Keeping with the Half Square Triangle (HSTs) theme we’re going to tackle Milly from the Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt. I must admit to finding the fabric placement of this block a little weird, but it wasn’t until I’d finished them and photographed them that I saw the pattern created in the middle of the block and appreciated it more. This is a block that’s going to live or die by your fabric choices so spend some time luxuriating in the decision. This was the first block where I really had to pay attention to not getting my fabrics confused when I was cutting and piecing. There’s a lot to be said for paper, pencil and sticky notes.
Thoughts on the Letter
I’m not a good passenger when it comes to air travel and today I’ll be flying to Sydney so it seems kind of humorous that this is the letter I get to read. I tend to do a lot of my prayer while sitting on the tarmac waiting for take off and then pretty much every 2 minutes of the flight thereafter. I find these days I don’t talk much about my faith. I’ve drifted so far from the Church that at times I question my own wilful blindness. While I might not attend a regular service not a day goes by where I am not talking with my Father and looking for guidance, support and reassurance. I know that everything that I have and hold dear is a gift and it’s been my faith that has gotten me through some of the darkest times of my life. I can totally relate to the message that “A Blind Flyer” is delivering, I just wish I was a better example of the Protestant Christian faith than I know I am.
Tutorial: Block #62 “Milly”
- 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 A.
- 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: I made this block and Milly both while really ill with a sinus and chest infection and they both came out pretty good. I’m not too fussed on the edges, but I can live with that and hide the uneven seam allowance in the joining at the end. I’m sharing this with you because I know it can be daunting when you see all the half square triangles, but I promise if I can do it with lack of sleep, a horrible cough and dosed up on antibiotics and still get pretty good points you can totally rock this! Promise!
Tip: Cutting instructions can be found on the disc that came with the book. Block directions are located on page 221. 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.
1. Cutting 62A with the From Marti Michell Patchwork Templates Set A: Milly uses 4 fabrics. If you have the ability I would strongly recommend working out a system for keeping track of which fabric corresponds with which colour in the block diagram (on page 221). I used a pencil to lightly write against each piece what fabric I was using and then used a pencil to cross off the fabrics as I cut them out via the conversion chart.
Cut the following:
Fabric 1 (dark blue text print) = 1 x (2″ x 9″) & 1 x (2″ x 3.5″)
Fabric 2 (green circle print) = 2 x (2″ x 9″)
Fabric 3 (star print) = 2 x (2″ x 3.5″)
Fabric 4 (blue circle print) = 1 x (2″ x 9″) & 1 x (2″ x 3.5″)
Pair the fabric right sides together in the following order. From the 2″ x 9″ strips
Fabric 1 and Fabric 2
Fabric 2 and Fabric 4
From the 2″ x 3.5″ strips:
Fabric 1 and Fabric 3
Fabric 4 and Fabric 3
Diagram 1 shows how these strips partner up. Please note these are not right sides together – this is for demonstration only, not cutting.
2. Stack the strips on top of each other according to size. You will have 2 groups of strips, one 2″ x 9″ group and one 2″ x 3.5″ group. From the 2″ x 9″ strip cut 6 template A6. From the 2″ x 3.5″ strips cut 2 template A6. Diagram 2 shows how you would rotate the template to make the cuts.
3. Diagram 3 shows the placement and layout of Milly using the triangles you’ve just cut. Unlike previous tutorials I have not numbered the blocks in this diagram as they are all template 62A, instead I think it is more important to show you the placement of these pieces.
4. Join your triangles together in pairs as per diagram 4. You can chain piece this step to make the 16 half square triangle units that make up this block.
5. Join your half square triangles together in pairs as per diagram 5. You can chain piece this step to make the 8 rectangle units that make up this block.5a. Join your rectangles together in pairs as per diagram 5a. You can chain piece this step to make the 4 small square units that make up this block.
6. Join your squares together in pairs as per diagram 6a. Pay careful attention to your seam lines and where the points of your triangles are. 7. Join your two rows together as per diagram 7a. Pay careful attention to your seam lines and where the points of your triangles are.8. Well lookie here you’ve just made Milly!
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
25/11/2015: Cassie @ Cassandra Madge
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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