Thursday, June 30, 2011

The French General and the Farmer's Wife . . . .

Doesn't that sound like the title of a bodice ripper romance novel, or at the very least a bad made for TV movie on Lifetime? I can hear the promo now, "It's an age old story of intrigue, drama, deceit and unrequited love, the French General and the Farmer's Wife".

Well I'm sure there will be some drama, time will tell on the rest of the story, but here's the real skinny on this story, I've decided to join a little sew along, me and 300 of my nearest and dearest friends.

Angela at Fussy Cut
decided to organize a sew along for the sampler quilt, The Farmer's Wife, by Laurie Aaron Hird.

I've looked at this book and the Dear Jane sampler book several times and always thought the same thing, that would be a fun project . . . . sometime. Well it looks like my sometime is here. Seeing all the adorable blocks pop up on other folks blogs really piqued my interest. It was all the fun and colorful fabrics that appealed to me the most, that and the fact that the sew along is for only two blocks a week. Two blocks a week for a year that is! But I'm not going to worry about that today, all I need to think about today is two blocks a week. I'm getting a late start, this is already week 5!

One of the reasons I'm getting a late start is I could not decide on my fabric. (I told you, this story has drama, fabric drama.) At first I was just going to use whatever fabric I had in my scrap box, but my scraps are mainly red and cream, and that wouldn't make a very interesting Farmer's Wife. Then I decided I would just go with some of my Civil War reproduction fabrics. I thought that would look good, and that was sort of the plan I always had in the back of mind when I contemplated starting this project, but the thing that really pushed me to join the sew along were the modern looking, colorful blocks. Sherri's blocks at A Quilting Life were my absolute favorites. So I decided to try something different, something I've not seen yet, I'm going with my French General fabrics. (shocking I know, me making a quilt using FG fabrics, this will be number 7!) There are enough lines out now that I think I will have enough variety to make an interesting top.

So I've finished the first 6 blocks. I started with Block Number One and plan to make my blocks sequentially. (Of course I am, who wouldn't start with block one, then go to block two, then three, isn't that just the only way to go!!)

Those are all Kaari Meng's French General fabrics for Moda, can you believe it? Some Maison de Garance, Pom Pom de Paris, Rural Jardin, Rounneries, and Fa La La La La. My plan is to use Turkey Red as my sashing and have a little red in each block. (Yes, I know, that basket needs a handle!!)

It's hard to tell from this picture, but my blocks finish at 4 inches, the normal finish size is 6 inches. Because making 111 quilt blocks over the course of a year was not enough of a challenge for me, no I wanted to work on my math skills along the way! Truthfully, the 6 inch blocks make a king size quilt, and I don't want a king size Farmer's Wife quilt, and I don't want to omit any blocks, so I decided to just make mine smaller. Some of the blocks have several pieces so it will be interesting to see how it all works out in the end.

I'm not sure I'm going to stick with the 2 blocks a week plan, I may just pick a day a month and make as many as I can in that one day.

This is my French General scrap drawer, and the fabric I'm using for my blocks. I don't want to drag this drawer out and go through it every week, once a month sounds better, or maybe twice a month so I can get caught up.

I made my first 6 blocks on Tuesday, while Cooper was at doggy daycare and I had the house to myself. No more blocks for me until next month, which technically is Friday! Several folks have blogged about these blocks being addictive, I could not agree more!
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  1. I would be guilty of the same thing....once I get started, I want to forget the world and keep going! I'm dieing to do this quilt, but I have my Civil War Tribute to finish! LOL

  2. Beware! These are addictive!! :-) I started my FW before the quilt-along (is it cheating to join now!? :-D) and I've got 71 blocks finished!! Whoohoo!! :-D I'm using the EQ companion software to make rotary cutting, etc. easier. If you need measurements for the blocks at 4" let me know!! (You didn't say how you were scaling them down.) I wish I'd thought of doing them smaller!
    Mary Lou

  3. Those blocks are addictive. I'm on the home stretch - only about 10 to go, and I already am thinking of starting it again, but will probably go with Dear Jane or Sylvia's Bridal quilt. You just can't stop loving those little blocks.

