Tag Archives: FWQA

Friday Night Block Party: Country Farm

March 14th 2014

Hi there, this feels like my second Friday this week! Has that ever happened to you? Well it would be nice to have two

pinwheel block party

This week’s block was supposed to be Corn and Beans, block #21 from the Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt book.


Let me just confess and put it out there that I much rather work with triangles, trimming down from a larger unit, than working with such little shapes!


The level of frustration for me is a killjoy. I cut precisely, manage the seams and sew slowly and press after each seam and yet when it’s time to make the block. Disaster. So I just stopped and went on to the next block. I’ll have to finish that one later. Do you think I am giving up?  I find that walking away is the best thing to do and return to it fresh.

Here is the next block called Country Farm.


These triangles were less intimidating because they were a little larger, but I was skeptical. I was really proud to have a seam allowance from the triangles and not have to trim them off which is the norm for me because the blocks are always “wonky.”


I was generally pleased with the end result.  I decided to go to my jelly roll leftovers and pull out some different scraps.  This block is just sweet!

Do you angst over triangle units?

Friday Night Block Party: Butterfly at the Crossroads

January 10th 2014

Hi and welcome!  Here we are at another Friday Night Block Party!  This started out as just a way of getting familiar with different quilt blocks for “newbies” and how they got their name, maybe a little history.  But, I have to admit that at this party,  the dynamics are always changing.

pinwheel block party

First I found that finding the history behind the name or origin of a block is not as easy as it sounds and some blocks have several names even though they are exactly the same.

This week’s block is called Butterfly at the Crossroads and it’s block #14 in the Farmer’s Wife Quilt Sampler book.


Another adaptation to this party is that, instead of “re-inventing the wheel,” I decided to just follow the quilt blocks in this book and that’ll cover at least 111 of them!

This absolutely perfect block, like all her others, is from Pretty by hand.

And rather than fuss at the imperfections, perpetual frayed ends and mismatched corners on my blocks I will just say that “when I grow up, I want my blocks to look like hers,”  I am really just taking this FWQA as a learning experience,  doing the best I can and improving my techniques and precision. Oh, and using up the little scraps in my stash.


I was really pleasantly surprised at how this combination turned out. I chose orange because some of the fish are “goldfish” and I thought they would be drawn out.  But when I cut, I wasn’t paying attention to the fish!

Confession time now.  Is any one else bothered by the size thing? I know I mentioned it here.  I have to admit that the whole size thing is really getting on my nerves. I was perfectly content doing math in my head for the 4 cornered shapes but for the triangles on point I did use the templates because it was just easier.

 Yet, when I measured these pieces they are in between standard sizes even for rectangles and squares! Yep, I had to cut twice. Either use all templates or do the math.

I’ll have to live with it I guess.

Below is the perfect Buckwheat block, we did this one last week and after two unhappy attempts, I quit! I love how Krystine (from Pretty by Hand) incorporated white as the neutral in all her blocks. My plan (a miracle I have one) is to do white sashing, so I stayed away from white altogether!

And since the third time is the charm, here is my final version. I decided that I really don’t have to LOVE all the blocks. Sometimes stripes are a bad idea.


Let’s move on!

Friday Night Block Party: Broken Sugar Bowl & Buckwheat

January 3rd 2014

Happy New Year!!

pinwheel block party

 This time I am sharing two blocks: the Broken Sugar Bowl

broken sugar bowl #12

This looked a little complicated to me but it really came off without a hitch.  I am really sticking to using only scraps, it’s a great way to make different fabric combinations.


Time and again I find that if I really like the fabric I am more pleased with the result.

Case in point, Buckwheat.

buckwheat I thought this one looked easy enough and while it was cumbersome to put together, the pattern and color scheme was challenging. See I almost  made two.


But didn’t really like either combination.


Maybe I’ll have a true finished Buckwheat block next time.

Friday Night Block Party: Birds in the Air

November 22nd 2013

It’s the Friday before Thanksgiving, can you believe it? I am thankful to make new quilting blocks every week. It’s such a learning experience, practice makes better, I am not at “perfect” yet.

pinwheel block party

 The featured block today is #7 from the Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt book.  If you have joined our FWQA or felt inspired to pick up the task again, Susie from Susie’s Sunroom is doing it too and she has a Flickr group. Amanda The Patchsmith is also joining the fun, don’t miss her “Patchiqué” series!

book block 7 birds

This week is more of a tutorial style, this was a challenging one for me!  I thought it would be easy enough since cutting these tiny triangles with the templates was a piece of cake, I did 4 at a time.

scraps for FWQA

Here they are teeny, tiny triangles ready to sew.

birds in the air pieces

With right sides together, sew the triangles opposite of the “L” to make your half square triangles. I would have rather made them starting with squares, but I am working with scraps so this way worked out better for that reason.

birds Triangles RST

I set up all my triangles so I could chain piece them and not lose any.

HsT ready to sew

When those are sewn, press them to darker side, the template provides clean ends so you don’t have to trim.

birds press

Next I arranged all the pieces how they are supposed to go to figure out best sewing order.

birds pieces in place

I see this block has 4 units. For each unit, I sewed the smaller pieces vertically first. If you don’t like threads, this one is very thready with so many tiny pieces!  Don’t forget to press!

birds sew units

Next, I sew these pieces across.  As you can see “one of these things just doesn’t belong here.”  I have to say that with all the sewing this entails, I used the seam ripper more!

bird units one off

(Fix any mistakes you have) then sew the larger triangle pieces to each other. Then across and complete your block.  I had to trim these squares because they were skewed, but just a smidgen.

birds units

When all was said and done, I trimmed the final block to 6 1/2 inches.

birds in the air block #7

Let my just say that, after making this block, I had a “tightening in the chest” feeling as if I had spent the day in a classroom, full of third grade boys, the day after a full moon!

The good news is that the November giveaway is 2 charm packs from the Fat Quarter Shop. Just leave a comment or add your link below and show us your block. Any block will do just leave your name and the name of the block. You all are so talented we want to see!!

Thanks to our sponsors

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Friday Night Block Party: Basket Weave

October 25th 2013

I won’t tell you the kind of technical difficulties I’ve been having, maybe you have been seeing them live!!  Let’s try another block party this week and see how it goes!

pinwheel block party

We are continuing with the Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt blocks.

Although this one and this one were done out of order, we are now doing block #4.  It’s called Basket Weave, which is self explanatory.  Although I am not too keen on their color choice, interestingly enough, I am not the only one who thinks this block looks “unfriendly.”


So I played a little with the color placement to steer the eye to a different focus. Can you tell? It was easy enough to do, just make 4 rectangles in three different fabrics and sew together for a three strip unit, then arrange those to make the block.

Basket Weave

 I stayed with the same layout as the book but by using the loud red for the center strip in doesn’t quite emphasize that “other” shape!  Krystine over at Pretty by Hand did hers this way. (on the left)

and Amanda made these below, which compile the first four in the sampler.

 I’ll be pulling out my scraps again soon, to make another batch of FWQA blocks. I’m warning you though, it’s addictive!

Please feel free to link up with any and all that you’ve made. Any links or comments qualify you for a charm pack giveaway! And I’d love to see them.!!  And thanks to our sponsors!

FQ shop lordellinens etsy quilt taffy thimble blossoms