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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Farmer’s wife: Homemaker

Homemaker

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

Truely the most trying block so far! I complained a little about Spider Legs and Wood Lily, but that was nothing in comparison to this: the dreaded inset seams.

I expected it to get hard, and I needed six or seven attempts for the last four seams. It is not perfect, but it is the farthest from the bad result I expected. So I am actually quite happy with it.

I like to be challenged sometimes when sewing more difficult patterns, but I can only really enjoy it when I finally manage to do it right and can hold in my hands a block that is worth looking at.

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Farmer’s wife: Homeward Bound

I simply love this pattern! When looking at “simple” and yet effective patterns like this one, I always ask myself ‘Why can’t I think up something like that?’

The other day, I came across this equation: Modern Art = I could do that + Yeah, but you didn’t. I think that’s as funny as it’s true. Homeward Bound definitely is such a block of Modern Art.

Homeward Bound

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

It is one of the few blocks I didn’t paper piece—no need to, on such solid grounds as squares and a few rectangles only. The most trying part was fussy cutting the four big squares.

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Farmer’s wife: Honeycomb

Honeycomb is one of the fresh looking patterns, although in fact it is very old already. I find it very interesting because you can easily achieve a hexagonal structure without actually sewing hexagons. I “cheated” even more when sewing the green triangles in the centre where I left out one seam. Again, this is a pattern I would love to see a whole a quilt of.

Honeycomb

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

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Farmer’s wife: Honey’s Choice

When planning Honey’s Choice, I soon found that I would not go with Laurie’s example and have only two different colours. In fact, every block I saw with three or more different prints was more satisfying than the original. The question that remained was, am I gonna use three different colours or even more, maybe do the four pinwheels each in a different colour. I found one example for this last option, but it still looked too “tame” for me. Then I came across an example where each pinwheel consisted of four different prints (plus background), and I liked this idea very well.

Honey’s Choice

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

Is it too confused now?

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Farmer’s wife: Hovering Hawks and Hovering Birds

I am posting these two blocks together for the obvious reason that they are very, very similar. Almost twins. Plus their names are so similar that one directly succeeds the other in Laurie Hird’s book.

Hovering Hawks

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

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Hovering Birds

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

The two blocks are an excellent illustration of how different a block can look when using different colours or hues. Okay, the colours in my example are rather too similar—dark and light hues used for the same pieces—but I still hope that you’ll get my meaning.

There is also a Hovering Hawks block in Barbara Brackman’s Civil War Sampler—a quilt consisting of 50 blocks, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in 2011—that is looking slightly different. In fact, there are a number of blocks that appear in both samplers but that is only natural, since a sampler is always a compilation of patterns that are known already in other contexts.

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Farmer’s wife: Jackknife

Jackknife

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

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Farmer’s wife: Kitchen Woodbox

What a great, simple pattern! Please excuse my exuberance for such a plain block.

It is the first block I could paper piece as a whole. No need to cut tiny shapes, pin, sew, undo, pin again, and so on … Just four prints, in simple shapes, seams meeting exactly on point, wonderful! I think this block makes a great impression with little effort.

Kitchen Woodbox

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

I especially like the fussy cut centre. That’s from the print I decided not to like after sewing Sawtooth. And now I only resort to it when I want a fussy cut, ornamental piece. Like the trunk of my Pine Tree, and a very small clipping in my Postage Stamp block.

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Farmer’s wife: Linoleum

I found a safe use of my stripe print in this pattern. Hopefully, there are more to come because I really like it. But after my big error when using it for Pine Tree, I am determined to not pick it anymore for triangular pieces. I successfully used it in the Silver Lane block, at exactly the same spot as in Linoleum, and in Spool. The stripe print makes one other appearance, which I am not too happy about, in Strawberry Basket, but I can live with it there.

Linoleum

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

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Farmer’s wife: Maple Leaf

Maple Leaf is one of the very few patterns I already new before starting the Farmer’s Wife quilt. So I guess it is very common, very popular, and very traditional, though many or all of the patterns of this sampler might be really “old”.

But I think some of the Farmer’s Wife patterns look more traditional than others. Maple Leaf, for example, looks much more traditional than Ozark Maple Leaf.

Sometimes, I do a little research on some of the blocks’ names, and I am often surprised that a pattern is very old, but looks so very new. I would never have thought that the Prairie Queen pattern, or the Pine Tree pattern were so very old, known in the 19th century already!

Maple Leaf

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

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Farmer’s wife: Morning

Morning

© 2012 by Heike Scharmann

This was one of the more trying patterns of this sampler. Similar to Weathervane—in difficulty and construction. These are twin blocks, only differing in the use of colours. I took the same shortcut when sewing the four “rays” pointing to the corners as I did in the Weathervane block. Funny how different they look merely by shifting the stress to some other pieces by using lighter or darker colours.

“Arise!  Arise!  Come see the morning star.”

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