Tuesday, February 16, 2016

FW45: Jenny & FW46: Jewel

Big week in Farmer's Wife land. I have been on a roll. I have no idea why. I think both these blocks didn't have loads of pieces so they were quick to complete. I am also doing them ahead of time. This is because it's halfterm and I am going back to mums for a a few days and I know it will mean the whole week is shot really and then I will have to get back into the groove again so I would rather have a leisurely time fitting back into it rather than feeling demoralised that I am falling behind. I know you are supposed to do this at your own pace but I HATE being behind. I just can't hack it. It makes me feel like a loser. I am really not feeling very zen about it. Terrible I know. I really will have a talk with myself. I didn't think I would feel like this, I really didn't!

Block 34: Jenny
This block was a really quick block. Nice and easy. I decided to try and use some of my new brown butterfly fabric in brown and white. I am not really into brown but it goes with the range and I thought when Kerry mixed it with pink it looked great. I put it with my new orange dots here but for some reason it feels a bit 70's kitchen. I am not sure about that. It might be okay if it's surrounded by the pink blocks though.

It looks okay here next to my new Anne block. I think it was just a little bit too much brown. It's better as a small highlight to give some dark bits to blocks so I will think more carefully next time. It is one of my favourite block designs so the need to redo it is quite strong. Hmmm... I will consider it.

It is also perfectly pieced even if I do say so myself. Everything matches up! Probably because it's a simple block, but it feels highly fulfilling not to be overlooking some slight glitch.

Block 46 Jewel 20160211-P1430457.jpg
I really wasn't sure about this block. It's looked a bit weird, a bit puffy, a bit untraditional. But I relented. I am not sure why. Probably because A__l mentioned that she was going to make every block even if she didn't like the look of them. It also seemed like a good opportunity to get the whole fussy cutting thing under control. I'm really pleased with the result. I spent a long time laying out the template pieces in their correct place and cutting out each bit separately.  I even fussy cut the solid from the dancer fabric so it matched exactly. It really is a waste of fabric though. It's not something I would do very much of because I am such a skinflint.

It's a bit of a cop-out to use fabrics from the same range as you know they'll go together, but it is lovely when it just works. The only thing I would change is the two ginger cats in the top right. It's the same cat. I didn't realise. I like the little cat on the bottom left looking up at them all though.

I really thought this was going to be really hard to match up but all the seams nested really well together and I think I have finally mastered the pin through the join technique too. So two perfect blocks this week. What a peach!

As I was finishing up I noticed this mini cat in an offcut of salve edge. I wish I had saved the entire strip now so that I could sew it into something. I am hoping I can find it on another bit somewhere. In the meantime I thought I might put this on the title page of my farmer's wife notebook as I think I will always associate this fabric line with the Farmer's Wife project.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

FW4: Anne & FW7:Augusta

This week also saw the continuation of my need to go back and redo some of my earlier blocks which just don't sit well with me. My initial foray didn't really seem worth it, but these two blocks have definitely made me think it's a worthwhile exercise.

Block 4 Anne
I was really not into this block when we started the Quilt a long. It was the first one I dropped. But then I saw this lovely old quilt and I totally changed my mind! Then I saw this fabric pull from Rachel Wooden Spoon and realised I had all the fabrics bar one, I knew how I would make it.

Upon reflection I think the white butterflies are a bit busy and it would have looked more sophisticated with the very pale text fabric I have, but there is something jolly about it that I love. Plus now that it uses two of my all time favrourite fabrics (Denyse Schmidt ones), well there is no going back. I love it.

And I think it uses the brown perfectly. The whole pink and orange colour scheme is making for a very jolly quilt.

Block 7 Augusta
So this block is really a homage to this block by Emmy. I'm a bit annoyed my middle dancer is not the right way up, not sure how that happened really but I won't lose any sleep over it. I still much prefer it to the old one.

It felt a lot quicker this time. Perhaps your expectations get lower after doing some of the more complicated blocks. I had an entire sick day on the sofa with Pen which allowed me the time to make this. The only annoyance is this one triangle which doesn't fit. I have no idea how that happened. I was so careful. I pinned all my seam joins. Pah. Win some, lose some. I still like it.


Let's compare!

Block 7:Augusta 20160213-P1430465.jpg
What do you think? They are almost like two totally separate blocks.

FW43: Hope & FW44: Iris

So let's talk about Iris. I just wasn't convinced. It's like daffoldil in that it's a geometric representation of an object. It's just not something I really do. They always look a bit clunky. Knowing my wayward spirit though, I don't want to diss them too much as I'll probably love them next month. But right here and right now – it's out. So with only one block to concentrate on it should be easy right?


Block 43 Hope
Poor Hope. I just couldn't work it out. This is where I needed to wait for Kerry's post about it. How on earth do you join the whole thing together? I still have no idea. I just bodged it really badly. I will probably upick it once I see the easy answer Kerry will reveal on Monday. It is a lesson in getting ahead of yourself. In the meantime I have starched and ironed it to within an inch of its life in order to somehow mask that big bump in the middle. It's invisible right?

It's also a return to the grey I seem to be phasing out slightly. This block called for a dark background and it was either grey, brown or black as my dark purple ran out blocks a go. Brown would have been ... too brown. And black would have been very bold so grey came back. I think it's a good way to blend it in with my newer orange dots.


So on the whole I am pretty pleased with the colours here. I just think that last seam looks pretty dire.

