Monday, 14 September 2015

The Farmer's Wife 1930's Quilt Along

Good morning! I'm really excited to share the start of my journey on yet another quilt-along today.
The Farmers Wife 1930s quilt-along starts today and is organised by the wonderful  Kerry at VeryKerryBerry This girl is so organised!

We are following The Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt book by Laurie Aaron Hird. This is a different book to the original Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt book. The layout looks similar, and all the blocks have accompanying letters from the time, but all the blocks are new and the accompanying CD has paper piecing templates as well as regular piecing templates.
Many of the blocks are very intricate! So much so that I hesitated as to whether I would manage this without a great deal of unpicking and frustration. I don't like using regular templates when working blocks as intricate as these, but paper piecing is a much more successful method.

I have chosen to make my quilt entirely from Liberty lawn using a limited palette of blues and aqua.
This was quite a scary decision. I've never bought so much Liberty in one go!
It's important to me to have plenty of solids or near solids in my design. I'm not really a "throw it all in the mix" kind of girl.

Finding solid Liberty lawn was a little challenging. I could have taken a trip to the shop itself but whilst that would have been absolutely wonderful, I didn't trust myself to focus on the task in hand once I was in the store. I may well have returned home with a gorgeous but totally unplanned for selection!

In the end I bought all my fabric online from Alice Caroline

One of my chosen solids is on back order, so I'm having to use the aqua solid for now, but I'm sure all will work out in the end.

We are working through the book in order and Kerry posts about one block a week and a guest blogger about a second. If I want make all the blocks it will take about a year!
I am thinking about making a smaller number and just having a panel of blocks vertically offset with the rest of the quilt plain white tana lawn. 

This is most definitely going to be an heirloom quilt, but I do want it to be design led rather than ending up as something none of my kids actually want to put on their bed once I'm no longer around!
I will make the design decision once I have a few more blocks under my belt.

Paper piecing was so easy with the fine Libery lawn.

Block No. 1 Addie

Every block has an accompanying letter about life in the 1930s in the USA. The letter for this block written in October 1930 by a woman who has just moved to the country says 
"I have no modern conveniences, yet, as I had in town; still I am happier than I have ever been before."......."With my two babies to look after, six acres in the garden and corn to keep clean, water to carry 200 yards uphill and canning to do, I cannot find time to read the stories...."
Seriously! This woman puts me to shame! We don't know how lucky we are with all our technology today!

Block No. 2 Aimee
Aimee was a little more difficult to piece, but I like it much better than the first.
The letter accompanying this block is by a farm lady who is an avid book reader (she obviously has more time than the first one!). Her favourites include Little Women by Louisa Alcott and Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. Aah! A lady after my own heart!

I shall be posting my blocks each week on Instagram. I figured if I'm going to spend a year making this quilt then I might as well record nature's changes in the garden and hedgerow as well. It will be good to look back and remember the seasons by the them.

Looking forward to sharing some more blocks with you soon!


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