‘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 #76 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.
You will need set A of the From Marti Michell templates and we will use these piecesCut 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.Cut 4 of A4 from your main fabric
Cut 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.You’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.
Piece 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. Sew 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.Now 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.Match 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.
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. Then 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.I use the paper diagram to roughly cut a piece of fabric to fit. In this picture are pieces 1 and 2.
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.The 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. As 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.Join 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!!!Then 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.The small stitch length you chose earlier will be invaluable now.The 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.Nancy 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.I 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.