Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Farmer's Wife in Your Life: Pillow Talk

Hello, everyone, and welcome.I'm so happy to have been invited by Sunni to be part of this series of ideas to incorporate the Farmer's Wife blocks, or any other 6" blocks, into something beautiful and functional, for those times when you might not be in the mood to make a complete quilt top.

I have been making Farmer's Wife blocks for awhile now, and nearly every Friday, my friend, Carla, and I have a series called Farmer's Wife Friday. We have been sequentially following the letters in Laurie Aaron Hird's book, each making the blocks associated with the letters, along with sharing our thoughts on what the farmer's wife had to say in her letter.
Carla is doing all her blocks in very cheery prints, while I have been making mine out of Kaffe Fassett shot cottons, so while we are making identical blocks each week, they have a totally different look. To this point, I think we have made 74 out of the 111 blocks in the book.
Way back toward the beginning of our series, one of the first blocks we made was #58, Mother's Dream (see Carla's block here). Because I have been making blocks out of solids, I try to base my color choice on either the name of the block or something pulled out of the letter. So I based the colors on what my dream might be if I were a hard-working farmer's wife and mother--I would want to take a vacation at the ocean. I chose two shades of aqua/turquoise and a sandy-beach color.
My first thought when I looked at this block was, "There is no way I need to make templates to construct this block. It is just  a square in the middle, then easy peasy rectangles, along with some triangles." I thought I had the correct measurements for each of the pieces and started cutting. It is a fairly straightforward and easy block to construct.

However, when all was said and done, my block was too large. Which meant when I get to the point of putting the quilt top together, all the points of the rectangles will be chopped off by the 1/4" seam. On to Phase 2, actually cutting out the plastic templates and making the block again.

But I loved the colors in the original block and couldn't quite bear to throw it out. But what to do, what to do?

Then Sunni contacted me about this series. I thought about it, and had a "lightbulb" moment.

This post won't give you a tutorial as such. It is basically just a little inspiration to help you reinvent rather than discard, if a block you make doesn't turn out quite the way it should.
 (This is the second block I made--these corners won't get cut off!)

For the series project, I chose to make a pillow using the discarded block, tilt it in a wonky setting, and then place it off center. When that was done, I did some wavy big stitch quilting--just like the waves that farmer's wife was dreaming about! (You can see in the photo below how the rectangle corners of the first block did get cut off when I sewed the borders around the block.)

My pillow top ended up like this:

There are many pillow construction techniques when it comes to closures. I chose the easiest, using this tutorial.

I'm really happy with the end result. And it doesn't bother me one bit that the rectangle corners were lost in the construction process.There are so many variations on what you can do when something like this happens. So next time something doesn't turn out quite right, don't discard. Reinvent!

If you are new to the series, be sure to check out the posts from Week 1.

Blog Hop Week 1
March 4-Sunni is guest-posting on Jolly Jabber
March 5-Love Affair with my Brother
March 6-Craizee Corners
March 7-Lilypad Quilting
March 8-Love Affair with my Brother
March 9-Clover & Violet

Blog Hop Week 2
March 12-Mommy for Reals
March 13-A Colorful Life
March 14-It's Sew Kiki
March 15-Lilypad Quilting
March 16-Why Not Sew? Quilts

Blog Hop Week 3
March 19-Love Affair with my Brother
March 20-Echinops & Aster
March 21-Life's Rich Pattern
March 22-Ellison Lane Quilts
March 23-Love Affair with my Brother

At the end of the series, Sunni will host a special link party for projects you have made inspired by the FW. Guest judges will name the winners and there will be some awesome prizes!!

Linky Party

Linky Party will be open from March 24-31 with 2 winners announced the next week. You can link up any project that is inspired by The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt and uses between 1-9  6" finished quilt blocks. The blocks do not have to come from the book.

Please link up a blog post or Flickr photo for your entry.


Laurie Aaron Hird, author of The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

Michele Foster, Quilting Gallery

Sunni Bolger, Love Affair with my Brother


Cosmos - Fat Quarter Bundle Complete Collection by Dan Bennett  Fabric Quilt Cotton
The Intrepid Thread is sponsoring a FQ bundle of the amazing Cosmos by Dan Bennett for Rowan.

Fat Quarter Shop is sponsoring a FQ Bundle of gorgeous Poetica by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics.


05 08
M-R Charbonneau said... #

Love it, Cindy! I'm such a fan of asymmetrical settings. :) It looks fabulous!

Carla said... #

How fun to see one of the FW blocks in another project! Your pillow is very modern looking...love it...just right for a nap at the beach!!

Terriaw said... #

What a cool way to use that block! I love love love that pillow. The colors are so calming, and the offset block makes it even more fun.

Deborah said... #

I love this!! The colors are amazing! I tried big stitching last night. I ended up pulling out the thread and throwing the project on the ground. Slight exaggeration
but close enough.

Katy Cameron said... #

Great reinvention! I'm currently accumulating orphan blocks from my Foundation Paper Piecing For The Terrified SAL, and trying to find a good variety of repurposes o.O

Anonymous said... #

You made such a fantastic pillow! Love your reinvention!

Mrs Flying Blind... said... #

I am so pleased you could do this beautiful block justice x

Mama Pea said... #

I should say you should be pleased with that pillow. What an awesome solution. It turned out so great, too!

Snoodles said... #

Cindy, this is a great way to use an orphan block - love it! Since I dream of the beach, this is one I need to put on my list! Thanks for sharing!

Sarah Lou said... #

That's a brilliant idea - I often see blocks that I like but as I'm only beginning I don't want to take on a whole quilt. Thanks for sharing the pictures of your beautiful version.

Erin @ Why Not Sew? Quilts said... #

Your pillow is awesome, Cindy. I love the block setting and stitching!!! beautiful.

Patricia Lessell said... #

Love your pillow it turned out as if it was meant to be. When I goofed up I just threw it away. Now I've learned something - thanks.