thrilled that you want to use our templates to cut this new group of blocks! (You can still get the PDFs for the original book by using the "join our list" button on our website.)

It's a little different this time, and we think you will love it!  We've partnered with Angie at Gnome Angel, Fat Quarter Shop and a band of bloggers for a year-long sew along that starts September 28, 2015. Angie and the bloggers will be posting about the blocks as they make them, Fat Quarter Shop will be offering fabric kits and if you don't already have the Perfect Patchwork Templates Sets used to cut the blocks, you can buy them in our online store or Fat Quarter Shop's.

All the details are on Angie's blog. Head on over there to meet Angie! And join her Facebook group to share the fun all along the way!