Fox Block by Katrina
One more post about the group quilt for baby Sebastien! I wanted to post each of the individual blocks that made up the quilt so that you can take a closer look at each one. They are each incredible on their own.
p.s. Everyone is absolutely enamored with the Fox block. Katrina bought a paper piecing pattern for this block from SchenleyP on etsy, so you can make this block too!
Feather block by Jen Anisef
Block by Becky Johnson
Improv Block by Suzanne French
Star Block by Amanda Jennings
Improv block by Karyn
Star Block by Katherine Skene
Improv Block by Karyn
Improv Block by Debbie Arruda
Churn Dash block by Katherine Skene
HST block by Jacqueline Sava
Improv block by Debbie Arruda
HST block by Jacqueline Sava
Block by Jen Anisef
Improv Block by Suzanne French
Mini Swoon Block by Katrina Kilroy
Block by Amanda Jennings
Hexagon blocks by Rosalyn Faustino
Paper Patchwork card by Michelle Renaud
When we learned that Angelune was having a baby, a private conversation on Facebook started immediately with the discussion to make a quilt for the baby. A group of friends decided that orange and grey, plus cream would be our colour palette. The block size was to be a 9 inch square finished. Those were the parameters, the rest was up to each individual. That was back in January.
Blocks started being hand & mail delivered to the workroom by April. At the end of June we met up one night to assemble the blocks with sashing for the quilt top and to sew up a pieced backing. Another small meeting to do the basting. The fox block got hand quilting and the rest of the quilt was machine quilted in turns. The binding was sewn on and yesterday, just before we wrapped up the quilt, a little label was hand stitched on.
A gorgeous handmade paper card was made & even a matching pillow to go with the quilt, too!
This is the first time any of us had worked on a group quilt and I think we were all so amazed at how well it all came together. The individual blocks really represent the person who made them and collectively the quilt looks stunning!
Best of all, we gave the quilt yesterday to baby Sebastien and his mom, Angelune & dad, Ian.
Quilt Contributers : Jen Anisef, Debbie Arruda, Rosalyn Faustino, Suzanne French, Amanda Jennings, Becky Johnson, Katrina Kilroy, Michelle Renaud, Jacqueline Sava, Katherine Skene, Karyn Valino
UPDATE : I just posted each of the block individually here.
I finally finished my last Swoon block on Monday. Hooray! I started this quilt at the end of March in our Swoon class and never got to finishing that last block.
Of course, I decided to make things complicated for myself with this quilt. Why not!? I decided to make it quite scrappy, by having all my background fabrics a different print. And then, to make it even more complex, I decided to throw in a rogue point in every block with ANOTHER print. All the extra effort and care was totally worth it because I was able to fit in so many fabrics into this quilt that mean a lot to me. For instance, in this last block I used the arrow fabric that I block printed with Lizzy at the Makerie last year, along with some scraps of Lizzy Dish and the centre star is made from a Japanese floral fabric we had at the workroom close to when we opened that Debbie was kind enough to give me a piece of, since I didn’t have any of it in my stash. My favourite block of all is this one. There is just something about that combination of colours and prints that I’m so in love with. The Japanese tree print that I bought in Utah, the way the Anna Maria Horner Good Folks print sparkles in each point and the tiny little point with grey lambs that Amanda sent to me because she knew how much I adored that print.
Now I need to decide on a sashing & border fabric. Since I’ve gone all scrappy with my backgrounds I’m not too sure what to do. I’m hoping the perfect bolt of fabric is just going to show up at the shop in the next couple weeks so that I can finish up this quilt top. It might happen! I’ll keep you guys posted.
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.
Here are my next nine Farmer’s Wife blocks. Most of these were sewn during our trip to Madison. I’m definitely not a model of speed and efficiency for this project. But while some people had a fast start at the beginning of the year, I’ve just kept a turtle’s pace at it. I’m re-ignited to pick up the pace by Camille Croskelley’s recent posts about her Farmer’s Wife project. I’m interested to try to follow her method for working through 6 blocks at a time! I’ve hand pieced all my blocks so far, but it was never my intention to do all of them this way. Especially the blocks with teeny tiny pieces!
