Monday, 4 July 2016

The Farmer's Wife 1930s Quilt Along, blocks 81 and 82, Peony and Pharlemia

Back for another week in the Farmer's Wife quilt-along and it's time to rise to the challenge of Y seams (block 81, Peony p. 240, letter p. 145)- or redesign blocks to avoid them (block 82, Pharlemia, p.241, letter p.38).    Peony caught me out a little bit, I was short on time and rushed in just expecting the partial seams around the middle square, but no, there's Y seams galore!  Jo Avery is guest posting on this block and she has English Paper Pieced this block which makes the construction a little easier- see her post here.   For those of you who are foundation paper piecing, it is possible to reduce the number of pieces slightly- I made the very small half square triangles E3/4, F3/4, G3/4, H3/4 each into a single triangle as it in no way affects the construction and makes more sense.  Otherwise, it is a question of sewing slowly and marking seam allowances on any pieces that you remove the paper from so that you can pin together accurately.  For a detailed post on Y-seams see here.  McCall's Quilting have a handy video on partial seams.




Fabric Credits
Penny Rose Hope Chest in Blossom Yellow and Teal
Kona White
Riley Blake, Ardently Austen text print.

By the time I got to Pharlemia block, I decided to redraw it to avoid the Y seams. You can chose to follow the original block in the book or download the Y seam free version for foundation paper piecing here.  As usual, ensure printing is at 100% and not to scale.  Sometimes PDFs are marginally smaller or bigger due to different computers/printers etc.  The pattern should be 6" square. 


Fabric Credits
Moda Solids Peacock (I think!)
Moda Garden Project, Vintage floral pear yellow
Unknown feedback repro floral.

{For both blocks, I link to sponsor shops for fabric bought from them and elsewhere for other fabrics}

If you do want to follow the book version, Amanda Weatherill on IG(@thepatchsmith) had some  great tips on joining the sections, she made the block back in January so you'll have to go back in her feed.

If you are using the no Y seams version, you need to separate your pattern into 11 sections by cutting along the blue lines.  No seam allowances are included as I don't have that sort of design software so you will have to allow for these on the outer edge of each section when adding the fabrics.

Rotary Cutting - based on no Y seams pattern
These are for foundation piecing so are cut larger than needed with any exceptions noted below.
  • Yellow large half-square triangles: cut (2) 3" squares; sub-cut each square in half along the diagonal to yield 4 HSTs
  • Violet Centre sq: Cut (1) 3 ½" square
  • Violet small HSTs: cut (8) 1 ¾" squares; sub-cut each square in half along the diagonal to yield 16 HSTs
  • Violet medium HSTs: cut (4) 2" squares; sub-cut each square in half along the diagonal to yield 8 HSTs
  • Green large HSTs (these are cut ACTUAL SIZE): cut (2) 2 1/4" squares; sub-cut each square in half along the diagonal to yield 4 HSTs.  Draw ¼" seam allowances on reverse side
  • Green diamonds: use templates and cut 8 in each direction (16 in total).  Template technique is detailed here and here.



Construction of the block is detailed on the pattern download.  When the outer half square triangles (I1, J1, K1, L1) are added use the stab pin method to match the seam points- the pin is placed perpendicular to the fabric,(see photos above) another pin is used to keep this in place  for sewing and the first pin can be removed. 

Top Tips for Foundation Piecing this Block
  • Pre cut all pieces
  • Use a water based glue stick e.g. Sewline, to stick the first piece of fabric on each section
  • Chain piece where possible
  • Press section seams open apart from the last two, they sit easiest to one side
I put together two more nine-patch blocks to add to my collection, these are 12 and 13.  I love pairing the fabrics to go with the 1 inch checks.



  • You can share your farmer's wife quilt blocks with the hashtags #fw1930sqal and for these blocks either #Peonyblock or #Pharlemiablock as well as #fw81Peony, #fw82Pharlemia
  • If you want me to take a look at your blocks, tag me on Instagram, I'm @verykerryberry or comment here and paste in a link to your blog
  • There's a Flickr group you can add to here.  All my Farmer's Wife 1930s blocks can be seen in this album and my 9-patch blocks in this album. 
Sarah Edgar of Pretty Fabrics and Trims is back as a guest blogger next Monday!
See you next week x 
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