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Posts Tagged ‘Laurie Aaron Bird

Turkey Tracks: The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt is FINISHED

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Turkey Tracks:  March 14, 2017

The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt is FINISHED

This project–99 foundation pieced blocks–many of them VERY DIFFICULT and time consuming–took a year to make.  A group of us at Coastal Quilter’s (Maine) took on this project in January 2016.  We decided on 9 blocks a month, and if it weren’t for the encouragement and stimulation of these other quilters, I don’t think I would have ever finished this project.  All of us have completed all 99 blocks, two of us have totally finished, two of us have quilts at longarm quilters, one “very busy” of us with a larger family has all her blocks finished, and one of us elected from the beginning to make a smaller quilt and is finished with her blocks.  I call that a roaring success.

Each of us used different fabrics and different backgrounds, and all of the quilts are GORGEOUS! We will bring them all together at a Coastal Quilter’s meeting when everyone is done, so I will get pictures to share of the others then.

Here’s mine–and I’ve even washed it.  This is a BIG QUILT.

Because I used this zig-zag setting, I could either “halve” four of five of the blocks or chose a different setting.  No way was I cutting any of these blood-sweat-and tears blocks in half!!!  And I thought this setting made the quilt too long and narrow.  So I added two rows on either side and floated the extra blocks.  I did have one extra block, to make 100, and it went into the body of the quilt.  I love this setting.  I had visions of quilting down the length of the zig-zags from the front of the long arm, but that would have meant quilting each of the blocks individually, and that would have been way too time consuming for me.  And would have probably involved a lot of thread changes.  I decided it was way too involved for me, so I used one of my favorite pantographs, “Simple Feathers” by Anne Bright.

Right now, it’s living on the living room couch where it totally perks up the room.

I chose this bird fabric for my backing and used a darker (than the front) teal blue/green solid for the binding.

I quilted with a thread that matched the teal/green surrounding fabric that just disappeared into the quilt.  I didn’t want anything to take away from the blocks themselves.  I washed it, which I almost never do until needed–I wash all my fabric before quilting with them as the chemicals in the fabric bother me–so it is all crinkly and cuddly.

Here’s a pic of a few of the blocks.

 

Written by louisaenright

March 14, 2017 at 2:11 pm

Turkey Tracks: Done! Fun!

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Turkey Tracks:  December 30, 2016

DONE!  FUN!

As many of you know, I started A LOT of projects over the course of last year–like agreeing to make 99 Farmer’s Wife blocks (Laurie Aaron Bird).

And, starting SEVERAL English Paper Piecing projects (Katja Marek).

And, making blocks for a future improv quilt with Coastal Quilters friends.

And, getting the right borders and backing for the big Hexie quilt–which needs a good name (Edyta Sitar)

And, planning and making TWO baby quilts.

And, working on another quilt made from the 1600 four-patches I sewed out of the 2″ square blocks two summers ago.

And, collecting the makings for a BIG travel bag.

And, starting the day after Thanksgiving, working on “clues” for Bonnie Hunter’s 2016 Mystery Quilt “En Provence.”

Trust me, the list is MUCH longer than just these items.

So….  It is fun to see many of these projects coming to fruition.  At last.  DONE!!!

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Here’s what a pile of the 99 Farmer’s Wife blocks looks like:

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Here are the last five blocks:

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I’ve got the blocks up on the design wall–using a method thought up by Lynn Vermeulen, who separated her blocks into different color piles before laying them out.  Great idea, Lynn.

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I am letting the blocks bubble on the design wall before sewing them together, and already I’ve swapped blocks out quite a bit since I took this picture.

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Can we talk about this project?  If you are thinking about doing it and foundation piecing the blocks, be warned that you must be somewhat sadomasochistic to even think about it as this project does bring both pleasure and pain.  I think that whoever did the foundation piecing plans didn’t really know that much about foundation piecing.  Some of the more difficult blocks are needlessly difficult–and if some had been drawn as the hand-piecing instructions showed, they would have been much easier.  Additionally, many times the seams did not but up, which made for a really bulky block.  So, I found myself taking out the papers to flip over a seam if I could and/or cutting into a seam to make the top flip so seams would but up.  I pressed open a lot of seams as well, which is not ideal in terms of quilt wear.  I really hope that if Laurie Aaron Bird produces an updated book that she will have someone new look at the foundation piecing patterns.

Having said that warning, the blocks are lovely, and the quilt is exciting.

I’m up-to-date on the Bonnie Hunter clues and will be starting this week’s tomorrow.  Here’s last week’s:

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The 4-patch red/neutral quilt is finished now and bound.  I’ll take pictures tomorrow and post them here.  This quilt is “So Sweet.”

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The second baby quilt is underway.

The big hexie quilt that I started Thanksgiving 2015 is ON THE LONGARM!  This quilt is on the cover of Edyta Sitar’s HANDFULS OF SCRAPS.

