Farmer’s Wife Quilt …the beginning…#111 Wrench and # 20 Churn Dash

fabric for Farmer's Wife

fabric for Farmer’s Wife

This is where my journey begins.  I am taking on the daunting task of completing  the “Farmer’s Wife” quilt.

Farmer's Wife Book

Farmer’s Wife Book

This is a picture of the front cover of the book by Laurie Aaron Hird.  It is a collection of letters from farmer’s wives from the 1920’s that were answers to a question placed in the “Farmer’s Wife” magazine.  Laurie was inspired by the letters to make a sampler quilt with 111 six inch blocks.

I belong to a Splinter Group and we each choose a project and supply the pattern and fabric in a box that we pass each month.  We are a very relaxed group that started over 20 years ago.  We started out with 12 members and our group still includes 6 of the original members.  Over the years we have lost some of our members and some have dropped out to move on to other interests.  We take turns hosting the group and enjoy the fellowship and snacks as much as the quilting.  In 20 years we still can not get down the “passing of the boxes”.  Each time we meet we laugh over how we can not remember the “pecking order”.  I have made quilts and have enjoyed each and every meeting.  I don’t think we have ever had a disagreement.  We have raised our children, lost love ones and grown as quilters.  Each box brings us a new challenge.

So now you might ask, “Why are you telling me all this?”  It was Susie who got the ball rolling on this quilt.  We have been working on her Farmer’s Wife quilt since 2010.  We only do one or two blocks per month and it takes a while to complete 111 blocks..LOL  It so happens that we are getting to the HARD blocks.  One day on Pinterest, I found a site that led me to a Yahoo group that is working on the Farmer’s Wife.  It has the paper pieced patterns for all the blocks and many, many pictures.  I applied for membership and it took about a month before I was able to join the site.  When I started looking at all the options I decided I would like to make one of my own.  I found a unique setting where the block seem to float on the quilt.

In my earlier post I showed the fabric I choose.  I am going to float my block on a grey fabric.  I am trying to stay with mostly yellow and grey as the main fabric, but I found a fabric line called “noteworthy” that has a “bucket list” printed on the fabric.  Now I will be expanding my colors to include this fabric.  I started with two similar blocks to showcase the bucket list fabric.  After this post I am going to start posting the blocks in order, since one of the group stated that if you leave all the hard blocks until the end, you may not want to finish your quilt.  Makes perfect sense to me.

#20 Churn Dash Farmer's Wife

#20 Churn Dash Farmer’s Wife

Here is my first block!!!  Churn Dash!  I didn’t paper piece this block.

half-square tringles on a roll

half-square triangles on a roll

I used half-square triangles on a roll for this project.  I took a piece of yellow and a piece of grey material and with right sides together you sew on the dotted lines.  You then cut on the solid lines.  You will need the triangles that finished to a 2″ block.    I then cut 8 – 1 1/2″x2 1/2 squares of grey and red fabric and chained stitched these together on the 2 1/2 inch side to make a 2 1/2″ block.

Creative grids ruler

Creative grids ruler

This ruler is a handy tool when you are fussy cutting your fabric.  (fussy cut is when you want a specific piece of your fabric to show up in your quilt block)  You center the black solid lines around your design in whatever size you need for your block.  I needed a two inch finished square.  The ruler has small holes at the corner of the dotted lines.  You place your pencil in these holes and mark the corners.

fussy cut block

fussy cut block

In this picture you can see the pencil marks in the corners which were my guide for cutting my block.  You can also see how cool the “bucket list’ fabric is going to be in my quilt!

fussy cut block

fussy cut block

This is how it lines up after cutting…cool!

#111 Wrench - Farmer's Wife

#111 Wrench – Farmer’s Wife

Number 111 the Wrench is just the same block as the Churn Dash with the fabric placement a little different.  I did get a little smarter and cut strips of fabric for the side pieces.  I cut one each of yellow and grey at 1 1/2″ X 11″

Churn Dash


After you sew the two 11″ pieces together, press the seams to the darker fabric and sub cut into 2 1/2″ squares .  Now lay out your pieces.  In this case the corners were made just like in #20 Churn Dash  block with the triangles on a roll.

Churn Dash


Now pay careful attention to how you press your seams.  You will want to press the seams so that they will butt up together when you sew them.  In this photo I pressed the center strip seams to the center block and the outer strip seams to the outside.

butt the seams

butt the seams

I hope you can tell from this picture what I mean by “butting the seams”.  The seams will fit together since they are pressed in opposite directions.  The next post will not be as long, so I hope you will join me on my 13 month journey to complete the Farmer’s Wife!!  I will be posting two blocks per week.  Why not join the group and start your own journey?

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