I really loved putting this block together with it’s little checker box (4 patch) blocks. Making the blocks all in one colour has shown me where the gaps are in my stash and green is one of them. I jumped at the chance to use this print from Heather Ross’ Tiger Lily collection. It’s such a fun block and I love that I was able to fussy cut the larger pieces to tell a little story. I’m starting to find my groove a little more with making these blocks but I’m still learning so much about the impact that value can have on a block. As the blocks are growing in number I’m also learning more about how to make a lot of different blocks look cohesive and it’s an interesting exercise in the patchworking fundamentals.
Thoughts on the Letter
At this time of year I always find myself thinking about all the things I’d like to achieve and what I managed to accomplish the year before. Sometimes I find myself naval gazing and wondering if it’s all really worth it and if we wouldn’t be better off just living a simpler life. A life where the only things we’re concerned with are working to survive and enjoying our family life. I find myself romanticising the life that Just a Tenant Farmer’s Wife speaks of in her letter. I’m not really sure I’m cut out for manual labour and I’m not convinced that we wouldn’t find ourselves longing for our modern life if we were living a self-sufficient life. However, after coming off a holiday that was reduced in the amount of time spent on the computer and on my iPhone I can’t help but wonder if we’ve got it all wrong.
Tutorial: Block #53 “Lucy”
- 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 and From Marti Michell Patchwork Templates Set D.
- 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 212. You can also use the cutting instructions on the conversion chart. I have used the From Marti Michell Patchwork Templates Set B and From Marti Michell Patchwork Templates Set D to cut the pieces required to make the block as shown in the book.
WARNING! My 4-patch squares are rotated incorrectly in both my blocks. Please pay attention to the block diagram in your book. (The middle row 4-patch squares should have the purple squares at the top and bottom position!)
1. I made the little checker board units in the manner as described on the Conversion Chart, however I cut 1 (1.5″ x 12″) of Fabric 1 and 1 (1.5″ x 12″) of Fabric 2 and joined them right sides together along one of the 12″ edges. I then cut the strip to yield 8 (2.5″ x 1.5″) pieces (cut 1.5″ inch pieces down the 12″ length of the strip).
I joined these pieces to make a 4 patch block as required for Lucy. I used the From Marti Michell Patchwork Templates Set D28 template to trim these blocks down to be the required size. I did this by placing the template on top of ruler and marking the middle point on the template with a white board marker (I wanted the mark to easily be removed) and then place the middle point marker on the intersection of the seams in the middle of the 4 patch and trimmed.
2. Cut all pieces required and lay them out as per the block Diagram 1. 3. Join the corner large triangles (53B) to make 4 squares as per Diagram 2. You can chain piece this step.
4. Next we’ll make the square-in-a-square units. I like to chain piece this step by doing opposite sides at once, as per Diagram 3.
5. Repeat for the remaining sides of the 4 patch squares to complete the units as per Diagram 4.
6. Join the squares together to make 3 rows, as per Diagram 5. You can chain piece this step.
7. Join the top row to the middle row. Join the bottom row to the middle row to complete the block. Look out Charlie Brown, you’ve just made Lucy!
The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sew-along Blogger Line up
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.
08/01/2016: Lucy @ Charm About You
13/01/2016: Jodi @ Tales of Cloth
20/01/2016: Jess @ The Elven Garden
22/01/2016: Melissa @ Ms Midge
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.
Disclosure: 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!
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