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Farmer’s Wife—Lessons Learned In Week 6


Didn’t I say I was going to stick with templating these blocks, rather than trying to piece them on my own? Didn’t I say that just last week?

Then along came the Broken Dishes block, resulting in unpleasant flashbacks to Birds In the Air. And I thought, no, I simply cannot and will not template another 32 triangles. So I pieced them like I usually do with HSTs. And you know what? Birds In the Air (templated) came together a lot better and more easily than Broken Dishes (not templated). My points just aren’t aligned as well as they could be in this most recent block. And I’m not sure my method resulted in much time savings anyway, since I still had to trim the HSTs.

So once again, I’m convinced that the templates really are the way to go. This block is a pain no matter which way you do it—I might as well do it the “real” way, right? In the future, I really will stick to templating. Cross my heart this time. No more short-cuts.

I used the templates on this week’s other block, Broken Sugar Bowl (what’s with all the broken things this week?), and I’m really happy with this one.

Here’s the thing (and it only took me 6 weeks to figure this out): When I use the templates, I’ve found that the vast majority of the work is in the cutting. These blocks generally don’t take more than 15 or 20 minutes to piece, once the cutting is done. Something I have to keep in mind when I’m tempted to get lazy about those darn templates.

20 replies
  1. stefanie
    stefanie says:

    Your blocks are looking really great. I have not used the templates since my first attempt at Block 1. I have been using a combination of paper-piecing and freestyle. Glad you are finding a method that works best for you.

  2. Melanie
    Melanie says:

    I completely agree about using the templates. In the end, I think my triangles look better when I use the templates, but they are a pain!

    Yours are beautiful! I love the colors you're using!

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    What's with all the broken things this week? The blocks in the book are in alphabetical order. 🙂
    BTW . . . either Marti Mitchell or EQ7 generated templates with "engineered" corners are even more FABULOUS for blocks that will come together well.

  4. Elizabeth D.
    Elizabeth D. says:

    I'm right there with you – the templates are a pain, but they do make sense in the end of things! I love how your blocks are looking, and I see more of that sketch fabric that I'm swooning over in your blocks – yum! I especially dig your Broken Sugar Bowl thing (and seriously, where did these names come from!).

  5. Megan
    Megan says:

    Your blocks look great! I'm actually enjoying the templates, just for a change. At least I'm not always second guessing my measurements like I usually do.

  6. Lee Heinrich
    Lee Heinrich says:

    Agreed! I so want to resist those darn templates just on principle, but really, my blocks always come together when I use them! <> anyways, your blocks look great!!

  7. LynCC
    LynCC says:

    Templates with engineered corners are marvelous, yep. All the broken things – maybe the Air Force moved you from Florida to Colorado? My poor friend is in the middle of unpacking the most disastrous move I've heard of. :/

  8. Leila
    Leila says:

    Love the Broken Dishes! I keep putting off starting this because I Hate templates. Well, I guess I have never used a template, but I sure am convinced that I hate them. 🙂

  9. Tiffany
    Tiffany says:

    Thanks for sharing your dos and don'ts with us… I'm taking mental notes as I plan to start this sometime in July or August 🙂

    Love the newest broken dishes block tho, the colors are fabulous together!

  10. QuiltyGirl
    QuiltyGirl says:

    I was determined to use the templates as well. Mostly to keep in the "spirit" of the FW. But then last night I wanted to squeak out just 1 more block and I didn't have the template ready. But it was the bowtie block, surely I could do that without the template. Um, or not. The bouquet block with funky angles turned out perfectly (using templates), and I had to take the bowtie block apart to redo it b/c it was so bad!

    Your blocks are so pretty! 🙂

  11. Live a Colorful Life
    Live a Colorful Life says:

    I totally get this. I was trying to "work" ahead for my Farmer's Wife Friday posts, and there was a block with rectangles. Rectangles don't need to be templated do they? Um, yes they do. Because one of the measurements was kind of funky. After trying to figure out the problem (thinking it was the triangles) and tearing it apart (twice!!), I am now remaking the whole block. With templates.

  12. Carla
    Carla says:

    I've been using the templates from the beginning. I knew it was going to be more work but it would be worth it at the end. So far so good and since there really is not time line on completion, templates are the way to go.


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