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?




Yuma Quilt A Long

Finally I can share at least a part of my version of Gotham Quilts Yuma Pattern with you.

Fabric selection for the Yuma QAL

Fabric selection for the Yuma QAL

I’m a few days late as I have been busily quilting a clients show quilt and also celebrating my husband’s change in career.  However I have now sorted my pictures and am ready to share with you my Yuma quilt.  I hope there are lots of you out there making this quilt along with the blog writers, I’m really interested to see what variety there is when we all link up pictures at the end.  My previous post had all the links to other quilters/bloggers and the dates to see there versions.  Don’t forget to show us how you have made Gotham Quilts Yuma pattern.

Right onto some pics.  I should remind you all now that this is a free pattern on the Gotham Quilts website.  It was easy to make and quite quick to put together.  choosing fabric combos RSLChoosing my lights and darks was fun, I probably spent  too much time on this but I’m happy with the outcome.

HST – Half Square Triangles, not hard and quite fats if you have chain piecing set up and some good music to listen to.  I had some of my favourites blaring in the background while I sewed.

marking HST (2) RSLI have used the Frixion pens to mark a quilt previously and probably won’t use them on the front again, for this they are perfect.  A good clear line that will be in the seam allowance, easier to see than pencil.sewing HSTside 1 RSLI sew along one side of the line then turn the block and sew the second side straight away. The small carry of thread gets cut when the HST are separated.  Chain piecing is still possible this way.

sewing HST side 2 RSL

HST sewn RSLIn the pic above they are all pressed and ready to cut so the frixion pen line has gone.  Lots of pressing at this point.

choosng triangle combos RSLThen I laid out the HST and cut triangles to make up the larger pieced triangles, I was pleased I had a table to lay it out on. This was a part I was glad to see visually.

sewn triangles ready 2 RSLNow piecing on a diagonal has a thought process behind it, you need to allow some overhang so that when you have sewn the seam the piece lines up with a straight edge, the pic below show when I did this well, some others I needs to redo to get the best result.  Once I got into the swing of it I was fine.a good join RSLThere are lots of bias edges in this quilt so I was pretty careful but you know, I had no trouble with them at all.  piecing strips RSL

I’m not a fan of pins but I use them when I need to, I did pin the long seams for the strips. To help with the triangles I used the pin to line up the points and then pinned ready for sewing.  I’m also one for pressing seams to one side and I had not trouble with making the quilt this way.seams to one side and pinned RSLNow my points were not always perfect, but I have to admit thinking of a saying my Nanna used “A blind man on a horse would be happy to see that”.  There are other versions of this around as well.not so good join RSLYou don’t need a big picture of my less than perfect seam.

half quilt strips joined RSLThese are the first half strips laid out ready for joining. And below is the first half joined.  half quilt RSLAs you can see I lose my background in the centre (on the right of the picture) as it is very similar to the fabric I chose for the large triangles in the centre of the pattern, this is the only thing I would change on my Yuma quilt.  The subtlety is growing on me though, blind man and horse thing as well.

My quilt is now together and will be quilted this afternoon.  I plan to show you that tomorrow and Ivete from Gotham Quilts has provided me a prize to give to a visitor to my blog who leaves a comment.  If you have read this far I hope you enjoyed the pictures of my Yuma journey, come back tomorrow and leave me a comment to be considered for the Gotham Quilts prize.  Comments are always welcome.  The time frame for this prize is 3 weeks from today, the 12th August 2015. You will be notified then if you are the recipient.

If you want to see other pictures of quilts I make and quilt for clients you can find me on social media Facebook and Instagram are the main ones.  I have been posting pics of my Yuma using #yumaQAL.

It’s not too late to make your own Yuma and be part of the QAL.  The link party is not until August so you have time to join in.  See the links above for the pattern.

Happy Sewing


Yuma QAL (Quilt A Long)

One of my plans this year was to embark on a few project for myself.  Make and then quilt some of my own things.  I love quilting for others but I don’t get to keep them and then I have nothing to show new clients.  Sometimes it’s good to have things to show people that I really do know what I’m doing here.