Monday, February 08, 2016

FW41 Granny & FW42 Heather

I am still ahead of myself this week which is no bad thing as Half term and Easter are nearly upon us and I don't want to fall behind again. I find it bad for my seeing mojo. As luck would have it I managed to sew both my blocks this weekend and I even went back and redid and old block.

After looking at it side by side with the other blocks though I decided the original was actually okay. So in a way although it was a bit of a redundant exercise, it has made me ease up on some of my earlier blocks. 

It also helped to point out that i am in danger of loving my new fabrics so much that all my blocks will start to look the same. Here are some recent ones laid out. So now I need to combine them with my pinks and purples a bit more. 

I went through all my blocks again and picked out eight that I'd like to redo. (Pic not including the one I just redid) My printer has run out of black toner though so They will have to wait a few weeks.

41 Granny
I found this quite an easy block. Not too many pieces and each of the four main units was identical. I did manage to balls up the direction of my ballerinas though. What can I say? I was cutting them out whilst watching Harrison Ford take his clothes off in some old Roman Polanski film. I must have lost concentration. Sigh. I also think the seams could have nested really nicely if I had changed the piecing order on two blocks, which i would have done if I had waited and listened to Kerry's instructions, but everything lines up mostly so I am happy. The fabric choice is not my own. I saw this version and knew it was perfect. I'd been a bit hesitant about using brown but Kerry's Grandma block was the final nudge I needed to let it in. I'm a bit worried it won't match the black i am using but it's too late now. 

Block 42 Heather
I really like this block. It's neat, compact and a pretty design. It had just the right number of pieces. Not too fiddly but just enough to look impressive. I kind of wish I had used greater contrasting fabrics though. I think it just works. It was all easy to sew together though. 

So hopefully next week I will also do ttwo or three blocks. If I do one old one a week then they will be replaced in no time. And i am sure i will find a use for the rejects. There are many doll quilts or project bags which they would do nicely for. 

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

FW39: Grandma & FW40: Grandmother

What a great week in Farmer's Wife land. I have been waiting for this block for what seems like an age. I have no idea why I like it so much but I saw this version and knew I was excited about it. After being so behind, last week was good because it was the first week I felt I had caught up. Well this week I feel ahead of myself! I had all the fabric cut for both blocks and I have had some time, usually about half an hour, every morning so far this week which has given me the time to sew them together before we're even halfway through the week! This means I feel like I have the time to re do an older block this week that I am not happy with. I am smokin...

I recently descovered the Flickr Farmer's Wife group and have started to add my blocks to it and write notes to myself about which ones I am happy/unhappy with in the descriptions. I also had a good rifle through the gallery there and saw lots of inspiring blocks. So now I have a tonnes of instagram faves and these new Flickr ones. I spend rather too much time sifting through my Instagram favourites in the evenings looking through blocks I really like, trying to work out why I like them, but it's annoying that they are dotted inbetween other general faved pictures so I decided to create a Pinterest board of favourite blocks so I can combine Flickr and Instagram. I might also write in the descriptions what I think I like about them. Anyway check it out!

Block 39 Grandma
As soon as I saw kerry's version of this block I knew that my love for the design was genuine. I also love this one by a__l but this one by Elise is really my all time favourite

Block 40 Grandmother
I wasn't so enamoured with this block. Another basket. Seeing as my other basket turned out a bit too traditional for my liking I considered dropping the entire block. Then I thought maybe I would just use all my scraps which I keep shoving under the sewing machine table and make a technicolour basket. A good chance to combine my oranges and yellows with my pinks and purples. And it had a good expanse of fabric to let some of my cats in. In the end I was quite pleased.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

FW37: Georgia & FW38: Golda

It's so nice to feel caught up now. I feel on top of things. I sat down and cut out the next five blocks then started cutting out the fabric. Usually I don't choose fabrics in advance as I like to see the blocks Kerry makes first but I felt inspired by my new orange and yellow fabrics. But I wanted to mix the new set in with my existing fabrics pronto so I could start to see if this was all going to work. I was worried. They seem to be a brilliant addition. They are much brighter, maybe a bit ice creamy sometimes, but in general, I feel they are much more in the rainbow vibe which I see other people doing and I seem to be craving. Sigh... But something else has happened...

I looked back through some of my early blocks and now feel they are too dull and boring. I really just don't like them. I think I will always feel like this. So I want to redo them like other people's I have seen or put my oranges and yellows in them. I don't want this to get too out of hand as I am in danger of wanting to redo nearly every block, but I am going to pick out a few choice ones and see if my alternatives come out better. It's actually quite fun to make the same block out of different fabrics and see how completely different it makes the block feel.

We'll see if I get the time. At the moment I can only try to squeeze one block in on Saturday and Sunday in small snatches of time so I don't know where the time will come from. This week I made both blocks though. They were pretty quick to sew up in the end. When I look at them both though I kind of feel Georgia is a bit boring and Golda is my favourite which I wasn't expecting.

Block 37 Georgia

Well this block should probably line up better than it does considering how simple it was. I've tried to incorporate some of the grey I am falling out of love with into the bright palette. I am not sure it works though. I think I might not use the grey anymore.


Block 38 Golda

I love this block. I considered not doing it as it's very much like one I did already, but I enjoyed the last one so much that I decided to keep going with it. I thought I would try and marry the pink and orange and I think it works here.


My only regret is that the centre lines up so poorly. I really want to unpick it but I already had to unpick two ends where I stupidly mixed up the fabrics. First time I have actually got them the wrong way round.


I like the brightness and the clash of warm colours. Very pleased.