Today I am sharing with you the block Sara from the 1930’s Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt book. Way back when the lovely Angie of Gnome Angel asked if I would like to participate in this quilt-along and I said yes she asked me why. If you look at my work I’m not exactly a traditional patchworker. But I love every type of quilting and I thought that this quilt-along would provide the perfect opportunity for me to dabble in some traditional patchwork. So here goes!
You can get your own copy of 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; RRP $28.99 – Click here to purchase.
Sara isn’t my first block from the book, I started with an easy block, Becky (number 12), to try out my colour palette of orange and blue. Have you ever seen Elisabeth Woo’s orange and blue farmer’s wife sampler quilt? I’ve never been able to get it out of my head and this is my chance to give it a whirl!
Up front I’m going to admit that I made a total rookie error. I printed the foundation paper piecing templates out too small and even though I checked the 1″ mark with my ruler I didn’t check it twice. So I made the entire block thinking the whole time, “gee these 6.5″ blocks are tricky” only to discover that I had made a 4″ block!!!
So please, check your measurements – at least twice! In fact, you have the choice of english paper piecing, foundation paper piecing or using the conversion charts (rotary cutting and use of templates) for this block. I used the templates for the triangle pieces and am looking forward to using the templates again for future blocks as they make everything quick and easy.
I think it’s really important in this block to take note of the original fabric selection and how that allows different parts of the block to stand out. My background fabric is a mid blue verging on teal but it still works as a background fabric in comparison to the orange and navy prints I selected for the feature prints. I always use a portable design board (just a piece of wadding stuck to a small noticeboard) and layout my fabric before I start piecing. If I’m not happy with how my fabric selection works I’d rather find out before I’ve pieced an entire block.
I followed the conversion chart which is available from Marti Mitchell’s blog for the length of the quilt-along. This involved the use of templates along with some rotary cutting that involved 9/16 measurements. You may wish to make a mark on your ruler between the 1/2 and 3/4 point on your ruler. The first time I quickly made up my own cutting instructions based on the misprinted template. You should not do that. Really. Trust me on that one 😉
I am slightly pedantic about my points matching so I press open after every join and I glue basted the long sections together to keep everything lined up. When I was joining my long sections together I started stitching from the middle of the block to the side and then went back and did the second half starting from the middle again. I always place the piece with the least amount of piecing on top to reduce the amount of shifting caused by the pressure foot.
When you have eight points to line up across the middle of the block they will shift as you sew and the pressure foot applies pressure. I prefer glue basting to pins but you could use pins, just don’t sew over them as you risk putting out the timing on your machine!
To be honest, I actually prefer my mini-me Sara at 4″ unfinished. I didn’t enjoy sewing it but it is so super cute that I love it to bits!
I hope you enjoy making Sara. I’m looking forward to seeing all of your different fabric selections! Don’t forget to link up over at Gnome Angel this Sunday. I also encourage you to visit the rest of the November bloggers. There are some BEAUTIFUL blocks popping up out there!
03/11/2015: Angie @ GnomeAngel.com
05/11/2015: Cat @ Cat + Vee
05/11/2015: Angie @ GnomeAngel.com
06/11/2015: Kirsty @ Bonjour Quilts
10/11/2015: Angie @ GnomeAngel.com
11/11/2015: Nadra @ Ellis and Higgs
12/11/2015: Angie @ GnomeAngel.com
13/11/2015: Raylee @ Sunflower Quilting & Sherri @ A Quilting Life
17/11/2015: Angie @ GnomeAngel.com
18/11/2015: Jemima @ Tied with a Ribbon
19/11/2015: Angie @ GnomeAngel.com
20/11/2015: Gemma @ Pretty Bobbins
24/11/2015: Angie @ GnomeAngel.com
25/11/2015: Cassie @ Cassandra Madge
26/11/2015: Angie @ GnomeAngel.com
27/11/2015: Lisa @ In the Boon Docks & Anita @ Daydreams of Quilts