Friday, August 11, 2017

Farmer's Wife Block No. 6, Big Dipper

I snuck off to my studio yesterday for just long enough to make ONE little 6" quilt block.  It has been a hectic week, so I am calling this a win!

Farmer's Wife Block No. 6, Big Dipper
This is another of those 6" sampler blocks that I've been working on intermittently.  Some of the blocks, like this one, are from the original 1920's Farmer's Wife Sampler book by Laurie Aaron Hird, some are from her 1930's sequel book, and then I started just making other random 6" blocks to mix in.  In the midst of my other really slow-going projects, it just feels like a treat to pick out ONE block design, select fabric for that one block, cut it up and sew it back together again, and then stick it in the box with the others.

Traditional Piecing on my Vintage Featherweight Machine
Many of my sampler blocks have been paper pieced, but this one was a pretty straightforward candidate for rotary cutting and traditional machine piecing.  I used my 1935 Singer Featherweight with the original multipurpose presser foot and vintage Singer Cloth Guide screwed to the bed, shown above.  I have tried just about every aftermarket generic 1/4" foot out there, and this is still my favorite way to achieve accurate piecing on this machine.  The original foot is a solid fit with NO wiggle and NO play, precisely aligned with the narrow feed dogs on this straight stitch machine.  Once I have the seam guide positioned where the raw edge of my fabric needs to hit for that 1/4" seam, it stays firmly in place where I've planted it, despite the machine's vibrations.  And I just leave the cloth guide installed on this machine, so every time I take it down, it's ready to go for perfect piecing.

Spiraled Center Seam
I opted to pop the seam allowance CAREFULLY at the intersection of each QST (Quarter Square Triangle) unit so I could spiral my seam allowances around the block, reducing bulk, and I did that at the very center of the block as well, once I had joined all four QST units together.

The Newest Block, About to Join My Other 6" Sampler Blocks in the Project Box
As you can see, my fabric choices are quite different from the ones shown in the book.  That's part of the fun for me, Supreme Fabric Nerd that I am -- I like those bright colors, wild prints, and picking things that turn a block that bores me into a block that makes me happy.  I used one 2 1/2" jelly roll strip of the black and purple Kaffe Fassett print to cut the 8 QSTs for this block, and then selected the pink striated batik and similar-looking blue tonal print to draw out the accent colors in the KF print.  

Not the Most Exciting Block, But It Will Play Nicely With the Others!
Meanwhile, I started in on two other ginormous pineapple log cabin blocks, bought a few more Accuquilt GO! dies for other projects, FINALLY scheduled my longarm training with my dealer, and have been brainstorming about how to quilt my class sample project in a way that will be achievable for beginner students, but not too boring...  Hopefully now that I have a plan, I may be able to get that done over the weekend.  

Today I'm linking up with:

·       Whoop Whoop Fridays at

·       Off the Wall Friday at Creations: 

·       Finished Or Not Friday at
Happy Stitching, everyone!


Ramona said...

I LOVE you fabric choices for your block. The colors make me smile! Getting the chance to sew during the week is always a bonus, even if it's only to make one block.

Sandy Panagos said...

I rare4ly make a pattern just as it's "supposed" to be either. When I make a quilt I want to make it my own. I like the fabrics you used. It looks great.

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Oh gosh - i really love that color combo!!!

Jill said...

I appreciate your validation of the accurate 1/4 inch piecing on a lassic vintage. Featherweight. Reducing seam bulk - count me in.