December 5, 2016

Chart 80: Slightly Modified Widow, Block 99 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along



15 Blocks to Go! We are in the Home Stretch!

Here we are on Post #80, almost done. For those of you who are making every block you can with the templates, but at the same time, you are only making the blocks that are in the book, there are still 7 blocks for which template conversions aren’t appropriate. As we are on the home stretch, when they come up, I won’t always be blogging with a substitution.

I was almost positive that we had already provided 7 extra blocks that could replace the 7 I’m not converting. There was Mabel, chart 12; Alta and Aimee Chart 13 (Aimee is also featured with templates in my 11/13/15 post); Pat’s Basket, post 32; Poppy and Pippa post 54; the Dimensional Carrie, post 58; the modified Mollie (Lorna) post 59, and several still to come. Sure enough when I counted, I have 98 actual blocks I’ve made and have blogged about or will blog about.

Of course, Angie and at least one of the other bloggers will still be blogging about the 7 blocks and, as always, we will link to their blogs on the appropriate days.

But just in case you are looking for more blocks, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a few of our design specific template sets that make great 6-inch blocks. I’m not including patterns or writing instructions because if you own or want to own these sets, the instructions for rotary cutting and making the blocks are included with the templates. But, I have made the blocks to share with you.

Set F Sunburst

Follow the instructions included with the template set to make one-quarter of the full Sunburst Block. Click the images for larger views:


The cover of “Sunburst Quilts to Make” book shows another way to use the quarter-block in a quilt:


The Starry Path Block

This is our newest template set. The set is multi-size and you can make 6-, 9- or 12-inch finished blocks with one set.


The 6-inch House or Schoolhouse, Set J

I actually went to a one-room country school for kindergarten and half of first grade. Then the school was closed and we were sent to school in town. The school sat at the top of the hill about a quarter-mile east of our house and we could see it, silhouetted just like this little block, from our yard. (The same house block can be made at 12 inches finished with Set K.)


Now––On to Today's Block, Widow

Make 8 Units with Strip Techniques

As much as I love the Perfect Patchwork Templates, I would never walk away from an opportunity like this to use strip techniques. In fact, you may have heard me say that I think the templates are just an extension of strip techniques. Some of you may have even started quilting in the late 1980s or 1990s and used my best selling book, Quilting for People Who Don’t Have Time to Quilt (over 750,000 copies were sold). I love it when people tell me it was their first quilting book! In 1998 ASN asked me to do an enlarged and expanded version and in 1998, Quilting for People Who Still Don’t Have Time to Quilt! was published. Both books are out of print and often available on eBay.



It is easy to see that Widow is made with 9 equal size units or what is often called a nine-patch layout. Next, the four corner units are actual nine-patch blocks. The four side center blocks are basic Fence Rail blocks. Fence Rail and Nine Patch are two of the easiest blocks to make using strip techniques. The question is what size strips to cut.

Since Widow is a 6-inch finished block each of the 9 finished square units is 2 inches. But a 2-inch square divided by 3 is 2/3 of an inch -- oh, no! how do you measure that? Don’t forget to add 1/2-inch for seam allowances. The answer is a full 1-1/8 inch or a few threads beyond 1-1/8 inch.  One again, if you happen to have a metric ruler, 30mm is a perfect width strip for the Nine Patch and Fence Rail blocks.

No matter which way you measure, we suggest cutting strips for the Fence Rail first and then using the #12 square template in Set B to cut the square and true-up the width of the strips, if necessary.

Simplify or Paper Piece the Center Unit

I’m a big believer in the question “is the result really worth the effort?” So, since it is my quilt, and I had some appropriate ribbon handy, I chose to simplify the center unit of this block.

My Widow Block 


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

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

http://gnomeangel.com

http://woodenspoonquilts.blogspot.com/

Giveaway Just For People Who Read This Far!

Make a comment below to let us know you are still reading and win your choice of the 3 template sets shown today. One comment will be chosen by a random picker on December 13, 2016. Be sure to check back on that date to see if you won! If so, contact us with your mailing address so we will know where to send your prize.





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.

November 28, 2016

Chart 79: Monette, Block 64 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along


Monette was one of the blocks in the book that has some corrections since the first printing. Make sure that you are working with the corrected instructions. Click here to download the corrections PDF from the author's website.

