Saturday, January 17, 2015

Modernizing the FWQ: Episode 8

Using Individual 6 Inch Blocks

Some people who want to modernize the Farmer's Wife Quilt may already have some intricate 6 inch blocks that they don't want to repeat.  I have two ways to share with you today which use individual 6 inch blocks to make a 12 inch finished block.

The first way is to combine blocks.  I used one six inch block, and enlarged another to create a pieced border around it.   I chose blocks to enlarge that naturally had a simple six inch center when finished at 12 inches.  I have altered some of the outer sections of these blocks to use only squares and HST sections. It used more pieces, but made things easier for me.  :)

 I will be sharing the sizes for rotary cutting the large blocks that I made.  For more information (and cool letters) refer to the original FWQ book by Laurie Hird.

The first combines FWQ blocks #100 Weathervane with #29 Economy Block
  • Dark Purple:  four 4 inch* squares; four 2.5 inch** squares
  • Light Purple: one 2.5 inch square; four 1.5 inch squares; four 2 inch* squares
  • Background: four 4 inch* squares; four 3.5 inch squares; twelve 1.5 inch** squares; four 2 inch* squares

The second combines FWQ blocks #69 Practical Orchard with #31 Evening Star
  • Dark Blue:  one 3.5 inch*** square; four 2.5 inch squares
  • Light Blue:   four 4 inch* squares
  • Background:  four 4 inch* squares; four 3.5 inch squares; one more 3.5 inch*** square; four 2.5 inch squares

The third combines FWQ blocks #9 Box with #103 Whirlwind
  • Dark Green: four 4 inch* squares; four 3.5 inch squares
  • Light Green: four 3 inch* squares; one 2.5 inch square
  • Background: four 4 inch* squares; four 3 inch* squares

The fourth combines FWQ blocks #41 Friendship Star with #15 Buzzard's Roost
  • Dark Pink:  two 3 inch* squares; one 2.5 inch square
  • Light Pink: six 4 inch* squares
  • Background: six 4 inch* squares; two 3 inch* squares; four 2.5 inch squares

The second method for using individual 6 inch blocks is to combine four separate blocks.  Once combined they can make one 12 inch finished block.  

This fifth block (a bonus) combines FWQ blocks #2 Autumn Tint, #10 Bowtie, #20 Churn Dash, and #111 Wrench.  
  • Dark Purple:  six 2 inch** squares
  • Light Purple:  four 3.5 inch squares
  • Dark Pink:  four 3 inch* squares; four 1.5 x 2.5 inch rectangles
  • Light Pink: four 1.5 x 2.5 inch rectangles
  • Background:  two 3.5 inch squares; four 3 inch* squares; two 2.5 inch squares; four 2 inch squares; eight 1.5 x 2.5 inch rectangles

*All of the 4, 3, and (some) 2 inch cut squares are used to make HST blocks with this method.  (Tutorial by Jeni of In Color Order.)

**I used 1.5 inch squares to "snowball" two of the corners of the 2.5 inch purple squares in the Weathervane block.  I also used four 2 inch squares to snowball the 3.5 inch squares when making the Bowtie block.  This tutorial explains how to snowball the corners.

***I used the two 3.5 inch squares to make the 2 inch finished hourglass block in the center.  It makes two blocks, but I only used one.  I used this method to make the hourglass blocks.  (Tutorial by Red Pepper Quilts.)

Tip:  Because I used HST blocks instead of flying geese, I pressed half of the triangles to the dark and half to the light.  This helped me get better points.

After making the six inch blocks for these blocks, I was very grateful I decided to enlarge so many of the simpler blocks in the original quilt!  ;)

Click on the Modernizing the Farmer's Wife Quilt series link to view other posts in this series.  It will take you back to the introductory post with links to all episodes.



  1. Bigger is definitely easier. I remember making the teeny tiny six inch blocks and they were so fiddly and frustrating!

    I think I fixed the no-reply blogger thing. Thanks for giving me the heads up!

  2. After seeing how tiny the pieces are for the 6 inch blocks, I can see why upsizing to 12 inch blocks will help this quilt along!

  3. Awesomeness! One really needs patience to do the 6" or be in the right frame of mind and not be in a hurry. I prefer bigger so I get it done!

  4. I'm enjoying following your posts!

  5. I love the fabrics you chose to make these blocks! What are they? I have a TON of 6" Friendship Star blocks from an exchange I did about 10 years ago...I'm stumped as to how to put them together to create a cohesive, yet not humongous(sp?) quilt. Heading to the link you provided now...haven't heard of this before. I live under a rock...


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