Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WIP Wednesday #11: a friendly Farmer

I seriously cannot stop piecing these blocks.  They're like my daily sudoku now.
Farmer's Wife Quilt block #39: Friendship.  I chose fabrics from my late mother's clothing (and hey - a pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness too!) and from her daughters' and grand-daughters' quilts to represent friendship across the generations in our family.  Piecing was fairly simple: I made HSTs cut 3 7/8", then on the pink triangle I attached a 2" square as a "fast 45" - I marked a diagonal line across the square (actually I eyeballed it, but you're supposed to mark!) and stitched along the line, flipped and pressed back, and trimmed the extra off the back.
Block #40: Friendship block.  The sunflower fabric is from one of those circles of fabric cut with pinking shears to decorate the top of a canning jar with a make-a-mix kind of gift we received from friends.  The rest of the fabrics are from the scrap bin.  I had to do math on this one - good old Pythagoras told me that the hypotenuse of a triangle where the sides were each  3" long would be 4 1/4" long (or awfully close).  So I calculated 3/4" for each of the pale green strips (cut 1 1/4"), and the center square was cut 3 1/4" (for a 2 3/4" finished size).  The HSTs are cut 2 3/8", and the corner squares are 2" - base measurement for both of them is 1.5"
Block # 41: Friendship Star.  Easy peasy 9-patch.  Didn't even break a sweat.
Block #42: Fruit Basket.  The only tricky thing about this block is that it's based on a 5x5 grid, so you have to remember that 1/5 of 6" = 1 1/4" (scant), and that 2/5 of 6" = 2 3/8".  Then the magic quilter's numbers: for a square, add 1/2"; for a HST, add 7/8"; for a QST, add 1 1/4".   There's another basket block coming up soon that is almost identical.

I don't teach math, but I do like de-mystifying the process of language learning for my students, and the math that you need to make quilts is a little bit like a language, I think. I really like the mental challenge of figuring out these blocks.  And this week, with school starting, I have had SO much nervous energy that these little 6" squares have kept me sane.  I did manage to get my entire year's worth of lesson plans turned in, but that's small comfort when I think of how many loose ends there are this year.  The first week of school is very much a WIP right now!  I've also done a bit of knitting on those stashbuster socks, but precious little else.

Check out what others are doing over at Freshly Pieced.


Anonymous said...

I love what you did with putting the sunflower in block 40! Your blocks really look great, but you lost me with the math, LOL!

Nice touch with remembering your Mom in block 39 too.

Leanne said...

Your farmer's wife blocks are lovely and thanks for sharing your math process!