Well Ivete from Gotham Quilts put up a request for some blogger to take part in a QAL for her new pattern call Yuma.  Follow the links to find Gotham Quilts and also the free Yuma pattern.  You can also find blog posts by other quilters about their Yuma QAL choices here.

yuma-480I love the idea of making a quilt while other crafters make it as well.  It’s always interesting to see the different fabric choices we all make and how that affects the finished quilt,  then of course I like to see how they quilt it as well.

Here are my fabric choices for my Yuma.  I’ve chosen a range of fabric I have in the studio called Frosted Memories by Moda.

Yuma fabrics cut RS

Jen over at Faith and Fabric made some bright Halloween table runners using part of the pattern, she mentions a few tips in her blog post as well.

Chris at ChrissieD has a terrific post about sewing the triangles which might daunting to some.  Gorgeous pics there as well.

So if you a still considering joining, it’s not too late.  My post is due later in July but I am going to be sewing my Yuma in the next few days.  Remember this is a free pattern and you can still join in,  also you can sign up to receive any emails about the Yuma QAL here

The remainder of the QAL will show how other crafters have made their versions of Yuma, you can follow these links after the dates shown.

June 17 – kickoff blog post on Gotham Quilts
week of June 22 — Made by Chrissie D
week of June 29 — Faith and Fabric
week of July 6 — Daydreams of Quilts
week of July 13 — Lisa in Port Hope
week of July 20 — Sunflower Quilting  (very excited to join in)
week of July 27 — Roar Haus
week of August 2 — Gnome Angel
August 10th — Life Under Quilts
August 12th – closing blog post on Gotham Quilts, start of linky party
August 19th – winner(s) chosen from linky party

I am really looking forward to this quilt, and I’ll let you know how challenging I find the triangles.  I hope you consider joining in, it’s not too late.  Share your pics as well using the hashtag #yumaQAL, I’ll be sharing my pics on Instagram (@sunflowerquilting), Facebook and Twitter, and possibly Flikr.  The internet is amazing.

Happy Sewing


Sisters and Mothers

Hi Everyone,

I’m sharing today about the sister site to this one Sunflower Stitcheries, a website my Mum and I have been thinking for a few years.  We did get it going but a had to take a hiatus due to a health issue.  All sorted now and we’d love for you to go and have a look.1-IMGP3166We have some great ideas and will be releasing them when they are written up.  Our premise is we wanted to have design that are beautiful, look pretty but that are also useful.  We all have lovely things but how many are dust collectors?  We want you to be able to use our projects and have fun with them.  There are some great gift ideas and more coming.CTT Front picMy quilting business was begun when Mum and I had many quilt tops that we needed to finish and I was also wanting to do more than be a Mum, nothing wrong with being a Mum, but I wanted to still be creating. My Mum helped me purchase my A1 Quilting Machine and I haven’t stopped since. I am extremely thankful to her for that and I owe her some quilting (quite a bit actually).log cabin mug rugsSunflower Stitcheries is a different direction and though I quilt on some of our projects they are meant to be able to be completed by anyone, using your embroidery and domestic sewing machine skills.  I hope you head over and have a look and if you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll know when a new project is released.  There are some tutorials and free patterns as well, we’d love for you to share your finishes on our Facebook page as well.DSC_0033 RSIn a couple of months in Australia it will be Mother’s Day and we can celebrate our Mums and all they’ve done for us.  I am thankful my Mum is my friend, mentor, and business partner.  Mum taught me how to sew and other crafts as well, but the sewing has stuck, and now we can design and collaborate together.  The bonus of technology is that we can do this whilst being in 2 different states of Australia.

You might even find a project to make for your Mum at Sunflower Stitcheries. Mmm what will I do, seeing as my Mum is the main designer, perhaps I’ll do some of that quilting for her?!

Here’s a link to the latest blog post on Sunflower Stitcheries.

Happy Sewing (or stitching)




Where’s Hazel? Hazel QAL

Hazel bag 25 RSLast year a friend let me know of a good deal on some patterns by Elizabeth Hartman and I couldn’t resist, I bought about 5 of them.  Hazel Hedgehog is one of those patterns.  I had seen a few Fancy Foxes appearing on the internet but I really liked Hazel.

