Monday 21 September 2015

Farmer's Wife 1930 Sampler Quilt - Blocks 1, 2, 3 and 4

Farmer's Wife Block 4 - Ann (Patchsmith style)

Are you joining in the 1930s Farmer’s Wife sew-alongs?  There are two – one has already started over at Very Kerry Berry (Instagram #fw1930sqal and Flickr Group).  Kerry has an errata sheet which is really helpful and also lists fabric cutting measurements for paper-piecing one block a week. 

The other sew-along is about to start on the 28th of this month and is being hosted by the Fat Quarter Shop, Gnome Angel and Marti Mitchell (Instagram #fqs1930farmerswife).

I am joining in with both sew-alongs and thought I would share my reflections on the first four blocks made ........

Block 1 - Addie.  Paper-pieced.  "Looks simple but split points are tricky to match up".
Block 1 - Addie (Patchsmith style)

Block 2 - Aimee.  "Patched – measures 6½”".  Had trouble matching center points but it is to size so I am happy with it.  Besides it looks pretty.
Block 2 - Aimee (Patchsmith style)

Block 3 – Alice.  Paper-pieced.  "Took 2-3 hours but turned out lovely and to size."
Tips:    Block J3 should be marked J2 and vice versa.
            Block K3 should be marked K2 and vice versa.
I changed the order of joining the pieces by stitching E, I and H together before joining O to I.
Likewise I joined D, F and G together before joining P to G. 
Block 3 - Alice (Patchsmith style)

Block 4 – Ann. "Tried patching – dreadful due to small points.  Will paper-piece".  
So I paper-pieced and it came out to size and very pretty in Riley Blake's Bloom and Bliss fabrics.
Block 4 - Ann (Patchsmith style)

I am joining the blocks together, on point, as I go along because I know what I am like – the blocks will stay in a drawer for far too long if I don’t sash-as-I-go.

I should’ve said that Very Kerry Berry is working through the book from Block 1 through to Block 99 with two blocks a week whilst Gnome Angel/Fat Quarter Shop are also making two blocks a week but will be starting with simpler blocks and progressing gradually to the more difficult blocks.  Either way, it is very good fun so I hope you get a chance to join in.

You can see all the blocks I have made to date over on my Farmer's Wife 1930s Pinterest board.

Until next time ........................ 

Monday 14 September 2015

The Patchsmith's Union Jack Block and Runner pattern

Now available in my Etsy Store – 

This pattern includes easy-to-follow instructions with clear diagrams to make both 
a 6” and 12” square Union Jack patchwork block.

But that isn’t all ..... it also includes directions to turn twelve of the 6” blocks into a touch of Britannia with this fun table runner.

And, like all Patchsmith patterns, it is so economical

If you are impatient like me and want to make something really, really quickly then one 6” Union Jack block will fit perfectly onto Lori Holt’s Quilty Zip Pocket  to make the perfect gift for a new student or work colleague.  
Patchsmith's 6" Union Jack Block
meets Lori Holt's Quilty Zip Pocket

Monday 7 September 2015

Mug Rug and Mini Quilt Basic Supplies

If you are new to mug rug making then you may be wondering what equipment you need to get started so I've put together a few of my must-have tools that I use on a daily basis.    
(If you click on a picture or link it will take you through to the product on but you can pick up many of these items from your local quilting store or discount chain.)

I like two pairs of scissors – one 7½” pair of Karen Buckley Perfect Scissors  and one small embroidery pair.  I particularly like the Karen Buckley scissors as they have serrated blades which give sharp and precise cutting.

You will need one 12” x 6” or 12” x 4” ruler for accurate cutting of backing and background fabrics and this is enough for all your mug rug making needs.  But I would also recommend a small 6” x 1” ruler which is really useful for trimming and tidying up edges.  The smaller ruler also helps when tracing straight lines onto fusible webbing.

Cutting Mat
I have two cutting mats – one large 12” x 18” (the largest size that will fit on my desk) and one A4 size – both are self-healing mats.  I use the A4 size mat the most as it sits on my work desk whilst I sew making it quick and easy to cut and trim blocks.  (I also use it a lot for paper-piecing but that is another blog for another day.)

Rotary Cutter and Blade
I like a basic ‘Olfa’ rotary cutter with a 45mm blade.  I find it comfortable and convenient.  Try different ones and find a cutter that suits your grip.  It is important to be comfortable with it so you do not slip or mis-cut as you trim your mug rug prior to binding.  And always keep a spare blade close to hand. 

Bobbinsaver Donut
I love my bobbin donut (or doughnut as we say here in England).  This is a boon when machine stitching Patchsmith mug rugs as you co-ordinated bobbin thread for each different applique fabric.  I have two of these bobbin donuts which stack on top of each other in my workdesk drawer.

Seamfix Seam Ripper
We all make mistakes and a seam ripper will be well used.  Replace it as soon as it becomes blunt.  My Seamfix seam ripper has a top which I rub along the unpicked seam and it collects all the bits of thread.  Nifty tool.

Invisible Marker
I use a Frixion gel pen to draw lines on the back of my half-square-triangle squares.  It writes like an ink pen - in fact, I thought a friend had given me journal writing pens when I received my first set.  But apply a warm iron and the pen mark disappears.  This is an essential and can be found in most supermarkets.  There are other marker pens you can use and I have an air-soluble one but the Frixion is my ‘go-to’ marker.

Permanent Fabric Marker
I like a ‘ultra-fine’ black Sharpie permanent marker.  This is great for writing labels for mug rug swaps.  It is also very good to mark eyes and smiles rather than embroidering them.  A fine point allows you to mimic stitching.

Table Top Ironing Board
It saves so much time to have a small ironing board on the workdesk next to my sewing machine.  This one (Quilters Cut n Press) also doubles as a cutting board on the reverse but I keep it solely for ironing.

Of course, there are other things that I use often but the items here are my mug rug essential tools that are always to hand.  

However, there is just one more thing that I think all mug rug and mini-quilt makers should have and it is something they can make themselves – the Goody-Goody-Binding-Kit.  
My version of the Goody Goody Sewing Kit
It is a free pattern by Lella Boutique and is a great sewing project as it includes a super-easy zip compartment. 
So many useful pockets and compartments.  And that cotton holder is so cool.
I use my Goody Goody kit constantly both at home and when I am out-and-about.  So there you have it ..... until next time.