Oh Grandma, how you schooled me in the ways of triangles. I had fun with this block but I must admit to being a little bit over triangles. But that’s ok because I know that the pain will be worth it in the end. I must also confess that I’m struggling a bit with only sewing my stash, my fingers are itching to get more fabrics and that’s never a good sign. Let’s see if I can stick to my stash only plan.
Thoughts on the Letter
I often wonder if I’ll get the blessing of being able to look back when I’m 82 at my life and see how things turned out. Sitting here, close to 40 and I look back and marvel at how far I’ve come from where I thought I would be by this age and how much happier I am because of the things the didn’t turn out like I’d planned or hoped. I also wonder if I’ll have the blessing of being able to go and live with my family when I no longer have company in the house. It’s amazing really how much our lives have changed on the surface, but at the core it’s still the fundamental things that matter; love, to work productively with your hands and family (and not necessarily in that order).
Tutorial: Block #39 “Grandma”
- I pressed my seams open.
- I used a Schmetz 70/10 needle.
- I used 50wt Aurifil #2600 (Dove) thread for piecing.
- I used the From Marti Michell Patchwork Templates Set B.
- I used Flatter by Soak in Yuzu 248ml as my starch.
- Fabrics shown in the tutorial are from the Gnome Angel Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Bundle from Fat Quarter Shop.
Measurements for the pieces needed to construct this block will not be provided in this tutorial. It is a pre-requiste of making this block that you have a copy of the book, The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them. Measurements can be found in this book and it’s associated media.
On Point Blocks
Please note I am not doing my blocks on-point. If you are fussy cutting your blocks please be mindful of your fabric placement so that the motif will sit correctly if you decide to put your blocks on-point.
You can find the From Marti Michell Patchwork Template Conversion Charts by clicking here.
Helpful Links & Videos
Marti Michell shows you how to cut using your ruler and templates:
How to Make the Block
- Tolerance Levels: you need to decide what is an acceptable tolerance level for “mistakes”. For example if your blocks are consistently 6¼” instead of 6.5″ are you ok with this. Or if your seams matching are less than an eight of an inch “off” are you ok with this. There’s no hard or fast rule and it’s different for everyone, so remember it’s your quilt so make your decision for you.
- Press your seams at each step. Click here for a great article on how to press your seams for patchwork.
- You can iron and starch your fabric prior to cutting. I also starch when pressing bulky seams.
- When pinning, pin away from you so that you don’t move your pieces when pinning.
- Where possible I chain piece all the pieces I can in one step. If you’re unsure of what chain piecing is, click here for a tutorial on how to do it. However, for the purpose of the tutorials I will step you through all the seams individually.
Please note: Use your rotary cutter and ruler to cut all pieces required for the block as per the instructions in the book. Cutting instructions can be found on the disc that came with the book. Block directions are located on page 198. You can also use the cutting instructions on the conversion chart. I have used the From Marti Michell Patchwork Templates Set B to cut the pieces required to make the block as shown in the book.
1. Using the block diagram on page 198 to work out which fabrics will be Fabric 1 (green), Fabric 2 (red) and Fabric 3 (cream). Place Fabric 2 and Fabric 3 right sides together and cut the following: 2 x (1.5″ x 10.5″) and 1 x (2.5″ x 3.5″). Cut the following from Fabric 1: 1 x (1.5″ x 8″) and 1 x (2.5″ x 3.5″). Diagram 1 shows these pieces.
2. Place the 2 pairs of 1.5″ x 10.5″ rectangles on top of each other. and cut 5 sets of From Marti Michell Patchwork Templates Set B14 (as shown in Diagram 2). From Fabric 1 strip of 1.5″ x 8″ cut 4 From Marti Michell Patchwork Templates Set B14 (as shown in Diagram 2). Stack all 2.5″ x 3.5″ rectangles and cut 2 From Marti Michell Patchwork Templates Set B13 (as shown in Diagram 2).
Tip: If you follow the conversion chart Marti Michell explains how to sew the triangle sets you need without separating them once you’ve cut them. However, I needed to see the block laid out so I knew I was doing it correctly. Work with whatever method suits your skill set.
3. Layout your pieces as per the block diagram in the book on page 198.
4. Join together the pairs of 39B as per Diagram 4. You can chain piece this step.
5. Join the four triangle pairs in the middle of your block to make squares, as per Diagram 5. You can chain piece this step.6. Join the top two squares together. Join the bottom two squares together. You can chain piece this step. If needed, see Diagram 6 for clarification.7. Join the 2 rows of squares as per Diagram 7 to make the large square in the middle of the block. Be mindful of not cutting off your points. Check out step 8 of the Block 20 Caroline Tutorial for the “floating pin” trick on how to ensure you get your points lined up.
8. Next we’ll join the set of three 39B triangles. Starting with the Fabric 2 triangles, join it to the Fabric 3 triangles. You can chain piece this step.
9. Now join the remaining Fabric 1 triangle to the others as per diagram 9. You can chain piece this step.
10. Time for the fun bit. You’re going to join the set of 3 triangles to the sides of your centre square. Remember to use the floating pin technique to line up that point and pin everything in place. (Diagram 10 shows how I pinned.) Repeat for all 4 sides of the square.
11. I have to apologise as I missed getting a photo of how I pinned the final 4 corners in place. However, the key to remember here is to line the seams up and not cut off your points. I’ll confess, I unpicked a couple of these corners and they’re still not perfect, but it’ll work itself out in the quilt. Give it a press and hey presto you’ve got Grandma!
The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sew-along Blogger Line up for Month 2
The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt Sew-along Official Bloggers will be posting their tips, tricks and tutorials for the blocks as they are released. You’ll be able to find them at the following links.
05/11/2015: Cat @ Cat + Vee
06/11/2015: Kirsty @ Bonjour Quilts
11/11/2015: Nadra @ Ellis and Higgs
18/11/2015: Jemima @ Tied with a Ribbon
20/11/2015: Gemma @ Pretty Bobbins
Blog posts will be published as per the timezone of the blogger. Why not subscribe to their blogs via their mailing list or a blog reader such as Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a post!
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.
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