Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Farmer's Wife and Paper Piecing

Welcome to a snowy, wet, sloppy Wednesday.  A few months ago I kept seeing blogs about a Farmer's Wife, and these wonderful blocks.  All the different interpretations and color combinations were wonderful.  I ordered the book, and realized that they provided a CD with templates, but no real directions on how to put the block together, and believe me they are a challenge at times. I decided that I had a few rules.

1.  I was going to do them in the order they were in the book
2.  They were going to be made out of my stash and scraps

The first block I tried was a Cut Glass Dish.

I think it turned out really cute.  Just for a reference these are 6 1/2 in blocks!

The next block I attempted was Kitchen Woodbox

The next block I attempted was Country Path

These were all easy peasy.  I measured the templates, then cut using my rotary cutter, and rules.  I didn't have one problem.

The next block was this one.

It is called Silver Lake.  Um yeah this one had me freaked.  I printed out the templates, measured and notated, and froze.  Farmer's Wife went by the wayside.

Anyway the other day I decided I wanted to do at least 2 Farmer's Wife blocks a week and I would finish the quilt, but how to tackle this block?  I then noticed that there were several mentions of a group on Yahoo Groups for the Farmer's Wife.  So off I went to join.  After I joined I noticed that someone in the group had created foundation piecing templates so I thought how hard can that be?

I watched some foundation and paper piecing tutorials on the internet.  I have the add a quarter ruler.  So I printed the foundation piecing template following the directions.

I don't know if you can see all these parts but sheesh!  8 parts with at least 3 pieces per part.  So I found my scraps I wanted to use and got started.  (I have been seeing people post that they knock out 6 or more blocks in a day using this method.)  Yeah not me :(    I started at 6:30 AM.  Took a break to run to the grocery store at 9 AM, was home by 10.  Back to work on the block.  Left at 1pm to have my hair done.  Home by 4 and back to work on the block.  I could not get it to work and I bet I took it apart about 100 times. 

I finally decided, the center would be easier for me to make just piecing using the templates as a guide and sewing.  The next border too, but the outer border I was going to need help.  See those slanted pieces right and left?

This is what I ended up with at 9PM last night!

I have little chunks out in a couple of spots, the tutorials say if they are not huge don't fret about them.  But I have two triangle points that are going to get lost in the seam allowance, and I don't like the blues there is not enough contrast.  So the outer borders are going to be removed, and I am going to try this again.

How many years do you have to quilt to be able to paper piece these intricate little blocks several in a day?!?!  Even using paper/foundation piecing?!?!?

I did have a successful semi finish though. I decided my girls needed covers to prevent the thundering herd of dust bunnies that roam our house from making a stand on my babies.  There are tons of cute tutorials on the web.

I changed them up a bit and added two pockets on the front.

I thought this was such fun fabric by Alexander Henry.  The reason that I call it a semi finish?  I think it may need a lining, and if I line it I might as well put in batting and add quilting.  But then again maybe just some skinny binding in Black and a cute button and closure on the front pockets and call it finished! 

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