The whole time I was making this block I had the song “Two Pina Coladas” stuck in my head… “lets set sail with Captain Morgan and never leave dry land”. I’m pretty sure that’s not the same Morgan that’s married to Mrs Morgan, but it gave me something to daydream about while sewing. I really love this block pattern with it’s star in the middle and off centre arrows. I find those squares though a little out of place and I struggled with the fabrics for my purple version. I love my Bundle from Fat Quarter Shop version though with those fabulous roses and strawberries. Funny how the different fabric choices highlight different things in the blocks, it’s something that this quilt is really teaching me.
Thoughts on the Letter
What a fabulous idea! I would have loved to be involved with something like this as a kid (not sure it would have kept me living in the same town for my whole life, but it would have been fun!). I love how ingenious people are. Seriously, just stop for a moment and have a look at all that’s going on around you; people are really clever. We watched “The Martian” the other day and the whole time I kept thinking about how much mankind has done and how much more we will do.
Tutorial: Block #71 “Mrs Morgan”
- 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 230. 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 71B (feature triangles) with the Marti Michell Templates: Cut 1 x (1.5″ x 8″) of Fabric 1 (blue). Cut out the template pieces from the strip as shown in Diagram 1.
2. Making 71A and 71B (background) with the Marti Michell Templates: Cut 4 x (1.5″ x 6.5″) of Fabric 2 (pink stars). Stack the strips on top of each other and cut using the From Marti Michell Patchwork Templates Set D29 and From Marti Michell Patchwork Templates Set B14 as shown in Diagram 2. 3. Making 71C and 71D with the Marti Michell Templates: Cut 1 (1.5″ x 10″) strip from Fabric 1 (blue) and 1 (1.5″ x 10″) strip from Fabric 2 (pink stars). Place fabrics right sides together and put the background fabric (pink stars) on the top. (This is really important, if you don’t do it (like I didn’t as you can see from Diagram 3) your pieces will not come out facing the right way and you’ll have to curse, throw them away and cut more precious fabric to make them the right way!) To make the odd shape you start by placing the template as per Diagram 3. Cut around template. Flip the template (as per Diagram 3a) and cut again. Make four of these shapes.
Tip: If you would like you can chain piece these shapes and stitch them together alone their longest sides without splitting them apart. I’ve split them apart for the purpose of this tutorial and it’s images.
4. Cut all pieces required and lay them out as per the block Diagram 4. Pay careful attention to the placement of the pieces as this block is deceptively tricky.5. Join one 71B to the side of 71E as per Diagram 5. You can chain piece this step.
8. Join 71C and 71D together (if you didn’t do this at step 3) as per Diagram 8. We’ll be referring to this as the “pointy unit”. 9. Join 71A to the pointy unit as per Diagram 9.
10. Join 71B to the pointy unit as per Diagram 10. You’ve just made triangles!11. Join each pair of triangles together as per Diagram 11 to form squares.
12. Join the top two squares together to form a row. Join the bottom two squares together to form a row. See Diagram 12.13. Join the two rows together to complete your block. Make yourself a drink, you’ve just made Mrs Morgan!
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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