When strip techniques are appropriate, as they are in Monette, we will use them every time and have written the instructions to include making strip sets. They need to be cut what we call a full 1-inch wide — that means a few threads wider than 1 in h or close to 1-1/32 inch wide.

Monette also gives us an opportunity to repeat “How to Cut Squares with a Triangle Template.” Remember, repetition is the best way to add a technique to your toolbox of cutting tricks!

My Monette Block



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

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



November 21, 2016

Chart 78: Lola, Block #52 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along


If you are one of the quilters who wanted to finish as soon as possible, Lola is probably one of the blocks that you made a long time ago. It was one I put aside for conversions, because the sizes were not obviously template friendly. One day it hit me that the measurements might be perfect if you work in metric and sure enough, they were.

Coincidentally about the same time I ran across this great tip in the "Threads" email newsletter, Threads for People Who Love to Sew!

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog post...

If you don’t subscribe, I recommend that you do. Threads doesn't overload you with emails and it is easy to skim. I was a dedicated garment-maker before I started quilting and loved it so much that my college degree was in Textiles and Clothing combined with Home Ec. Technical Journalism. If I had to guess, I would say that I haven’t made a garment in 25 years, but reading the Threads Newsletter keeps me connected with my first sewing. You can sign up here: love.http://www.threadsmagazine.com/eletter/

Now back to the tip!

It has to do with tape measures that have both metric measurements and inches. Here is the question…Please divide 18-7/8 inches by 5 with just your tape measure.

Click here for the answer, assuming your tape measure has both inches and metric. You will especially love this idea if you do any machine embroidery or love to browse quilting magazines from around the world.

http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/47954/tip-divide-measurements-easily

My Lola Block



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

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

http://gnomeangel.com

http://thecraftymummy.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.



November 14, 2016

Chart 77: Mrs. Thomas, Block #74 in the Farmer's Wife Sew Along, or our Aunt Gladys


Aunt Gladys

If you own Perfect Patchwork Template Set L, it is perfect for cutting Mrs. Thomas. If you don’t own Set L, we have substituted the Set A version of the same block, which reduces the number of pieces in the block from 45 to 33.


You might suspect that I own Set L šŸ˜Š, so I could make a Mrs. Thomas block, but my quilt will include our block Aunt Gladys made with Set A.

Coincidentally, when I was a girl, a Mrs. Thomas lived about two miles down the road from our house and my Aunt Gladys and Uncle Jess (my Dad’s brother) were their neighbors. Every summer, Aunt Gladys and Uncle Jess had the biggest garden in the area. I remember fondly what a pleasure it was to see Uncle Jess pull into our driveway with sweet corn and Beefsteak tomatoes as big as a slice of bread! What a summer treat – lettuce, bacon and tomato sandwiches and fresh picked sweet corn for dinner!

If you choose to use Set L, these are the conversions for Mrs. Thomas:


My Aunt Gladys Block


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


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

http://gnomeangel.com

http://whynotsew.blogspot.com/

Bonus: 8½-inch Mystery Quilt Block with Set A

Aunt Gladys can also be made in 8-1/2 inches finished size -- perfect for our mystery quilt sampler!








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.



November 7, 2016

Chart 76: Mrs. Fay, Block #68 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along


Psst, did you hear? Mrs. Fay got a facelift! 

There is a template conversion chart on the PDF if you want to make Mrs. Fay as shown in the book. However, if there is one thing I didn't want to do, it was a set-in square in the center of a 6-inch block!

I thought about dividing the block into 4 identically pieced triangles, as I wanted to keep the strong gold parallelograms seam-free.


That was a cool idea… but so "Not Me" to divide the center square and add seam lines!

Then I thought, how about this instead…


But, if we are doing away with set-in seams to make construction easier, why not also eliminate cutting and sewing mirror-image parallelograms and really give Mrs. Fay a facelift? If you want to do the mirror-image parallelograms, don't forget to cut them with fabrics right sides together (see my blog posts for Charts 25 and 26 in the January 2016 archive at right).

So, we chose to make Mrs. Fay with Four Patches and Flying Geese units. Download the template conversion chart for more details.


My Mrs. Fay Block 


Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the Template Conversion Chart for cutting and making Mrs. Fay:

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

http://gnomeangel.com

http://www.charmaboutyou.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.

