The Farmer’s Wife Attacks Again

4 07 2011

Happy Fourth! I’m off today, which means that my sewing machine and I have been practically inseparable, and miraculously, Zeb is cooperating by being incredibly happy and independent.

In talking with my husband, I realized that I’d nearly bypassed our 9th anniversary without comment. Yup, that’s right! Back on July 4, 2002, we decided to start dating and make a go of our relationship. I’m such a guy sometimes.

Also, I managed to skip right on past this blog’s second birthday! That happened back in April of this year. For a peek back at my levels of commitment to this blog, in 2009, I only posted 34 times. In 2010, I posted 89 times! This year, I’ve only posted 39 times, but there’s still six months to the year!

Essentially, I’ve doubled my output! I’ve either made a lot of stuff, or I’ve gotten wordier. I’d go with wordier! (teehee!) Anyway, on to the purpose of this post:

I’m up to 13 blocks for the Farmer’s Wife QAL! I’ve done five between Saturday and today. On Saturday:

#006 Big Dipper

This block made me want to rip my hair out. The QSTs (quarter square triangles) just would not go together the way they were supposed to. I used nearly an entire FQ of the orange print before the third try of this block came together the way it was supposed to. No paper-piecing or templates were (ab)used, but there was a lot of cussing going on. I finally figured out that my needle had gone horribly dull, and was actually catching threads of the orange on its way through the fabric and distorting my blocks.

#008 Bouquet
This one was totally paper-pieced and went together easily. I’d meant to use the green polka dot fabric for the entire basket, but when I got it all together, I found that my subconscious had over-ridden my plans and the pink fabric was the ‘base’. I figure I’ll leave it for now. Maybe the pink base will grow on me.
Today, I started off with paper-piecing a couple of less complicated blocks:
#030 End of Day
I decided that #110 Wood Lily looked like the lone Negative Nancy of my blocks, being the only one to have grey in it. Plus, all those brights were making me start to long for some variety. So I dug into the darker end of the stash.
#029 Economy
#029 Economy was the next super simple paper-piecing block in my stack of papers. I’m not a big fan of this super-bright pink – kind of funny that it’s shown up in two blocks already! Really, I’m just trying to get rid of it. I figure in a sampler quilt like The Farmer’s Wife, I won’t see it so much.
#018 Century of Progress
And because I was into the pile of foundation sheets that I’d already printed, I went ahead with #018 Century of Progress. Let me just say that I think this block is horribly ugly as presented in the book! It’s a beautiful, symmetrical design, which is just lost the way Laurie Hird sewed it together. I had to take some artistic license and make it pretty.
This block requires absolutely no templates or paper-piecing. About the only thing I wish I’d done differently was to not nest my seams. I would have preferred it to lay flatter, which would have required all my seams to be pressed open. It’s all right – the block is presentable enough, but it’s a good thing for me to keep in mind.
For a practically fool-proof method of doing HSTs without sewing on the bias edges, check out the second half of my The Basics of Pinwheels tutorial:
Silly me – I got hyper-focused and forgot that each square section would make two HST squares, so I ended up with sixteen of the HST units. *facepalm*
Which is why I ended up moving ahead and making #012 Broken Sugar Bowl. I just couldn’t bring myself to call those extra HSTs a waste so I found a block that used the same size HSTs. I still have some left…
But anyway! This is another block that needs absolutely no templates or paper-piecing.
Clearly, I’m in a ‘take no prisoners’ frame of mind. I still feel a burning need to hit the sewing machine and conquer some more blocks, and to make my Double Wedding sub-units cry and call me ‘mommy’.
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