June 27, 2016

Chart 57: Our Block Paul or Farmer's Wife, Block 33 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along


Since so many of you have discovered the versatility of the #8037 Log Cabin Ruler for strip techniques, it seemed appropriate to use it to make one of the blocks it was designed to make, the Courthouse Steps variation of a Log Cabin block. I’ve named the block Paul – the token male in this quilt. He was a farmer, but he was also our family's attorney and good friend, and he spent a lot of time going up and down the Courthouse Steps!


(Click on the image to visit the Shades website.)

This quilt is called "Magic Steps" in our Log Cabin ABCs book, Product #8043. In case you are tempted to make a similar wallhanging or quilt, I’m going to share a secret  that is in the book. I learned it when looking at an antique quilt. It is quite common to see what I call  “double-wides ” in Courthouse Steps quilts. That happens when people make blocks all the same size (which is a sensible thing to do…) and all of the blocks start with pairs of light strips and end with dark or vice versa. Then, when the blocks are set together, the smooth stair step design you see in the quilt above doesn't happen because it is broken by the double wide strips.


Here is the Trick

In this block, the last pair of strips in the block are dark.

1. When the blocks are joined into horizontal rows, position the light strip on the sides and the dark strips on the top and bottom. But, don’t join them yet.

2. Cut additional strips of the light fabric(s) the same width as the strips in the block, and the length of the block. Sew them between each block and at each end of the rows.



3. To keep those new light strips from connecting when the rows are joined, cut dark strips the same width as the block strips and as long as the rows and sew them between the rows of blocks.

4. To complete the look, sew a dark strip on all four sides of the quilt interior as we did in the "Magic Steps" quilt shown at the beginning of this article.

Here is Paul, our Courthouse Steps Block


Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the Chart for cutting and making Paul:

From Marti Michell Chart #57

Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Farmer's Wife block:

http://gnomeangel.com

http://www.onelittlepooh.net/blog-2/






The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W.



Sale-a-bration!

Our July 4th holiday weekend is coming, and that means parades, cookouts, fireworks -- and shopping! Even better, online shopping, right from home, so you can enjoy all the weekend fun and include some time for quilting, too. Maybe that means catching up on your Farmer's Wife blocks... or working on a UFO that you can't wait to finish... or starting a new project in patriotic fabrics!

Now through July 5 at midnight EDT (US Eastern Daylight Saving Time), we're offering 50% off all patterns and "Just (one shape) Templates", and 30% off all fabric and kits!  The bundle of "Just" templates is more than 50% off, and some kits even include the tool or several tools.  

Click here to shop our sale.

Do you know why we celebrate our independence on July 4?  You may be surprised!

Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy













June 20, 2016

Chart 56: Augusta, Block 7 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along


What Do Augusta and Long Skinny Sashing Stars
Have in Common?




One of the things I say a lot about our templates and tools is, 'The more you use them, the more you love them!" And the more you realize new ways they can help you cut better and sew more accurately. Avoiding seam rippers is such a good thing!

Having said that, you may still wonder why I’m talking about the Long Skinny Sashing Star Set. Well, if I hadn’t developed the Long Skinny Sashing Star Set (#8232) and the octagon frame layout you can create for 6-, 9- or 12-inch finished blocks, I might not have ever seen the easy solution for cutting and sewing the “X” sub-units in Augusta.


While I’m talking about it, I can’t stop without showing our favorite teenage boy quilt or a guy "who is still a teenager at heart" quilt. Pattern #8532 Long Skinny Smashing Sashings.




The triangles in Augusta do not have the same angles as the Long Skinny Sashing Stars Set, in fact, the “X” unit in Augusta is just another version of the famous “Peaky and Spike” triangles. However, it includes a cut-away trick to get the long triangles on the side with Peaky angles at both ends.  It is the sewing technique in the “X” triangles for Augusta that is the same as the units that make the octagon frame in "Let the Good Times Roll" shown above.

