Monday, January 14, 2013

Red and White Farmer's Wife Update [Paper-Piecing]

Hello.  Hello.
Happy Monday Everyone.
Hope you all had a nice weekend.  I've got some sick kids home from school today.  And I, myself, have been in my pajamas for 24 hours.  I was feeling a little worn down Friday afternoon and have been taking it easy ever since. 

I did happen to make some more headway on my Farmer's Wife quilt last week and thought I'd share my progress with you.  I've got 11 new blocks that I'm really excited about.  I really enjoyed making them this time around!  Imagine that :)

Maybe it's because I got to do some paper-piecing!?!  I heard about the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt Along Group on Yahoo.  You have to request to be a member but once approved you have access to paper-piecing patterns for all 111 blocks!  Have I told you how much I love paper-piecing?  I really was on-a-roll one day last week and busted out 6 PP blocks!  And I'm itching to do more!

 The blocks featured above are the ones I paper-pieced.  Some of them are quite easy and I probably would have been fine to use templates for them but you don't waste as much time cutting out each piece (you do waste more fabric this way though).

One new thing I tried with these blocks was using sandwich paper instead of regular printer paper.  It's so much thinner and easier on your needle.  And, you can print directly onto the sandwich paper.  I've printed out 9 patterns so far and haven't had a problem with it not feeding through my printer.  You just have to trim it down a little because it's a little bigger than your standard 8-1/2" x 11" paper.  You can buy a big box of the sandwich paper at Costco.

 This block below was probably the hardest of the bunch.  Not because it has tiny or intricate pieces but because it has slight Y-seams.  It was fine once I got over the shock that I still would have to do Y-seams even on paper-piecing.  But the lines on the paper show you exactly where to pivot.  And it all laid flat once I took an iron to it.

[#47 Homemaker]

[#65 Peaceful Hours]

[#77 Seasons]

[#66 Periwinkle]

 [#74 Ribbons]
[#59 Night and Day]

 The next four blocks I used the template method.

[#19 Checkerboard]

[#57 Morning - this one was a little trickier than it looks.]

[#49 Honeycomb]

 [#8 Bouquet - I like this block]

And for this block (below) I just used the half-square triangle method where you sew zig zags on two strips of fabric (RST) and then cut the zig zags apart.  Press open and trim to the correct size.  Don't know what that method is called...but it's a fast way to get lots of HST out of the same two fabrics.

[#87 Star Gardener]

I think I have about 54 blocks finished so far.  I know, it feels like I should be getting close to finished by now but I'm only about half way.  I'm starting to second guess my plan to make all 111 blocks.  Any thoughts?  I could probably use a little motivation right now.  I always need a little extra when I realize just how many I've made and how it's not even close to the 111 blocks in the book.

Oh well, I've got to focus on the positive and how much fun these last few blocks were to make!  I really want to get back in my sewing room and sew a few more!  The goal for the FWQ-Along that I'm in at work is to be finished in April so I really need to get my butt in gear and finish the last...fifty-seven.  Oh crap.  That's a lot.


Kelsey said...

These look amazing!!! You can definitely do all 111 :) I am going to have to check out that group - I've really wanted to make a FWQ but would much rather paper piece than use templates!

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

I love, love, love the blocks and the fabrics!

Feel better soon.

Christine M said...

I love that you are making your quilt in red and white. It is going to look fantastic Amber.

John'aLee said...

Love, love it. This quilt is going to be amazing all in reds and whites! Thanks for sharing!

Leslie's Itchin to be Stitchin said...

Very beautiful

Lesley said...

Your blocks are just stunning! Well done!

Carla said...

These are so gorgeous! I finally found mine. Does that count?

Jo Ann said...

red and white quilt are fantastic! Love your choices!

Susie at ProsperityStuff said...

Impressive! I love the red and white! Looks great! Paper piecing sounds like a great idea for precision, especially on the intricate blocks. Nice work.

Createology said...

