The block we call Emma looks just like Em, except we have eliminated a dozen unnecessary seams by making 8 Flying Geese units and 4 rectangles to replace 16 half-square triangles and 8 squares. Plus we used strip techniques to make the checkerboard units instead of cutting tiny individual squares.
You may have forgotten, I wrote in a previous post that my Mom was an Iowa farm wife in the 1930s. So, when I decided that I would substitute a very template-friendly block for Aimee that was only barely template-friendly, I named the new block Alta, after my Mom. I also decided that whenever I offered an optional template-friendly block, it would be named in memory of a 1930s Iowa farm wife who was either my mother’s friend or one of my friends' mothers. Emma was both.
Emma’s son Clarence was a classmate of mine for 12 years. Even though our small graduating class of 26 has spread from coast-to-coast, we have kept in touch. It was fun to find out at a class reunion about 10 years ago that Emma’s granddaughters and Clarence’s daughters, Susan and Julie, are two of the partners who own Ladybug’s Quilts in Manteca, CA, about 60 miles south of Sacramento. Don’t miss it if you are in the area and make sure you tell them “Marti sent you!”
Photos courtesy of Ladybug's Quilts
Emma’s Signature QuiltIt was especially fun that, just as we were starting the Farmer’s Wife quilt-along, Emma’s family members discovered a signature quilt from the 1930s which included Emma’s embroidered name. They shared a snapshot of the quilt and her name block.
This quilt has the earmarks of a good fundraising signature quilt. It was common for people to contribute money to have their signature included in the quilt. Usually that also gave those people an opportunity to win the quilt when it was completed, and it looks like Emma won.
You can make your own 6-inch signature block or blocks. If you and several friends are cheering each other on as you make the Farmer’s Wife quilt -- it might be fun to put their signature blocks on the back of the quilt.
Use triangle template A-2 for the triangle corners. Cut 3 strips a scant 2 inches wide by 4-3/4 inches long for the signature area. True up the signature square with template C-15 (a 4-3/4 inch square) if you own Set C or use My Favorite 6-1/2 inch Squaring Up Ruler. Don’t forget to press freezer paper to the back of the signature area to stabilize it for signing.
Join triangles to opposite sides of the 3-strip square, press toward the center and then add the remaining triangles to the remaining opposite sides.
My Emma Block
Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the Chart for cutting and making Emma:
In addition to our template conversion PDF download, you will want to read Gnome Angel's tutorials for these blocks.
Thanks for reading this to the end! Leave a comment below to enter our giveaway and you could be one of 3 random commenters to win a set of our new multi-size Starry Path Templates for 6-, 9-, and 12-inch blocks. The 6-inch size would be perfect as an extra block in your Farmer's Wife quilt. We'll do a random pick on March 28, 2016.
P.S. Jinny Beyer's Quilters Album of Patchwork Patterns credits the Starry Path block design to Alice Brooks Design, Chicago Tribune, 1936.
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.