Glaring sunshine photograph, just so you can see every little imperfection in my block. Next time I'm taking photos on a cloudy day.
Have you given in and started yours yet? Instagram is abuzz with the quilt along for the Farmers Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt book. The QAL is hosted by Kerry, and she's going to be posting each week with her own block and a link to another blogger who will also be completing a block.
This week, I am that other blogger!
My block this week is actually a pretty cool one - Anne, from page 164 in the book. It's a pleasing spiral. The only sensible way to piece it seemed to be to foundation piece - not always my favourite method, because I'm not that experienced at it (although my #mysmallworldqal blocks have improved my skills a little), but unless I was going to hand piece it (no chance, mate), foundation piecing seemed the best option.
Now, I'm no expert at foundation piecing, so maybe you all do it the opposite way to me, but when I foundation piece I have the fabric on the 'back' of the paper template and sew with it with the paper printed side up, so I can clearly see the lines while I'm sewing, rather than having the black lines face the fabric and try to see them through the paper while I'm sewing. If you do the same as I do with this block, you'll end up with the spiral facing the opposite direction to the one in the book (which is what mine is doing). I really can't get myself worked up about this for this particular block, but feasibly there will be some blocks where it makes a difference, so I'll be keeping an eye out for it in future blocks and flipping the design before printing if necessary (I have no idea how I'll be flipping it, but I'll figure that out as and when it becomes necessary).
Apart from the rotation issue, this block was pretty straightforward, for a foundation pieced one. I tend to be a bit over-generous cutting my pieces for foundation piecing (one of the only times during quilting when I am ok with a bit of wasted fabric), because I am Not Good at doing it, so I need the spare fabric.
If you've read the Farmers Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt book (or its predecessors, The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt and The Farmer's Wife Pony Club Sampler Quilt) you'll know that each block pattern is accompanied by a letter to the editor of The Farmer's Wife magazine. Now I'm not much into whimsical little stories, but the letters that accompany these blocks are fabulous. Each one is a lovely little insight into rural life in the US in the 1930s, and there are some great little moral lessons tucked in there too. I didn't buy this book at all for the letters, but if you haven't read them yet I thoroughly recommend it.
Oh, and I was going to talk about my layout plans for the quilt, but actually this post is in danger of getting alarmingly wordy, so I'll leave that for another time, perhaps when I've got a few more blocks to show you what I actually mean! You can see that I've sashed this block (I always find the edges of foundation pieced blocks are quite fragile, as the threads often start to work apart when you take the papers out, so unless I emphatically need them not to be sashed, I tend to sash foundation pieced blocks fairly quickly). For my quilt layout pretty much all the blocks will be sashed.
Looking forward to posting my next instalment in a couple of months, but meanwhile make sure you keep up with Kerry's weekly posts! I'm going to make no attempt to keep up with the pace of the QAL, but hopefully I'll have a few more blocks to show you next time.