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Preparations for Sashing, Borders & More - Farm Girl Vintage Quilt & Featherweight Shop Sew Along
by April Henry

Farm Girl Vintage Sew Along

This post took lots of turns.  And, when you're a slow sewist like me... well, that doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room for getting extra sewing finished.  Nevertheless, I was determined to accomplish as much as possible.  After much discussion and deliberation (and persuasion from Ruthie), I decided that my quilt will have 64 blocks rather than the original 48.  No worries... you can continue as planned, but there were just so many blocks I wanted to add, it was extremely difficult to pick and choose.  Thus, it was easier to make the quilt larger and have the freedom to select more blocks.  Honestly, even being limited to only 16 more felt daunting, because I like so many!  And, then there are a few bonus blocks from other designers that I couldn't live without either.  Decisions, decisions!

Psssst! If you're just joining us and want to get in on the fun check out the Farm Girl Vintage fabric and accessories collection here. You can get the books here, too!


So, while we will delay the actual finish until another month, I still have lots of eye candy and helpful tips to hopefully inspire and encourage you.  Follow along with these last tidbits before we sew our quilt tops together. 

Snow finally arrived and it's always so exciting for our snow-loving family.  Christian and Ruthie both like to ski, along with Carmon.  So, while they're off playing in the winter wonderland, I get to enjoy it from the coziness of our living room window and sew and sew and sew.

Back in November I managed to precut all 16 additional blocks that I had planned to add to the quilt.  What a time-saver it was to lay out all my pieces a month or so later and have them all sorted with Lori Holt's Sew Handy Stickers.  I love these things!  There were a couple of blocks I had forgotten to mark this way, and it was rather delaying to have to stop and remeasure so many tiny pieces to make sure I was sewing with the right ones.

Carmon's mom has always been known for her homemade strawberry jam.  It seemed appropriate then to make this jam jar block to represent her influence and the sweet spread the Henry family has all enjoyed on her homemade bread and toast.

More super convenient Sew Handy Stickers -- my delight each time I pulled out another block to sew!

Now, this block has a story, too.  We've never had pigs, and our extended family has never had pigs.  In fact, the only exposure to pigs we've ever known were from the animated films of Charlotte's Web and Babe.  (Well, we have a couple of friends that have had them, but that doesn't count here.)  So, my pig story begins about three decades ago when I was 15-years-old.  I took my first job as a clerk at M.H. King & Co, officially called "King's".  It was a Woolworth-like dime store that would often get gift items, trinkets and occasionally a real goody that had timeless collect-ability.  As a part-time store clerk, working 5pm - 9pm a few evenings after school each week, I had the privilege of stocking the new inventory, pricing and setting up end cap displays.  Sometimes this meant getting first dibs on the cute stuff!  When these floral pink piggy banks came in the store, and I was assigned to put them out on the shelf to sell, I immediately decided that I was going to set one aside to purchase.  They reminded me so much of the old-fashioned piggy banks with the sweet face and pretty little roses!  I saved my pennies (literally) and change for many years, but I also knew that I was going to save the piggy bank for a little girl I hoped to have one day.  A couple of decades later, and at about 2-years-old, I placed it in Ruthie's room where she could begin counting her own pennies.  She has only ever known this as her pretty pink piggy bank.  So, this pig block represents our piggy bank!

Speaking of being 15-years-old.  Ruthie just turned 16-years-old this month, too!  That's her on the right when she was just two, holding one of her grandma's strawberries.  {These Josef Originals collectible figurines have been given to her one by one with each birthday since she turned 1.  Age 16 is the final one of the series... It was a special day to present her with the very last figurine.  It's so amazing to imagine that I was her age when I thought ahead to save a little pink piggy bank for my future daughter.}

For the past several years for Ruthie's birthday, I have made her a lemon cheesecake with raspberry sauce and displayed it on a Jadeite green cake plate.  We've collected Fire-King jadeite for years, so this block represents something our family has always known as our everyday dishes.  This block is actually a free pattern tutorial from Lori Holt, which includes a free cutting sheet here.  UPDATE: There is an error in how I sewed the plate stand together, so I will be fixing it before sewing all the blocks together. 

