Monday, 26 October 2015

Farmer's Wife QAL Blocks 13 & 14: Belle and Betty

It's Week seven in the year long Farmer's Wife 1930s Quilt Along, remember you are welcome to join at any time, it's a very relaxed QAL and links to all previous blocks  are here.  Block 13, Belle  (p.172, letter p.158) is a tricky one if you don't like Y seams but don't panic there are ways round it.  Fiona of Poppy Makes is guest posting for this block so click here to read: she's been English Paper Piecing her blocks, a great technique for pain-free Y seams.

Fabric credits:
Riley Black, Flower Patch in white - not easily available now in this colour way, Etsy might be the best market place to search. 

I'll talk about how to foundation paper piece this block, including the Y seams on today's Periscope broadcast at 2.30pm UK time including a cheat to avoid any Y seams.  Watch live or for 24 hrs on replay at .  For those that can't make it and still want to cheat, you can print the block diagram from the book CD at full 6" square size and make the following changes to make it Y seam free:

Don't print this diagram off as it is not to size!  the blue dotted line divides the blocks sections differently and creates an extra piece to avoid a Y seam: draw this line on your block, add the letters/numbers and then cut along the line to separate the sections.  The red solid line is another  cutting line which separates the central area into two sections.   To sew together, complete each section A, B , C and D.  Join B to C.  Join A to BC.  Join D to ABC.

The fourteenth block is Betty (p.173, letter p.100) and she's a straightforward mix of squares and half square triangles so if Belle stressed you out, Betty should have you back on track!

Fabric credits:
Kona Corn Yellow
Kona Candy Blue
Gracie's schoolhouse classics Red Dotty Blossoms

I foundation paper pieced this block and used the rotary cutting instructions to precut the pieces but made them each ½" bigger, e.g. a 2 ½" x 2 ½"  square would become a 3" x 3" square.  I've used three different Kona yellows (corn yellow, buttercup, and citrus) in my Farmer's Wife blocks so far and I will admit to a love affair with yellow for this quilt, it gives my eyes such a lift each time it appears.

The letter for this block is all about music, a subject close to my heart as my day job is running music classes for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers.  I used to work as a primary teacher and I started the music classes when my daughter started school and although it is hard work it is also a very uplifting job, the children and their families are wonderful and I really enjoy it.  My mother made sure, without support, that I and my sister and brother all had music lessons of some sort.  She often had either no income or very limited wages but she always made the sacrifice so that we had an instrument and the encouragement to play music as long as we wanted and we all benefitted.  Back then, there were school instruments available to borro so you could try before committing to buying, and lessons -  which were short and in groups - were free.  Music is such a huge part of my life- I'm listening to BBC6 Music and  Jarvis Cocker's Sunday Service as I write this - and my life is definitely the richer for the all the music within it.
  • Use the hashtags  Don't forget to use #fw1930sqal on Instagram and the Flickr group if you like to share there.  
  • For individual blocks, you can use #belleblock and #bettyblock on Instagram.  Fat Quarter Shop and Angie are using these hash tags, #fw13belle,  #fw14betty, I'm using both hashtag systems!
  • You can also copy and paste links to any blog posts you do on these blocks in the comments and I'd love to visit and take a look. 
  • I'll be talking about this week's and last week's blocks on with a short broadcast  around 2.30pm GMT today and it'll be available for 24 hours to replay before it disappears! Link will be in my twitter feed @verykb and I'll post on Instagram and twitter about 15 minutes before it does out.  I'll be talking about templates and accuracy.
Please note:  I have linked to my sponsors on items bought through them and elsewhere for anything that has come from other shops.

You can join the quilt-along at any time, all the posts are here for you to catch up with.  Back next Monday with Erica from Crafty Blossom and blocks 15 and 16.  

sib blog


  1. So happy to see this alternative-the split squares look great too. Thank you!

  2. Gorgeous blocks! I was also lucky enough to benefit from music lessons at school - free (mainly 1-1) lessons, free instruments, a free place in the wind band/orchestra; it's such a shame that it's stopped being free.


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