Last week I promised I would share more about the Farmer's Wife. In the 1920s the perception by most of the country was that the wife of a farmer was more slave than partner, and she would never want her daughter to lead the same life. The Farmer's Wife magazine (such a creative name, right) decided to hold a contest asked its readers this very question. Most women replied that they loved their lives and would want the same life for their children.
In 2009, well probably a few years before that since the book was published in 2009, Laurie Aaron Hird gathered the 65 winning essays and paired each essay with 2 quilt blocks. There have been several quilters before me who've made this quilt (several are online if you do a search for the Farmer's Wife quilt.) If you're in the process of making this there's a great group of quilters over on flickr that are working on this quilt (Farmer's Wife 2014).
Now for this week's blocks. Technically these are next week's blocks. I looked through the book and there are 54 blocks that can be done with two colors, 44 blocks that can be done with three colors, and 9 blocks that require four colors. (There's also five blocks that are made with five or more colors, but we're not thinking about those right now.) Right now I have three shades of fabric. I'm attending a retreat at the end of this month where I'm going to work on my paint chip challenge quilt. I'm currently using black fabric from that quilt for my Farmer's Wife blocks and need to know how much black I'm going to use on the paint chip quilt before I order more fabric. When I do I'll order three more shades of grey and my sashing fabric so I can do the sashing as I go. Sadly the blocks I was scheduled to make this week are 2 of the 9 that need four fabrics so I skipped ahead to the next two blocks.
Has anyone else had the experience that two 2" HST squares don't equal a 3.5" square? Is there a trick I'm missing or is it part of the "doing this to improve piecing skills" thing?
I've lost count of how many times I've reminded myself that I'm working on this project to improve my piecing skills, and that in order to improve it means you can't be perfect at the start. Block #46 Hill and Valley really tested my piecing skills. I made a decent block on my first attempt, until I tried to square it up. Below you can compare how it looks next to Flock.
I ended up paper piecing this block. Did you know that with graph paper you can make your own paper piecing templates? (There are paper piecing templates out there for all of the blocks, but I
want to work them out on my own didn't feel like looking for them am nuts.) In figuring out this block I saw a variation from the one in Farmer's Wife and decided to do two triangles at the top of the larger triangle rather than the square used in the book.
#46 Hill and Valley
Farmer's Wife 4/111
As I keep track of time I'm only included time I spend cutting, piecing, ripping, and repiecing. I'm not including the time I spend figuring out the measurements for the blocks.