I also recently got to see Jennifer’s finished Farmer’s Wife Quilt Top in person and was totally blown away! Seriously beautiful with the perfect choice of sashing and corner stone fabrics.
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!
Near the start of our trip to Madison, I popped into Joann’s to have a peek at their fabric. I left with a small stack of fabrics, all by Denyse Schmidt. As I was leaving the store, I realized they looked really lovely together as a set and they also reminded me of Maisy. I decided that Maisy needed a quilt, so that when we’re traveling, she’ll always have something familiar to lay on. I didn’t have a set plan, so I just decided to improv the design. It’s the first quilt I’ve made that has been completely improvisational. I decided to just do wonky strips to create blocks that were about 9″ x 10″ and then started to sew. As the blocks came together, I let the process tell me what to do next. Almost all the fabrics in the quilt are from Madison with a few strips of fabric from home thrown in that I had brought with me. I had a hard time figuring out the layout of the blocks, but I really like the lighter blue squares in the middle of the quilt.
For the back, I had the idea to do a scrappy strip along the middle. I also thought it would be fun to piece the letter ‘M’. I drafted out a simple design for it and used my Machine Paper Foundation Piecing skills. It totally worked! My final touch was to hand embroider Maisy’s name with the year just beside the ‘M’.
The batting is from the workroom and was hand delivered by Jacqueline, who came to visit us for a couple days. I was able to sew the binding onto the quilt during our drive home to Toronto. I used the same navy fabric for the binding with just a small strip of orange for a little pop.
This quilt marks so many hours of our trip and holds all of the feelings I was having while sewing it. I’m really happy with how it turned out, it seems to be just perfectly Maisy.
There are so many stages to a craft project… dreaming, planning, starting, in progress, finishing touches and for me, photography & blogging. Any given project can stall in one of the stages for a week, a few months or even years in some cases. It’s probably not a good idea for me to compile a list of all the projects that I have in these various states of completion, I imagine it would amount to 50+ projects, at least. I try to look at it as having variety, so that when I’m in the mood for something and inspired there will always be ‘just the thing’ for me to work on.
I started this awesome Houses pattern last year in our Machine Foundation Paper Piecing class. You can see my progress posts here and here. The quilt top came together during the class , but I didn’t end up basting and quilting it until the end of the year. Finally about six weeks ago, I pulled it out and took it into the back yard for a photo shoot. It’s my first wall hanging project and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be living on a wall at the workroom.
Machine Paper Foundation piecing is a pretty AWESOME technique. The method that Johanna teaches is wonderful and does not require you to sew through the foundation paper. The joy of this is that you don’t need to spend time at the end ripping bits of paper out of the back of your project. Paper piecing allows you to create shapes and designs that would be really difficult/impossible to patchwork otherwise. Last week, I made a pieced ‘M’ block, using this technique. It was pretty easy to just draft it out and then piece my design together. So fun! Next up, I want to try some of the designs from Yoko Saito’s book.
Many of you will be very happy to know that our quilt master, Johanna Masko is busy working away on a line of patterns of all her quilty goodness. For those of you who can’t join us at the workroom in Toronto for her classes, you will be able to purchase her designs online. YAY! Houses is the first release of her pattern line with several more to follow in the next few months! They will all be available in our online shop as they are released.
For more paper piecing inspiration, take a look at this little gallery that I made on flickr.
I love improv patchwork so much. Right now, I’m loving sharing it with my new Improv Patchwork class. Working through these techniques with a group is incredibly inspirational. I’m learning so much and having so much fun seeing what everyone creates. I made two blocks during class this week that I’m really excited by. Both of them are outside my usual colour palette, which makes them even more awesome to me.
I’m especially smitten with the pink and cream block. I can’t stop staring at it. I’m pretty sure this is the start of something bigger.
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 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.
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.
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!