Monday, July 4, 2011

The Farmer's Wife is my Frienemy.

That's right.  Frienemy.  The title of this post was going to be "The Farmer's Wife is my Therapist."  When the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along first started popping up all over Blogland, I wasn't so sure about it. I mean, the modern blocks looked amazing but I just wasn't sure I wanted to jump in.  (Don't tell anyone, but as a general rule I don't love sampler quilts!)   But the more blocks I saw, the more I fell in lust.  Quilt Dad, Twin Fibers, KerryBerry, the Ginger Monkey, Camille the Simplifier, Texas Freckles, Leila with the Orchids...vixens!  All of them!  Taunting me with their amazing blocks!  I immediately sat down with my book and pretty much every piece of fabric I have ever acquired.  I had seen so many beauties that I thought for sure I would just pull out some delicious scraps and start sewing my heart out.  Except it was kind of overwhelming.   So I popped over to the Flickr group and noted the blocks people put together with only 2 different fabrics.  Then I thought about some color combinations I had been meaning to try.  Now I was cooking with gas!  My first block was the windmill (#108) - I cut the paper templates and traced them onto the fabric.  It wasn't my favorite method, but it worked ok and I finished it in no time.  See?
windmill, #108
Starting with my second block (the wrench, #111) I traced each paper template onto freezer paper, making a few pieces for each shape.  Then I ironed them onto the fabric, rotary cut, carefully peeled the paper off, and stitched 'em up.  Ta-da!!!
wrench, #111
I found it easier to trace onto freezer paper than fabric, and using the rotary cutter after ironing gave me nice straight lines and better pieces overall.  I was feeling good.  No, I was on fire!...Bam, finished another one!
Box, #9
For these first three, if something else wasn't going well in life or I just needed a break, I whipped up a quick Farmer's Wife block and all was right with the world....she was my therapist!  I felt awesome, ready to take on the world!!  And then came Night and Day.  Sure, it's a little more advanced than the others.  But I was feeling awesome, remember?  I could probably do it with one hand behind my back (ok, I wasn't THAT confident...)  Made my freezer paper pieces, cut my fabric, sewed the first quarter block together...not bad!  Until I realized that it was supposed to be a square...and it was definitely NOT square.  (Plus, I'm not sure if you can tell from this picture, but that one piece isn't even in's just hangin' out there by itself...what the what?)

OK, back to the Flickr group.  I found this and this and this.  Beautiful, right?  I read the comments...paper piecing!  YES!  Got some templates to paper piece the block in 8ths...sat down, knocked out another quarter block...but just before I sewed the 8ths to each other I tore the paper off so I could press my seams open.  (They just seemed so bulky when the paper was attached...I'm not so hot on bulky...)  It turns out, this was not the right move either...I mean, it was a significant improvement, but not quite there.  Plus, my fabrics were switched...I know it shouldn't matter, but I wanted to switch them back. 

I tried 2 more times...and 2 more times I made sucky blocks!!  Well, the 3rd mess isn't quite so bad - the pieces seem to match up better now that the paper has been torn off...that's probably not a good sign either but I might stitch them together and see what happens.  (P.S. paper piecing is hard!)

I got so fed up, that I threw away my messes before I could even take photos to show you.  Then I felt bad, took them out of the garbage, and got some pictures.  Chris thinks I should just do a different block...or take a break from sewing...(huh?)  But now this farmer's wife has pissed me off!  I must be able to conquer this damn block!!!!  Part of me wants to keep working on it until I get it right.  But logically, I know Chris is right.  So I packed up all things relating to my new frienemy and put them on the side.  For today I will be quilting the quilt that I have been quilting for weeks. (Seriously, I must get that finished's a birthday present for a little girl...her birthday was a month ago!  YIKES!)  Happy 4th everyone!! 

1 comment:

  1. You are so funny! I just found your blog and had to follow after reading this. I have resisted the Farmer's Wife so far and think I will stick to some simpler QAL's. The whole template thing just seems like a pain. Good luck, I am sure it will get better again.


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