Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Farmer's Wife Week 16 and 17

Well here we are again, another week and another pair of blocks.  I really enjoy making them.  My goals now are to make pairs of blocks that somewhat coordinate, but from week to week they really can have nothing to do with each other.


I have seen some sets of blocks where people are using a very finite set of fabric and their blocks all coordinate and look fantastic, these aren't those types of blocks :)


 This is my favorite block so far!  what's funny is, I try and use a rotary cutter to cut out the small squares, it's fast and they are more accurate than the templates, EXCEPT when I cut them all out the wrong size.  Which I did with this block, and see that pretty darker purple color, well I didn't have enough fabric to make 8 more squares, so I had to make some changes, but it looks great and I'm so proud.

I'll post a big group shot next week. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011


is my enemy.  It is.  While I was pregnant, and then when I was making milk I was reasonable with sugar, but in no way went "crazy".  Well. maybe when I first got home from the hospital with my baby I was definitely eating a jumbo pack of oreos every few days.  So my milk production is finished now, and i'm realizing that amazing metabolism that I enjoyed for a year is gone. *sniff*.  I'm not looking for sympathy, more like accountability.  Also some understanding if this blog gets a *tiny* bit cranky over the next week :)

Lizzy House is doing a juice cleanse.  That is seriously hardcore.  I'm just cutting processed foods, sugar and white flour.  I am also going to do Pilates again, OH and try and take a walk, with the baby in a stroller (when she walks with me we don't go very far very fast and we need to stop alot and look at bits on the ground).

So we're back from OBX, which was teriffic and I hope we can get back there next year.  It's time for me to start quilting again!  This week I have some farmer's wife to catch up on, some 100 quilts for kids tops to make and a NEW project to start!  YEP it was designed while relaxing on the beach, I actually designed a bunch of quilts (while eating oreos...)  I realized that designing w/o looking at fabric or any constraints at all is incredibly liberating.  I am really excited about my next batch of original quilts.

I will leave you with yet another cute beach shot, I love my little honey :)
Shoot!  That's my water in the sand!

Friday, September 16, 2011


IMG_0105.jpg This week my family went to the Outer Banks, NC.  This was our first OBX experience, and Isabella's first beach visit!  It is beautiful here.  Absolutely gorgeous. 

As pretty as the sunny days are I like cold blustery days at the ocean almost as much.  The colors are beautiful, she sea is really rough there is something so relaxing about it.
My baby girl is fearless.  She really is.  I was expecting her to run into the water, dive in and start body surfing the first min of the first day.  (Yes, she is 1 and yes that might be unreasonable).  As it turns out she HATES sand.  HATES HATES HATES.  She would cry and scream and pout and pull up her little legs and refuse to walk.  She wouldn't go in the ocean or play in the waves because of the sand.   This made me sad, since I love the beach and the ocean and she is an active baby and needs to run around and even though I brought 2 large blankets, this sand issue needed to be resolved.  Our 2nd night we wandered into a souvenir shop and purchased her a itty bitty pair of red Crocs.  WELL these were magic shoes!  Suddenly she was running towards the waves!  Playing with them and having the time of her life.  She would run and play and pick up shells and sticks until she begged to be picked up and then would promptly fall asleep in your arms.  It was so cute and wonderful.  Amazingly enough by day 5 she was testing the sand with her bare feet.  As long as she could hold one of her bright red shoes she was OK, by the end of day 5, our last beach day she was digging in the sand, making large piles and running away from us into the waves chest deep.
With her shoe in hand, she considers stepping into the soft sand.
I haven't done any real projects, it's vacation!  I have been sketching up a storm and hopefully will have some cool new things to show you.  This trip has really re-charged my creative batteries.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Farmer's Wife week 15


These blocks were a BLAST to make.  Such a nice break from the super difficult blocks from the past.

I love that I get to use the fabrics from my Summer Sampler, now that it's complete, they are fair game!


My goal for the Farmer's Wife Sampler is to use lots of scraps from other quilts, and only a few fabrics purchased expressly for it.  My reasoning is that since this quilt will be taking a year, I want it have bits and pieces from everything I worked on.  It's going to be a big jumble of colors when I'm done and I have no idea about assembly yet but I'm sure it will all pull together in the end.  So far I'm thinking that a traditional layout will not work, and to try something different.

I am very excited to say I'm going on vacation tomorrow!  Next posts should be from the Outer Banks, NC.  From the beach!  Hooray!  No quilting, but I have some other crafty things in mind... 

