East Dakota Quilter

Still Farming

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You know that Farmer’s Wife quilt I abandoned in 2015? I started working on it again. Maybe it’s the pandemic, maybe it’s because I have a second daughter who is the intended recipient. Maybe it’s because the fabric pulls took too much shelf space. Whatever the reason, I have two new blocks to share.

11. Bea

I confess, I had a little fun with the name of this one, opting to go very literally with bees (Bea/bee). My three-year-old LOVES bees right now, and I thought: what better fabric to make a mask than the hoarded piece of Heather Ross bees?! But before I could decide which cuts to make for the mask, I had to be sure I had the right pieces for this quilt. I am nothing if not loyal, and that fabric was allocated in 2015!

If I had the block to do over again, I would do a better job varying the saturation and color of the background vs. the basket. Oh well. I can’t even say “live and learn” because I have made this mistake before and ignored all my instincts and past learnings when pulling the coordinating fabric. Maybe it’s a block only a mother could love.

95. Sylvia

I chose to work on this block next because of the imminence of el Día de los Muertos and Halloween. I went full-saturation with this one, too, but liked the effect much better.

Work Station

Since there are 99 blocks in this paper-pieced quilt (!!!), I decided it was worthwhile to acquire a few gadgets to make piecing the blocks faster.

First, I got a wool pressing mat. I love the ability to press seams at my sewing machine without standing at my ironing board each time. I will note that since the whole mat heats up, it’s best not to use steam because the use of steam results in a wet sewing table beneath the mat.

Second, I got a mini self-healing cutting mat, which I also love for saving me from walking to my cutting table after each seam.

Finally, I got a quarter inch seam ruler that helps me make perfect seams quickly and easily every time. I heard others recommend it and will add to their heaping praise. It makes a fussy cut quilt block that much easier to piece.

Will I finish my quilt this year? Or will I gift it to my newborn on her wedding day? Only time will tell!


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