November 4, 2016

Bear's Paw in the Beehive for the Marti Michell Mini Quilt Blog Hop




Welcome to my stop on the blog hop! Angie Wilson, the Gnome Angel blogger, organized a terrific blog hop so you could use your From Marti Michell templates to make some great new little quilts designed by a dozen of the bloggers who have been posting block tutorials for the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along. The quilts are all so cute and colorful!

There's a contest, too, with a great From Marti Michell prize pack!  On Friday, November 18, the other bloggers (listed below) and I will post a link on our blogs. To enter the contest, make a quilt using one of our patterns and submit a photo of your quilt via this linky. Alternatively you can submit your photo to the specific album in the Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt Facebook Group or you can post it on Instagram with the hashtag #MartiMichellMiniQuiltmania and tag Angie (@gnomeangel) and me (@MartiMichell) in the photo.

A secret panel of judges will chose their favorite entries, which will go in the running to win the prize pack. Entries can be submitted from Friday, November 18, 2016, to Friday, November 25, at 6:30 am EST (6:30 EST, 7:30 am AEST) and winners will be announced on Wednesday, November 30, at 6:30 am EST (7:30 am AEST). The judges' decision will be final.

My Design is Called Bear's Paw in a Beehive

Challenged with making a mini quilt using From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates Sets A, B, D, N or S, I decided I wanted to use some of the pieces from Set D that were not used very often or at all in the Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Sew Along.

For inspiration, I went to Volume 2 of the Encyclopedia of Patchwork Blocks (Product #8343). It has a collection of dozens of blocks that incorporate the shapes in Sets A and C or B and D.


In no time, I had selected “Spy Glass” on page 31 as a starting point. It is a variation of a block called “North Dakota.” In its standard coloration, North Dakota appears as four stars. Color it differently and we got “Spy Glass.” (Click on the image for a larger view.)


I asked Patti, who does all of our terrific graphics, to pull out a block with the light circle... make four #22 triangles in the center and then divide them horizontally... add a narrow border and then “Bear’s Paw” corners. It looked like this:


After some fabric trials, I zeroed in on the fabric group I wanted to use: Bee Creative by Deb Strain for Moda Fabrics. Then laying out fabric samples made it easy to make some changes. I wanted:

    • All of the #23 background triangles to be the same color,

    • To eliminate the small B13 triangles on the light colored #24 kite shapes

    • To follow our own tip and substitute #22 for two #23 small triangles in several places.

Because the Bee Creative fabrics shared the gray, black and white colors, it was easy to substitute the gold accent for purple and create a new visual:



And Bear's Paw in a Beehive was born! The quilt is 22 inches (55.9 cm) square. The instructions are in PDF form, just like our Farmer's Wife 1930s Sewing Along PDFs. Keep reading for some great tips and then download the instructions, along with a photo of my quilt, using the link at the end of this article.


Tips for Easy Sewing, Efficient and Accuracy




1. When sewing the corner units (steps 1 and 2 in the downloadable instructions), pay attention to the orientation of the long skinny template D-23 triangles to be sure you are sewing the correct edges together. Press toward the triangle each time. (Click on the image for a larger view.)


2. For the side sections (steps 3 and 4 in the instructions), the templates' engineered corners help make matching pieces for stitching easy peasy. The corners for the two most common arrangements fit perfectly:

This less common arrangement of two #23 triangles aligns partially:


For Bear's Paw in a Beehive, I used a brand new cutting trick to make the side sections (step 4). After all these years of using these templates, they still surprise me!


After joining the first gray #23 triangles to a #24 kite, I pressed toward #23. Then I placed the D-23 template on the sewn unit as shown below and nipped the corner. This quick little trick allows for perfect alignment in the next step!


I then aligned the edges of the kite with the appropriate side of the black D-22 triangle as shown here, with the black triangle on the bottom. Chain piece 4 units, press toward #23 and then add the gray and white mirror-image units to the opposite sides of the black triangles.



Download Instructions for Bear's Paw in a Beehive

Use this link to download a 2-page PDF to make this wallhanging. You may want to refer back to this blog post when you begin sewing.



Thanks for hopping by! 

Come back again on November 25 for news about the contest winner!  And be sure to visit all the blogs to collect all the free patterns for fun quilts to make using your From Marti Michell templates!

