Old Maid is Block 78 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

I love this block because it reminds me of two seahorses facing each other, shame I didn’t think to use fabrics to make them really look like that! I love the graphic nature of this block because it looks complicated but it’s totally not. I must confess that I spent more time than I’d planned on unpicking it to get those points crisp, but it was totally worth it.

Thoughts on the Letter

When I was growing up, and even now when I’m complaining about something, my Father used to like to dedicate a song to me on the home stereo. It was the Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and this letter reminds me of that lesson.  We make all these plans like we have control over life and sometimes life just likes to send a little reminder that we’re not really in control. It can be easy at times like those to feel robbed or disappointed with life, but it’s been my experience that if you learn to embrace the change and work with it often times you’ll be rewarded with a life better than you could have imagined.

Tutorial: Block #78 “Old Maid”

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.

1. 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 237. 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.

Tip: Be mindful of how you cut your fabrics if you are using a directional print for this block. If possible, and your desire, aim to keep the direction of the print traveling in the same direction for all pieces.

Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt - Learn to make the blocks with Angie Wilson of GnomeAngel.com2. Making the middle quarter square triangle unit. Join one 78A to 78A to make Unit 1. Repeat for the other side and make Unit 2. See diagram 2 for clarification.

Tip: For this tutorial I’m going to be showing you how it would come together if you chain piece each step. You could 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.com3. Join Unit 1 to Unit 2 (as per diagram 3) to make Unit 3.

Tip: Pay attention to lining up the seams so you get a crisp hourglass shape.

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

4. Now we’ll make the 2 flying geese units. Join 78B to the side of 78A as per diagram 4. Diagram 4a shows how to line up the edge of your pieces if you’re using the From Marti Michell Patchwork Templates Set A templates to cut your pieces.

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

5. Join the remaining 78B to the other side of the 78A piece as per diagram 5a to make Unit 4. Repeat for the other side to make Unit 5.

Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt - Learn to make the blocks with Angie Wilson of GnomeAngel.com6. Unit Unit 4 to Unit 3 as per diagram 6a. Repeat for the remaining side to make Unit 6 (as per diagram 6c).

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

Tip: This block gets it’s impact from the crisp points of all the triangles. When joining the flying geese units be mindful of where your stitches are going, you want to stitch the “line” in diagram 6b. If you need to it often helps to move the needle one to two positions to the left to give you a scant 1/4″ seam.

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

7. Lets’ work on the top and bottom row. Join 78A to 78A as per diagram 7. Diagram 7a shows how you use the engineered corners to line up your pieces. Repeat this step for the corresponding pieces in the top row.

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

8. Join the other 78A to the units you just made as per diagram 8a. Repeat for both the top and bottom row.

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

9. Join 78B to 78A as per diagram 9a. Repeat for both the top and bottom row.

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

10. Join 78B to 78A as per diagram 10a. Repeat for both the top and bottom row. This will complete the top and bottom rows of the block.

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

11. Join the top row to the middle row.

Tip: Pay careful attention to the seam lines – this is where the impact comes from. Note the edge seams (where the arrows are pointing in diagram 11a) and ensure they’re lined up with the flying geese seams. Also be sure not to cut off your triangle point so aim to sew as per the line in diagram 11a. I used my pin to ensure the point of the middle triangle in the top row lined up with the point in the quarter triangle square.

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

12. Join the bottom row to the block.

Tip: Pay careful attention to the seam lines – this is where the impact comes from. Note the edge seams (where the arrows are pointing in diagram 11a) and ensure they’re lined up with the flying geese seams. Also be sure not to cut off your triangle point so aim to sew as per the line in diagram 12a. I used my pin to ensure the point of the middle triangle in the top row lined up with the point in the quarter triangle square.

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

13. Step back and admire your work because you just made an Old Maid!

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!

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14 Comments

  1. Susie October 21, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Thank you – you are all types of awesome.
    Susie

    1. GnomeAngel October 22, 2015 at 1:02 pm

      Sorry Susie – I have to manually add the information to that page and so it’s reliant on me having time to do it and my full-time job, parenting, wifing and multiple other commitments came before Old Maid this week. (Guess that’s why she’s an old maid still – no one picks her! hahahaha)

  2. Susie October 21, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Angie, Can you please put the tutorial for Old Maid up on the Block Tutorials page (that you reach from the Farmes Wife QAL drop down box on your site). That is how I access the information!
    This QAL is awesome and I am so impressed with how you are running it all. Well done. And heartfeld thanks.
    Susie

  3. Angela October 21, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Feeling frustrated…why doesn’t the Rotary Cutting Instructions give the measurement for Triangle A?? The same thing happened on the last block.

    1. GnomeAngel October 21, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      Hi Angela,

      If you read the paragraph at the top of the rotary cutting instructions (ha! It’s like reading the assembly instructions for Ikea – who needs em!) you’ll note that it says:

      “Some of the pieces used to create the blocks in this book can be easily cut using a rotary cutter and ruler rather than cutting them from the templates.” (The keyword there was *some*!) “Below are the pieces in each block and the measurements for those pieces that you may choose to cut with a rotary cutter. If a block is not included in this list there are no pieces in that block of a measurement conducive to cutting with a ruler and rotary cutter.”

      The measurements for the triangles are not easily cut with a rotary cutter and ruler (they’re a breeze with the From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates, Rulers & Books though!) so you will have to print and use the template provided in the accompany files on the CD or eBook.

      Hope this helps clear it up for you – you’re not alone, it’s been a reoccurring question in the FB Group and took me a little longer than I’d like to admit “seeing” that paragraph at the top of the rotary cutting instructions.

      1. Angela October 21, 2015 at 3:25 pm

        Thank you for your reply. I did see that paragraph, but there is no reason why you can’t cut the larger triangles with a rotary, the same as the smaller ones. The smaller ones are cut at nn” and I figured out tonight that the larger ones are cut the same way at nn”. I don’t see why they couldn’t have included that information in the rotary instructions; they certainly should have.

        Edited to remove measurements as per copyright agreement.

  4. Lori October 20, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Thank you Angie, all the way from California, for all the work you have put into this project. I am really enjoying everything…the book, sharing, seeing what everyone is doing with each block, your blog and all the fun stuff you cleverly write about. Appreciate all you are doing! Thank you again! ~Lori

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

      Thank you so much for the wonderful message Lori! I’m so glad you’re loving it. Knowing that people are having fun is the biggest reward. Have a great day!

  5. Jen @ Faith and Fabric October 20, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Angie, I like all your blocks but really (really) like this bee block that you made! The placement of the bees, and how the two are placed so close together with the way you cut the fabric, is adorable.

    1. GnomeAngel November 6, 2015 at 6:36 am

      Thanks so much Jen – right back at ya! I’m loving seeing your blocks coming together.

  6. Hildy October 20, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Beautiful block! And I can figure even out the rotary cutting;-)

    1. GnomeAngel November 6, 2015 at 6:34 am

      LOL – thanks Hildy!

  7. Judy D October 20, 2015 at 8:00 am

    In step 7 did you mean to say corners instead of colours (darn spell check?
    “Lets’ work on the top and bottom row. Join 78A to 78A as per diagram 7. Diagram 7a shows how you use the engineered colours to line up your pieces”

    1. GnomeAngel November 6, 2015 at 6:32 am

      Yep, whoops, sorry. Thanks for the pickup! I swear Autocorrect causes more problems than it solves!