Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WIP Wednesday #3: Flirting with the Farmer

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

So, this is my third Wednesday of linking up over to Freshly Pieced, and it's keeping me sewing even while the Tour de Fleece is going on. 
First, a finished product this week, from Carla's Pants into Capris tutorial, for my 11yo daughter (blogname Tertia.)  I really like this method for converting thriftstore purchases to fit her special frame: it doesn't require a traditional hem on the jeans material with all the bulk, and it allows me to show off some of my fun fabrics to encase the hem.  Super easy.  And the embroideries I cut off the bottom I converted into an extra pocket and a cute applique. 
I used my darning foot and dark blue thread and followed the light blue embroidery stitching inside and out, so it should stay on.  You can't even see the stitching here, but with washing the edges of the applique will fray a little.

I'm very succeptible to suggestion; for a few weeks now I've been watching the progress of the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along on Lee's and Elizabeth's blogs, and thinking about how much fun those little 6" blocks would be.  Well, I looked in 3 stores and the library without finding the book, but then I thought to myself, "If I can't use my 20+ years of quilting experience to figure out how to piece those little blocks, do not think I have wit to lie straight in my bed." (paraphrasing Maria in Twelfth Night there).
Yesterday I was a bit distracted and made a bunch of blocks.  I'm going scrappy -- how could I not? -- and trying to use at least one vintage, thrifted, or upcycled fabric in each block.  In fact, fabrics in these 1st 4 blocks are all from one or more of those categories.  Counterclockwise from the bottom, they are
  1. Attic windows
  2. Autumn tints
  3. Basket
  4. Basketweave
I also did 5. Batwing, in pink and blue, and 6. Big Dipper in greens.

Technically, I'm not a Farmer's Wife but more of a girlfriend.  For one thing, I'm not using the book and I'm not using templates unless I absolutely have to. For another, the official Quilt Along is hosted on Flickr, and I've completely forgotten how to use my Flickr account and I was almost to my limit of 200 pictures anyway.  So we'll see where this goes.  It's a good chance to keep my basic piecing and block analysis skills fresh, and play with my scraps.  I can hardly ignore the chance to do a block sampler, I love them so much.

Side by side, here is my lesson learned this week.  My first attempt at Big Dipper used a homespun plaid and what looks like a loose-weave brushed cotton from some kids' bedding.  I used my standard technique for quarter-square triangles: cut squares 1.25 inches larger than finished size, draw diagonal lines on the backs, stitch 1/4 inch on both sides of one diagonal, cut apart, press to the dark side, put the resulting HSTs together right sides facing, stitch 1/4" on both sides of the other diagonal, cut apart and you have 2 identical hourglass units.  Familiar enough to most quilters, right?  But the loosely woven materials I tried to use in the first block warped and stretched out of shape when I pressed them.  I can only imagine how badly they would have stretched if I had actually cut the bias edges of the triangles before sewing.  (Not to mention the color choices... I like scrappy and thrifty, but there are limits!) I used the identical method with more tightly-woven, traditional quilt-weight cottons and I was happy with the result.

1 comment:

Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva said...

The capris are 'sew' cute!!! Love you FMQA blocks too.