Archive for the 'farmer’s wife sampler' Category


Farmer's Wife Sampler

I just wanted to post up a group shot of all my Farmer’s Wife blocks to date. 25! That’s pretty close to a quarter of the way done. It’s definitely very gratifying to see them all together as a group. They seem a bit sombre with that grey background, so I’m going to try to cheer it up with some brighter blues for the next bunch of blocks.

Farmer's Wife Sampler


#1 Attic Windows

I really meant to spend much more time this year on my Farmer’s Wife Sampler. Little did I know that we would buy a new house, sell our other house, renovate and then head off to Madison for a month. While I haven’t made as many blocks as I had planned to, working on my Farm has been the perfect thing to work on after a long day at work, while I’ve been traveling or commuting and when I have a couple hours to spare. Since I’ve been hand piecing the blocks, I am able to work on this project where ever I am. I really love the freedom of hand piecing in bed, at the airport or on the street car!

These are my first 16 blocks. I have 8 more to show you. I know many of you have been out there quietly working away on your Farms. Some of you have been posting to our Flickr Group, please join us if you haven’t already – we’d love to see what you’re doing. Some of you have been bringing your blocks along to Quilt Sunday. The next one is Sunday July 29, 1-3pm. We love seeing them in person!

For me, this is a no deadline project. I love that I can make a block here or there, whenever I have time. Eventually, I’ll get to the point where I’m done. How’s it going out there with your Farms? Are you keeping at it – slow & steady? Have you taken a break?

If any of you need some mid-year inspiration. Take a look at Amanda’s finished Farmer’s Wife Sampler. She made 88 blocks and they are all so incredible!

#2 Autumn Tints

#54 Kitchen Woodbox

#5 Bat Wing

#29 Economy

#30 End of Day

#71 Puss in the Corner

#109 Windows

#85 Square Dance

#31 Evening Star

#6 Big Dipper

#77 Seasons

#58 Mother's Dream

#55 Linoleum

#90 Storm Signal

#84 Spool


Getting Started

OK! Let’s talk about getting started on this Farmer’s Wife Quilt. I’m super impressed that so many of you are off and running with making your blocks. Some of you have a dozen or more done already! Some of you, I hope, might be like me and getting off to a slower start. Either way, there’s no rush and no rules! Most important is having fun making these blocks and sharing the process with each other.

The Templates

The templates that come on the CD in the book don’t have the best layout. They use up lots of paper. Liz A has created a document with all the templates laid out on just 15 pages. You can download it here. She also recommended having your template pages laminated at Staples and then cutting them out as you go along, rather than using template plastic. I am trying this out and I like it so far. There is a great discussion on the Flickr group here about different ways that people are using the templates. If you would like to foundation paper piece, there are templates that have been created for that as well. Take a look at this post by Jessica, to learn more about how you can download that template file. Another intriguing idea is printing the templates onto freezer paper, ironing the freezer paper onto your fabric and cutting with a rotary cutter. I’m going to try this out. If you’re doing this, it might be helpful to use these templates from the publisher that have them organized by block.


These pieces are really tiny. I’m using starch to help control my fabric. I find it really helpful to starch and iron my fabric before I trace and cut it out. Things don’t shift as much. I’m currently using Mary Ellen’s Best Press.

Hand Piecing

I have gone through my fabrics and selected prints for eight blocks. I’m not necessarily going in the order of the book, but trying to start with easier blocks while I get the hang of it. At the beginning of each week, I’ll cut out all the pieces for my week’s blocks so that they are ready to sew. I’m also attempting to hand piece these blocks, but I think I will also try foundation paper piece some of the trickier ones with tiny pieces. We’ll see. I wanted to hand piece because I feel that I can be more accurate with my stitching this way. I also don’t often get to machine sew during the week, so it is easier for me to sit in bed and hand piece before I go to sleep at night. It’s pretty relaxing and super satisfying. Thank goodness for Carolanne and her Intro to Handwork. The skills from this class have done me well over and over.

Flickr Group

The Farmer’s Wife Quilt-a-long Group is an AMAZING resource. The group was started by Angela & Amanda. There is a wealth of information and discussion. If you have problems I’m sure that it’s been addressed here already, since they are about six months into making the quilt. I did create a Flickr group called The Farmer’s Wife Quilt-a-long Toronto, as a way for us to share our photos with each other, as well. It is so encouraging and exciting to see each other’s blocks as we create them. Please join the group and post your photos! Even if you’re not in Toronto, but just starting out or already halfway done, we’d love to see how you’re doing. Many of us are on Instagram, so there are lots of ways to share our progress with each other. Take a minute to join the group and then introduce yourself here!

Last night I finished my first two blocks! #29 Economy & #30 End of Day

Have you started? How is it going? Let’s talk about this!

Selecting Fabric

Laminated Templates

#30 End of Day

#30 End of Day


Blue + White

I’ve been thinking really hard about what I wanted to do for a colour palette for my Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt. With so many blocks to make and such a big time commitment, I wanted to settle on a range of colour to create a framework for all the blocks.

I had quite a few ideas. The front runner was a rainbow palette with each block being tonal in just one colour. For instance, three shades of pink, red, purple or yellow. Then I could arrange the blocks in a rainbow gradation in the end. My other idea was solids only. This was completely inspired by how amazing these blocks look. I also considered doing the City Rain palette that was inspired by this photo. My last idea was to do white + one colour. This was inspired by this red and white vintage quilt and this quilt exhibit that I really wish I could have seen in NYC.  See some great photos of the exhibit here.

Here’s how I finally decided. I got out all my boxes of fabric and started to pick out fabric for each of those palettes. I knew right away the City Rain palette would be impossible for me for 100+ blocks. It felt too limiting and difficult. The rainbow palette seemed fun and would give me so many options, but I realized that I had more than two boxes full of blue fabric. I really like blue. I also really like the idea of creating a quilt that will have a bit of a traditional feel with the colour but will hopefully also look modern with my fabric choices. I’ll be doing all shades of blue + white.

I feel so good now that I’ve got my colour choice sorted out. Have you decided what colours you’re going to use? Please feel free to post a comment here to tell us what fabrics you’ve chosen, or even a link to a photo or blog post you’ve written about the topic. I can’t wait to see!

Blue + White

Blue + White

Blue + White

Blue + White

Blue + White