Have a great weekend everyone. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WIP Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I did alright this week.  It wasn't as much as I was hoping to get done, but we had a fantastic holiday weekend.  Sometimes you need to just chill out with the family, and actually let the iron cool down. :)

No pics... sorry :)

Up to date:
  •  Farmer's Wife quilt a-long 30 blocks completed!  (look for post tomorrow)
In progress
  • Billboard quilt along, "&" on freezer paper waiting to be assembled.
  • "100 Quilts for Kids" 3 more quilt tops - I had really hoped to get these done by Friday so i could mail them to Kate in hopes that they could be quilted next weekend but... I really don't think that's going to happen.
I am very proud that I didn't start anything new.  I want to get the "100 quilts for kids" off my plate and the Billboard quilt almost finished before I start cutting out new fabric.

  • Subway quilt

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Triangle template calculator

I love this style of block:

It looks amazing, and seems so simple to just cut striped fabric in a way that makes that neat square thing happen.

It also works for hourglass blocks, where the stripes are strips of fabric sewn together.  The "In a Spin" quilt from Red Pepper Quilts also uses this block assembly technique.

Because the math to make these blocks can be somewhat of a pain, especially if you're trying to use up scraps---and don't forget about the seam allowance---I wanted to make an easy to use calculator to determine the correct dimensions for any size block.  Not to mention that I think it's ridiculous to have to buy a plastic template, especially if you want a special size.  Everyone has cardboard lying around!  I have made this handy calculator, to make your own template at home!

PS. if you're a math geek (or even if you're not) and are curious on how this formula was derived, post a comment!  I'd be happy to do a follow up post with the details.

Alright, so... the block is created by making a regular square and then dividing it into four triangles like this:

Here is the Fiber Fix super-easy solution to creating these blocks:
  1. Decide how big you want your finished block to be.  The length of one of the sides of the square is the "finished length".  For example, if you want your finished block to be 8 inches square and your seam allowance is a quarter inch, this will give you a ready-to-sew block of 8.5 inches.
  2. Select seam allowance (one quarter or one half inch).
  3. Click "calculate"
So here is the calculator!  I have placed a link to it on the Triangle Calculator button on the side of my blog for easy reference.  Feel free to take the button and link from your site if you find this useful.

Finished length: inches with seam allowance

The number provided is the distance you need to measure down two sides of a piece of cardboard (cardstock, plastic.. whatever you have around). Make sure you have a proper right angle, and measure like so.

Cut along the dotted line and you have your triangle template!

If you are interested in the strips all matching up to make cool concentric squares then mark on the sides of your triangle where the various stripes are.

Here is an example of a template I made a while back for my Ikea quilts.  I wanted the sides to be 27" so that 2 squares next to each other would be the width of the fabric.

Notice lots of pencil marks to line stripes up

The fabric I started with:


Here's another square I made with the rest of the fabric:


And the finished twin IKEA quilts:

Twin Ikea quilts, chilling on the porch

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Billboard Quilt W-A-R-M

Remember this quilt along?

Yep I'm still working it!  Just wanted to have some actual progress before i started throwing pics up :)  I hope to have all the letters done this week. 
I'm about halfway done with the letters for this quilt.  I'm VERY glad I chose something simple to write.  To be honest, each letter is going faster and faster, but the part in the process where i have to cut out 40 tiny shapes that are weird sizes is SO TEDIOUS.  It's the worst, it makes me angry it's so boring.  That's why I only do one letter a day :)  It's totally weird, because the farmer's wife blocks are MUCH smaller and normally have way more pieces and I enjoy cutting them out.  So it makes no sense, but one letter a day seems to be my pace.

What's funny is the "M" I picked the colors as i was cutting it out instead of picking them upfront, and I was totally positive this would be not a strong letter.  NOPE!  It's my favorite!

So here we are on Kona Eggplant.   The final backdrop!  I haven't appliqued yet.  Just makin' letters.


Don't forget the back is already in progress.  This pretty quilt should be coming together very soon.  I'm still at a complete loss at the quilting, but I find that after the quilt sandwich has been made something always comes to me.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Farmer's Wife Week 13 and 14!


Last week there was alot going on, and I REALLY wanted to finish my summer sampler, so it's done and this week I got to make 4 squares!  (Really hard ones)

That block on the right is the infamous "cut glass"  TINY TINY little HST's.  So glad that's done!

I absolutely love these two.  They came out beautifully

I also took the time to square up the other 24 blocks.  I have to say, I was surprised, my blocks are actually 6.5" square.  There are the two that I paper pieced that came out 4"  (yes i printed at 100%) no idea why that happened.  I'll probably remake those and include the too small blocks on the back.

Anyway here they are!  In all 28 of their glory.