  4. So much temptation! I would love to do these along with all of you...but...I have Civil War Love Letter and Dear Jane started! YIKES! Love your blocks so far.

  5. I don't have this book but have started making 6"blocks from another book because I was so intriqued with this quilt.Love your blocks so far.

  6. Very exciting new project! Love that you are resizing every sure do love a challenge!

  7. I know for certain that your quilt is going to be spectactular in FG fabrics! I am looking forward to following your progress. I will have to admit that I just got the book and am contemplating joining in even though I have way too many projects going on right now.

  8. "Tomorrow I'll think of someway ... after all, tomorrow is another day."

    Thelma, Scarlett, the French General and the Farmer's Wife - a Force to be Reckoned With, for sure

    4 inch blocks - sheesh!!!

  9. Oh Thelma your blocks are going to be gorgeous!!
    Good thing you're excellent at the math because those little stinkers are going to be fun at 4"
    The French General are some of my absolute favorites so I'm going to be looking forward with eager anticipation to seeing the finished quilt!!

  10. Good luck with this, Thelma! I started Farmer's Wife a couple of years ago, ended up getting really annoyed with the templates, and substituting some other nice 6" blocks for the ones that were too challenging. I'll be eager to see your progress; I love French General fabrics.

  11. Your blocks are adorable, of course! How could they not be? This will be a beautifully intricate quilt when finished. Like someone else said - 4 inch blocks, sheesh!

  12. Such a beautiful choice of fabrics for a theme! And I like your one day a month plan. I need to do that with my Dear Jane and maybe make better progress.

  13. Augh, you temptress!! I'm already in a SAL with hexagons, and I've started a "Dear Jane" quilt. I can't possibly do another, but I have that book and it's calling me...

  14. I was hoping you would join in! I always enjoy seeing your version of patterns. This will be so beautiful in FG fabrics for sure. I decided to raid my Blackbird Designs fabrics and I am liking it so far:) I have completed 11 blocks and they are so fun. Have fun!

  15. A local quilt store is doing this as a BOM using paper piecing rather than dealing with the templates, in both 4" and 6" blocks. I'm doing the 6" because I liked the idea of a king size quilt. I'm about half way done...they are fun to make!

  16. Christine ThomasJune 30, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    My mother is getting her Farmer's Wife back from the quilter this week. I can hardly wait to see it. I've been wanting to do a sew-along for awhile, too. I will look forward to your updates whenever you do them.

  17. Oh my gosh, we must be related! I, too, have been trying to decide on which fabrics to use. I was going to use just my scraps, but loved the modern look a lot of the folks are doing. I decided to use various French General fabrics from various collections! I guess great minds think alike.

    BTW, it DOES sound like a bodice ripper...

  18. I have some Rural Jardin scraps if you are interested. They are left over chunks from a jelly roll. Maybe 4 inch bits? I'm not much of a scrap saver/user.

  19. Thelma, I've been working on my Farmer's Wife through Primitive Gatherings' block of the month. It's Civil War-type fabric, and I just love it.

    Angela is one of my real life quilting buddies. Her style has really capitvated me, but I'm not ready to branch out into funky just yet. It'll have to grow on me a bit more!

    Looking forward to seeing your progress with this quilt. As usual, I'm sure it will be stunning.

  20. this is going to be beautiful and different! good for you, I like the idea of one day a month you work on the blocks, hmmm let me know which day , maybe i need to do the same! I love little blocks.

  21. Perfect blog post title...and perfect fabrics for this quilt along!

  22. Holy cow - I think this is the most beautiful version of the FW quilt I have seen. Look how pretty all those FG fabrics look together. I can't wait to see more!


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