Oh My Goodness...your FW quilt blocks are stunning. Your fabrics and colors are wonderful. I am amazed at how many you have completed. I am sewing some of these and have very few completed. You are inspiring me to get back to making some more FW blocks. I am new to quilting and paper piecing. You describe it as fairly easy so that is encouraging. Thank you sew very much. Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

Barbara @ Nähtante Quilts said...

Fabulous! My book is still on the shelf, I'm petting it now and then and want to make the block, but I can't muster the courage yet. :-)

Shelley said...

Your red and white blocks are really beautiful - your finished quilt will be stunning! I did a run through of the blocks you've posted and it seems to me you've done the more difficult blocks. You should be able to "fly" through some of the remaining blocks that break down into even units. Can't wait to see your finished flimsy.

Holli said...

Wow. Your blocks are so pretty! I love the red and white - your quilt is going to be amazing! Keep going!!

Cassie said...

Looking good, sis! Wow, you are one patient and skilled woman. I'd be messing those things up left and right! xx

Manuela said...

Your blocks are very beautiful.
Wonderful fabrics and colors.

Greetings from Germany, Manuela

Patty said...

I LOVE your red and white blocks. you are almost half way done!You say 57 more to do, but you have already done 54! WOW! I just wish I could find something I like as well as you have.

SM RE said...

Thank you so much for mentioning the yahoo group I got connected to them and was approved! I have been wanting to start this collection of blocks forever as I watch every one tackle either this one or dear Jane. Thanks again for sharing,your blocks are looking fantastic!

Colette said...

Love the red and white. You are doing wonderful. I only have a couple completed. I enjoy seeing everyone's progress and different color selections.

Lillian said...

Love your work!

Berglind Snæland said...

Your blocks look amazing. I've only once tried paper-piecing (without any knowledge how to), it was really fun to do but I blew so much fabric, when I folded it back it was to short :)

I love your red/white colors. I've been following your blog for a while, sorry I haven't made comments before :)

Good luck with the rest... and have fun!

Berglind (Iceland)

Laura said...

I love your red and white fabric. I've been waiting to be accepted into the yahoo group so I can get the paper piecing patterns. Do you know how long it takes to be accepted into the group? I've replied to her email, but still not in. I so love to paper piece and I really want to do Farmer's blocks. I even have the book. Thank you for sharing.

Amber said...


It was really fast for me to hear back. Like a day. Don't know how long it's been for you but maybe she's been out of town or something. Maybe you could shoot her another email and tell her what you told me. Good luck!


LindaLou said...

Love your blocks...they look so pretty in red and white! You're inspiring me to make one maybe in blue and white. Thanks for sharing.

Amber said...


Blue and white would be so pretty! You should definitely do that!


Lillian said...

I would love to make this , but the yahoo group has not added me
yet and i would love to do this by paper piecign

Audie-n-TX said...

I am just starting the Farmers Wife quilt and the hardest thing is to decide what fabrics to use. Do you have any idea how much fabric is needed for the blocks alone?

Heather D. said...

I know this is an old post so I hope you still see it. I am making plans to do a farmer's wife quilt soon, and I was wondering if you had any problems with the paper piecing patterns from the yahoo group? Did yours end up 6.5" unfinished? I had my husband test print one of the patterns for me today at work and it came out at 5.5". It might be a scaling issue but I have read of others having trouble with the patterns as well. Curious what your experience was.

Your blocks are really beautiful, by the way!

Amber Johnson said...


I didn't have any problems, they all turned out to finish at 6". As with the templates and the paper piecing patterns you just have to put "no scaling" on the print options. I'm sorry the test print didn't work out...not sure why that was. Overall I was very happy with the yahoo group paper piecing patterns. Hope you have better luck next time.

Thanks for your nice words about my quilt!
Happy quilting!

MomDea said...

I bought the book and got the cd... I wanted to paper piece my blocks by hand.... how and where can I get the paper piece patterns?

MomDea said...

I bought the book and got the cd... I wanted to paper piece my blocks by hand.... how and where can I get the paper piece patterns?