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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Farmer’s wife: Practical Orchard

Practical Orchard

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

I wish I had an orchard. Fruit trees are a wonderful thing. I remember fruit picking when I was young, in my aunt’s garden, and in some friends of my parents’ orchards: cherries, apples, pears, plums, and mirabelles. Since we planted almost every single shrub or tree in our garden by ourselves, we do not have too many big plants. We are very proud to have a peach tree since last fall, and I am eagerly watching its fruits ripen. I counted fourteen, some weeks ago, but would be very content if we could gather six good fruits in August.

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Farmer’s wife: Prairie Queen

When planning this block, I couldn’t bring myself to decide what fabrics to choose and, above all, how many different.

I was very much tempted to use three different prints, instead of two. A third one for the centre square and the four little adjoining squares. Or to do the green half square triangles in a different print. I found many examples of these versions and liked them all.

Prairie Queen

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

In the end, I followed Laurie’s example. But I gave this block a new twist by choosing only green prints. Green being the “special” colour in my otherwise tourquoise quilt, I am curious about how this block will fit into the quilt in the long run.

You might have noticed that Prairie Queen consists of almost exactly the same components as Railroad. Yet, how different do they look!

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Farmer’s wife: Puss in the Corner

After sewing this block, I did a little research on the name. I didn’t know that Puss in the Corner is a children’s game. Surely, games like this do exist in every country, with similar rules but under various names: one player stands in the centre and has to try to gain a free place, and the player who looses his place is the next one to stand in the centre trying to gain a free place …

Puss in the Corner

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

I admit that I had some difficulty in sewing this block, though it looks and is a very simple design. I cannot really explain how it happened, but I actually needed three attempts until I finally came up with this result. Maybe, it was because I started before work, or maybe I just had a bad day. On the first attempt, I made the mistake of ripping off the paper before cutting the pieces to their final size plus seam allowance. When I noticed, I still tried to save it, but it would not work.

Next, I tried to rotary cut the half square triangles, because I was to lazy to turn on the PC and print out new paper piecing patterns. I used my Robert Kaufmann App to calculate the size, and at first it really looked alright, but in the end, the pieced corner squares were too big.

I gave up then and went to work, printed out a new set of paper piecing patterns in the evening, and finished it off in no time. Strange …

But now that I know of the children’s game as the name giver of this block, I think that my approach to this block fits to it perfectly. I was puss, so to speak, and needed three attempts to gain a corner.

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Farmer’s wife: Railroad

This was an easy block, squares and half square triangles are a safe harbour.

Railroad

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

But I like it very much. It’s so inspiring to see what you can make out of two “simple” forms. Next up will be coming several blocks consisting merely of squares and triangles, but each is a whole different world, incomparable. And if you take into consideration that each block would look different still if you used other prints or more than two … a zillion possibilities!

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Farmer’s wife: Rainbow Flowers

Rainbow Flowers

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

Honestly, I don’t get this block. Flowers? Okay, maybe we are talking of flower beds, in rainbow colours.

The design is a simple log cabin, with four rounds in for prints. Or at least, this was what I thought when looking at the picture. When looking at the assembly diagram, however, I discovered that Laurie has put in squares at the corner of each round—in the same print as the rest of the round. This doesn’t make sense to me.

I twisted my mind but could not get a clue. There must be a reason, I thought! But I couldn’t find any. So I decided to give it a reason. I picked seven different fabrics and thus put a little stress on the four diagonally standing squares. I am very much pleased with the result. The block doesn’t look like a log cabin anymore, but I like it even better for it.

By the bye, this is the first block I didn’t paper piece.

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Farmer’s wife: Ribbons

Ribbons

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

My first association when I read “Ribbons” was Jane Austen. I love to read her novels, I love to think about how people lived then, what they thought and did, how they spent their days and so on. So for me it was an easy jump from ribbons to Pride and Prejudice.

Doing needlework was as natural for any woman then as it isn’t anymore today. “Elizabeth took up some needlework, and was sufficiently amused in attending to what passed between Darcy and his companion.” —Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Maybe Elizabeth was embroidering some silk ribbons? Maybe I should adorn this block with some embroidery? I am not sure—it would make this block stand out above all the other blocks …

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Farmer’s wife: Rosebud

I like this block very much—partly because I like roses so much, and partly because you can easily discover the rosebuds in this block pattern.

Rosebud

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

As always, I did some research before starting this block, and I was quite shocked at how many “bad” examples I found (see some on my Pinterest board “Farmer’s wife”).

Many quilters used more than two different fabrics, some even four or five which makes it very hard or impossible to see any rosebuds. In some examples you could only discern a big pinwheel, in some the three little half square triangles above the buds were stressed. Choice of fabric is so important! It can really change a block into something quite different.

I just couldn’t help but use the white print with the little roses as a background, although I don’t like such obvious hints too well …

I did a quick photo-shooting in our garden with the roses that are blooming right now.

Crown Princess Margarethe © 2012 by hs

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from the former owner, don’t know the name © 2012 by hs

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Eden Rose 85 © 2012 by hs

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I forgot the name © 2012 by hs

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The Fairy © 2012 by hs

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Heritage © 2012 by hs

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from the former owner, don’t know the name © 2012 by hs

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Millennium © 2012 by hs

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Souvenir de la Malmaison © 2012 by hs

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