Thursday, January 8, 2015

Modernizing the Farmer's Wife Quilt: Introduction

I have always loved the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilts that I have seen, however I enjoy making simple quilts.  The Farmer's Wife quilt is anything but simple with all those tiny pieces in a six inch block!  I mentioned to my friend Jennie that I have thought about simplifying and modernizing the Farmer's Wife quilt.  She thought it was a great idea, and I started planning how I would do that. 

It is a new year, time to start a new project, and the perfect time for me to start my own Modern Farmer's Wife quilt.  I will be posting my progress and my ideas for modernizing the quilt here on my blog, so feel free to join me in making the quilt--especially if you have started a Farmer's Wife quilt only to abandon it due to the tiny pieces. 

Here are my plans for the series (with a sneak peek at the upcoming episodes): 
  • Episode 1:   Selecting Fabric and a Block Layout
  • Episode 2:   Enlarging the Simplest Blocks {Using only squares and rectangles, plus a bonus fifth block}
  • Episode 3:   Enlarging Simple Blocks {9-patches made with HST and 4-patches}
  • Episode 4:   Enlarging Intermediate Blocks {Blocks made up with just HST}
  • Episode 5:   Enlarging Intermediate Blocks {Blocks using HST, squares, and rectangles}
  • Episode 6:   Enlarging Blocks divided into fifths {Plus Adding a Border to finish at 12 inches}
  • Episode 7:   Repeating Simple 6 inch blocks {Two and Four of a Kind}
  • Episode 8:   Using Individual 6 inch blocks {Combining blocks, plus a bonus fifth block}
  • Episode 9:   Finishing the Blocks {Adding borders}
  • Episode 10:  Finishing the Top {Adding sashing and cornerstones}   

  • Episode 11:  Machine Quilting the Modern Farmer's Wife

In the episodes sharing the altered blocks, I will be including the sizes I used to rotary cut my blocks.  Please refer to the excellent FWQ book by Laurie Hird for more information.  I must say that the best part of the book (and the reason why I wanted to make this quilt) is the letters it includes from farmers' wives of 1922 answering the question: "If you had a daughter of marriageable age, would you, in light of your own experiences, have her marry a farmer?"  I love the message behind the blocks and quilt.

I will be going through this series quickly (hopefully finishing by the end of the month), because I have already started making the blocks.  Whether you decide to make a Modern Farmer's Wife Quilt or not, I hope you enjoy this series. 

Before I finish this post, I thought I would include a couple tips for organizing the fabric when making a sampler quilt. 

Tip #1  Use Post-it notes to keep track of strip sizes.

Tip #2 Use paper plates to organize blocks which have already been cut

If you decide to make a quilt from this series, I hope you will show me.  :)


P.S.  I will be updating this post with links to each episode in the series as I finish them. 

P.P.S.  I know it is a little funny to call this a series with episodes, but you can just blame that on all of the series and episodes of Curious George I have been watching with my boys who have been unwell.  ;)

P.P.P.S.  I will be linking up with some of my favorite parties including Let's Bee Social, Needle and Thread Thursday, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop.


  1. This sounds amazing Jasmine! I'm excited to see your posts :)

  2. Interesting - I can't wait to see your take on it! I decided I hate samplers in any form, but it's always nice to see the Farmer's Wife done a little differently.

  3. That sounds like a fabulous idea! I have seen a lot of Farmer's Wife blocks but had many of the same thoughts. I look forward to seeing your modern take on this lovely quilt!

  4. This will be wonderful! Can't wait to see what yours looks like. I have yet to tackle that one but have made many samplers and I love them all!

  5. What a great idea, Jasmine! I have too much on my plate right now to join you but I'm going to enjoy checking in with your blog to see your progress! I love your fabric choices. Marbles are a staple in my stash!

  6. I am looking forward to seeing your posts. I would love to join in but I told myself I can't take on any new projects. But we all know I have zero willpower!

  7. WOW! I love the pictures, the layout, the organizing and the total planning. Really impressed. Good for you.

  8. Wow. I love your idea. I look forward to your posts. Reading the letters in the book was my favourite part.

  9. I have been looking at your blocks. I like your idea of making it more modern and I enjoy following your progress. Nice work!

  10. What a great idea! Love your samples, Jasmine. Your fabric choices are gorgeous. And I like how you simplified the blocks. This is going to be fun!

  11. Yay! I feel the same about the Farmer's Wife Sampler! Loving your version!

  12. Really fabulous tips! I never made the farmers wife blocks, but it is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing...gotta keep an eye on your progress!

  13. All the best with this project; it looks easier than the original which seems to take forever. Thanks for the tips for organising strips and pieces.

  14. Rosemary B here:
    I will save this page and make a time to follow through on your instructions. These are so well done.
    Thank you Jasmine
    Right now I am taking care of my mom and dad. They are 92 and very cute, a little bit forgetful and they need my supervision and encouragement. they are pretty fun, really.
    I want to do this project, but for me, I get way behind. So it is great that you have this key page

  15. I love this!! Now that I have finished my Tula Sampler 100 blocks, I am beginning to think about jumping into this project. What a great idea to enlarge the blocks. I, too, would prefer a more modern look for this quilt. Fun!

  16. What a fabulous idea to add these twists to the FWQ blocks. I've had my fabric and book sitting and waiting for me to get started for over a year now and haven't gotten started yet. Going to have to read through all you posts to find some inspiration!!

  17. This is one of the loveliest Farmer's Wife quilts I've seen. You've put a new slant on it for me. It's very popular around here, and I've never been able to get excited about it until I saw yours.

  18. Thank you! I bought the book, but when I saw the size of the blocks, I was not overly thrilled and put the book in the "someday" pile! You just moved the patterns in the Farmhouse book higher up on my list!!


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