Saturday, July 2, 2016

ANDERS IS HOME!!! Also Farmer's Wife 1930s Block 78, The Old Maid Wears Purple With a Red Hat

Oh, I said I was going to make a pineapple log cabin block next, but I lied...  Totally out of order numerically, I bring you Block 78 from the 1930s Farmer's Wife sampler book, "Old Maid:"
FW1930s Block 78, "Old Maid"

My old maid likes to dress in wild colors and splashy prints, like the fabulous Iris Apfel.  Remember that poem "Warning" by Jenny Joseph?  Well, here it is in case you're not familiar with it:


When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple. 

Fabric Bits Laid Out, Rearranged to Balance the Print Across the Block
That's what I was thinking about while I pieced this block.  It's an out of print Kaffe Fassett large scale print of irises and poppies, the same one I used in that math quilt top that is languishing on my design wall (where I try to avoid looking at it).  I love red and purple together, and I like the effect of cutting up a large scale print into pieces so small that the print motifs disappear into painterly splashes of color.

(Pieces Laid Out Incorrectly)
I've been coloring in the block key drawings and then labeling which fabric goes where on my foundation papers to reduce the frog stitching (rip-it, rip-it).  The one thing I keep forgetting with FPP is that the foundation pattern is a REVERSE IMAGE of the block.  Other than that, I'm getting into the swing of it and enjoying the accuracy and ease of this piecing method.

Motley Assortment of 6" (finished) Sampler Blocks
Oddly, my last two foundation pieced blocks have finished about a quarter of an inch too small.  On the Anne block, I thought it might be the accumulated bulk of all those diagonal seams sewing the sections together, but this block finished at about 6 1/4" too and it only had two seams joining the sections together.  What did I do differently from the previous foundation paper pieced blocks that were coming out exactly 6 1/2"?  The only thing I can think of is that maybe my iron is too hot and/or maybe it's because I started using steam and/or starching to try to get the pieces to lay really flat.  Maybe, even though I prewashed all of these fabrics, they are undergoing additional shrinkage from the pressing and steaming throughout construction.  Maybe my newsprint paper foundations are even shrinking!  I'm going to have to test that, by drawing a square on the newsprint paper and measuring it before and after steaming and pressing it with my iron.

Double Trouble, Reunited
Meanwhile, we collected Kiddo the Younger this morning from Davidson College, where he's been trying out college life for the last three weeks.  My boys missed each other while they were apart!

Gladiolas Like My Old Maid Block
Coincidentally, I happened upon these gladiolas on the Davidson campus, in exactly the same colors as my Old Maid block.

Here we have father and son being goofy on the college campus as Anders was giving us a walking tour of where he ate meals, where his classroom was, and the library where he researched his debate topics:

Silly Nut-Nuts, Junior and Senior
And here they are smiling sweetly for the camera at lunch:

Anders and Bernie

I recently, begrudgingly, upgraded to an iPhone 6s (because my 6+ kept freezing up on me) and they told me in the store that the 6s had a better camera.  I was skeptical at the time, but I have to say -- these are pretty good phone pictures, don't you think?  Of course, they're pretty cute kids, so it's not like they ever take BAD pictures!

One more picture, then we can wrap this up.  Earlier in the week, Bernie recruited Lars to help him build some Adirondack chairs for the back yard.  Lars was a reluctant apprentice for the first two chairs, but then he lost interest and wandered off with a video game.  Bernie has soldiered on alone, and now he has all six chairs finished.  The last step is staining them, which is what he worked on this afternoon:

My Sweetie.  He's Handy.
One Down, Five More to Go
I think these chairs are going to need some pillows...

Happy Fourth of July to all of my fellow Americans!  I'm linking up with Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework, Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts, Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt, Moving It Forward at Em's Scrapbag, Visa ovh Berätta måndag at Bambisyr med sin Quiltglädje, and Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.


ES said...

As far as I know the starch followed by heat from the iron will shrink the fabric.

colleen said...

Perhaps you can reward yourself with a pineapple block now before you make pillows for the chairs
I think it's the paper shrinking but 1/4 inch does seem like quite a bit on that size block. I wonder if you are sewing more on the edge of the line? Or if the pattern printed a bit small? Perhaps more than one thing
It is so frustrating when everything should be correct and when you measure it's off

Pam said...

Hey Cheeky....nice blog full of beautiful family and fabulous colors.
Red and purple being one of my wild favorites.
Liked the that my 2 daughters have flown the coop (one in India, one in Scotland), I like to clack my cane along the iron fences except there are none around here and I don't use a cane so I will have to improvise!

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

Lovely blocks! When I am having trouble getting blocks flat, rather than starch or steam I will use a heavy book to let the pieces cool under. It works great but can slow assembly a bit. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

verykerryberry said...

Lovely purple! As for the shrinking, do you check your paper patterns before piece? PDFs can vary a little in size when they print- marginal differences but in such small block it cam matter. I don't use steam but I use Flatter to finish each block- I've measured before and after and have not seen any shrinking.

Annette said...

Love your blocks and purple:)

evaj said...

Thank you for your inspiration today and your linking to Show and Tell Monday !! Happy summer to hug wish Bambi

Kate said...

Beautiful Farmer's Wife blocks. The Kaffe Fassett fabric is perfect, very graphic.

Laura T said...

Love the chairs! Are there plans for the chairs online somewhere? I would love to have my hubby make some!

Rebecca Grace said...

Thanks, Laura! I’m sure you can find plans for something similar online; I think they’re called Adirondack chairs. My husband just made them from looking at some pictures – he has done extensive woodworking and carpentry so he didn’t need plans.