All of the rest of the pieces in Augusta are very straight forward pieces from Set B and Set D.

My Augusta Block


Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the Chart for cutting and making Augusta:

Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Augusta block:

http://gnomeangel.com

http://woodenspoonquilts.blogspot.com/






The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W.



June 13, 2016

Chart 55: Dorothy, Not Dinah Block #27 in the Farmer's Wife Sew Along



Dinah is a 52 piece block. She is not really template friendly. We could make Dinah using templates -- 27D is A-7 double-cut, 27E is A-7, 27 H, I and G pieces could be cut with the multi-size Peaky and Spike template set. 27A, B and F pieces would be easy to cut oversize and trim down. The end result just did not seem worth the effort.

So, we are replacing Dinah with a new block that we're calling Dorothy. My Mother had two friends named Dorothy who were both farm wives in the 1930s and both of them had children who were my friends. I was in the 4-H with the daughter of one and went to the Homecoming Dance my junior year with the son of the other. We all went to the same church.

Dorothy borrows Dinah’s best feature, the pinwheel Square Within a Square center, and allows it to be the design feature in the block. Dorothy is made with 24 pieces and is cut with template Set A.

My Dorothy Block



Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link to download the Chart for cutting and making Dorothy:

Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Dinah block:

http://gnomeangel.com

http://www.msmidge.com.au/blog/







The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W.




June 6, 2016

Chart 54: Poppy Block 83 and Our Pippa, in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along

Who is Pippa?

Pippa is Poppy's cousin.  This block has exactly the same pieces as Poppy. Only the fabric arrangement has been changed.

 

More Adventures with Peaky and Spike

In our post with Chart 49, we included the basic information about Peaky and Spike. We shared how the two triangles are drafted and showed why the engineered corners make the sewing so easy! The last two blocks, Doris and Judy, incorporated the most common combination of the triangles and the arrangement that is perfect for the engineered corners.

However, in some patchwork blocks, like Poppy, the triangles can be sewn together in different ways BUT the acrylic engineered corners can not change. Guess what? Even though the corners can not change, the way we use them can change!

On the outer row of the Poppy block several Spike triangles are rotated and sewn together into a strip. If you trim off the corners the normal way, there is still guesswork for perfect alignment of the triangles. But follow the corner trimming instructions on page 2 of the PDF and you will sew a perfect row of Spike triangles.

Cutting Little Pieces with Big Tools

There is not a Peaky and Spike set in the template Set S, but template S-99 can be used to cut the strip width that you need. Then use the acrylic points from Set C, Set D or the Multi-size Peaky and Spike Set to complete the cutting.

Please Read, Then Cut and Sew

Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

It is such a good idea to familiarize your self with the directions before beginning to cut and sew. It is especially nice not to make a mistake when you have 64 pieces in a 6-inch block! If you read the instructions, then proceed step by step, I bet you will be just as happy with your finished block as I am with mine. 😊

My Pippa Block


Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the Chart for cutting and making Pippa and Poppy:

Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Poppy block:

http://gnomeangel.com

http://theelvengarden.blogspot.com.au/2016/06/the-farmers-wife-1930s-block-tutorial.html

If you've read this far… 

Guess what?  We're having another contest!  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below to let us know if you're making Poppy or Pippa and you could win a set of our multi-size Peaky & Spike templates!  Contest ends June 13.  We'll use a random picker and post an update on this page to announce the winner, so be sure to check back on June 14 to see if your name is selected! The winner will have two weeks to contact us via our 800 number or by email. Our contact info is at http://www.frommarti.com/contact_us.shtml  If we don't hear from the winner by June 27, we'll select a new name and update this post with that person's name -- so be sure to bookmark this page!  Good luck and thanks for making your blocks with our templates!

Update!

The contest is closed and Susan Smith's name was randomly selected as the winner of the Peaky & Spike Template Set!  We're looking forward to hearing from Susan about where to send her fun new tools!





The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W.