Block 81 of the Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt is Peony. I’d love to tell you that I found a super easy way to piece Peony and I’m going to rock your world today by sharing it – but I didn’t. In fact, I attempted two different versions of Peony to try and find a way to make the piecing easier and I failed both times. My nerves are playing havoc with my sewing at the moment and it didn’t help that Peony’s foundation paper pieced pattern includes y-seams and partial seams.
Long story short, both my Peony’s are in the trash. Instead, I’ve provided you with a super simple alternative that takes inspiration from Peony but allows you a quick patchwork block to break up the unrelenting complexity that has become the Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt. I’m determined to add this block to my quilt so when I return from Quilt Market I will provide a tutorial on how to make your own English Paper Piecing templates from the pattern in the book and then provide step-by-step photos on how to EPP the block together. (Hopefully by then my hands will have stopped shaking from nerves!)
For those that want to Foundation Paper Piece the block I have provided the cutting sizes for your pieces below. As always Marti Michell has provided a chart for this block and in this instance she’s also provide an alternate version. You can get the chart by clicking here.
Tutorial: Block #81 “Peony – Alternative”
- See tutorial for seam pressing details.
- I used a Schmetz 70/10 needle.
- I used 50wt Aurifil #2600 (Dove) thread for piecing.
- I used Flatter by Soak in Yuzu 248ml as my starch.
- I used Clover Wonder Clips to help keep my pieces in place.
- Fabrics shown in the tutorial are from the Gnome Angel Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Bundle from Fat Quarter Shop.
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.
Fabric Measurements for Foundation Paper Piecing (Tutorial for this method not provided)
Tip: When Foundation Paper Piecing I use a Sewline’s Glue Pen to hold my pattern to the paper where there is only one piece to the section. Just use a little dab of the glue to secure the paper while you work.
Now for the fun part, adding fabric! To help you out I’ve worked out the sizes you’ll need to cut each fabric piece to cover the pattern sections. Please note, given the nature of paper piecing section shapes and the limits on what shapes can be cut with a ruler these shapes produce fabric wastage. You may be better served using fabric scraps that fit, however for those of you new to the process sacrificing some fabric until you get the hang of it is not a big deal. Cut the following fabric pieces:
Fabric 1 (Blue)
Pattern Pieces: E5, F5, G5, H5 = Cut 2 square 3″ x 3″ and then cut on the diagonal to make 4
Pattern Pieces: P1, O1, M1, N1 = Cut 2 square 3″ x 3″ and then cut on the diagonal to make 4
Pattern Pieces: L2, K2, J2, I2 = Cut 2 square 2″ x 2″ and then cut on the diagonal to make 4
Pattern Pieces: D3, C3, B3, A3 = Cut 2 square 2″ x 2″ and then cut on the diagonal to make 4
Fabric 2 (Pink)
Pattern Pieces: A5, B5, C5, D5 = Cut 2 square 3″ x 3″ and then cut on the diagonal to make 4
Pattern Pieces: I3, L3, K3, J3 = Cut 2 square 2″ x 2″ and then cut on the diagonal to make 4
Pattern Pieces: B2, A2, D2, C2 = Cut 2 square 2″ x 2″ and then cut on the diagonal to make 4
The following pattern pieces show cutting instructions for combining two sections to remove a seam.
Pattern Pieces: E2, E3/4, H2, H3/4, G2, G3/4, F2, F3/4 = Cut 2 square 2″ x 2″ and then cut on the diagonal to make 4
Fabric 2 (Green)
Pattern Pieces: C1, G1, J1, B1, F1, I1, A1, E1, L1, D1, H1, K1 = 1.5″ X 1.5″ (12 in total)
Pattern Pieces: C4, B4, A4, D4 = Cut 2 square 2″ x 2″ and then cut on the diagonal to make 4
Tip: If you’re like me and get easily confused looking at the pattern pieces you may find value in using colouring pencils to mark the corresponding fabric colour on both the pattern pieces and the block diagram found at the top of the foundation paper pattern. Again, make sure that whatever you use to add colour to your templates doesn’t bleed on to your hands or fabric.
