Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Glutton For Punishment: Starting Farmer's Wife 1930s Block No. 7 Augusta

Yes, I've started another of those wretched 6" Farmer's Wife 1930s sampler blocks.  Behold, the beginnings of Block #7, "Augusta."

Oversized Patches Precut for Foundation Paper Piecing
I printed the foundation paper piecing patterns (included on the CD that comes with the book) onto newsprint, colored them, and cut them apart.  I also printed the traditional piecing templates for this block (also on the CD) onto heavy card stock, increased the seam allowance around each template to 1/2", and used them to precut all of my fabric pieces for foundation paper piecing.

Not Sure I'm Wild About That Lighter Purple
This is as far as I've gotten, however, because I'm not sure I'm in love with the companion fabrics I've paired with that wild multicolor print.  And that wild multicolored print is the one fabric I'm not giving up, because I cut those triangles out of scraps that I've been saving for 15 years -- that fabric was one of my favorite diaper covers way back when diaper covers were part of my daily existence.  I don't care if it's ugly because it has MEANING.  Anyway, my idea was to pair it with the solid and nearly-solid purples to tone it down, but I'm not sure that's happening successfully here.  It can be so hard to tell when the pieces are laid out like this.  Keeping in mind that there are 1/2" seam allowances around every fabric patch, it might not look like such a busy mess once I've pieced it together, and you're seeing crisp little squares and triangles of fabric instead of giant blobs, right?

The Neverending Frankenwhiggish Leaves
Anyway, my quilting bee met yesterday and I brought my neverending Frankenwhiggish Rose needleturn appliqué project to work on there.  I'm still working on these blasted leaves.  I think I got three of them needleturned and stitched down during a 3 1/2 hour period.  Insanity!  Well, to be fair, we did spend part of our sewing time taking a tour of our host's longarm quilting studio, and there were breaks for chocolate chip cookie eating.  Anyway, after completing one block in its entirety, I committed to making nine identical blocks, assembly line style.  So now all of the blocks have those triple-layered flower petals, stems, and double-circled centers stitched down, and I'm working on the sixteen little green leaves that go on each block.  I am finding that my "assembly line" plan has a major drawback -- it feels like I'm making zero progress, because as soon as I get the leaves sewn onto one block I pick up another block that looks exactly the same.  It's like the Groundhog Day movie of an applique project -- each day my alarm clock goes off and the previous day's work has disappeared, putting me right back where I started.  Maybe I ought to put these blocks up on my design wall so I can see that progress really is happening?  Or maybe I should take a break from leaves and start working on the reverse appliqué tulips for some of the blocks that already have their leaves.  

On This Block I Did the Tulip First, Then Added Leaves
This project was meant to be a wall quilt for the "keeping room" area that's part of our open kitchen floorplan, with colors pulled from my drapery fabric.  At this rate, I'm going to be sick and tired of those drapes and will have ripped them down and changed all of my colors by the time this quilt is ready to hang.  OR -- we will have to live with those drapes FOREVER after I've wasted invested thousands of hours in hand stitching these blocks...

Majestic Mosaic, 86 x 96 (2014) by Karen Kay Buckley and Renae Haddadin
In other news, I'm incredibly excited that our Charlotte Quilter's Guild is hosting the amazing, internationally recognized, award-winning celebrity quilting wizard Karen Kay Buckley this week.  Woo HOO!!  She's giving a lecture at our guild meeting on Wednesday evening and then teaching two workshops, a hand applique workshop on Thursday and a machine applique workshop on Friday.  After getting up close and personal with Karen's 2015 Paducah Best of Show quilt Majestic Mosaic at the National Quilt Museum back in April, I can't believe that I have the opportunity to take a class with this amazing quilt artist -- I've signed up for both workshops.

Majestic Mosaic Detail, Machine Applique
Look at that detail shot -- would you have guessed the appliqué was stitched by machine?!  I know we all saw this quilt splashed across the covers of magazines when it won Best of Show in 2014, but even professional photos fail to do justice to a masterpiece like this one.  Karen's pattern for making Majestic Mosaic is available on Amazon here.  If she has this pattern for sale at our guild this week, I'm going to buy it even though I have no desire to recreate a lesser version of her quilt -- I really want to know where the blocks begin and end and how she created those cool shaped borders around them.  

Karen's supply list for the machine applique class says "for best results, bring your BEST machine" to class, so I'll be bringing my Goldilocks Bernina 475QE.  

I also got to see Karen's 2013 Best of Show quilt at the museum, Fiesta Mexico.  We'll be making one of the blocks from this quilt in Karen's hand applique workshop on Thursday, and I believe the pattern for making the other blocks is included in our kit fee:

Fiesta Mexico, 85 x 90 (2012), by Karen Kay Buckley and Renae Haddadin

So I have lots more To Dos than Dones for this week:

  1. Piece Farmer's Wife Block 7 Augusta
  2. Pick out fabrics & gather supplies for Karen Kay Buckley workshops
  3. Fire up the longarm machine and do some experimental/practice quilting.  I've scheduled my new-to-me 2013 APQS Millennium for a "spa visit" at the Iowa factory in August, but I'm still vacillating over whether the issues I'm struggling with are due to my lack of experience.  It's EXPENSIVE to have your machine refurbished at APQS but they would replace every possible wear and tear part and and then at least I would know for sure that I wasn't dealing with technical issues that could be improved... 

But NOTHING is getting sewn while I'm sitting here at the computer!  I'm linking up with:
·      Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts http://smallquiltsanddollquilts.blogspot.com 
·      Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts http://www.cookingupquilts.com/
·      Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt http://lovelaughquilt.blogspot.com/
·      Moving it Forward at Em’s Scrap Bag: http://emsscrapbag.blogspot.com.au/
·      Colour and Inspiration Tuesday at http://www.cleverchameleon.com.au

·       To-Do Tuesday at Stitch ALL the Things: http://stitchallthethings.com


Susie H said...

Our guild had KKB visit us quilt a while ago. She was still a rising star! Lol! Anyway she's fabulous and wonderful and I'm sure you'll get a lot out of both classes. Will you be picking fabrics that match hers or go your own color way? Speaking of color, I love your main fabric for Farmer's Wife! I predict you will put it together and love the colors.

Dione Gardner-Stephen said...

Another crazy block. So soon? So envious of your foray into the world of Karen Buckley, I hope you will have lots to show and tell. Conveyor belt quilting is efficient but sometimes the repetition can be a killer. I hope you will see the light at the end of your leafy appliqué tunnel soon!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

love the Fiesta Mexico quilt - wow beautiful - glad you enjoyed the workshop

Christine Slaughter said...

The Farmer's wife block looks intense! I really love the main print and I love even more that it has special meaning too. How about maybe taking the lime/green from the main print and seeing how that is as an accent color rather than the blue? That might make it too busy though. Just a thought!

How exciting to have KBB at your guild! I hope you had a fabulous time!!