Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt – Block #76 Nancy

‘Nancy’ is my first block for the Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt as I have had a few other projects to finish. I have had my fabric chosen for a while now and have been watching the blocks on the Facebook group and from other bloggers with a touch of envy.

Nancy is block number #7676 Nancy FPP I have done the block in 2 ways-  using the templates from Marti Michell and also Foundation Paper piecing (FPP). The template method is first and the FPP method follows that.

So to make Nancy you will need;

sewing supplies including sewing machine and your 2 chosen fabric designs, your printed page from the CD in your book, some coloured markers (optional), FMM templates if using and appropriate Conversion Chart.

Nancy using the FMM templates

I haven’t used Marti’s templates before and was planning to do this quilt just with FPP but I thought, this is a learning experience for all of us and I’m going to give it a go.  I was really pleased with the results and how easy the block went together.  The cutting took longer than the sewing I think.

FMM templates set usedYou will need set A of the From Marti Michell templates and we will use these piecesSet A Templates usedCut strips the same as the template piece or according to the Conversion Charts for each block. Do trim those corners, you’ll be thankful later on.A4Cut 4 of A4 from your main fabric

A3Cut one square and also use this piece to cut the rectangles from the accent fabric as well, just align one edge of the square with the fabric and use the sides to cut the rectangle correctly.  Works well.A7You’ll need 8 of A7

I almost got a bit cutting happy but made sure I did cut the contrast fabric as well.

Now as I was so keen to try the template method and my camera was inside I don’t have pictures of this part to show you but these are one I took on my phone.

FMM flying geese unitsPiece the flying geese units – I chain piece as I hate cutting thread all the time, wastes thread and time.  So I matched the 2 pieces and using my 1/4in. foot stitched the four units together pressing in between.    Notice I said pressing not ironing. there is a difference.

The great thing about the templates, it all works well and there are no ‘ears’ that need to be trimmed, another time saver as I’m sure I’ll get quicker with the cutting process.

Keep sewing – Sew the A6 triangle to the flying geese units and then the accent rectangle to the other side.  Press carefully.  centre stripSew the centre square to one of these flying geese etc units and then add another to the other side of the square, you have now created the centre strip of the block.

For the remaining 2 flying geese units, you need to sew a A4 triangle to each side. making 2 larger pieced triangles, these are the sides of the block if that makes sense.triangle sectionNow that you have 3 pieced sections of your block there are only 2 seams left.

I made sure my centre seams matched and nested the seams. I do prefer to press to one side when I am sewing but this is entirely up to you.centre seamsnested seamsMatch the side sections and pin if you need to. Sew the last 2 seams and press to one side, I pressed to the outside but this may depend on your fabric colours.

Nancy by FMM templates is in the house!76 Nancy FMMNancy made by Foundation Paper Piecing

I trim the 3 sections before I start and then I colour coded the pieces so I would not make a mistake.  if you choose you can colour in the pieced according to your fabric choices to help avoid confusion later. This can be a useful thing if there are more than 2 colours in the block.FPP coloured Stitch length settingThen I set my machine to a very small stitch, this made it so much easier to remove the paper later on.  No harsh pulling on my seams and much easier on my fingers and no tiny pieces to get out with tweezers.

So in the FPP method you need to asses which is the first piece to cover, the printout has numbers on each piece to tell you the order in which to sew the pieces. A1 A2 A3 A4 etc.3I use the paper diagram to roughly cut a piece of fabric to fit. In this picture are pieces 1 and 2.FPP up to light

Though it’s not clear in this picture I was holding the paper up to the light to make sure my fabric edges were aligned.7The I take it to the machine and stitch the seam.  I did go too far each side of the seam, I would recommend only sewing the solid line, this helps when you are trimming later.  Again I have chain pieced so all the sections progressed at a similar rate.9 10As I was using a darker coloured fabric I found it easier to fold along the line on the paper including the fabric and this gave me a crease line on the front of the block to trim next to so I could align my next piece more easily.

Repeat this process using the numbers to guide your sequence and your colouring to make sure you pick up the correct fabric.12Join the smaller 2 pieces to create the centre strip.  Now here is where getting too enthusiastic is not good, don’t remove the paper until you have trimmed the section!!!14Then you have to hope for the best and try to trim it carefully. Thankfully I could use the flying geese edges to align with and cut allowing for my 1/4in. seam.

Now tear the paper away, carefully.  I have also shown in this pic where I should have trimmed before removing the paper.13The small stitch length you chose earlier will be invaluable now.15The 3 sections ready for joining. Again I aligned the centre square and seams from the rectangles, the rest just fell together and if you have pieced accurately, the block will join easily.76 Nancy FPPNancy by FPP is also in the house!

