Monday, 21 December 2015

Farmer's Wife QAL blocks 29 and 30: Doris and Em

Week 15 in the year of Farmer's Wife 1930s Quilt Along and blocks 29 and 30.    My block is 29, Doris (p.188, letter p.90):  

Fabric credits:

This is a straightforward block which took me around an hour to cut and piece.  I used rotary cutting for the half-square triangles and square and freezer paper templates for the remaining triangles.  As with almost all my blocks, I used foundation paper piecing and I pre-cut all my pieces before I started sewing.  My rotary cutting measurements are for foundation paper piecing and create seam allowances larger than ¼" so that your fabric pieces are larger than needed- if you like more wriggle room, cut even bigger!

Rotary Cutting for Foundation Paper Piecing
Centre Square: cut (1) 2 ¼" square 
Small half square traingles: cut (2) 2 ¼" squares in blue;  sub-cut  each once diagonally to make 2 half square triangles. 
Large half square traingles: cut (2) 3 ½" squares each from two contrasting colours;  sub-cut  each once diagonally to make 2 half square triangles in each colour

Top tips for this block
  • Use rotary cutting for squares and half square triangles
  • Use freezer paper templates for other triangle shapes- see this QAL post for the method
  • Have a strong contrast between the fabrics used.
  • Use a water based glue stick. I use Sewline, to stick the first piece of each section
  • Chain pieces where possible
  • Nest seams wherever possible
  • Press seams open when sewing sections together (see reverse of block in photo below)

Jo from a Life in Lists is guest posting on Em (p.189, letter p.83).  There are 84 pieces in all so it may drive you a little crazy just dealing with such small pieces of fabric but although it took a long time to sew I didn't find it as bad as I imagined.  Read about Jo's experience here.  This is my version of Em.

Fabric credits:
Kona Candy pink
Robert Kaufman Fabrics-Penny's Dollshouse, Floating Leaves
Bonnie and Camille for Moda, Daysail crosshatch in aqua.

Remember you can:
  • 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 #dorisblock and #emblock on Instagram, Fat Quarter Shop and Angie are using these hash tags, #fw29doris,  #fw30Em, 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. 
  • You are welcome to watch and join in the chat on Periscope at 2.30pm GMT today, I'm  It will 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 goes out.  
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.  The quilt along is taking a break for a week whilst Christmas and holiday activities kick off.  We return 4th January and Charise from Charise Creates will be back for another guest post.  In the meantime to all those following the quilt along in any way,  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and see you in 2016! 

sib blog


  1. Would love to see the back and pressing of #30.

    1. Jo shows the back of hers- she pressed to one side. I pressed my joining seams open and used Flatter spray to help flatten the bulk. I’ll be showing it on Periscope later.

  2. Hi Kerry, I love following your QAL!!!! It is so easy. Love the way you have it either "Print" or "pdf" Sure does make it easy to download and print it out!
    We are back at home in Texas and I am catching up with all. Will probably work on the quilt this summer, but am going to keep everything. How long will your Blog information on each block be available on-line?

    Have a wonderful New Year and hoping that your Christmas was wonderful. Thank you again for such a well organized QAL!

    1. Hi there! All the info will stay on my blog indefinitely on the quilt along page. The only aspect that is temporary is the Periscope broadcasts as the nature of those is short-lived at 24 hours. Glad you are enjoying the quilt along!

  3. I've been following your QAL and love your work. I finished my Em block yesterday only to realize that I had marked a few pieces on my papers with the wrong color fabric and thus my block is.....well, unique. There are so many pieces to this block I couldn't face pulling it apart and fixing it. What would you do in this situation. The block that was created is actually not bad. Thanks again for hosting.

    1. It happens to all of us at sometime doesn’t it! If you are happy with the block as it is- and it is part of your quilt’s story- I would just leave it as it is. You don’t have to have the exact blocks from the book. The other option you have depends on the layout but if you follow the on-point layout style of the book, some of the blocks will end up being halved diagonally. I’ve already thought that there are some blocks that I’m just not so keen on- fabric choice, or the block design- and those are the ones I’ll place at the top and bottom edges where a small number of blocks will be trimmed off.


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