Mar 20, 2012

The Farmer's Wife Quilt Along

In January 2011, a blog named Fussy Cut, was doing a quilt along based on the book, The Farmer's Wife.  The goal was to complete two blocks every week.

In 1922, The Farmer's Wife magazine posed this question to their readers:  "If you had a daughter of marriageable age, would you, in light of your own experience, have her marry a farmer?"  The magazine at that time had 750,000 subscribers, and received over 7,000 letters.  The best answers to this question are included in this book, along with the traditional quilt blocks they inspired.
Here is one of the stories:
City Life Holds No Glamour
Having spent the first two years of my married life, as well as much of my childhood in Chicago, city life holds no glamour, no lure for me.  I know its lacks too well.  I would not exchange the homely joy of riding in a "tin Lizzie" in the country for the excitement of "keeping up with Lizzie" in the city or town.  I have had more genuine enjoyment in caring for and breeding up my flock of beautiful White Rock chickens; more real pleasure in tending my flowers and vegetables, more honest satisfaction in working with the lambs and bees, than I ever experienced in the varied round of activities that made up my life in the city.  Such wholesome, outdoor work serves not merely as an absorbing occupation for the moment, a time killer, so to speak but is also an investment which later pays well.  There is not space here to tell of my love for ;the panorama of ever changing beauty that unrolls from my cabin on the hilltop.
It must be admitted that country life has neither what is of more value to earnest men and women:  wholesome living conditions, an excellent moral environment, opportunity for mental growth and spiritual development, and the possibilities of real and lasting happiness.  It is my conviction that when America wearies of jazz and reverts, as a nation, to the ideals of her pioneer forefathers, a=many will find in the simple joys of the country an antidote to over sophistication.  We who are already on the land and love it, despite all its lacks, know the blessed peace and security and happiness that nature offers those who have discernment enough to "hold communion with her visible forms."

There is a possibility of 111 6" blocks in the book.  Originally, I was planning on making a queen size quilt which would take 110 blocks. As I was sewing the blocks, I realized that 110 blocks was too ambitious!  I decided to make 50 blocks, which is a lap quilt.
There is a CD that comes with the book and you can print off paper piecing templates.  It is so much easier to just cut out the pieces with your rotary cutter.  Bee in my Bonnet had some great tutorials and ideas.
I made six design boards, foam board with quilt batting, trimmed in cute fabric.  The quilt batting lets the little pieces stick, and you can audition which fabric combinations look best together before you sew them together.

Then I bought a little binder with 5" X 7" page protectors to hold my sketched blocks.  

I decided to make my blocks in 30's prints, otherwise known as "Aunt Gracie".  Here are most of the photos of the 6 l/2" blocks.  Most I absolutely love, but some I'm not that crazy about.

I used every color, so the quilt will have a "scrappy" look.
The blocks were lying on the floor for a long time.

I have never worked on a quilt where the blocks were set on a point.  It took a little while to get used to.  I bought slate colored fabric for the sashing, pale pink for the posts and pastel yellow for the setting triangles.  I thought the slate would show off the colors of the blocks.  I sewed some of the sashing, posts and triangles and marked each row with a slip of paper.  Row 1, row 2, etc.  Then I folded them up very carefully so they wouldn't wrinkle, to work on when I have more time.  I have two projects I am working on right now that I need to have completed in two weeks.

That is the story of my "Farmer's Wife" quilt so far.....

I have a "Farmer's Wife" board on pinterest if you want to take a peek.
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  1. You and I are almost twinners. I settled for a lap size too after about 50. I love how yours is turning out! Nice job!

  2. Well look at you! You've done so well. I'm super jealous. These could be my blocks, they look like fabrics I love. I'm super impressed. I can't wait to see more.

  3. Really pretty! And a lot of work!!!

  4. Beautiful! I love the slate for the sashing. I've been admiring the Farmer's Wife blocks for awhile and hope to follow your suit one of these days-- good idea with the binder and sketches!

  5. Love your binder idea and writing out the sizes!

  6. Better late than never! This is a great post! First question...where did you ever find a 5x7 note book with graph paper and page protectors? It's my favorite size to work with but can't ever find refills and have never seen page protectors that size!

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  8. I made all 111 blocks!! The quilt top is done and waiting to be quilted!! It was my favorite quilt so far because no 2 blocks were the same!!