Malvina is Block 55 of Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt and the first real block that I’ve just bombed. In fact the two blocks this week just did nothing for me and I struggled through both of them. I think it’s just the end of year starting to take it’s toll. I want to just curl up on the couch and binge watch television for a week and let my brain just have a reset. The good news is that there’s only 3 more blocks after this one and we’ll all get a chance to have a break and spend some time with our friends and family.
As you’ll see in the tutorial, I got all the way to the end of my Fat Quarter Shop version and realised I’d joined one side unit incorrectly. Sigh. Hand on heart, if I never have to make another version of this block again I’ll be a happy camper. I did however enjoy using some of the art work that came home with the Little Man as a backdrop for this weeks colour block. There’s an upside to everything.
Thoughts on the Letter
I know it’s not “cool” but I do love me some good television. I used to watch a lot of television, but these days the only television viewing that I get is while I’m doing something else. Like now, I’m (half) watching Top Chef California while I write up my tutorials. Man, I love a good skills based reality competition. I imagine that television is to us what radio was to Radio Fan. It’s just a shame that these days television is watched so much where radio would have been something that they listened to at the end of the day, not from the moment they were awake until the moment they went to sleep again. When people ask me how I get so much done one of the things that allows me to get so much done is how little television I actually sit down to watch. Most times I’m multi-tasking while watching. I love the imagery that this letter conjures of the whole family sitting around going to “college” via the radio.
Tutorial: Block #55 “Malvina”
- 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 214. 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.1. Making 55B with the Marti Michell Templates: Cut 2 x (1.5″ x 15″) of Fabric 1 (orange) and 2 x (1.5″ x 15″) of Fabric 2 (black) (Diagram 1 shows the strips paired). Match 1 Fabric 1 strip with 1 Fabric 2 strip, right sides together. Repeat with the other fabrics. Stack the two pairs of fabric strips on top of each other and cut 7 From Marti Michell Patchwork Templates Set B14. (Diagram 2 shows the strips stacked and the template lined up on top of it.) Diagram 1b shows the 7 lots of triangles cut from the strips.
Cut the pieces for 55A using From Marti Michell Patchwork Templates Set D28.2. Cut all pieces required and lay them out as per the block Diagram 2.
3. You can chain piece this step this entire block, however I will show you how to construct it in the sections you’ll need to join it altogether. Start with the middle four patch. Join each side as per Diagram 3. 4. Join the 2 rows of your four patch, pin to match seams as per Diagram 4. Diagram 4a shows them joined and pressed.5. Chain piece this step as it’s so easy to do. We’re going to gone all the triangle pairs to make larger triangles. Pay attention to the pairs you join here as not all small triangles become larger triangles.6. Join 4 pairs of the larger triangles to make squares. Pay careful attention to pinning your seams to match. Diagram 6 shows the pinning and Diagram 6a shows the triangles that need to be paired. These are called quarter square triangles. 7. The first component that we’ll make is the sections that attach to the middle four patch. Take a small triangle and attach it to the side of your quarter square triangle unit as pictured in Diagram 7. Diagram 7a shows it joined and pressed. Pay careful attention to your fabric placement. 8. Join the alternate small triangle to the other side of the quarter square triangle as pictured in Diagram 8. Diagram 8a shows it joined and pressed. Pay careful attention to your fabric placement. Repeat steps 7 and 8 to make the other end of the row. 9. Now we’ll make the next component, the side units. This will require you joining larger triangles to the sides of the quarter square triangle units. Pin and match the seams, Diagram 9 shows how to pin it. Diagram 9a shows it joined and pressed.10. Join the alternate large triangle to the other side of the quarter square triangle unit as pictured in Diagram 10. Diagram 10a shows it joined and pressed. Pay careful attention to your fabric placement. Repeat steps 7 and 8 to make the other end of the row. 11. You will now make the middle row by attaching the quarter square triangle and small triangle units to the middle four path. Diagram 11 shows it laid out. However, the side triangle unit is put together incorrectly (indicated by the arrow). Learn from my mistake and pay attention to how you assemble each unit. Pin the units to the middle four patch, paying attention to the seam lines. Diagram 12 shows the units pinned together. Repeat with the other unit to complete the middle row.12. Pin the side triangle unit to the middle row as shown in Diagram 13. Repeat for the other side.13. Press final seam, realise one side of your block is wrong. Swear. Unpick the side triangle unit back to it’s base components. Join it all again correctly. Press. Throw it in the block pile and don’t look at it again and just know that you’ve made Malvina. (Diagram 14 shows the block in it’s correct format.)
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.
02/12/2015: Sedef @ Down Grapevine Lane
04/12/2015: Janice @ Better Off Thread
09/12/2015: Kerry @ Kid Giddy
11/12/2015: Lisa @ Sweet Little Pretties
16/12/2015: Kirsty @ Bonjour Quilts
18/12/2015: Kitty @ Night Quilter
CHRISTMAS BREAK – 19/12/2015 to 04/01/2016
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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