Friday, April 27, 2012

Noon and Light

28 pieces in this one.  It isn't hard, but it does take a little time to put it together.         
 Color 1 (Red)
  • 4 - 3" finished half squares (3 1/2" strip cut with easy angle)
Color 2 (Orange)
  • 8 - triangles cut with 1 1/4" strip and companion angle
Color 3 (green)
  • 8 - triangles cut with 1 1/4" strip and CA 
  • 4 - 1 1/2" finished half square triangles (EA)
  • 4- 2" square
      Sew the small triangles that make the star points together along the short edge (4 sewn on the right side and 4 on the left) and press toward the square. 
      Line up the corner where the 2 colors come together and let the point hang beyond the square
      Add the remaining triangle units in the same way and press. These should be the same size as the 3" finished half squares. I used my Easy angle to square them up and trim off the dog ears.

      Use your Easy Angle to cut away a portion of the 3" finished half square.  This is a 1 1/2" finished half square that we will be adding, so we are going to line up the 2" line of the easy angle extending both tips over the edge.  Feel free to put your 2" cut away template on the fabric to make sure you have it lined up correctly. 

      Look at the picture- can you see how the Easy Angle + the take away template would make a 2" square?  Perfect!

      Now place the remaining 4 small triangles on the pieces you just cut and join.  Press 2 opposites toward the small piece and 2 toward the large piece.  I pressed the quarters with the purple away from the red and the ones with the green toward the red.  Square up with the easy angle if necessary.  Join this unit with the remaining units to make 4 - 3 1/2" squares.  Complete to make a 6 1/2" block

      See this pile of loveliness?  This is going to be our next block. 
      My beautiful assistant is getting the block ready for me to sew so I can get them posted tomorrow.

    Take Away Method made Easy

    I use the take away method instead of stitch n' flip for lots of reasons.  The biggest reason is that I am more accurate with this method.  The other reason is that it saves on fabric.

    2" square
    I talk about how to line up the the ruler in this post.   Some have struggled with where to place the ruler to get the correct angle and fabric cut away.  When you first start doing this technique, it is difficult to get the ruler lined up how you want it.  It sort of seems unnatural.

    To make this easier, cut squares from cardboard, cardstock, template plastic or whatever you have on hand in the following sizes: 2 1/2", 2", 1 1/2".  These are the most common sizes.

    Place the 1/4" line of the ruler corner to corner and cut the paper/plastic along the edge of the ruler.  Label the size of the square.  Put these in a baggie or container so you can find them easily.

    For a square where you would normally stitch corner to corner, simply place the "take away" template on the corner of the fabric and line up the ruler.  No more second guessing if you have the ruler lined up correctly. 

    Now take the template away and cut the fabric.  After you get accustomed to doing this and where to line up the lines of the ruler, you won't need to use the take away templates. 

    I want everyone to be successful with the Farmer's Wife, not frustrated!  Are you confused about what size take-away template to use?  A 2" finished half square (would be cut with a 2 1/2" strip), so you would use the 2 1/2" template.  If the strip you are cutting away the fabric on is 2", you use the 2" cut away template (this would be labeled as a 1 1/2" finished half square)

    If you have any questions, just ask.  Someone else probably has the same question.

    Thursday, April 26, 2012

    Storm Signal

    #90 - 20 pieces, but not very complicated.

    Color 1
    • 4 - 3" finished half squares (3 1/2" strip cut with easy angle)
    Color 2 & Color 3
    • 2 squares 1 7/8"
    • 4 quarter triangles cut with Companion Angle 1 1/2" strip
    • 2 - 1" finished half squares (1 1/2" strip cut with Easy Angle)
    Start by sewing the sort edge of the triangles cut with the companion angle to opposite sides of the 1 7/8" square.  Line up the top of the triangle and let the dog ear hang beyond the square.  Press toward the square.  Add the remaining triangle to units.  This time you will be sewing the long edge.  Press toward the triangle on like colors and away from the triangle on the other like colors.  Measure your unit and square up with the EASY ANGLE.  Your pieced unit should be the same size as the 3" finished half square.

    Sew the pieced half squares with the remaining half squares.  Square these up to 3 1/2", and sew in a 4 patch fashion to complete the block.  Your block should measure 6 1/2". 

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012


    #108 Windmill

    This is an easy one....only 8 pieces!  We are not using the templates.  This would have been easy if my brain hadn't went on vacation.

    • Color 1 - 4 triangles cut with the companion angle and strip width 2 3/4"
    • Color 2 - 4 strips 1 1/2" X 5 1/4"
    I love the colors in this picture.  Unfortunately, I didn't cut the striped pieces the correct size so it didn't quite workout. 

