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Farmer’s Wife—a Challenging Week 4


Okay. This week’s blocks pushed me a little!

First, “Birds In the Air.” The piecing wasn’t terribly challenging here, but all those tiny pieces and the insane amount of seam bulk on the back did cause problems for me. Even pressing seams open, my block isn’t lying totally flat and some of the seams are a bit wavy. Also, I wish I would have picked more contrasting fabrics. Note to self: Next week’s blocks should really pop!

Second, “Bouquet.” Definitely the toughest block I’ve tackled so far. Has anybody been rating the difficulty of these? Because I would love to know how this one stacks up. It really doesn’t look like it should be that hard, and there are plenty of blocks that appear to be much more complicated than this one! In the end, I think my block looks pretty good—corners are relatively lined up, nice straight seams, etc., right? Well, it better be, because this was the second one I did! The first one is so eye-searingly bad, for a variety of reasons, that I debated not posting it at all, but in the interest of keeping it real, I’ll go ahead and show you. Are you ready?

Yeah, I know, right? This has to be one of the worst things I’ve made in a long while. And I wish I could tell you what went wrong here so you could avoid it, but I have no idea myself! This block actually turned out too large, so I seriously debated just trimming it down, but the fabric choices are pretty poor also, so I decided to scrap it and just start over, LOL. The second time around, the block came together beautifully—no clue how or why it turned out so much better, but I’m not complaining!

Fortunately next week’s blocks look much easier. : ) Whew!

32 replies
  1. Melinda
    Melinda says:

    I love that first picture that shows all the blocks together. Your colors look so nice together!
    Yeah, I'm going to have to get a few more skills under the old belt before I tackle anything like FW or Dear Jane. It would be taking more than a second block to get mine anywhere near where it should be!

  2. Elizabeth D.
    Elizabeth D. says:

    Good for you, showing the warts and all – I'm thinking about redoing my bouquet eventually for the same problems you ran into. I really like the fabrics you used the second time around on the bouquet, though 🙂 I think your Birds in the Air looks so precise and fantastic, and FWIW, mine totally doesn't lay flat either. Talk about some bulky seams!!

  3. karenfae
    karenfae says:

    love the colors you are choosing. I didn't have trouble with that block in particular but with a couple others yes. I am hand piecing and I do these the same way as I did my two Dear Jane. I cut all outside edge pieces a little bigger than need be and then square up when I am done.

  4. stefanie
    stefanie says:

    I had a rough time with these as well, so I feel your pain! Love the second approach to your bouquet block… it really does need something that reads as a solid for the block to really shine.

    I'm loving your bright color selections. This is going to be insanely gorgeous!

  5. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Thanks for keeping it real, Lee. I smiled (in sympathy) at your first attempt. I really appreciate you putting it out there!

    felicityDOTquiltsATgmailDOTcom (IE7's most recent update doesn't play nicely with google profiles and embedded comments)

  6. Cindy
    Cindy says:

    Oh, don't be so hard on yourself. The fabrics you chose are beautiful. It's all a learning experience, so you'll pick up bits here and there and will continually improve. I think they're awfully pretty!

  7. Leila
    Leila says:

    I love it when people post their block mistakes. I think one of my favorite "Quilt Dad" posts is where he showed his first paper pieced Union Jack – not good. It is somehow endearing to know that other quilters out there aren't perfect either. 🙂

    The second bouquet is sooo sharp. Keep it up!

  8. a.niza
    a.niza says:

    when I first came across FWsampler quilt I thought the blocks are some what tamer than dear jane or nearly insane but still I'm contemplating on the FWQAL…looking at your blocks and how you've done it, I find that it's a great way to learn making different blocks. You may even have favourite block.

  9. pasqueflower
    pasqueflower says:

    Your second Bouquet block is amazing!! LOVE your color choices-especially the tiny turquoise check.

    I made a Birds in the Air block (several quilters each made a blue/white block for a gift quilt to an outgoing guild president)–once. Only once.
    My points were OK, and the block was square, but the backside bulk was a huge issue. I never saw the finished quilt. I pity whoever had to quilt it.

    LeAnn aka pasqueflower

  10. Laura
    Laura says:

    Ha ha! I don't feel so bad for skipping over blocks 7 and 8 and going on to 9 and 10! I just know I'm going to have as much fun with them as you did! So, I'm still looking at the pieces for BITA (BITA is a PITA?)and the templates for Bouquet as they sit on my sewing table…actually looking at the challenges you faced might help me because my pressing is usually a nightmare (I still tend to glide rather than press)! I've already done second blocks too because the first was a disaster. I now know where orphan blocks come from, LOL!

  11. Diane
    Diane says:

    Those are fantastic! 🙂 I love how well they all look together. I'm hoping I can resist the urge to start this qal, but each week it gets harder and harder as everyone posts their beautiful blocks! 🙂

  12. Sharon Pernes
    Sharon Pernes says:

    I'm up to Birds in the Air and have been putting it off. Can you tell me what the fi owned size of the small HSTs is? It would be much easier to use the HST ruler than the templates.
    Great job!


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