Sunday, 7 February 2016

Farmer’s Wife 1930s Quilt Blocks 37, 38, and 61

Farmer's Wife 1930s block no. 61 - May

Five blocks made for the Farmer’s Wife 1930s sew-alongs this past fortnight but some of them we have seen before.  FIrst up are the four blocks for Very Kerry Berry:

Block 37 – Georgia.  This was a very easy block to make as it is made in rows.  I took the papers off before joining the rows so that I could nest the seams neatly. 
Farmer's Wife 1930s block no. 37 - Georgia

Block 38 – Golda.   Points that are at an angle can be tricky and so it proved with Golda.  It is important to make sure you have enough seam allowance where the points meet the edge so that you do not lose the points when sashing the blocks.  My notes scribble in the book simple state ‘tricky points’.
Farmer's Wife 1930s block no. 38 - Golda

Then we came to two senior blocks both of which I have covered already:

Block 39 – Grandma.  I have already blogged about this block HERE but I will say it again - it is really important to mark the templates with the colours of the fabric with this block as the pattern is not obvious when paper-piecing. More so because none of the templates that came with the book have been reversed.
Farmer's Wife 1930s block no. 39 - Grandma

Block 40 – Grandmother.   A favourite block of mine and one where I rejigged the templates to avoid an inset seam.  I have blogged about this HERE where you will also find a template for the handle.
Farmer's Wife 1930s block no. 40 - Grandmother

GnomeAngel chose one block the first week and then the usual two blocks but I have already blogged about two of those blocks – so only one new block to cover:

Block 28 – Dolly.  This is another block that is a straightforward block – lots of pieces but doable.  I covered this block HERE
Farmer's Wife 1930s block no. 28 - Dolly

Block 61 – May.  Ah – May.  What looks like a quite simple block I actually found to be annoying.  Not only did it have inset seams but it has four of those pesky diamonds which are made by sewing together the smallest of triangles.  Not a favourite and not a block I will make again.  Like Golda above, you must ensure you have enough seam allowance at the end of the points to sash the block.  My notes read “eight ‘Y’ seams and fiddly half-diamonds make this a yucky block”.  And I stand by that. 
Farmer's Wife 1930s block no. 61 - May

Block 37 – Georgia.  See above.
Farmer's Wife 1930s block no. 37 - Georgia - on point.

That brings us all up-to-date for both sew-alongs and you can see all the blocks made to date over on my Farmer’s Wife Pinterest Board or on my Farmer’s Wife blog page.

Sew until next time ......

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Hexden Flower Mug Rug

Have you tried English paper-piecing (EPP)?  It is a hand-stitching technique where you stitch around paper templates to create shapes. 

One of the best books I’ve read on how to English paper-piece is All Points Patchwork by Diane Gilleland.

This is my ‘go-to’ reference for all things EPP.  I would also recommend Craftypod’s YouTube videos ‘Basics of Basting’ for creating hexagons and ‘creating outward curves’.  Both tutorials teach you everything you need to know to make my Hexden Flower mug rug pattern.
Hexden Flower Mug Rug Pattern

This is my first English paper-piecing mug rug pattern and it includes all the templates you need to create a fun and functional mug rug for your work desk or coffee table.
Hand-stitched Hexden Flower Mug Rug

Although the Hexden Flower Mug Rug pattern doesn’t teach you the basics of English paper-piecing (Craftypod does it so much better than I ever could), it is suitable for both beginner and experienced English paper-piecers.

The pattern provides two options for creating the sidebar – you can create it using a patched piece of EPP:
Patched EPP Sidebar

....or you can applique three EPP hexagons onto a background rectangle.
Applique EPP Sidebar

Both methods are hand-stitched.  Whichever you choose, you are sure to get lots of use out of the Hexden Flower Mug Rug pattern (you could even applique the flower onto a 6” quilt block).  And, like all Patchsmith patterns, it costs just $1.99.

So are you ready for some hand-stitching?

p.s.  If you prefer to read a tutorial on English paper-piecing this one from Buttons and Butterflies is very good.  Or you could always take a Craftsy class - it's on sale at present:

Until next time ......

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Bloom Sew Along

Bloom Block Two Applique

The Bloom sew-along (a.k.a. Calico Days sew-along) is underway and we are two weeks and two blocks in.
Bloom Block One

There are many ways to undertake the applique for these blocks.  Lori Holt seems to favour the ‘sew-to-interfacing-turn-it-out-and-then-sew-to-background-square’ – a method I have used before as in my Valentine Box from last year:
Interfaced backed heart applique

However, I prefer the quick-fuse method for this sew-along as I find I can get sharper points on the shapes. Besides which it is much quicker.  (You can find lots of hints and tips on quick fuse applique here.)  But whichever way you applique the flowers you are sure to enjoy the Bloom blocks. 
Sharper points on Bloom Block One with quick fuse applique

I'm using my blocks to create a bed runner and a couple of bed pockets (stitched to a fitted valance to hold my book, glasses and tablet). 
Bloom Block Two

As with all sew-alongs, I shall be stitching my blocks together as I go along.  But I know already, this is going to be one pretty quilted runner.
Block Block Four (I jumped ahead)
If you fancy joining in – even for just a block or two – then pop over to Riley Blake (PDF) or Lori Holt for more details.  

Until next time ......