Granny is Block 41 of Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt

Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt - Learn to make the blocks with Angie Wilson of GnomeAngel.com

Granny is a deceptively tricky block from the Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt. I have to admit that she caught me out and I had to recut 3/4 of my block because of it, so pay careful attention to the tutorial steps! I really love the optical illusion that this block creates through the use of only 2 fabrics. It’s also one of the only blocks that I think really needs to be set on-point to add that little extra kick of impact.

Thoughts on the Letter

Like most parents my folks worked full time jobs to provide for our family, this meant there were times when my Nana would come to stay with us to keep an eye on me and my Brother. I remember as a teenager thinking it was a little overkill to bring Nana in when I was quite capable of looking after myself. What I didn’t see at the time was that these moments of having my Nana around where a very rare and precious gift.

I got to spend more time with my Nana then a lot of my Cousins and a lot of my friends did with their Grandparents.  I got to go one adventures with her, spend time just hanging out with her and I got to soak in the love that she had to give. The whole reason I’m sitting here today writing about quilting is because my Nana, for whatever crazy reason, decided to give me (the kid who’d flunked sewing at school) her sewing machine when she could no longer use it. That sewing machine started this whole crazy journey. (Well, that sewing machine and the gifts, wisdom and lessons that my parents imparted to me during my upbringing.)

I’m very blessed to have my Nana still in my life (I sometimes think if there’s a nuclear war it’ll be her and the cockroaches left looking after the place!). I’m blessed to have had her meet the loves of my life (my Husband and my Son). have her at my wedding, have her see me grow up and most of all just have her in my life.

Tutorial: Block #41 “Granny”

Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt - Learn to make the blocks with Angie Wilson of GnomeAngel.com

General Information

If you’d like to know “My Top 10 Beginners Patchworking Tools” you can find them by clicking here.

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.

Conversion Chart

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:

For another video on this template set click here.

How to Make the Block

General advice:

  • 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: This tutorial shows how to use the From Marti Michell Patchwork Templates Set A to make this block. Using this method will make your 41A pieces slightly larger than the pieces provided by the book template (the block will still be 6.5″ unfinished) but provide you with the same look as the block in the book. If you are not using the Mart Michell templates you will find the template for cutting this shape in the information included with your book.

1. Cutting 41B and 41C with the From Marti Michell Patchwork Templates Set A: Because I didn’t want to fussy cut these pieces and the pattern calls for mirror images I decided to cut the shapes by stacking my fabrics. To do this cut 2 x 4.5″ squares as pictured in diagram 1.

Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt - Learn to make the blocks with Angie Wilson of GnomeAngel.com2. Stack these squares on top of each other, right sides (print) facing up on all pieces. Cut out template A2 by positioning in bottom left hand corner and then once cut flip the template and cut out top right hand corner. This method will give you the 4 pieces you need. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for other 41A fabric.

Tip: You can use this same method of stack cutting with the printed template from the book. Just use the printed template in place of the Marti Michell template.

3. Use your rotary cutter and ruler to cut all remaining 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 200. You can also use the cutting instructions on the conversion chart. I have used the From Marti Michell Patchwork Templates Set A and accompanying conversion chart to cut all my pieces for this block.

Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt - Learn to make the blocks with Angie Wilson of GnomeAngel.com

4. You’ll need to be fully awake for the next steps. I’m not going to lie – I didn’t pay attention and I made 6 of these joined pieces incorrectly and had to go back and recut all the pieces again. You will have to trim these blocks down so before you cut make sure you’ve sewn them on correctly!

Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt - Learn to make the blocks with Angie Wilson of GnomeAngel.com

Pay careful attention to the direction of 41A. I remembered the direction by thinking that the longest side of 41A had to run parallel to the right angle corner of 41B, as shown by the black lines in diagram 4a and 4b. Note how the engineered corner of 41A lines up with the bottom of 41B (as per the arrows at the bottom of diagrams 4a and 4b).

Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt - Learn to make the blocks with Angie Wilson of GnomeAngel.com

5. Join 41A to 41B with a 1/4″ seam from the edge of 41A as per diagram 5.  Once attached flip 41A over and confirm fit before trimming. I strongly recommending giving this seam a light finger press to hold the pice in the flipped over position and lining all your pieces up to confirm you have them going in the right direction before trimming. Learn from my mistake! Once you’ve confirmed the correct placement trim off the excess, as per diagram 5a. This step can be chain pieced to make all 8 triangle units that make up this block.

Tip: You can chain piece this step if you wish, you could also chain piece the entire block if you feel comfortable doing so.

Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt - Learn to make the blocks with Angie Wilson of GnomeAngel.com6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 to make the remaining 6 triangle units as per diagram 6.

Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt - Learn to make the blocks with Angie Wilson of GnomeAngel.com

7. Join Unit 1 to Unit 2, join Unit 3 to Unit 4, join Unit 5 to Unit 6 and join Unit 7 to Unit 8  (as per diagram 7a). Pay careful attention to lining up the angled seam as indicated by the arrow in diagram 7a. This step can be chain pieced to make the 4 large triangles that make up this block.

Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt - Learn to make the blocks with Angie Wilson of GnomeAngel.com8. Join Unit A to Unit B and join Unit C to Unit D  (as per diagram 8a). Pay careful attention to lining up the angled seams as indicated by the arrows in diagram 8a. This step can be chain pieced to make the 4 large triangles that make up this block.

Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt - Learn to make the blocks with Angie Wilson of GnomeAngel.com9. Join the two halves together to complete your block  (as per diagram 8a). Pay careful attention to lining up the seams as indicated by the arrows in diagram 9a. To ensure a straight angled seam I pinned at the right angle corner of the triangle making sure the seam was lined up across the block.

Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt - Learn to make the blocks with Angie Wilson of GnomeAngel.com10. Ta-dah! You just made Granny!

The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sew-along Blogger Line up for Month 1

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.

29/09/2015: Angie @ GnomeAngel.com

30/09/2015:Lucy @ Charm About You & Melissa @ Oh How Sweet

01/10/2015: Angie @ GnomeAngel.com

02/10/2015: Jodi @ Tales of Cloth

06/10/2015: Angie @ GnomeAngel.com

07/10/2015: Alyce @ Blossom Heart Quilts

08/10/2015: Angie @ GnomeAngel.com

09/10/2015: Jess @ Elven Garden Quilts & Sedef @ Down Grapevine Lane

13/10/2015: Angie @ GnomeAngel.com

14/10/2015: Melissa @ Ms Midge

15/10/2015: Angie @ GnomeAngel.com

16/10/2015: Erin @ Why Not Sew

20/10/2015: Angie @ GnomeAngel.com

21/10/2015: Nathalie @ Les Ouvrages de Nat

22/10/2015: Angie @ GnomeAngel.com

23/10/2015: Tina @ Emily Ann’s Closet

27/10/2015: Angie @ GnomeAngel.com

28/10/2015: Rachel @ Wooden Spoon Quilts

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!

Book Details

T2131_FW1930SQ_COV.indd

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.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a very small commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link, in fact in some cases I can offer you a better price via an affiliate link. I will not recommend something that I do not use myself. These commissions help me keep being able to provide you with great content for free. Thank you, in advance for your support!

Psst... Would you like a FREE pattern?

Sign up to the GnomeAngel Newsletter and you can access your very own free pattern. Get the latest news, stay up-to-date with sew-alongs + events and receive the occasional free offer! Simply add your details below!

I respect your privacy and I won't send you spam. You can unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

12 Comments

  1. Ann Kennedy October 31, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Great explanation do you have the rotary cutting measurement as granny was not listed in the cd mine worked but is to small

    1. GnomeAngel November 6, 2015 at 6:33 am

      Hi Ann, you’ll need to use the templates to make this block as the measurements are not easy ones to cut out. There’s a folder on the CD for the paper templates (not the foundation paper piecing patterns). Let me know if you have any issues with it.

  2. toni October 30, 2015 at 5:41 am

    Absolutely thorough wonderful tutorial. This SAL is so very well organized! Thank you all for your excellent work.

    1. GnomeAngel November 6, 2015 at 6:38 am

      Thanks so much for taking the time to pass on such a lovely compliment, means the world! Thank you!

  3. Peggy Terzian October 29, 2015 at 6:38 am

    I also went to Rachel’s blog, and thought her tutorial was well done, and something I have not tried before! That’s why I joined this QAL-it’s so cool to have a safe place to challenge your skills! Thanks again for this well-thought out, intriguing, challenging (yet safe), fun quilt-a-long!

    1. GnomeAngel November 6, 2015 at 6:39 am

      It’s my pleasure Peggy, I’m so glad you’re getting something out of it and enjoying it. 🙂

  4. Suzanne Hayes October 28, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Great tutorial. Excellent, as a matter of fact. And as careful as I was….I’m still going to have to redo four triangles. Lesson for me was ….don’t cut the fabric until you lay them out and look at them sewn on. I could have sworn I had them positioned right. They pointed down correctly. But they were seen straight across from side side. Vs angled. I’ll get them if it kills me!!! Very challenging for me as a new quilter. New, but determined. I want to thanks you for you great tutorial. You’re a great teacher, Angie. Appreciate you.

    1. GnomeAngel November 6, 2015 at 6:55 am

      Thanks Suzanne! I’m so glad the tutorials are helping out. I made the same mistake – so disappointing, I hate wasting fabric. Thank you so much for the lovely compliment. I’m so glad you’re enjoying it and your blocks are really fabulous!

  5. Hildy October 27, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Great block and tutorial!

    1. GnomeAngel November 6, 2015 at 6:55 am

      Thanks Hildy 🙂

  6. Kirsty@Bonjour October 27, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Oh, this is such a clever, yet simple looking block, I am a fan. Great tute, as always, Angie. This might be what I need to recover from Old Maid.

    1. GnomeAngel November 6, 2015 at 6:53 am

      Thanks! 🙂 I found it really deceptive and I’m glad I had the templates to help make it. I am curious about those that appliquéd the blocks down. Might need to make another….