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FWQAL - 105 to go!

June 13th, 2011

I’m up to six blocks on the Farmer’s Wife Quilt-a-Long! I feel like I’m on a roll. Actually, all I want to do is make blocks. We had Chinese food the other night, and I was so hoping my fortune cookie’s fortune was going to read, “You will soon travel to an all expenses paid FWQAL 2 week retreat in the French Alps with all your friends. No need to worry about cooking, working, yardwork, laundry… just have fun and sew, sew, sew“.   (apparently my fantasy fortune cookie fortunes are colossal)

There are things I learn with each block:
1. Use the templates and don’t rely on my math.  The Bat Wing block almost drove me Bat-S crazy - until I used the template and not my (air quotes) math (/air quotes).
Farmer's Wife Quilt-a-Long - Block 5

2.  Learn to STILL not rely on my math - and print out the templates.  For real this time.  I don’t know what I was thinking with Block 6’s math, and some how I goofed. But in keeping with the spirit of the Farmer’s Wives stories in the book (I heart them so), I decided the Farm Wife of the 1920’s would never, ever toss a goof block and used what she had.  Or improvised.  I’ve seen vintage quilts where the quiltmaker has pieced tiny, tiny, tiny pieces just to make one piece for a block - and all the more beautiful the quilt is.
Farmer's Wife Quilt-a-Long - Block 6

For anyone doing the FWQAL who like me hates to waste all the paper printing the templates, I have a somewhat solution by merging as many templates as possible onto one sheet of paper using Photoshop (CS5).  I can not help with Photoshop/give tech help - but… if you have Photoshop and know how to use it, here’s what I did:  I opened a pdf file in photoshop, and then opened a second file.  I dragged template 2 on to file 1… and so on and so forth.  The templates are active and respond like layers.  I saved that file as a PSD, and then printed it.  I’m sure there are other ways and solutions too, but that’s what worked best for me.

Posted in Quilty n Crafty |

35 Responses

  1. The fabulous pam allegedly said:

    I love the tiny blocks. Templates is the only thing that prevents me from doing it. Because UGH I HATE TEMPLATES. And I do love that kind of math.

    But what makes these mochi good is your fabric. Happy Mochi Yum Yum blocks.
    I ?? you and your mochi ways. xo

  2. The fabulous Karen allegedly said:

    I just started to make the farmers wife - 3 blocks done! there is a yahoo group that has all the blocks available in a foundation piecing arranging. One block of templates per one or two pages depending on how many pieces are in a block - if you want info let me know. I am hand piecing my blocks but using the foundation arrangement for print out to use the templates.

  3. The fabulous Billie K allegedly said:

    Loved the fabric you picked. I’ve only finished 8 and only 1 recently…grin.

    Billie in TX

  4. The fabulous Kristyne allegedly said:

    Your blocks look great, Monica! I love how you have white in every one. I’m wondering what you have planned for the sashing & posts - color wise. Do share, please?

    I’d wish my fortune cookie to say, “Your FW book is in your mailbox - RIGHT NOW. Quick, go get it!”. ;)

  5. The fabulous Camille allegedly said:

    These make me so happy! You were destined to be a farmer’s wife.

    BTW, same here. Could NOT get myself to print one template per page, so I put 7-8 of them on each page in photoshop and have been printing. I Only have up to 50 done, do you have any 50+? We could trade! Silly template designer…

  6. The fabulous CrafterBerly allegedly said:

    These look so great! Now I want to go buy a bunch of coordinating fabrics and start blocks. I wonder if I can catch up next week… :)

  7. The fabulous Debbie St. Germain allegedly said:

    Sounds like a good solution to printing patterns. I also use photoshop and I use it to enlarge too. If I want a pattern bigger, I just enlarge it and then cut it in half, print and then print the other half.


  8. The fabulous Marjorie allegedly said:

    I totally agree… never toss a “goof block” as it’s really called a “strategic redesign”.

