#78 Old Maid
I've settled into a routine of making my Farmer's Wife blocks on Sunday. I have my spare sewing machine at the house, and I like being able to spend time with the family when they're all home. The only downside of sewing at the kitchen table is having snacks nearby.
It was time to add some blue to the palette, but I have been making my blocks fairly colorful all along. I mixed in yellows and reds that I've used before. This will help unify the overall color scheme.
Susannah and Katherine were very similar blocks. They shared the same templates, though one is mirrored. It's important to remember to keep fabric lined up the same way--right sides all up or all down-- when cutting a stack of the asymmetrical blocks.
I used a combination of Marti Michell templates, and some dandy ruler work to cut pieces this week. The templates were valuable tools in this week's blocks.
One thing I've started to do faithfully is press the stitched seam after I've sewn it. Just one quick press straight down before ever opening the seam. This is called 'setting the seam', and I can see enough of a difference to make it worth while. I no longer see as many wavy seams, especially in seams sewn on bias edges.
If you are chain piecing like I have here, it's no work to set the seam of a whole string in a few seconds. Clip the threads while they're cooling, then open the seams. I give a quick press to the wrong side of the block to keep the seam open, then turn and give it a good press on the right side.
#1. Never, never steam a bias seam! It will distort.
#2. Starch is your best friend when piecing for precision. I start by starching the fabric before cutting, and freely touch it up if I feel it getting flimsy. My favorite is Niagra Original Spray Starch.
We ended the week with 10 blocks, but I've got an extra one in mix. I like where these blocks are going, and Angie at Gnome Angel is keeping it interesting. Don't forget to check into the Farmer's Wife 1930's Sew-Along Link Up Party she hosts on Sundays to see the beautiful variety of blocks.