Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A New Year's Resolution (Sort Of)...

Usually I don't make New Year's Resolutions.  It's just too easy to break them.  I figure if there's something I want/should do, why not start it then instead of waiting until January 1st?  That being said, I did delay the start of a 'new' project until this year.  (Although technically it's been in the planning stages for a couple of years now - picking out fabric, getting templates, etc.)  This week, I finally started my Farmer's Wife quilt.  I'm hoping to make the king-sized version, which needs 144 blocks, so I was thinking I would make 1 or 2 blocks a week.  It will still take a couple of years, but at least I'll finally be making progress on it.

Farmer's Wife fabric, book and templates
Several years ago, I signed up to receive the free conversion charts from Marti Michell to use her templates to make these blocks.  I had heard through the grapevine they were easier to make that way.  (If you're interested, you can still sign up to receive the next set of these emails on her website.  I can't speak from experience whether this is true or not, because I didn't try out the templates from the book.)  It does take a while to cut out the pieces with the templates, but almost no time to sew together.  Here is my first block cut out...

#16 Calico Puzzle
To be honest, my first block finished at 6 1/4" x 6 1/2".  In order to get my points to match up perfectly when I sewed my rows together, that's just how it turned out.  I was disappointed, but I made another one and used a scant, scant 1/4".  It came out perfectly.

Excuse David's tail!
It seemed like a lot of effort to pull out all of the fabric, book and templates to make just one block a week, so I kept sewing.  In a few hours, I finished another 3 blocks.

#21 Contrary Wife
#70 Prairie Queen
#72 Railroad
I was little iffy on the templates after my first block, but found them really helpful once I got the hang of it.  Although each of these blocks had quite a few pieces in them, the next few look to be simpler.  And I think working in groups like this will work out better than just making one or two at a time.

I'm really excited to have finally started on this project!  I hope I can keep up momentum on it throughout the year and have a nice pile of blocks to show for it by the start of the next one!

By the way, for those of you that are Downton Abbey fans, I just heard that the Season 4 DVD is coming out on January 28th and is available for pre-order at Amazon.  This means you can watch the entire season before it finishes airing on TV here in the US.  My husband and I prefer to watch an entire series at once rather than wait week to week.  I'm less likely to forget parts of the plot that way!
But the wisdom that comes from above leads us to be pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine and sincere. 
James 3:17 (CEVD)


  1. Your first FW blocks are beautiful! I have also dreamed of doing those blocks... actually I have sewed one block already. It's funny that I also chose blue/neutral fabrics for my blocks. Here in Finland we have watched Downton Abbey in TV this Autumn and actually this evening there is the last part of it.

  2. What a brave woman you are! I would still be thinking about it years later. But I have to say, you make those blocks look easy. Also giving yourself time to do a few blocks at a time should be helpful and less stressful.

  3. What a fun way to start the year! Love the colors. Happy sewing!

  4. That is a big project, but I think it will go faster working in groups of four or six.

  5. Nice blocks! I really like the fussy-cutting you did with a few of them, too. I agree that if I'm going to get the stuff out, it is easier to make more than one or two. I also heard that the templates really help. Have fun!

  6. You are going to make a beautiful quilt with these fabrics. I have always loved looking at the blocks from Farmer's Wife, and I wish you the best with it!

  7. I too am starting the Farmer's Wife blocks, Dee. I am trying to join the Yahoo Group so I can download the paper pieced patterns since I think that method will work best for me--at least right now before I have even started. Love your colors.