Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Farmer's/Chemist's Wife Continues

Autumn Tints
I'm starting to get the rhythm; finished the next three blocks in the Farmer's Wife quilt-along a full week early!  Now I need my readers' help to choose between some colors...

For the Autumn Tints block, I found this great purple print that really "makes" the block (IMHO).  The large squares are actually the wrong side of some fabric that I bought for another project and decided not to use.  The front is a geometric print that just didn't go with the rest of the project.


I haven't had much experience yet with triangles.  I need the practice -- the Otsego Lake quilts have several thousand of them!!  The Box block is all half-square triangles, so they were easy enough to do.  Some of the seams are a little funky, though.  On inspection, it looks like whenever I get to the end of a seam, the fabric swerves off course a bit.  I have no idea why.  Fixing the symptom without seeking a cure, I just went back and sewed in the opposite direction, which works pretty well if you are just making one or two blocks.  Definitely gotta figure this out, though.

Calico Puzzle
The sixth block was a Calico Puzzle.  I knew I wanted to use a pretty green print that I'd picked up in Michigan last summer at a chain store plus a pink solid to go with it.  After rooting around in the closet, I found a green print with little "blueberries" -- perfect for the Michigan connection.  Unfortunately, I neglected to square up the little squares after sewing the triangles, and the whole thing was a mess.. (duh!)  I couldn't square the block for the life of me.  I started ripping out seams, and decided I'd be better off just making another block.  Plus, I wasn't sure that I liked the greens together.  I decided to try a blue, to bring out the blue flowers in the print.

Fortunately, by now it had dawned on me what a fundamental mistake I'd made.  I squared these puppies up like crazy, and the block came out pretty well.  Of course, then I started wondering if I could go back and square up the offending square in the first block.  So I hauled it out of the trash, put it back together, and it looks pretty good, too. 

So which one should I use in the final quilt?  Now that I'm looking at them, I think I like the green one better.  A girl's got a right to change her mind!  Let me know what you think.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Farmer's Wife Begins

I officially started The Farmer's Wife Sow-a-Long today -- completed the first 3 blocks and received the book/CD in the mail.  I think this will be fun, a nice diversion from time to time when other BIG projects get to be, well, too big.  So far I'm just hitting my stash.  I'm not sure how far it will last when I need to make over 100 blocks!  The book is really nice.  You can find it on Amazon, but the author also has a website where you can read about the quilt and buy the book:  The Farmer's Wife Quilt

For the first three blocks (before the book arrived) I selected fabrics that sort of worked together.   The first block is a Basket Weave block.  I used a couple of fat quarters that I'd bought on spec.  The stars are from a fabric book that I'd made for a baby last summer.

The second block is "Contrary Wife".  In retrospect, I'd have chosen different colors.  For the background I used some muslin that was left from lining some curtains.  Somehow muslin seems nice for a Farmer's Wife quilt.

The third block is "Big Dipper".  The fabrics are supposed to be a light and a medium.  I'm not very happy with this one -- not enough contrast.  Plenty of time to worry about it later.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Farmer's Wife Sow-a-Long

Just getting ready to select which project to do next, when this came along -- The Farmer's Wife Sow-a-Long, a quilt-along to make the sampler quilt created by Laurie Hird.  I got shut out of a block-of-the-month class at "my" quilt shop, so why not do one on line.  Of course, this one entails 6 blocks per month!  Argh.

Let's see, staring me in the face right now are:
  • Fabric for a watercolor quilt that I've been designing on-and-off for a year;
  • Fabric for an Amish heart quilt (it can wait til next Valentine's Day, I guess);
  • Fabric for 2 bed-sized quilts for my cabin in Michigan;
  • The infamous Q-911 project, still waiting to be quilted;
  • A needlepoint project that I promised to make for my brother and sister-in-law.
Note that my closet door is closed, so I can't see any of my stash or the various kits that I keep sending for (batiks!  chickens!).  And the cabinet doors are closed, too, hiding all those bags full of yarn for future knitting and crochet projects.

What am I thinking?!  I'm thinking that this will be fun, that's what!