Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt - Finished!

I finished my Farmers Wife Quilt and then the sun came out. I think spring has been kindly holding off until I finished it? It's OK folks, it's done, time to dig out some sandals, I can confidently predict that its about to warm up here in the UK! It was still a bit precarious hanging this one up for a photo in the garden, bit too muddy and thawing and drippy, but here she is in all her glory. I know I always say it but its DEF my fav quilt i've made!

The Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt is a quilt made using up to 111 different, traditional American patchwork blocks ( I did 64). Each one is 6 inches square. If you love patchwork, you will adore this quilt as it's a romp through every block you ever thought you wanted to make, but on a little neat 6 inch scale. The patterns for these blocks have been published alongside a great book  based on letters written to a farming magazine by wives in the 1930s. The magazine asked women if they would recommend their daughter marry a farmer - and the resulting letters make such heartwarming reading, that I'd recommend the book for the letters alone even if you aren't a quilter!

Anyway, this quilt is something of a labour of love to undertake, so we decided at my MakeClub group to help each other along and make it together. Each month we all tackle the same selection of blocks with the aim to make a quilt over the period of a year. As you can imagine each person's unique colour scheme renders completely different looking blocks based on the same pattern - its a real lesson in colour placement for quilters!

Lots of the pieces are small and sometimes fiddly to piece and the blocks range from the fun to put together to the fiendish! I found it completely addictive and as I've had a bit of extra time on my hands I rushed ahead and finished up my quilt over Xmas and have been hand quilting it this spring. I loved it so much I'm making it again along with my friends as I don't want to miss out on the communal element that is such fun!

If you fancy making this quilt alongside like minded quilters I am planning to run it as a quilt along  in the autumn with all of the templates easily laid out for each block ( the CD rom and template part of the book is a bit of a logistical hurdle!). If you have some basic patchwork knowledge and really want to challenge yourself, opt for the fiendish blocks each week, if you're new and starting out in patchwork, go for the fun blocks, whichever you do I guarantee you will love making them, and it's great to do it in a group.

I will start adding some details to the Autumn 2013 classes page as I firm up the class structure, but drop me a note if you'd like me to add you to the 'keep informed' list, it'll be the perfect long autumn/winter project for the next long winter!