This year that same friend talked about a Hazel Quilt A Long.  I wanted in.  I’m very pleased Angie let me join in her Hazel QAL and here are my makings involving Hazel Hedgehog.

Just in case you are new to my blog I am a long arm quilter but I wanted to switch it up a little and make something other than a Hazel Hedgehog quilt.  I did use my quilting machine as you’ll see but I made this.Hazel 36 RS cropped

I was inspired by Angie’s weekender bag and this pattern is the Cargo Duffle bag by Noodlehead for Robert Kaufman.  I plan to use this when I travel, definitely individual isn’t it!?  I did not add the pockets as I wanted to use the space for Hazel and friends.  So that’s why my bag looks a little different.

Here’s my process in pictures.Hazel 24 RSFabric selection.  Blue is a favourite and then I added some red.  Red is a great colour.

I can’t believe I have no pictures of the Hazel construction but the pattern was written so well and it was easily followed.  I had fun piecing my Hazels.

Now I did alter the Cargo Duffle pattern a little to allow for the size of Hazel.  I didn’t want to cut her feet off.  So the bottom contrast on my bag is smaller than the pattern.  I also chose a darker colour for the base of the bag so dirty marks wouldn’t show so much.

So the pieces are together and now I need to quilt the side panels and the base.  Onto the quilting machine we go.  I left the lining fabric in one piece to load onto the frame and then used 2 layers of wadding for each of the 2 side panels and the base piece.  I used 2 layers to give it some body and durability.  The quilting machine coped great.  My domestic machine might have struggled a little.

Hazel 2 RSHazel 4 RSI did simple straight horizontal lines which gave stripey Hazel and interesting look. Her spines got a new ‘do’Hazel 20 RSSo the making of the Cargo Duffle was easy, though I did learn a few things along the way.

Hazel 5 RSI really like the way Anna does her handles for the Cargo Duffle bag.  Easy and they look great with the contrasting fabric.

Hazel 6 RSI used an extra long zip and just stitched over the teeth, only possible if you use a plastic zip like I did. Not a good plan if you use a metal zip.  The zipper portion I quilted on my domestic machine using my walking foot.

Hazel 7 RSSo far one side has been sewn to the zipper gusset.

Hazel 9 RSI snipped the gusset strip to help me sew around the corners of the side panels.

Hazel 10 RSThis really helped as I could maneuver the pieces and sew the side seam much easier.

Hazel 12 RSSo here’s the inside, not yet neatened.

Hazel 17 RSHazel 19 RSI learned that I  should have positioned the zipper closer to the edge of the zipper pieces but I’m chalking this up to experience.

So, my Cargo Duffle bag is made and I’m really pleased with it.  But I had quite a few pieces left over, I got a little cutting happy.  So I made another Hazel, and here she is…

Hazel 30 RSThis Hazel will hold my toiletries, but she matches by bigger bag perfectly.

Now I know you don’t mind seeing a few pictures but I thought a few pictures of Hazel that are not on my green cutting mat would be a good thing.

Here’s hazel in the wild.

Hazel 34 RSAnd if you were watching you might have seen a shy Hazel lurking earlier, let’s bring her out.

Hazel 35 RSI am looking forward to our family holiday soon so I can use my Hazel Cargo Duffle.

Thanks Angie for organising the QAL and Elizabeth for your great patterns.

How are your Hazel projects coming along, please share using the hashtag #HazelQAL.

Have fun



Barbara’s Dilly Bag-A-Long progress

A while ago Angie from Gnomeangel started planning a Dilly Bag-A-Long using the pattern by Judy Newman.  As it features hexagons I mentioned it to my Mum Barbara.

You can read all about where Barbara is up to with her Dilly Bag on the Sunflower Stitcheries blog here.

I think I might be receiving one of these as a pressie when it’s done…

Dilly Bag side Friday is the big reveal.  Despite injury I’m hoping Barbara will be able to finish to show the bag then.

Happy Stitching