My thoughts – I was impressed by the templates and the ease the block went together once the cutting was done. An advantage of the templates over FPP is the corners are on the straight grain and so won’t stretch so easily, and also there is less fabric  and paper waste with the templates.16I had no directional fabric to account for and this block has not direction either. This is not true for all of the FWS1930 blocks.

I am a reader in my spare time so I agreed with pretty much all that Bobby from South Dakota said in her letter. I do love the technology we have but also think there is nothing quite so good as a great paperback and a hot cup of tea and some quiet space.

Have fun with Block #76 Nancy.





Farmers Wife Anyone?

No I am not  branching into matchmaking…

A few months ago I became involved in another long term project. Another I hear you ask?  Yes, I’ll elaborate a bit more on the others another time.  This time I am joining in with other lovely bloggers from around the world and we are making history – figuratively and currently.

image courtesy of

image courtesy of

This project  is to be a year long and I was asked if I’d like to be involved and I thought it sounded great and would be a wonderful way to get back into some sewing as well as the quilting at the end.

Earlier this year Laurie A Hird released another book call the Farmers Wife 1930 Sampler Quilt.  This is her 3rd book, with the others being the Farmers Wife 1920 and the Farmers Wife Pony Club.

image courtesy of

image courtesy of

The lovely Angie at Gnomeangel has coordinated this enormous project and has gotten together some amazing ladies to share tutorials and how they are making some of the blocks from this lovely book. I am really happy to be part of the blogging team and will be writing about my journey with this project here.  I’m going to be sharing tutorials for 4 of the blocks from this book. My first will be on the blog tomorrow morning

If you’d like to join in it’s not too late. I will be making some blocks to catch up over the next few weeks and there is a scheduled break over Christmas.

Some handy links for you;

The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler SAL in a nutshell.  This is information central for this Sew Along.  Visit here often.

The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler SAL Facebook group.  Join the other few people who are sewing along – all 5000 plus!

Buy The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler book here.

So though the journey has started I;ll be sharing my blocks as I make them on here as well.

Will you join in the making of history?




Starting to Swoon

I have had the Swoon pattern for a number of months now and have quilted a few for my clients.  They are all different and individual.  I realised a few points after quilting them, the choice of fabric can make a big difference to the pattern.  I wanted a more unified look to my version of Swoon so I chose a group of fabric from a range of bolts I have in my studio.  Also the choice of pattern can affect how defined the points are or if they get a little lost in the back ground.Swoon Fabrics 3 RSNow you may be aware I am a little partial to the colour red.  My Swoon will have a red background and there will be some similarities between the blocks with repeating fabric and colours.  These are my fabrics and I think they will combine well.  We’ll see…

I wanted to have all of my block pieces cut out as I planned to take the pieces with me on our holidays at Christmas time.  My friend Sandy would be shocked if I did not bring my machine on holidays at their home.Swoon blocks cut RS Swoon blocks cut 5 RSSo I did get some blocks done and shared them on Instagram and Facebook while I was getting them done.  Things have definitely slowed down now that I am home, perhaps I should go back to Sandy’s for another week.

I accomplished 4 blocks whilst I was there.  I found that I needed to keep reminding myself which fabric was which according to the pattern but I am happy to say I did not have to unpick and seams and I did not stuff up a cut piece.  Hooray!

Block 1- good contrast, I like it.Swoon Block 1 RSBlock 2 – less contrast I think but still happy.Swoon Block 2 RSBlock 3 – ooh I like!Swoon Block 3 (2) RSBlock 4 – not too shabby.Swoon block 4 RSI think the fabrics work well together but I may have lost the defined star points by my use of similar toned fabric.  My swoon is a wreath.  I still like it a lot though, and I will finish it.

I mentioned to a friend and even perhaps on social media that I would get one day a day, yep, hasn’t happened.  You’ll know when I get it done.

Have you swooned yet?

I know Jo has and she now has a blue ribbon to show for it, see my story about her quilt here.


Sea Breeze Mini QAL – Finished

Hooray, I just finished the binding on my Sea Breeze and I even went out of my usual and used a lighter colour for the binding.  I really like it.

finished sea breeze You can see I went with my plan for the quilting.  I like the effect, perhaps next time I would quilt the lines closer.  This week I fitted this in between quilting for the upcoming Canberra Quilters Exhibition.

I decided to try to really fill the binding and so I trimmed the quilt larger than the edge of the quilt sandwich. Just a little bit.

full binding 1

full binding 2The wadding and backing are cut larger than the quilt top.




The corner can be a little bulky so it can be trimmed on a 45′ cut to reduce the bulk. Sorry I haven’t shown that here, just snip off the corner.