    Add the rectangle strip to the SAME short straight edge of the triangle.  Let the rectangle pieces extend beyond the base of the triangle.  Press toward the rectangle.  Join the 4 pieces in a 4 patch fashion matching the center seams

    If you have the square up ruler, this is how you will square up the block.  Line up the center seam line with the 6 1/2" line on the ruler.  Wiggle the quarter seam lines until they feel locked together.  Line up the quarter seam line with the perpendicular line on the ruler and trim on both sides of the ruler. 
    If you do NOT have the square up ruler, you can still square up your block perfectly.  You know I love gadgets!  Line up the diagonal (bias) line of your ruler (mine is 6 1/2, but yours could be this size or larger) with the center seam.  Take care to make sure your seam is exactly on the corner.  Trim 2 sides. 
    Turn the ruler and line up the bias line once again.  Trim the remaining 2 sides to make the 6 1/2" block
    This is the completed block.  I love how the tomatoes look with the green.
    If you ever need to see a picture better, you can always click on it to make it larger. 

    Ozark Maple Leaf

    This is an interesting block that reminds me of something entirely different.  We are moving on to FW block number 63 Ozark Mable Leaf.

    Cutting instructions:
    For Each Color (color 1 & 2)
    1. 2 - 2 1/2" squares
    2. 2 - 1 1/2" x 2 1/2"
    3. 2- 1 1/2" x 3 1/2"
    4. 4 - 1" finished triangles (1 1/2" strip cut with the easy angle)

    For all the 2 1/2" squares use the cut away method and trim off the corners.  I have the Olfa frosted brand ruler in the pictures, so I have lined up the 1" line.  I you are using the easy angle, you will be lining up the 1 1/2" line.

    If you are having problems with this, try taking a 1 1/2" piece of cardstock or template plastic, cut it on the angle 1/4"  from the corner.  Use the cut-away piece as a guide and place it on the fabric to show you where to line up the easy angle.

    Sew the triangles on the 2 1/2" squares on opposing sides.  This block is traditionally called a signature block.  Carefully press the units toward the triangles.  Measure the units and square up to 2 1/2" if you need to.

    Join the 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangles to each of the signature blocks, then add the 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangles.  

    Measure the blocks and square up to 3 1/2" if necessary.  (My block is 3 colors because I didn't have anything bigger than 1 1/2" of color 2)

    Join the 4 units to make a 6 1/2" block.  Because I added a third color, the block a has unique look.  I can't decide if I like it, but it looks more like a boxed block.
    Only 20 pieces in this block- We are gearing up for the 37 pieces in wild goose chase later this month.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012


    Block #34- Flock.  I thought I would do an easy one before we get to wild goose chase and Judy comes unglued!

  • 2 light and 2 dark triangles that finish at 3" (3 1/2" cut with the easy angle)
  • 8 light and 8 dark triangles that finish at 1 1/2" (2" strip cut with the easy angle)

  • Join the pairs of lights and darks together to make the half squares.  Square the little guys up to 2" (if you need to) and the big guys up to 3 1/2" (if you need to).  I pressed all pieces toward the dark.  You may wish to press the small triangles open.  Join the small triangles in pairs and then a 4 patch.  These should measure 3 1/2"

    Join the 4 units measuring 3 1/2" to make a 6 1/2" completed block.  See that little crease at the bottom?  Yes....I sewed it together wrong the first time and had to un-sew it.  It happens to me too quite frequently.

     Have fun and don't stress too much.

    Monday, April 23, 2012


    My design wall is exactly the same as last week, but I managed to make and sew the binding on 4 quilts.  They are ready for hand stitching.

    I also cut out all the blocks for April for the FW projects.

    Everyone had a fun and productive sewing weekend at the library.  My niece attended with her beautiful baby Lillyn.  She had plenty of helpers for holding the baby.


    Ellen was working so hard on cutting out the FW blocks that she had to get a second table to regroup.  She that huge pile of scraps!  That almost looks as bad as my bucket.  She didn't even bring her machine to tempt her to start sewing.

    I finished a few more FW blocks and I hung them all to see how they looked.  Just looking at the blocks, I thought I had too much orange.  After I hung them on the design wall, I think the colors are looking pretty even.  There is a lot of yellow and orange, but it isn't overwhelming.

    I helped Nancy cut out this quilt and she sewed the pinwheels at lightning speed.  The dark purple (with brown undertones) really makes the trains sparkle.  I just love the first tan border that has the pumpkin colored dots.

    Char worked on making these butterflies.  I love the bright and cheery colors.  Wouldn't this be a great scrap quilt! 

    This week I plan to sew 2 more bindings on quilts and do some quilting.  I am counting the days down for my quilt shop adventure.

    Check back with Judy to see what others are working on.

    Have a great week.  Stop back later this week to see more FW blocks.

    Monday, April 16, 2012

    Something Old...Something New...Definately not BLUE

    I worked on the UFO on the design wall some this week.  I am happy that it is now in one piece.  I am still sort of undecided on what to do with the borders, so I didn't go any further.  I think I like the smaller triangles, but I may do a double border to get a zig-zag effect.  I have never tried this before, so it might be fun to figure out the corners.
    While taking a break from sewing, I did a visit to blogland and saw this post.  The sight of this quilt immediately made me think of a large pile of 3" rails that I wanted to use up.  I made these when I did a Bonnie Hunter mystery- I believe it was her first one Carolina Crossroads.  At the time, I was contemplating making 3!  I was so silly.  I also thought about the large container of half squares I have sorted by color, cut and ready for use.  I have to admit, when I was sorting the container by color I had to wonder if I was actually insane.  I grabbed the rails (several hundred of them) and the box of half squares (several thousand) and went to town.  The 2" finished half squares are the perfect size for the corners.  I still have another 25 blocks to make, but it will be a nice size baby quilt and I will have another open container.  My blocks will finish at about 4", I have no idea the size of the blocks in the actual pattern.  I am pleased that I have managed to use these old blocks and create something new.