August 12, 2016  
Angie Wilson    http://www.gnomeangel.com

August 19, 2016   
Tonya Grant    http://thecraftymummy.com

August 26, 2016  
Lucy Brennan    http://www.charmaboutyou.com

September 2, 2016   
Kirsty    http://www.bonjourquilts.com

September 9, 2016   
Catherine Demack    http://catandvee.blogspot.com

September 16, 2016   
Nathalie    http://ouvragesdenat.com

September 23, 2016   
Alyce Blyth    http://www.blossomheartquilts.com

September 30, 2016  
Peta Peace    http://shequiltsalot.com

October 7, 2016  
Lisa    http://www.sweetlittlepretties.com

October 14, 2016   
Rachel M    http://woodenspoonquilts.blogspot.com.au

October 21, 2016   
Raylee Bielenberg    http://www.sunflowerquilting.com.au/sunflower-quilting-blog/

October 28, 2016
Lisa Johnson    http://intheboondocks.blogspot.com.au

You are here: http://frommartimichell.blogspot.com/

October 31, 2016

Chart 75: Mother, Block #65 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along


Sometimes it makes sense to look for a different way to get the same visual result. That kicked in for me when I saw pieces 65B, H and G being used to make a square corner.

We hope you will enjoy our two-unit technique that eliminated all those tiny pieces in the center. Of course, it does include the "A" word, albeit less than 9 inches of appliquƩ stitching!



We prepared the Nine Patch for appliquĆ© by turning under the edges a scant 1/4-inch and centering a piece of SoftFuse™ on the wrong side. After fusing the square in place, we hand stitched around the Nine Patch to complete the block. Click here to download a PDF with more detailed instructions for "Soft Edge - No Raw Edge - Fusible AppliquĆ©" using SoftFuse™.

My Mother Block



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

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

http://gnomeangel.com

http://theelvengarden.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.



October 24, 2016

Chart 74: Peony, Block 81 and our Substitute Double Aster in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along



Here are the From Marti Michell template conversions for the Peony block:

 

The Double Aster Block

Double Aster is a classic design credited to Nancy Cabot. In Jinny Beyer's book The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Blocks, Nancy Cabot is said to have presented this block, which she called Double Windmill, in her Chicago Tribune column of October 26, 1936, and attributed it to an old Pennsylvania Dutch pattern pieced in Philadelphia as early as 1800.


Nancy Cabot was on a roll -- 2 weeks later, she added 2 triangles to each quarter-block and the new block became Double Aster. She "fertilized" Double Aster with 8 more triangles and a dozen squares and created a new block called Peony and Forget Me Nots, very close to block #76 Peony.

I fell in love with Double Aster in the late 1990s, when I used it in this sampler quilt. (Sorry this is only one section of the quilt. The blocks are 16 inches, it is a big quilt!)


Wherever the quilt was displayed, Double Aster was always the block that attracted people.


At that time, we developed a Double Aster class plan that we made available to stores. It was great for learning about the triangles in Sets A and B because the block has 4 different sized triangles. I had made 8-1/2, 12 and 16 inch Double Aster blocks, but not a 6 inch block.

When I first saw Peony in the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book, I thought it wa Double Aster and assumed it looked different because it was so small. Then I realized Peony had more stuff going on at the edges, which seemed to clutter the design. That settled my decision to make Double Aster for my quilt and share it with you. By the way, it was only after I decided that I compared the number of pieces. Double Aster has only 37 pieces, compared to 57 for Peony -- wouldn't you rather cut, sew and press 37 pieces than 57?

A Double Aster for our Mystery Quilt

Made with Set A, this is also a perfect block for our 8-1/2 inch mystery quilt. (Click the images for a larger view.)
 

Bonus Sizes

Double Aster is also a perfect block to demonstrate the versatility of the templates. You're using From Marti Michell templates to make 6-inch blocks, but our basic sets (A through D) can make up to 4 sizes each of hundreds of block designs. 

If you own Set A, you can make Double Aster in 3 sizes (6, 8-1/2 and 12 inches, finished). And you get 3 more sizes with Set B (8, 11-1/4, and 16 inches).


What's the 2+2 triangles in the 12-inch block?  It's triangle template A-2 doing a template trick! You can cut any triangle twice as big using this trick!  (It's great for Flying Geese units, too -- cut the 2 small triangles with the triangle template, then use this template trick to cut the center triangle!) See 31 sizes of Flying Geese in More Bang for the Buck!

My Double Aster Block



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

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

http://gnomeangel.com

http://www.talesofcloth.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.