  9. The fabulous audrey allegedly said:

    Love these!! I’m currently putting all the templates in order into photoshop so all the templates are in numerical order and easy to find. Waiting (impatiently) for my book to get here. Hoping to have down time at work to finish them tomorrow, will post them for all to print in the flickr group when they’re done.

  10. The fabulous Krista - Poppyprint allegedly said:

    Re: photoshop, I have no idea what you just said, but I’m sure it will be infinitely helpful to other FWQAL’ers who are equally mortified by printing out reams of paper. Here’s a little ditty my SIL (who works in pulp and paper) just added to her email signature, today in fact!: It’s OK to print this e-mail. Paper is a biodegradable, renewable, sustainable product made from trees. Growing and harvesting trees provides jobs for millions of people, and working forests are good for the environment, providing clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat and carbon storage.

    So, print away and keep my SIL in a job so she doesn’t have to move in with us!

  11. The fabulous Leslie Schmidt allegedly said:

    Ok, you lost me at open Photoshop. I have to rely on my son to do anything as complicated as that. But I am diggin’ your fab fabrics in your blocks. But then, I’m looking for bright happy quilts these days. The weather in MN leaves a lot to be desired these days.

  12. The fabulous Katy allegedly said:

    Damn fine blocks lady zombie.
    I am relying on a mix of math (for the blocks I know I can actually get a 6 1/2 ” block from…y’know, churn dash and stuff) and templates for those slightly trickier babies. Then for the super fancy schmancy stuff I’ll make a heap of 4 patches and pretend they’re the fancy blocks. I might even just draw a picture of a fancy block or glue on pieces so it looks kinda like the fancy block. You know you want to do it too….admit it.

  13. The fabulous DianeP allegedly said:

    Your blocks look perfect to me. With your Happy Mochi fabric, the prettiness of the fabric makes any errors automatically invisible!

    As we say in our quilting group, “At 300 feet on a galloping horse, no one will notice any mistakes.” ;-}

  14. The fabulous Heidee Hallam allegedly said:

    Hiya! The block looks gorgeous!

    Learning to applique in my sewing class last year, my attempt was almost a complete fail. Instead of making me start over, my teacher told me to continue and finish it. Others in the class left their pieces behind or put them in the scraps bin but I decided to keep mine. I have since then sewn together scraps to make borders for it turning it into a cheerful block. I hope to keep adding to it to create a lovely big messy and unique quilt. I reckon it’ll probably take me the rest of my life but I’m going to give it a good try! :oD

    Looking forward to seeing more of your creations!

    Hugs, H x

    ps. I have had no reply yet from the store about them getting your fabric in. I’ll let you know how I get on! :oD

  15. The fabulous randi allegedly said:

    these blocks are so fun! the snap of color is too fun!

  16. The fabulous Connie allegedly said:

    Hey, Mon, if you find that cookie, call me. Now, sew faster. Faster. You can do it! hee hee

  17. The fabulous Helen allegedly said:

    Your blocks are looking lovely. I’m sure I read somewhere that the Yahoo group for Farmer’s wife has the templates for each block on one (or two) pieces of paper rather than printing them all separately…may be worth a look as it could save time faffing on the computer which is more time for sewing!

  18. The fabulous Susanne allegedly said:

    These little blocks are so pretty and bright!

  19. The fabulous nanette allegedly said:

    Really really cute. How am I going to get to cut into my Happy Zombie fabric? I need the world to stop.

  20. The fabulous AnyoneCanQuilt allegedly said:

    Oh you are killing me with this post. I am thisclose to starting one of these…I just have so many partially made quilts around here and not enough time! Heeeellllpppp!!!!! Ah who cares…what’s one more project?! xoxomf

  21. The fabulous Karin allegedly said:

    Oh, my goodness! Monica- that is going to be gorgeous! I have to get that book and make this quilt. It’s a M.U.S.T. You are such an inspiration.

  22. The fabulous sarah @ fabric seeds allegedly said:

    I just ordered my book and can not wait to get started. I found your cute little button too and posted it on my blog. you always do such a good job. you might have to teach me one day…

  23. The fabulous Sarah @ allthingsthREaD allegedly said:

    I just got my book and am trying to decide what fabric to start with… decisions, decisions!