After I finished sewing the 64th block for my quilt, I laid all the blocks out on the floor to see what two years worth of sewing looked like.  I loved how the colors came together!

This church pattern, featuring a traditional Christian cross steeple, is from the Burlap & Blossom designer.  It measures 6 1/2 inches, and I am really excited to be incorporating it into our quilt, too.  I'll probably end up making two church blocks like this, one for this quilt and another for when I sew the Vintage Christmas quilt.

Tulips have always been a favorite of mine; I even wrote a year-end report on the particular bulb when I was in Junior HIgh.  However, with their acronym significance during the Reformation, they have become especially precious to our family as we remember our true nature before God and the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  

If you are a member of the Bee in My Bonnet Facebook group, you may recognize these two blocks as I finished them earlier this month.  The Corn & Tomatoes block is by Lori Holt, but it was her original pattern design before the book published, which included 94 pieces!  When she added the pattern to the book, it was simplified for easier block construction.  I just couldn't help myself with those individual corn kernels - our family loves corn on the cob, so it was a fun challenge to sew.  

Updated pattern from Farm Girl Vintage 2

The truck represents Carm's dad's truck, a turquoise and white 1968 Ford Ranger, bought new off the lot with as many bells and whistles as he could afford back then.  Papa used it all these many decades:  helping us move a few times, taking trash and foliage to the dump, hauling his tractor trailer, going to auctions and so many, many wonderful memories - both for us and the grandchildren.  Because the truck was purchased the same year Carm's brother was born, it was handed down to him this past year, and together with Papa, they fully restored it.

Back in 1996, my in-laws used to have Simmental cows and as a mostly small-town city girl, the cows fascinated me by their size and color! I wanted to pet one so badly, but their massive size and strength gave me great fear. (They were scared of me, too, and wouldn't let me near them.) Anyway, while I don't know the first thing about raising cattle, I still have a small personal connection to this breed and had to include a block in the Farm Girl Vintage quilt.

Embroidery French knots for eyes and nose

The apron I sewed earlier this summer at the Featherweight Maintenance & Lori Holt Retreat.  I edited the block pattern design slightly because I wanted the apron to look like it was tied in the back.


The "antique blue" canning jar is another external block pattern that I have included from designer, Ellis & Higgs.  My mom has always enjoyed collecting vintage things and I remember her making use of old blue canning jars for decor and usefulness.  Ruthie now collects them, too.

The puppy dog is fashioned after our little Cocker Spaniel, Bell, and the pink Dahlia reminded me of the flowers I picked as a little girl.

Phone and Globe Block Patterns are from the Spelling Bee Book by Lori Holt.

About 20 years ago, a local antique restorer specialized in making the old heavy black desk phones usable with new technology phone jacks.  He restored one for me and I used it for a long time... at least until "new technology" jacks had become obsolete to cell phones.  Now, we just have it on display (but I still like it ...and the ring... oh, how I love the sound of that old-fashioned telephone ring!)

Our family enjoys traveling and it seemed perfect to add a globe block to the quilt.

An embroidery running stitch is required for a few blocks, but with the Lori Holt Aurifloss, all the colors coordinate and the thread is kept so tidy on each individual wooden spool.


I'm ready for sewing it together now... finally!  All the cornerstones are cut as well as all the sashing and border pieces.  The only thing I am still deliberating is the outside border.  I'm seriously considering scallops, so I have been scouring the internet for Farm Girl Vintage quilts with a scalloped border. 

This one is my favorite.  Isn't it so pretty?!  I couldn't find an original source, so if this is your quilt or you know whose quilt it is, please let me know right away, so that I can give proper photo credit.  It's BEAUTIFUL and the scallop border is perfect!

Having all the pieces cut and prepared makes me so excited!

What about you!?  Are you adding more or different blocks to your Farm Girl Vintage quilt?   Let us know how they represent you 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 Featherweight Farm Girl Vintage Quilt Sew Along...

Let's sew the quilt top together and check back for the next Farm Girl Vintage post!