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Blocks 33, 34, & 35 (Postage Stamp, Scrappy Maple, & Scrappy Strawberry) - Farm Girl Vintage Quilt & Featherweight Shop Sew Along
by April Henry
Farm Girl Vintage Sew Along
Hello! And, how has your summer been? Ours has been flying by... especially since we had such a late spring, the extremely warm summer weather is now suddenly upon us! Thankfully, the warmer weather outside affords us time to cool off inside all the while being productive by continuing to sew our Farm Girl Vintage blocks. I've been able to do quite a bit of cutting ahead and it feels great to just sew the next block because it's all set and ready. And, it makes me feel like we are approaching the finish line faster, too. So, let's head straight into it and get started...
Psssst! If you're just joining us and want to get in on the fun with a darling and perfect collage of farm girl fabric, then check out the Farm Girl Vintage Quilt Kit. (There are just a couple left!) You'll have all the lovely fabrics you need to make this quilt from start to finish. You can get the book here, too!
Open your book to page 57 for this month, grab more fabric scraps, get it prepared and cut, and let's enjoy some more Featherweight sewing! Complete your blocks following along with the pattern, paying attention to a several tips in the photos below. Make sure to press your block seams open (when you can), being careful to be as exact with your cutting and alignments as possible.
Postage Stamp Block 33
I've been eyeing this block for months, probably because it looks like a miniature scrappy quilt. When I first began collecting antique quilts the postage stamp quilts always seemed to catch my eye. Number one, the pieces are generally small (hence the name, "postage stamp"); number two, the colors and prints can be from any and every style of cotton fabrics; and number three, arrangement can be a color wash, blending from one to another, or even scrappy all-over -- all block styles look beautiful! So, if you ever wanted to use this small block as your springboard for recreating a vintage style postage-stamp quilt, you surely could. Plus, this block basically gives you permission to cherish and save the smallest of scraps, particularly if you're stashing some hard-to-find fabrics.
I was probably too giddy with excitement to play with all the pretty fabric pieces, because I am seeing now that I did not take very many photos of block layout or actual sewing. However, I did manage to capture one picture of the back of the block after pressing. This photo helps to impress upon (pun intended) the importance of pressing seams open, particularly for a block with so many pieces.
If being scrappy is a challenge for those who prefer symmetry, then use Lori's block image in the book for color reference. Count how many yellows, oranges, reds, blues, browns, greens, and greys she uses and select your pieces similarly. If you find a color you prefer over another (purple, anyone?), then intermix those in proportionately... and, voila, you have a mathematical formula to bring reason to the scrappy chaos.
Scrappy Maple Block 34
I decided for this block that I liked Lori's color coordination and selected my fabrics to match. Wendy, our office manager, was especially creative and created a more realistic maple leaf color with various shades of orange. Even as I type, I think how pretty it would be to select oranges and reds to emulate the Autumn Flame Maple Tree leaf. So, definitely have fun as you select your fabrics!
I like to lay out all my pieces first, making sure I have an accurate count of all that I need before continuing on to sewing and construction of the block.
When sewing corners or half-square triangles (aka: HSTs) You can either draw a line and sew corner to corner on the line, or you can skip that step and use the Creative Grids Corner Clipper ruler. It sure saves a lot of time for me, and when I have to go slow anyway, every time saver helps! Just be sure to measure twice, cut once, and cut along the correct edge.
Click here for instructions on how to set your Featherweight Accurate Seam guide in the proper place. Then, attach the original presser foot, align the fabric pieces against the edge of the guide, and enjoy quarter inch seams that match perfectly! Chain-piecing helps speed up the construction process, too.
This time I decided to press the seams to the dark side of the fabric and utilize the Loc-Bloc ruler for squaring up each unit. The channel for the seam really does glide along and lock the seam in place so you have a flatter surface with which to hold your ruler and trim any excess. I keep the Loc-Bloc Ruler set handy for any size square I might need.
Laying out the pieces as I sew them helps to see if the units are measuring and sewing accurately... and gets me excited about it coming together!
More chain piecing... Notice the "leader" triangle at the beginning of the chain in the photo above? Followed by an "ender" in the photo below? These leaders and enders help to conserve thread and prevent any loops of thread at the beginning and ending of a seam.
You can then use then leaders and enders to create more HSTs for a later scrappy quilt block... nothing goes to waste!
Scrappy Strawberry - Block 35
Ruthie was my inspiration for the scrappy strawberry block. Ever since she was small, in early summer she could be found in grandma's strawberry patch eating strawberries. It was no surprise then, when Ruthie constructed her scrappy strawberry block a couple of months ago, that she was excited to create a color wash effect to represent a partially ripened strawberry.
I followed her lead when creating my Scrappy Strawberry block, too. She even helped me select various fabrics and prints. After all, she knows her strawberries!
See how the red colored pieces gradually fade or wash to a lighter and lighter pink?
Ruthie, age 17 months, showing off the strawberry she had found in grandma's strawberry patch (just before she popped it in her mouth).
Lou, Shari and Wendy in photo above. Lou was showing us another piecing trick up her sleeve... a unique way of sewing a 9-patch (she is always the crack-up!).
Wendy Jo and Lori finding as many green and red pieces for their strawberry blocks. We even went fabric "dumpster-diving" to resurrect some large enough scraps. That was so much fun!
Wendy Jo has been enjoying this new quilting process and is coming up with all sorts of creative ideas! She indicated that the large cherry block will be used to make a handy storage bag for her Cherry Pitter appliance, which has a lot of pieces that need contained. The blue background is made from fabric she already had on hand and will add a wonderful touch to the Farm Girl Vintage themed quilt.
Wendy loves leaves, especially fabric with leaves on them. And, after everyone saw her fall leaf block we all were inspired to make one to match. Notice the word "leaves" in her center square? Such a cute fussy cut!
Wendalyn is our inventory organizer and I should have taken a picture of her notes for how she meticulously selected and placed her block pieces. It's no wonder she is the shop organizer! Her block turned out beautifully and looks like an old-fashioned patchwork quilt. We love having her be a part of this Farm Girl Vintage sew along, too!
She even organizes her pins!
What about you!? What colors have you put together this month for your Farm Girl Vintage blocks? Let us know and feel free to post pictures in the comments below. Or join us on the Facebook group to share and enjoy more Featherweight Fellowship online!
Until next month's Featherweight Farm Girl Vintage Quilt Sew Along...
NOTE: We will continue sewing three blocks until we finish the Farm Girl Vintage Sew Along. Thus, we will feature Block 36 Simple Star, Block 37 Spring Star, and Block 38 Summer Star next. Pace yourself knowing we've been working on these together!