Monday, 5 September 2016

Farmer's Wife 1930s Quilt Along, block 99, Widow

Welcome to the final block week in the Farmer's Wife 1930s QAL.  It's time for block 99, Widow (p.258, letter p.57).  As ever, I pre-cut my pieces and foundation pieced my block and as has happened a few times I did need to be careful cutting the paper pieces as one of the seam allowances was under ¼",  it may well be a printing issue, but keep a look out.

Fabric Credits
Riley Blake, Fancy and Fabulous, Breath in mint
Darlene Zimmerman, Grandma's Garden Bouquet (in two colour ways)
Windham Fabrics, Storybook VII, Violet Floral .  Bought  from this shop whilst on holiday in Amsterdam!

Rotary Cutting 
These are for foundation piecing so are cut larger than needed.  
  • Small centre square: cut (1) 1 ¼" square in mint
  • Medium squares:  cut (16) 1 ⅜" squares each in mint and violet
  • Rectangles: cut  (4) 1 ⅜" x 2 ¾"" rectangles in mint and cut (8) in white) 
  • Quarter-square triangles:  cut (1) 3" squares; subcut in half along the diagonal, and then again along the other diagonal to yield 4 QSTs
  • I2, J1, J2, K2: cut  (4) 1¼" x 2" rectangles in white) 
Although there are many small pieces, this block goes together relatively easily and most seams nest when the sections are joined.  I pressed the section seams open to spread the seam bulk, but that's my personal preference.

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
  • Either pre-crease the paper seams with a Hera marker or use an index card or a Dritz seam guide to fold the paper back when trimming excess
  • Nest seams where possible
 I've ordered a couple of metres of Kona cotton in white and I've also bought Marti Mitchells' Flying Geese ruler which can produces a triangle the same size as triangle template A.  I am going to be cutting lengthways strips from my Kona to make the longest edge of the triangles a little more stable.   I might need additional white fabric but I figured I could always buy more and dye lot difference would be minimal in white.  I haven't got room to lay my blocks out so I'm going for a digital method and I plan to load my photos in a Mosaic Maker.  It's not a perfect solution as the arrangement is gridded rather than the staggered columns of the book but I'm hoping it will be sufficient.  I've still got to confer with my daughter but I think I will be making the twin version of the quilt and I'll use a strip of extra blocks on the reverse.   I plan to post my progress in a couple of weeks time.

Some final thoughts...
I am so pleased to have 99 blocks, without the quilt along to drive me   I very much doubt that I would've made them all and I absolutely love putting small and complex blocks  like these together.  My piecing has definitely improved and the blocks have tested my fabric combining skills as well as my Y seams.  I've come out of it a better piecer, although I will confess I don't enjoy the next stage of sewing them all together half as much and the basting and quilting process is at the bottom of my Fun-o-meter.  For the first time, I will send a quilt to a professional quilter once I've completed the top.  It has been a huge amount of work keeping on top of each Monday post, getting photos edited and ready, measurements and dimensions listed, fabrics identified and links in place.  Blogging is constantly changing and it is definitely a lonelier pastime than ever before.  Very few people comment - thank you so much to those who do,  you are often regular commenters and it is a pleasure to hear from you - but technology has changed and commenting is time-consuming and fiddly.  Instagram has been a great way to see what other's are doing and witness success and failure on individual blocks, although since Instagram lost it's chronology, I have not found it as addictive as I once did:  I bought my first iPhone based on using Instagram...

What's next?  Apart from completing the quilt in time to take it to the first Threadhouse retreat in late January 2017, I'm looking forward to trying out some ideas of my own, probably in smaller projects like cushions.    Using the 1930s fabrics has made me appreciate colours even more than before and I have enjoyed the repro prints hugely.  I have a few quilts awaiting completion and many clothing projects for mine and my daughter's wardrobes and I'll continue to share here as ever.

Don't forget to share your blocks or leave me a link in the comments so I can see where you are.  Any final thoughts from anyone who took part would very welcome.  I know the QAL is coming to an end but you may be working on a block from earlier on and I'd love to see.
  • You can share your farmer's wife quilt blocks with the hashtags #fw1930sqal and for these blocks either #Widowblock as well as #fw99Widow
  • 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


  1. Thank you so much for the quilt-a-long Kerry! Even though I joined in a real-life quilt-a-long at my LQS, I enjoyed to read your posts and to see your gorgeous fabric combinations and blocks! I’ve almost finished my quilt-top (which only consists of 56 blocks) and is assembled like the 1920’s Farmer’s wife quilt with sashings and cornerstones and triangles. Enjoy putting yours quilt together! Can’t wait to see it finished!

  2. Thanks for doing this. It's been fun keeping up with your progress. I've put my top together in a rather "random" fashion which was nearly the death of me when I tried to straighten it up. I used my spare fabric to make two rows of 5" squares to run down the backing. Am going to quilt it myself, but as its 120" square I've ordered one of these Westalee template things so I shouldn't have to move it so much-will see if it works that way in practice!

  3. I'm looking forward to seeing your final layout and all the blocks in one place!

  4. I have as always loved watching what fabrics you chose, colors and prints. For me the blocks were a bit too hard, but I' d love to see yours finished! Your thoughts about blogging... I still really enjoy to read blogs, with more space for thoughts. Instagram is a quick fix, but I hope there still will be blogs around, for a long time!!!

  5. I've learned so much from this series! I love IG and it inspires me but I don't really LEARN from IG like I do blogs. Thank you for taking the time and effort for doing this each week. I loved when you were doing Periscopes too, I felt like I know you a bit better. I've been reading your blog for years but this may be my first comment!

  6. Thanks for doing this. Your work is beautiful and I've truly enjoyed seeing your blocks each week!

  7. Well done Kerry for making it to the end! I've really enjoyed following along with this quilt-a-long even though my blocks have fallen by the way side. I do hope to finish them at some stage and your blog will be invaluable!!

  8. What a lovely block to end on! I've really enjoyed these posts, even though I haven't been part of the QAL, and am looking forward to seeing the finished quilt!

  9. Yes i'd also like to say thank you for going to all that effort hosting the QAL. It was my first ever one and I really enjoying it! I loved feeling part of a collective, of making new friends and of following everyone's blocks each week. I loved seeing everyone's fabric choices. It was aot of hard work making it and even more workhosting it! So many thanks. I have just finished sewing mine together but put it away as basting a quilt on my hands and knees on the floor is never something I look forward to!


Thank you for taking the time out to leave your thoughts, I do very much appreciate you stopping by! Blogger is not sending comments through by email at the moment so I'll reply in the comments.