Friday, 2 October 2015

Farmer's Wife QAL - Aunt

I love hand-stitching. It relaxes me. It's easy and portable, and most importantly, it makes me feel safe. When I first read through Laurie Aaron's new The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt, I was smitten, and drawn in, and, well, scared. Foundation paper piecing is one of those things that makes my brain turn inside out. What was this thing I signed up for?

But when I saw that the included CD contained block diagrams, a simple outline of the finished block, I realised I could print them out, cut them out and use them for English Paper Piecing.

Aunt isn't a block that really needs English Paper piecing, but I thought I'd give it a go anyway because A) I wanted to test my resolve to avoid learning to foundation piece as long as possible, and B) Sewing time comes to me easier these days if I can do it on my front verandah, watching my kids play, or while hosting visitors, or watching a movie with Tim, or sitting in a meeting. I cut all the paper and fabric pieces during Mad Max Fury Road one Friday night, and stitched them together all throughout the next day. It does take longer, but I didn't need to unpick a single stitch (which is something I always have to take into account with foundation piecing), and I found it easy to pick up and leave several times.

I used an ordinary paper glue stick around each piece to baste the fabric edges down. It might ruin the paper in the end, but I'm not trying to use them again. And it's FAST! Probably the only part of this lovely little process that is, so you may as well use it!

I decided to make the most of this centre diamond for some sweet little fussy cutting, and was careful in the same kind of way to avoid headless bodies and half umbrellas in the other rectangles. I started stitching around this diamond, by lining the corner piece up, stitching a few staying stitches and then stitching over and over along the seam. When I got to the end of the triangle, I stitched another few staying stitches and kept going with the next corner piece.

Once I'd stitched all the way around the centre square, I moved on to the border in the same manner, adding the blue rectangles piece by piece, and finally, the corners. It probably would have made more sense to add left and right side first, then a long, and already pieced top and bottom, but I sew with a flow. And snipping the thread interrupts it for me. 

So what do you think? My points aren't perfect or my lines straight, but the last week of car trouble, some unexpected paid work, Tim away, and a wedding, have meant that hand-stitching this was able to fit in the little moments of sitting next to Tully while he does his maths or unwinding with a cup of tea in the evening on my own. I'm not sure if I'll hand-stitch all my blocks for the Farmer's Wife, but this week, it was just the right thing.

I'm participating in Angie from Gnome Angel, and the Fat Quarter Shop's Farmer's Wife 1930's Sew-Along. If you'd like to know more about the history of block making, you can browse through my Red Sky at Night tab above. Thanks for dropping by!

Find more details below:

29/09/2015: Angie @
02/10/2015: Jodi @ Tales of Cloth
14/10/2015: Melissa @ Ms Midge
16/10/2015: Erin @ Why Not Sew
28/10/2015: Rachel @ Wooden Spoon Quilts


  1. Gorgeous fabrics and I love that you are english paper piecing too! I totally agree it's great to be able to sew outside or carry it around with you. Beautiful block Jodi!

  2. Jodi ... Very nice tutorial on EPP. Enjoyed your story along side of it. Your fabrics and fussy cuts are perfect! ... thank-you

  3. Love your fussy cutting block! I'm machine piecing as much as possible (because it's faster and more accurate) but I know there're some blocks I need to handpiece.

  4. The fussy cutting makes the block. I have never tried English paper piecing. I love to do hand stitching and will try this. Thanks

  5. Can you recommend a good book for a beginner English paper piecing or web site?

  6. I completely understand your need to avoid paper piecing, and EPP seems like a great proposition. Your block is lovely.

  7. I enjoyed reading about your EPP progress, lovely result! I tend to machine piece more, but it's so nice now & then to have something portable & relaxing that you can pick up when the moment arises.

  8. Love your comment about foundation paper piecing. I feel the same way about it. Admire the results but no way am I doing it. Am starting to do EPP and loving it.

  9. I have been handpiecing so far, I think the EPP method will be easier. I am on the fence about glue probably because I over glue to hold it nicely, then getting the paper out is a nightmare and I distort the fabric. Thanks for sharing your method, it kick starts my creative juices.

  10. So glad you posted this. It sounds like my kind of method. I'm interested to know if you just printed on normal copy paper and dos you cut out the shapes with scissors or rotary cutter? Makes it all sound so simple.


I so love your comments! I read all of them and reply when I can. If you don't hear back, I'm lost under a mound of scraps or outside jumping on the trampoline with the kids. Jodi. xx