Monday, July 11, 2016

Farmer's Wife "Storm Signal," Farmer's Wife 1930s "Patricia," and Pineapple Log Cabin Progress

6" Quilt Blocks On the Design Wall
Good Monday morning!  I've been working hard on the design of a new business web site lately, which feels like trying to empty the Sahara Desert of its sand, one teaspoon at a time. After 8-10 hours of working on the web site, I reward myself with some time in the sewing room.  Because at least I have something to show for my labors with needle and thread!

My son Anders guilted me into finishing another block for my paper pieced pineapple log cabin quilt last week:

17 3/4" Pineapple Block, #23 of 36
Anders is scandalized that I keep starting new quilts without finishing the ones that are already in progress.  I do really like this one, but the blocks are kind of monotonous once you get the hang of them and although I cut up enough fabric strips to make TWO King-sized pineapple quilts, I'm getting bored with using the same fabrics over and over in these blocks.  I'm fighting the urge to go fabric shopping for more blues and greens.

EQ7 to Envision my Goal
I created the EQ7 mockup above after finishing the first of these blocks, so it has 36 blocks that are all identical, filled with a photograph of that first block.  My real blocks have more variety, as you can see from this shot of the last time I had a bunch of them up on my design wall:

Real Blocks on the Design Wall

So I'm now up to 23 blocks finished, 13 more to go.  Then I will find out just how difficult it is to remove the paper backing, which is a copy paper weight that is a lot thicker than the newsprint I use for other foundation paper piecing.  And then I have to figure out how to quilt this enormous beast before it can end up on my bed.

Meanwhile, I've been working on more 6" sampler blocks.  These are surprisingly addictive.  I have amassed a trove of bright, happy fabrics including thirties reproduction prints, solids and nearly-solids, Kaffe Fassett Collection prints, novelty prints, and other cheerful fabrics.  Some of my blocks are from the original Farmer's Wife sampler quilt book, others are from the 1930s Farmer's Wife sampler quilt book, and one is a vintage block that was originally published in the Kansas City Star newspaper in 1930.  I have modified some of the Farmer's Wife blocks to remove unnecessary seams, for a cleaner block with fewer bulky seam allowances and an opportunity to practice Y-seams.  And I plan to mix in blocks from other sources as well, like that Japanese patchwork book I bought back in 2012.

6" Sampler Blocks
After church yesterday, I spent most of my afternoon making Farmer's Wife Block #90 Storm Signal and FW1930s Block #80 Patricia.

Farmer's Wife Block 90 "Storm Signal"
Farmer's Wife 1930s Block 80 "Patricia"
Oh, and I discovered why my last few blocks finished at about 5 3/4" rather than 6".  I just am not sure how to fix it!  The 1930s Farmer's Wife book comes with a CD that contains both templates and foundation paper piecing patterns.  When I print out the foundation piecing patterns that came with the book, the little reference line at the bottom of the page is so close to an inch that I thought I was good -- but when I measure along the solid line on the pattern itself that represents the finished edge of the block, it only measures about 5 3/4"!

FPP Patterns from FW1930s Book Print Too Small!
I had printed out several blocks' worth of FPP patterns from the book, and they are ALL too small.  Interestingly, the reference line at the bottom is labeled to indicate that it should measure 1 inch or 2.5 centimeters, although 1 inch is actually equivalent to 2.54 centimeters.  On my printouts, that line measures a scant inch, so close that it's just the thickness of the lines on a cloth measuring tape, but it measures exactly 2.5 centimeters, definitely not 2.54 cm.  I am wondering now whether it's some weird Windows 10 printer setting that I haven't discovered that only affects certain types of files, or whether the foundation piecing patterns on the book CD are actually too small?  If I was making a quilt using only the blocks from that book, it wouldn't be a problem because all of the blocks would finish the same size.  But for the original Farmer's Wife blocks I'm either printing out my own foundation patterns from EQ7 software or using the foundation patterns that someone else created in EQ5 (an earlier version of the same software) and has posted to a Yahoo group.  Whether I'm printing the patterns after downloading them from the Internet or printing them directly from my own software program, they come out exactly 6", but when I print the patterns that came off the CD, they come out too small. 

6" Churn Dash Pattern from EQ7 Measures Exactly 6"
I can mark the too-small blocks that I've already completed and compensate for the size difference when I add sashing, but going forward I'll need to be more careful about checking the accuracy of my patterns so that my new blocks all measure 6".

If you're making the Farmer's Wife 1930s quilt using the foundation paper piecing patterns on the book CD, can you please double check and let me know whether your patterns are printing out the correct size?  I had a lot more print options on my old computer before I "upgraded" to Windows 10.  When I open these files from the CD and click print, I don't even see any option for printing at 100% versus scaling to fit, so I don't know if the files themselves are off or if Windows 10 is "helping me" by scaling the document to fit the page with a certain size margin or something.  I've checked the settings on the printer itself and it's set to 100%, and since it prints the correct size directly from EQ7 I don't think the problem is happening at the printer itself. 

Anyway, it's Monday morning so I've got to set this conundrum aside and get back to work.  Today's goal is to figure out what I did wrong in Dreamweaver to mess up the home page of my business web site.  I spent at least an hour trying to solve this problem before I threw in the towel for the day on Saturday, so wish me luck!  Meanwhile, I'm linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times, Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt, Design Board Monday at Bits 'n Bobs, Show and Tell Monday at Bambi's blog, and Moving It Forward at Em's Scrap Bag.


Salmagundi said...

Computer issues sure can take the fun out of the quilting process. I'm glad I learned to quilt in the 1960s -- things were more laborious sometimes, but simpler. I revert back to those old ways often. Keep at it, as I'm sure with your computer expertise, you'll figure it out. In the meantime, I'm enjoying your finished blocks. Sally

Delia15 said...

To get the paper off, you might wet the paper along the stitch lines and try different soak times to see which works best to tear off: less wet up to soaked. You might add something like Calgon as a water softening agent which might help -- or a drop of Dawn dish detergent unless you are not going to wash when finished.

The blocks look great, BTW. You have more patience than I, that is for sure.

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

Love your blocks! - Couple of suggestions that you might try - - For your FW - try "no scaling" if that is an option on your printer - or do what I did and make your own version/collection of 6" blocks. For your FPP on copy-paper weight paper - try using a size 14 needle (larger hole) and 1.6 stitch width (perforations are closer together) - then remove the paper from the outside edges first - fold/crease/tear - working your way toward the center. You could also try running a pin over the perforation before you start tearing. My latest FPP project was made using copy-paper (for the first time) and the paper was easy to remove - ;))