Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Farmer's Wife 1930s Fabric Ideas: Melinda from Quirky Granola Girl shares her quilt

When I was preparing the post about fabric for the 1930s Farmer's Wife quilt along, I knew I wanted to ask Melinda of Quirky Granola Girl to share a few of her pictures from the first Farmer's Wife 1920s Sampler quilt and the Pony Club book.  She has a super eye for colour and puts together lively combinations.  I remember her rejecting blocks and remaking them in different fabrics and totally understood that attention to detail.  You can find Melinda's blog here, on Instagram here and on Flickr here.  She is also a guest blogger for the 1930s quilt- along.  Enjoy, you are in for a treat!

Hi All!

Kerry asked me to share a few pictures and talk about my Farmer's Wife Sampler obsession passion.
Here is a picture of my first Farmer's Wife Sampler as a quilt top.

Farmer's Wife quilt top

I had never made a sampler before and once I started, I was addicted.  I love how each block is it's own challenge, how a single block feels like a finished project and how I never get bored making them.

For my first Farmer's Wife Sampler, I used my favorite fabrics in my stash (it has 354 different fabrics in it).  When designing fabric combinations, I strived for color contrast, value contrast, different print scales and differing design styles.  My theory is when I put all of the work into piecing these blocks, I want each little triangle and square to shine.  I even went so far as to remake 14 blocks that looked muddy to my eye and I don't regret it a bit. 

This block has 30's repros, low volume background and a bright, modern graphic print to make the square in the block stand out.

My very last farmers wife block and I am in love.

Here is a block with a Japanese sewing print paired with a crosshatch.

farmer's wife sampler, block 75

This block shows two florals but vastly different colors, tones and scales.

farmer's wife sampler, block 9

When I looked at my fabrics, I also chose the largest scale fabrics that I *had* to include and then looked through the blocks to match them up to the right pattern.  This one combines a novelty print with a graphic print.

farmer's wife sampler, block 88

I'm hand quilting that sampler so I can enjoy each block all over again.


For my Farmer's Wife Pony Club Sampler, I decided to use all Anna Maria Horner fabrics plus solids.  That has been an all new challenge since AMH uses a lot of bright colors, many florals, often large scale and very few low volume prints.  Here is a picture of four of my blocks.  I hope they show ways to achieve contrast in color, tone, scale and print style even with one designer's fabrics.


I don't know what my fabric theme will be for my Farmer's Wife 1930's sampler.  I'm considering a focus on more modern graphic prints and stripes.  What fabrics are you thinking of?

sib blog


  1. Wow! The dark background really makes the blocks "pop".
    I'm going all Liberty for the 1930s FW in a limited palette of blues and aquas.

  2. I'm getting ready to participate in the quilt along with Very Kerry Berry. I am SO excited to find your quilt top - it's exactly the look I'm going for and will be an inspiration and I work my way through all the blocks. : )

  3. I bought American Jane's(Sandy Klop) most recent fabric line. It has a bright cheerful 1940s retro feel to it. ;p

  4. Thanks for sharing, it's truly amazing. Although I thought I had my mind made up and now I'm seriously considering silver/gray background!!

  5. This is so amaaaaaazing! Love everything about it

  6. I really like your blocks and also your finished top - I'm still undecided about fabrics for this one though! I was also thinking of a modern look or alternatively pastels but have to check what I have and add to that I think. Looking forward to getting started ;-)

  7. I have really loved reading your posts on this, Kerry, even though I initially had no intention of joining in (I'm not great at foundation piecing and worry that when seen in direct comparison my hand-stitched versions may lack crispness, which I think may end up bothering me; I don't have that wide a range of patterned fabrics and I feel really unsure what I'd choose even if I was buying fabrics specifically; and I don't have a fantastic track record of finishing long term projects!). But that didn't stop me from going and looking at the book last week and putting it in my Amazon basket and then, this morning, clicking to buy it as though my fingers had detached themselves from my brain, which is a huge nod to the inspirational power of your posts! And Melinda's finished quilt is gorgeous - I love all your fabric choices, Melinda! I really love your Pony Club blocks - the AMH fabrics are gorgeous.

    I'm still not sure if I'll make the blocks myself, but if nothing else, I'll enjoy reading the letters and giving some extra meaning to all the beautiful blocks that I see you and others making! So I just wanted to stop and say that I'm really enjoying these posts and looking forward to a whole year of them, irrespective of whether I end up stitching along. :)

  8. Melinda's fabric choices are always inspired and I usually know it's her work before I see her name!


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