"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Farmer's Wife Blocks Ready to Sew

Success!! My goal was to get one block cut for the Farmer's Wife Quilt before I went to bed tonight, baby willing :) Instead, I managed to get FOUR cut!! Woohoo!

Okay, I know. Not all that exciting for you perhaps, but I've been thinking about this quilt for over a month. And after waiting for the book, then waiting until I could get fabric, then waiting until I could figure out how to make it (with much studying on the internet), and then waiting for the baby to be happy doing other things than eating and having me hold him, this is a long-anticipated success. :)

So, while the baby played happily on his own, or slept off and on, I got out all my goodies and got to work. (Okay, to be totally honest, this picture was taken yesterday. He played and napped in the swing today, but I figured you were probably getting tired of seeing pictures of him doing the same thing.)

I decided to use a mixture of techniques. I've never tried using templates to cut out a quilt block, and #3 looked like a good place to try them. I had cut out blocks 1 and 2 already with a rotary cutter, and was a little shocked by how much extra fabric it appears I will be wasting on block #1, which has triangles. I can definitely say using templates saves tons of fabric (um, except when you aren't paying attention, and cut the fabric that is under the fabric you intend to cut, destroying a small section of it. But we won't talk about that...) But my goodness. It takes FOREVER to cut out the templates, trace them onto the fabric, then cut out the pieces, being obsessively careful to cut just inside the pencil line. Ugh. I am quite sure I wouldn't be able to do the entire quilt that way.

Anyway, here are my first four blocks (from top, right to left) - #1 - Attic Window, (which looks nothing like the pieces I have here because there will be triangles sewn out of the squares), #2 - Autumn Tints, #3 - Basket, and #4 - Basket Weave, or, the Nazi block, as I like to call it. I was really paranoid about the fourth block turning out looking like a swastika, so I picked the most calming colors I could think of, and kept it all in the same color family. #5 - Bat Wing will be paper pieced, another new-to-me technique, and I'm thinking I'll use the dark blue from block #4 with the neon green from block #1 for that one. Nothing to show of it yet though because I'm really clueless on how to cut the fabric for that one, and will probably just sew and cut as I go.

As you can probably tell, I decided to do the blocks in the order they appear in the book (alphabetical), regardless of how difficult the block looks. I'm doing this project in order to learn new things, and that's not going to happen if I just pick the easy blocks. I don't want to get to the end and have only hard ones left. I'm afraid I'll run out of steam. Besides, I think it would be very difficult for me to keep track of which ones I had completed, and which ones were which (there are several very similar blocks) if I skipped around. This way, I can just stack them in order ;)

So in the process of starting this quilt, I learned a few important things.
1. I need a smaller ruler and cutting mat. The ones I have are monsters. The ruler is 24 inches long, and I am having a hard time maneuvering it in a way that I'm not running into it all the time.
2. I need to have an entirely clean work area before I start. In my excitement to get something cut before the baby started fussing, I didn't clear the entire table, which my seven year old was using for paper crafts and insect identification and analysis (it's a homeschool thing :) Anyway, that, coupled with the too-large ruler and cutting mat added up to headaches I could have done without.
3. I need a small container for scraps that might be big enough to use later.
4. This is fun. I think I can do it!

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