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.
If you are planning to hand piece this block, or even machine piece it based on the templates, you can find everything you need on the disc that came with the book. Block directions are located on page 240.
Please note: This method of construction will provide you with two complete blocks with alternate colours for the middle small pinwheel. Choose the block you like best and turn the other into a mini mini quilt, hotpad, mug rug or add to an orphan block quilt.
Fabric 1 (Strawberries)
Cut 4 squares 4″ x 4″.
Fabric 2 (Red)
Cut 2 squares 4.5″ x 4.5″.
Fabric 3 (Green)
Cut 2 squares 4.5″ x 4.5″.
1. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of Fabric 3, as per diagram 1. Match one Fabric 2 square right sides together with one Fabric 3 square, as per diagram 1. Repeat for the remaining Fabric 2 and Fabric 3 squares. (Squares will be perfectly aligned as per diagram 2.)
2. Stitch a scant quarter inch seam down either sides of the line you drew on the back of Fabric 3. Stitch lines are indicated in red on diagram 2.
3. Using your ruler and rotary cutter cut the joined squares on the line you drew on the back of Fabric 3, as per diagram 3. Press. These squares will now be referred to as Half Square Triangle Units.
A note on pressing: I use a Bloc-Loc ruler for trimming my HST’s so I press to the dark. You can press in what ever method suits your preferred style of construction.
4. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of Fabric 1, as per diagram 4. Match one Fabric 1 square right sides together with one Half Square Triangle Unit, as per diagram 4. Repeat for the remaining 3 squares. (Squares will be perfectly aligned as per diagram 5.)
5. Stitch a scant quarter inch seam down either sides of the line you drew on the back of Fabric 1. Stitch lines are indicated in red on diagram 5.
6. Using your ruler and rotary cutter cut the joined squares on the line you drew on the back of Fabric 1, as per diagram 6. Press.
7. Choose four of the squares to use and lay them out as per diagram 7.
Please note: You will have 8 of the squares to choose from, in my version I opted to have the darker value fabric in the middle, you may choose to have the lighter value in the middle. It’s your choice.
8. Join the top two squares to make row 1. Join the bottom 2 squares to make row 2. Refer diagram 8.
9. Join row 1 to row 2 to complete your alternate Peony block.
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.
06/10/2016: Kitty @ Night Quilter
13/10/2016: Melissa @ Oh How Sweet
20/10/2016: Lucy @ Charm About You
27/10/2016: Jodi @ Tales of Cloth
03/11/2016: Jess @ The Elven Garden
10/11/2016: Lucy @ Charm About You
17/11/2016: Nathalie @ Les Ouvrages de Nat
24/11/2016: Tonya @ The Crafty Mummy
01/12/2016: Raylee @ Sunflower Quilting
08/12/2016: Rachel @ Wooden Spoon Quilts
15/12/2016: Peta @ She Quilts A Lot
22/12/2016: Cat @ Cat & Vee
***** CHRISTMAS BREAK *****
05/01/2017: Nadra @ Ellis & Higgs
12/01/2017: Raylee @ Sunflower Quilting
19/01/2017: Cat @ Cat & Vee
26/01/2017: Lucy @ Charm About You
02/02/2016: Kirsty @ Bonjour Quilts
09/02/2017: Lisa @ In the Boon Docks
16/02/2017: Tonya @ The Crafty Mummy
23/02/2017: Janice @ Better Off Thread
02/03/2017: Kerry @ Kid Giddy
09/03/2017: Lisa @ Sweet Little Pretties
16/03/2016: Nadra @ Ellis & Higgs
23/03/2017: Kitty @ Night Quilter
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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Pattern Pieces: P2, N2, L2, J2 = 2.5″ x 1.5″