Turkey Tracks: October Farmer’s Wife Blocks

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


No. 76 Nancy

Cotton+Steel fabrics


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.


No 78. Old Maid

Tula Pink ladybugs and Cotton+Steel plaid


No 79 Patience



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.


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.


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.


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.



Turkey Tracks: Coastal Quilters Monthly All-Day Sit and Sew

Turkey Tracks:  April 18, 2016

Coastal Quilters’ Monthly All-Day Sit and Sew

My favorite day of the month may be the Coastal Quilters’ monthly all-day Sit and Sew.

We start at 9 a.m., and many of us bring our sewing machines.  We sit and sew, but also we share, we talk, we laugh, we eat lunch, we make coffee and drink it.  The day flies by every month.

Here’s Becca Babb Brott’s ongoing project–the big central English Paper Piecing medallion designed by Katja Marek for her millefiore project–which is her 2015 challenge.  As I’ve been discussing in other blog posts, this information is under “projects” at the paperpiecing.com web site AND on Marek’s web site.  Marek’s blocks are bigger than other millefiore project–so lend themselves to seeing bigger pieces of great fabric. Becca’s fabric choices are modern and…FUN!  (Becca has an Etsy store online:  SEW ME A SONG.)


Becca trades blocks and ideas online with other modern quilters, and during this Sit and Sew session, she brought them all along to try to figure out innovative and creative things to do with them.


I have been in love with house blocks for about 20 years now.  Aren’t these funky, modern versions fun?


I especially like the one with squares along the right side.  I like that star just below the house block as well.


Megan Bruns worked on her millefiori quilt, which has very tiny pieces for the most part.  Here fussy cutting is the name of the game, and Megan does it so so well.  Megan is working on “La Passacaglia Quilt” from Dutch quilt designer Willyne Hammerstein’s book MILLEFIORI QUILTS.  (That’s my machine to the right of Megan, and I worked on Bonnie Hunter’s “Wild and Goosey” block with my scrap bag.  You can see more of Megan’s project on Instagram.


Maggie Schwamb worked on quilting a GORGEOUS string quilt–which I need to see better as I’m now seeing a pieced border.


Linda Satkowski layered a lap-size quilt–using the new foam roller system a recent speaker taught us.  Very ingenious.  Then Linda worked on a low-volume hexie project that is going to be a table top for, I think, a bedroom chest of drawers.


Mary Bishop and Margaret Elaine worked on Foundation Paper Piecing blocks from Laurie Aaron Hird’s THE FARMER’S WIFE 1930 SAMPLER QUILT book.  Mary was trying out the Foundation Piecing and thought it very slow.  Margaret Elaine has at least 34 blocks completed (we are doing 8 a month) and every single one of them is so, so pretty.  April’s blocks were intricate, slower to make as such, and often tedious. That’s how intricate Foundation Paper piecing goes though.  You like it, tolerate it, or…don’t.

IMG_1054 IMG_1053

Jan Kelsey was working on prepping a backing fabric when I took this picture, but she had other projects with her as well.


Other people came and went during the day as well.

That Becca has gotten me hooked on the French and Brawn Italian sub sandwich–half for lunch/half for the next day–with potato chips!!!   I start thinking about eating it again as soon as the Sit and Sew Day is over.

Turkey Tracks: March Quilty Update

Turkey Tracks:  March 7, 2016

March Quilty Update


I’ve been distracted with all the political hoopla of late and suspect some of you have as well.

But the distraction has not prevented me from quilting.

The “mother ship” is coming along.  Since this picture I’ve filled that hole on the left and am almost done with the right side piece that will fill below the red and purple flowers.


This quilt is from Edyta Sitar’s Handfulls of Scraps.

“Crayon Box Crumbs” is on Lucy the long arm.  I’ll likely finish her up today.


I’m liking the teal border a lot and will go out to a violet/purple binding.  Teal, violet/purple, and red orange are a “triad” on the color wheel.   (Thanks Janet K. for seeing I needed a border on this quilt.)


And now there are FOUR of Bonnie Hunter’s Wild and Goosey blocks.


Friend Becca Babb-Brott, who has an Etsy store, Sing Me A Song, helped me find a background fabric for these blocks–which will be set with a 3 1/2 inch wide sashing and as-yet -undetermined cornerstones.  Maybe the Wild and Goosey corner block or maybe a small nine-patch.  The sashing fabric is a pale grey tiny polka dot–which we think is in keeping with the black and white narrow sashing in these blocks.

What to do with more of the crumb bag–which seens to be breeding in the night?

These blocks, which have 4-inch crumb centers:


It’s easy to cut the surrounding “square” with the Companion Angle ruler.  Use the Easy Angle ruler for the half triangles.  Quick and easy and no loss of fabric or fiddling with tiny triangles with the flip and sew and trim method.

Becca and I chose a modern, mottled blue kind of fabric for the narrow sashings see in this block.  These blocks are inspired by a Bonnie Hunter quilt, “Nine in the Middle,” as seen in her book Adventures with Leaders and Enders.  Bonnie used a nine-patch where I am using the string/crumb center.

At some point about two weeks ago, I realized I would need at least 7 1/2 yards of fabric for the outer triangles for the Farmer’s Wives blocks and that the cream I was using wouldn’t be large enough.

Again, Becca helped me choose a new fabric–and I really love it.  The soft aqua/teal is just making ALL the blocks sing.  Having to take the triangles off of the 16 completed blocks went faster than I would have thought and was well worth the effort.  (Still struggling over how to set these blocks.)




I’ve been working on the March allotment of 8 Farmer’s Wife blocks–we are trying for 9 a month to complete the 99 blocks.  Here are the ones I’ve completed so far:



Carol–the darks are a dark, soft charcoal grey:




And, two of Caroline as I did not like the first one so much–not enough contrast between two of the fabrids:




Granddaughter Mina’s quilt is taking place on the design wall.  Pics when more blocks are done.  AND I’ve got all the units done for a blue/neutral Jacob’s ladder quilt made from the blue/neutral four-patch project of last summer.