    Check back with Judy to see what others are working on this week.

    Thursday, April 12, 2012

    End of Day

    Block number #30 according to the Farmer's Wife.  To avoid waste, we are going to make 2 of these.  You can use this extra block for a mug rug, or substitute it for a block that you don't like (or one that doesn't turn out well).

    Dark (color #1)
    2 - 2" x 19"
    Light(s) (color #2 & #3)
    1- 2" x 19"

    Sew a light strip to each of the dark strips.  Press toward the dark.  Check to make sure your strip sets measure 3 1/2".  If not, you need to adjust your seam allowance.  Look how well this book (that was placed there by my little helper before I could snap the picture) matches my fabric.

    Lay the strips sets right sides together locking the seams together.  The dark colors should be opposites.

    Use your easy angle and cut 8 "pairs" of triangles.  You should have 4 of each "kind".  Leave the triangle sets nestled together and sew.

    Press the units to one side.  Join the 3 1/2" squares (4 of each kind) to complete the blocks.  The light will be dominant in one block and the dark in the other block.   
    This is a really fun block to make with your Jelly flops.  You would do it the same way with a light and a dark.  In case you are wondering- I am still loving my fireflies.  This block would be great for a charity quilt as it goes together quickly and the block has a lot of movement.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012


    New baby = New quilt.  I actually had this one done on time.  Maybe it was due to the fact that the mom-to-be picked it out of the finished pile and claimed it before she was pregnant.

    Lillyn Jean Born April 9th.

    Big brother Johnathyn wanted in on the action in the last picture.  He is my little buddy, and he is just the sweetest thing ever.  He came to stay with me for the day while mom and dad were at the hospital.  It feels wonderful to be great again...that is great-aunt.

    Sawtooth Star

    #32 FW calls it Evening Star.  I think it is most commonly referred to as Sawtooth Star. 

    Cutting instructions:

    Color 1 - Blue for me
    • 1- 3 1/2" square
    • 4- 2" squares
    • 4- triangles cut with companion angle (CA)  2" strip
    Color 2 - Yellow for me
    • 8 half squares cut with easy angle 2" strip

    Isn't this firefly fabric great.  Ellen was kind enough to swap this fabric with me.  The crazy part is that I convinced her to buy it at the store.  I guess she should have convinced me!

    Join the color 2 triangles to to the color one triangles.  I thought I would include the back of my block so you could see how I pressed. 

    I like to press toward the large triangle when I join the first small triangle when making flying geese.  When I add the second triangle, I press this toward the smaller triangle.  I think this makes the unit lay flatter than if you press them both out.  When I join the geese to the squares, I like to sew with the geese on top.  You want to sew right through the "X" of the geese unit to give you a perfect point. 

    Join the geese units to the squares and sew together like a 9-patch. 

    Block should measure 6 1/2"
    This finished the March Blocks.  The Farmer's Wife blocks for April (if you want to get started without me) are 30,34,63,90,60,75,108,46,83,105, and 33)  Some of these may get shifted to May if necessary.

    Let me know if you have any questions, or if I didn't explain things well enough.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

    Maple Leaf

    I can see my maple trees from the window.  The seeds are off and the leaves are almost open.  This is block 56 according to the Farmer's Wife book.  I chose an alternate construction technique.  You are not surprised by this are you?

    Color 1 (pink in my block)
    • 1 - 2 1/2" x 6 1/2"
    • 1- 2 1/2" x 4 1/2"
    • 1- 2 1/2" X 2 1/2"
    • 2- 2" finished half squares (cut with 2 1/2" strip)
     Color 2 (yellow in my block)
    • 1- 2 1/2" square
    • 4- 2" finished half squares (cut with 2 1/2" strip)
    • 2- 2" squares
     I just love that yellow fabric.  Thank you to whomever brought that to the garage sale.  There was just a small piece of it, and it was perfect for this block.

    1. sewing your half squares together
    2. Use the cut away technique and cut away a triangle from both the 6 1/2" piece and the 4 1/2" piece.  Add the remaining 2 half squares to the corners.
    3. Lay the 2" square on top of the 2 1/2" square right sides together and stitch corner to corner.  You can either mark on the diagonal, or use the cut away technique.  The stitch line should be lined up corner to corner.  Do the same thing with the last square and press toward the center stem.
    4. Join the 6 units to make the completed 6 1/2" block.

    Pressing- I pressed the top and bottom rows to to the left, and I pressed the rows toward the center row.

    If you need help with the cut-away technique, you can refer back to this post.  If you don't want to do the cut away method, you can use 2 1/2" squares instead of half squares and mark them corner to corner on the wrong side of the fabric.

    I hope you enjoy this block as much as I did.  We are about at the end of the quick and easy blocks.