Friday, 9 October 2015

.: Farmer's Wife Friday - week 2 :.

We've come to the end of week 2 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt sew-along, and lo and behold, I've managed to sew BOTH blocks - five down, 94 to go! 

The week started with block number 14, Betty.  Angie's tutorial post is here, and guest blogger tutorial Alyce's post is here.  I paper-pieced Betty, and she was absolutely straight-forward - until I got to the correct orientation of the two unicorns.  I wanted them to 'kiss' more than 'bow', but I must admit I'm quite happy with the end result.  My Mum suggested on instagram that they were bowing to each other before a dance, so I thought that was a lovely idea, let's go with that! 

Fabric details for Betty are:  Heather Ross Far Far Away unicorns, the navy is Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cotton + Steel, and the orange is from Ella Blue Basics.

Block number 20, Caroline, made an appearance on Thursday.  Angie's tutorial post is here, and we were fortunate to have TWO lovely guest blogger posts for Caroline - Sedef and Jess.  Their points are perfect and their blocks and posts are just so lovely.  Caroline is the first Farmer's Wife block that I have NOT fussy-cut, and I feel like I'm sewing way out of my comfort zone! 

Fabric details for Caroline are: Carolyn Friedlander Botanics for the mustard print, Sarah Watts for Cotton + Steel cats, and the navy flowers I have had in my stash for quite some time - please do sing out if you know who they are by, so I can credit the designer. 

One more peek at the bowing-before-dancing unicorns.

And I do love how the central, stretchy pinwheel pops out at you in Caroline - I first noticed it in Nat's block, so thought I'd make sure to choose fabrics to allow that to happen in mine. 

So - the end of week 2, and five blocks have been sewn.  Are you sewing along too?  We had our Sunshine MQG meeting last night, and it was lovely to see the Farmer's Wife blocks that have been sewn by different members of the guild.  We're up to over 4,200 members on the Facebook page now - I wonder how many there will be by the end of the year!

Here's to a lovely weekend to you all.  xoxo cat

Friday, 2 October 2015

.: Farmer's Wife Friday - week 1 :.

Welcome to the first week of the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew-Along (try saying that three times fast!).  This is a year-long sew-along using Laurie Aaron Hird's The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt book, which is being coordinated (incredibly well!) by Angie from GnomeAngel.

The Farmer's Wife 1930s sew-along has a Facebook group of over 3,800 members from all over the world and 30 guest bloggers.  It's sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop.  An early highlight for me is being very late to the quilting party in 'discovering' the wonderful Marti Michell and her team - through their blog, You Tube videos and presence in the Facebook group, they are providing such generous and thoughtful support for us all, not to mention amazingly excellent block templates to use for many of the blocks.

This sew-along is a marathon, not a sprint - the book has 99 blocks and we are sewing two blocks each week for a year, starting with the easier blocks and working our way up to the more challenging blocks.  For this first week however, we have sewn not two but THREE blocks! 

The blocks for this week have been Becky, Bonnie and Aunt.  Angie has shared tutorials for all three blocks (click here for Becky, Bonnie and Aunt).  The first guest bloggers to share their tutorials have been Lucy (sharing her English Paper Piecing tutorial for Becky and Bonnie), Melissa (sharing her paper-template, rotary cutting and machine sewing tutorial for Becky and Bonnie) and Jodi (sharing her English Paper Piecing tutorial for Aunt).  All this week's bloggers' blocks are gorgeous - click through if you'd like some guidance in sewing the blocks, or just to read about their process. 

I have started on a high - I have sewn all three blocks.  Whether or not this pace will continue, I cannot say.  My sneaking suspicion is that I will sew one of the two blocks each week, including of course, all four of my guest-blogger blocks.  Here are my week 1 blocks, and the little stories behind them - I like to have a bit of meaning in everything I sew, even if it makes sense only to me - it makes the process much more fun, personal and memorable.  And I figure it's always good to make yourself smile while you sew!

Our first block was number 12, Becky - that's Becky welcoming us all to the sew-along with her cheery Hello's.  The fabric mix, starting with the chair on the left and moving clockwise, is Heather Ross (the chair and Becky), Alison Glass, Tula Pink, Ayumi Takahashi, Lizzy House and Erin McMorris (thank you Rachel for reminding me that Erin is the Hello-designer!).

Next up was block number 16, Bonnie.  I started with the Kerchief girls, spied the tiger, and so immediately thought of the lovely children's book my girls used to love, 'The Tiger Who Came To Tea'.  The fabric mix, starting with the tiger and moving clockwise, is Alexia Abegg, Pam Kitty Morning, Lecien Minny Muu lovebirds (though I call them budgies, not lovebirds!) and Kei Kerchief girls. 

And last for this week was block number 8, Aunt.  I started with the Melody Miller apple, as it was such a great fit for the centre square, then spied the Alexia Abegg pandas, and thought the Cotton + Steel blender would work perfectly with them both.  There's actually no particular story for this block - I don't have any Aunty Apples, Aunty Pandas or even any aunts who are renown for wearing spots! 

It's not too late to join the sew-along if you would like to - it may be tricky to find the book, such is the huge popularity of this sew-along - but don't be deterred, we have heard there are many copies on back-order, so more should be available soon.  And of course, all the block tutorials will remain on Angie's and the guest bloggers' blogs for you to refer back to whenever you need them.

And remember that Angie has all the sew-along info on her blog - including a great FAQ post that tells you everything you need to know.   She will post a weekly wrap-up each Sunday, which will be a great way to see what's been happening - and it will be a linky party too, for anyone to link up their Farmer's Wife posts and share their blocks. 

See you next Friday for more Farmer's Wife-ing - though I'll be back in the meantime to share a few other little sewn goodies with you.  Happy long weekend to you!  xoxo cat

Thursday, 1 October 2015

.: donkeys in jars :.

I have a donkey-loving friend, who I met through the magic of the Online World of Quilting and Sewing ('OWQS' ... it's a thing ... or it really should be, shouldn't it).

There was recently a little gift-makery happening for my donkey-loving friend - so my long-hoarded Laurie Wisbrun donkeys took a walk in their fancy gumboots and met up with Violet Craft's laid-back donkeys to make a set of coasters.  Although donkily-fabulous on their own, I wanted to raise the cuteness bar a notch or two, so the donkeys kept walking til they ended up in jars!

The jars are from Me and My Sister Designs' 'Buttons & Jars' pattern, picked up during my recent class with Barb and Mary.  I made the jars a smidge bigger than the pattern, so there was no chance of Laurie's donkeys losing a tail.

The jar-lid, background, 'shelf' and binding fabrics are all from Cotton + Steel.  The coasters measure about 8 1/2" x 9", plenty big enough for a cup of tea and a little snack.

What would you like to sew into jars, should the mood take you?  

The possibilities are endless - bigger, smaller, taller, shorter - so many things that the world needs to see sewn into jars! 

Happy to be back in this space, hope you have all been well and sewing all sorts of things, in jars or not!  xoxo cat

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