  24. The fabulous Sandie allegedly said:

    Okay, thats it! I’ve been brainwashed! Between you and the adorable Camille, and the wonderful blocks you’ve been posting, I give up! On my way to get the book, and joining in!

  25. The fabulous Amanda Elizabeth allegedly said:

    WHAT! Big Dipper 2.0 is ABSURDLY cute!!! Actually, both blocks are gorgeous, but heck! That is great!!!

    ps: I am the worst at math. It gives me the creeps.

  26. The fabulous angie allegedly said:

    Wow…your fabric looks great in these blocks…I feel another fabric purchase in my future! :)

  27. The fabulous sherry allegedly said:

    From what I see, your blocks look awesome! I just don’t do templates!

  28. The fabulous liveacolorfullife allegedly said:

    So your photoshop instructions made my eyes glaze over. I am supposed to be taking an online photoshop class which I paid big $$$ for, but am way behind, so spent even MORE $$$$ to have eternal access to the lessons.

    And I actually got a fortune cookie the other day that said I would experience material wealth. Of course I take that to literally mean “material” wealth. And BTW YOUR fabric looks awesome in the FW blocks!

  29. The fabulous Brooke allegedly said:

    How am I ever, EVER going to continue to resist the FWQAL when you keep posting those cute blocks? A fussy cut flower in the center of the block? You’re killing me here!!! I don’t have time for a huge undertaking, and what you’re doing here on this blog is slightly mean. :-)

  30. The fabulous Kristyne allegedly said:

    “What do we want?”

    Monica’s FW Week 4 blocks!

    “When do we want them?”

    NOW! ;)

  31. The fabulous KathiD allegedly said:

    I keep “getting ready” to make some of these blocks. I think I’m afraid to start because I never do pieces this small!

    But I’ve printed my templates and dragged out some scraps, and I can’t put it off much longer . . .

  32. The fabulous MarjavdN allegedly said:

    WOW! How different the Farmer’s Wife blocks look in modern fabric! I almost am ashamed to say I don’t like the civil war reproduction fabric this quilt is normally made of, so I thought this quilt was not for me… but now I see this… Hmmm, you almost convinced me to join. Have to think a little bit more about it. So much to to, so little time…

  33. The fabulous Amber allegedly said:

    Hi Monica!
    I love the Farmer’s wife quilt along - especially with your fabric! I was wondering, are all of the blocks made using templates, or just some of them? I’ve never done templates before and was wondering if it’s a difficult technique…I’d appreciate your feedback! Thanks a ton :)

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Hi Amber - Thanks for lovin’ on my fabric, that means so much to me! I’m not a fan of templates, and I don’t want to sway you with my dis-love of them… so I’m going to steer you to the Discussion at the Farmer’s Wife Quilt-a-Long flickr group. Even though I strongly dislike templates with a super passion - and I use a lot of savory language when I use templates… I still love being a part of the FWQAL. - Monica

  34. The fabulous Lyanna L. allegedly said:

    Hi there.

    I’ve seen the farmer’s quilt along all around the blogosphere…and ’til now I’ve resisted. Your blocks look so great! But how much fabric does it take for the entire quilt, do you know?

  35. The fabulous sharleen allegedly said:


    I just “found” you via your pattern in BHG. I just love the bubble runner. I’m thinking about doubling it in size and making a baby blanket. I’m not sure the fused dots could take all the washing that a baby quilt gets. Any ideas?


    Hi Sharleen!
    Glad you found me, and love that you love the bubble runner, and love even more that you want to make it your own and into a baby blanket. I have a table runner with fused appliqué pieces (I used Heat & Bond Lite and blanket stitched with embroidery floss just like in the bubble runner), and that bugger must have been laundered about 2 dozen times by now - and all the appliqué pieces are just fine. No fray, no fuss. Another favorite method of mine to do circle appliqué is this way:

    Happy circling!

Farting around with needle & thread and then blogging about it.

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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