Then when the binding is folded over there is some extra padding inside to give the binding some extra fullness.  This is an area that judges will check in a quilt show.  They will feel the binding to see if the quilt goes all the way to the edge.

full binding 3And here is a close up of my mini.  Thanks Angie for organizing this QAL.  I have learned quite a bit and had a lot of fun.

finished sea breeze (2)Have fun with your Sea Breeze.


Blue Gentleman

Whilst posting about the raffle quilt I saw I had not actually shown you my main piece of work from 2012.
This quilt is made for my husband and will be his after it has been in the Royal Canberra Show next weekend.
The pattern for this quilt is from Sindy Rodenmayer of and is called Southern Gentleman.  Sindy created hers in browns but I decided to make it in blues.

I spent many hours tracing shapes onto Vliesofix and then cutting them out.  I skipped a step and the appliqueing was done as part of the quilting process.  It did mean being very gentle with the quilt top. I was pleased with the result.

Thomas in front of the yet to be bound quilt. Continue reading

Too long between posts but plenty to show.

I can hardly believe it has really been over 7 months since I last showed you anything.  I have some catching up to do then.  Though I haven’t put anything on this blog I certainly have been busy.  Plenty of customer’s quilts and some of my own, a Member Challenge for AMQA Inc, Canberra Quilters Exhibition, more customers quilts, a trip to Qld to see my Mum, some new excercise classes for me, and some more quilts.  This is all on top of the busy life I have as Mum to my boys and wife to Thomas.  So I had not forgotten just needed to catch up a little and not say yes to too many things so I could spend some time showing you what I’ve been up to.  I have some photos to get of my camera and then I can start uploading them here.  Check back soon, I promise it won’t be very long.
Happy Sewing

‘Linda in Pink’ AMQA Inc. Member Challenge 2011, 2nd Wholecloth – Handguided

A couple of my own quilts

Now that I’ve spent some time sorting my photos into the correct folders, we all have our own filing system don’t we, I can show you some more of what I’ve been up to recently.

As I was sorting and labeling the photos I realised there are quite a few I’ve not shared with you. I hope you enjoy seeing them as they get posted here.

This first quilt is one I made whilst living in New Zealand in 2005.  Dierdre became my friend and we decided to make this quilt at the same time.  It’s been a great memory of the time we spent sewing together and I hang it each Christmas in my house.  Happy New Year to Deirdre, Mark Jacob Logan and Hannah!

Christmas Trees

Contrary Wife and Ornery Husband is the title of this quilt which usually hangs in our bedroom. I made this one quite a while ago when I first bought my new machine.  I thoroughly tested the 1/4″ foot with all the triangles and such and I am pleased to say 95% of my corners are matching and very neat.

Contrary Wife and Ornery Husband

Continue reading

Sudoku Quilts

Last year I made a quilt really fast, 6 days for the piecing and quilting.  I neglected my family and my husband took on extra at home so I could make this quilt to enter a show. I decided on Friday night that yes I  would enter a quilt and the deadline for posting the entry form with photos was the following Friday.

None of my WIP (Works In Progress) fit the requirements so I had to start from the beginning.  A phone call to Mum produced the suggestion of a Sudoku quilt.  Sounded interesting and reasonably easy to make up.  I drafted a pattern and went shopping for fabric, that was a hardship – not!  I used a completed puzzle done by Jonathan for the fabric placement.

I had been the proud owner of my long arm machine for a month at this stage so I had a number of frustrating moments during quilting but the judges did not comment on this so I was happy.
Here’s my quilt, ‘Sudoku Blues’

I know you can’t see all of it but the puzzle is correct.

Continue reading

More of last month’s happenings

As well as getting the raffle quilt on the machine I also had a few other deadlines, one of which was getting my Canberra Quilters Challenge quilt finished and ready to submit for the Canberra Quilter’s Exhibition being held concurrently with the Craft Show at EPIC.  For those outside the ACT, EPIC stands for Exhibition Park In Canberra, a multi building exhibition grounds where numerous large events are held throughout the year.

This years challenge theme is “Going Green”.  My thoughts turned to colours rather than the obvious reduce, reuse, recycle we are encouraged to adopt.  We do try to do all that in our home but I was trying to think laterally.  We’ll see later this week how that went.  Anyway here is my answer to the theme “Going Green”.

I even pieced the binding so that it would keep with the colours of the quilt quite closely, something I have not done before.  I’ve not made an ‘art’ quilt before either so this was definitely a challenge for me. Some people who have seen the quilt have puzzled over the connection so I really hope you can see what my aim was. It seemed so simple to me but we all think differently. Continue reading