Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Farmer's Wife 1930s: Week 9: Blocks 2, 39, 46, 57, 62, 76, 79, 80, 90,

#90 Sara

Early this month I fell behind in my blocks for the 1930's Farmer's Wife. All it takes is one good cold, and everything goes on the back burner. If you remember, I cut out two blocks with the wrong size template, and had sewn one together without realizing it was a 4" block! 6.5" are small enough, but geez! All that work gone to waste.

#76 Nancy

Yesterday I started sewing at 5 a.m. I stopped for meals, and to throw laundry in and out, but otherwise I sewed constantly until 5 p.m. to start supper.

 #2 Aimee

I jumped back and forth doing easy blocks and harder ones, but dreaded the paper piecing. I'm not in love with it, and it shows below. 

#46 Jewel

Just my own opinion here, but I find the Marti Michell acrylic templates difficult to use, too. They are being promoted with the sewalong, and I've truly enjoyed reading her information about cutting techniques. I know so many quilters love them, and I've tried. I just don't. The templates are so small, I'm afraid using a rotary cutter so close to my hands. It goes against everything I've learned about keeping my fingers out of the way.

#57 Margaret

I find the paper printed template the easiest to use. I use a dot of glue stick to position it on my fabric stack, and use my 6.5" acrylic square to cut all the edges. It's old school, but it works best for me. It's also the cheapest.

#79 Patience

Anytime I could rotary cut, I did. 

#80 Patricia

Still, 8 blocks took me 12 hours. One was done the night before. That's an 18" x 18" finished block area! In those terms, is it worth it? It's not joyful sewing, and I'm sure not hitting those moments of flow like I have with other projects.

#39 Grandma

Grandma taught me not to ditch the piecing instructions completely. Most blocks are fairly straight forward, but this one has HST corners attached on the diagonal. There was a fair amount of ripping tiny stitches to get it right.

#62 Milly

Can you see how the tiny dots next to the blue solid appear blue, but beside the green/teal solid they look green? It's the same fabric. 

Margaret Big. 
Margaret Small. 
How could I?

May all your time spent Making be joyful.
Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.


  1. Your blocks look great. Love your fabric choices.

  2. what is a doxie?? i am curious and wonder what that is? mahalo. sonja

    1. Doxie is a typical shortened name for Dachsund, like Sheltie is short for a Shetland Sheep Dog. We have 2, Effy and Minnie, and they were adopted several years ago from a rescue. We don't know if they're sisters, but they were found together wandering on a road as puppies. They were and are absolutely best friends, and do everything together except sleep. Often they charge through the house side by side holding the same toy. Doxies are the life of the party!

      We also have an Australian shepherd, Lucy, who is nearly 8 or so, and barely tolerates them. Doxies are the drama queens of the dog world, and known to do anything to make it look like the trouble they've caused is the big dog's fault. They steal her toys, take her bed, both get in my lap which she is to big to do, etc. In other words, they cause a lot of trouble, but I love them dearly. They also follow me everywhere.

      When I would go downstairs to sew, of course, the little dogs would run down, too. They would be into the fabric trimmings, and Minnie loved to lay on my presser foot. There was a big room to run, and all three would run circles around it. It became our favorite time of day! I could be in the kitchen, and say, "Come on, Doxie girls. Let's go sew." and they would all scramble to find a toy and head down the stairs. Simple, but that's where the little saying came from.

    2. Finally got to know the behind-the-name story. Very cute! Dogs are great!

    3. Yes now i know too! my mom had a Trixie doxie when i was in high school. when i came home from college, Trixie had white hairs sprinkled across her face like freckles! That dog loved my mom and followed her everywhere around house and yard!

  3. What a great catch up day. Yes it is a lot of work. I am making the nearly insane quilt. 1 block took me 8 hours to make and had 227 pieces in it... Now that's a strain. And they are only 6.5" too. Keep it up you are doing well

  4. All your blocks look great even little Margaret. I'm sure the finished project will be worth all the effort.

  5. I know the uncertainty of having wandered so far into a project only to lose the quilty mojo. The one paper pieced block does look a bit wobbly but it will be fine when you stitcj them together. I really like whst you have do far and if you don't get the hsppy flow going, these would make a great smaller project :)

  6. I think your blocks turned out wonderful! Maybe Margaret small could be part of the label on the back. Making something that small deserve to be used!

  7. Yep, I find with samplers, much as I love them, I dislike rather intensely how time-consuming they are, both due to fussy cutting as opposed to strip cutting, and no rhythm for piecing. Loving your happy fabrics, and wow they have a Milly! That was my grandmother's name. :-)

  8. I don't know if I would have the patience to piece all that. Your hard work paid off, the blocks are beautiful, even the small Margaret. I'm sure they'll look even better in a quilt.

  9. I have been pondering the Farmer's Wife sampler ever since the book came out. I still want to do it but it's nice to have a realistic point of view about the process. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I also like the bright colours you are using in your blocks.

  11. Lots of little pieces in all those blocks, no wonder it took so long. They all look great. But I can see why the making of these blocks would seem more like a chore than a joy.

  12. Pretty blocks! I still have some MM templates from my first BOM ages ago. I liked them at the time, neat to have all the little corners trimmed, but I haven't used them much since and they are pretty tiny to work with!

  13. Oh, wow!! That's a LOT of finicky work to do all at once. Brava!! Quilts like this Farmer's Wife, Dear Jane, Insane, etc. - - - They would be absolutely MADDENING to do all at once. They need to be long-term friends where you only do 1 block per week or so, and just let it be an ongoing journey for a couple of years, quietly making its way bit by bit. When you do get to the last block, and put them all together - YES, it is 100% worth it. I made a Dear Jane top over a two-year period. I love it so much! She is my friend, and deserves to have been quilted up by now. I'm hoping to start working on her again in January to start the quilting!

  14. Juli!!
    Thank you linked this week's Show and Tell on Monday and the inspiration you give us !! Bambi Hug


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