Monday, August 8, 2011

Farmer's Wife #17-19

I can't stop with the Farmer's Wife blocks.  They're addictive little puzzles, kind of like Sudoku.
Block 17: Cats and Mice.  I had to bend my rule about fabric in this one to allow for the darling dancing Egyptian mice and fairy cats... both of these fabrics were from scrap bags I purchased.  When you stuff a bag of scraps for $1, it's almost like thrift store fabric, right?  More challenging was the block analysis... this is another one I drew out on graph paper and measured. It and block 19 are sisters.  The mice squares are a finished measurement of a generous 1 3/8", so I cut them a generous 1 7/8".  The QST's also finish to a generous 1 3/8", so I cut them a generous 2 5/8" and used the hourglass piecing method where you don't cut until after you've sewn the bias seams.  Then the side triangles: the base measurement is 4" so you cut one 5 1/4" square and cut it diagonally to get 4 triangles.  The corner triangles: 1" finished so you cut 1 7/8" squares (right on the line) and cut them once diagonally.
Here's sister block #19 - Checkerboard.  You can see that the square unit is the same (cut a generous 1 7/8"), but instead of the 4 larger side triangles we have 8 smaller ones - cut 3 1/4" squares and cut them diagonally twice for those QST's.  The corner HST's are again cut from 1 7/8" (not generous, just regular) squares.  To make up for my frivolous fabric choices in Cats and Mice I used all vintage or upcycled scraps - two of Steve's old shirts, two different old curtains, and some fabric from my mom.  Drawing these two blocks out helped me to remember some of my geometry from long-lost days of yore.
Block 18 - Century of Progress.  No way around it unless you want to piece it by hand, I think you're going to have to draw it out on paper (or print out paper piecing patterns) and use foundation paper piecing to get this puppy together.  Draw a 6" square, divide it into 4 quarter squares, and draw a line diagonally connecting the center points of the sides so you have a diamond in the square.  That diagonal measurement (about 4 1/3", but don't trust my math) needs to be subdivided into thirds, and a line connecting the thirds to the center or corner of the block needs to be drawn.  Then you piece it in 8 sections and sew them together.  I might have been able to get the center more perfect if I hadn't chosen a heavy-weight red ticking stripe, but I like the way it looks.  I had wanted to use more lime green, yellow and red in the quilt, so here it is.

Fortunately the next few blocks are easier to analyze and go together quickly.

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