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Next up on the longarm, the Farmer’s Wife quilt.

I have two pieces of the Katja Marek THE NEW HEXAGON millifiore quilt completed–and am hyperventilating about whether it is working or not.  The top block seems very…bold?  But this quilt does have a place for bold, and it is too early to tell.  These are rosettes 1 and 9, and I am working on 11, which will sit next to rosette 9 on the upper border.  I wanted to use neutrals and fall/winter colors/themes.  Time will tell.

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This project will be a challenge for the Coastal Quilters for 2017.

 

Turkey Tracks: October Farmer’s Wife Blocks

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November 3, 2016

October Farmer’s Wife Blocks

 

These blocks have been done since mid-October, but I have been…busy, busy.

No. 75, Nan

Cotton+Steel fabrics

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No. 76 Nancy

Cotton+Steel fabrics

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No 77, Nellie

Cotton+ Steel fabrics, but this one needed higher contrast in the pink fabric, which has some navy in it.  The center dark angles are not showing up properly.

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No 78. Old Maid

Tula Pink ladybugs and Cotton+Steel plaid

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No 79 Patience

Cotton+Steel

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No 80 Patricia

Cotton+Steel.  This one is subtle and probably could have used more contrast, but I like it.  I LOVED to play jacks when I was a girl.

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No 81 Peony

Cotton+ Steel

I was sailing along and then hit this block.  The hand piecing version in the book made much more sense.  In the foundation piecing organization, everything swirls around that tiny central square.  It was a nightmare to sew.  Half seams, y seams, odd angles, and so on.  I really think whoever did the foundation piecing for this book did not do a great job.  There are tons of needless difficulties and seams that do not abut, which makes the blocks too bulky in places.  I had to go back and toy with seams or clip into them over and over.

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No 82 Pharlemia

Here’s another very difficult block–needlessly made more so by the foundation piecing pattern.  I threw out the directions, but the way the pieces are combined in the foundation pattern is just plain ruthlessly difficult.

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Friend Becca Babb-Brott (Sew Me A Song Etsy store) threw her Farmer’s Wives blocks up on a design wall at the October retreat (more on the retreat later) to check out color choices.  These blocks just went up randomly to try to get some visual notion of what is going on with color choices.  She does not have them all “up” here, but aren’t they wonderful?  The grey background looks flat in this photo, but it is shimmery and lively in person and is wonderful with the blocks.  This quilt is AMAZING.

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Turkey Tracks: September Farmer’s Wife Blocks

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Turkey Tracks:  October 1, 2016

September Farmer’s Wife Blocks

 

There are actually a few extra blocks here as I wanted to finish all the “M” blocks.  AND I can see the end of the project, so I printed out all the remaining paper foundation piecing patterns.

 

No. 65 Mother:

Orange fabric is Japanese; others are Cotton + Steel.  I love the mix of these fabrics.

Friend Becca Babb-Brott carries the Japanese fabrics in her Etsy store, Sew Me A Song.  She puts together reasonably priced “bundles” of fabrics in all sizes, so you can experiment with these new designs without breaking the bank.

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No. 66:  Mrs. Anderson

Yellow daisies are Japanese; not sure about the squares.

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No 67:  Mrs. Brown

Mustard cherries are Japanese.

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No. 68 Mrs. Fay:

Red is Japanese; neutral is Cotton + Steel.

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No 69:  Mrs. KellerThis one was SUPER HARD.

All fabrics are Japanese.

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No. 70 Mrs. Lloyd

Fabrics are Cotton + Steel.

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No 71:  Mrs. Morgan

Aqua fabric is Japanese; rest are Cotton + Steel.

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No 72:  Mrs. Smith

Orange fabric is Japanese; other fabric is Cotton + Steel.

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No 73:  Mrs. Taft

The mustard fabric is from a new Cotton + Steel collection inspired by designers trip to Portugal.  The neutral is from Cotton + Steel.

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No. 74:  Mrs. Thomas

The cats are Cotton + Steel.  The purple reads “solid” and comes in a variety of yummy colors–Hoodie Crescent for Stof Fabrics

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On to No. 75–TWENTY FOUR blocks to go and three months to do them.

What a fun trip this has been.  I alway, always finish projects, but I’m not sure I would have finished this one if I had not been working with a group.

Turkey Tracks: July’s Farmer’s Wife Blocks

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Turkey Tracks:  July 18, 2016

July’s Farmer’s Wife Blocks

I’m AHEAD this month!

And it’s a good thing because I’m going on the windjammer J&E Riggin in a few days now for SIX DAYS.  This trip is always a highlight of my summers in Maine.

So, here are July’s EIGHT blocks, and I’ve finished 46 now.

Katherine, made in honor of the cute t-shirt Megan Bruns made:

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Lady:

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Lily:

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Lola:

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Lucy:

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Magnolia:

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Malvina

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Marcella, who is a wild woman:

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Written by louisaenright

July 18, 2016 at 3:40 pm