Monday, April 29, 2019

Simplifying assembly of Farmer's Wife blocks with strip piecing

You know what it's like when there is a bowl assorted candies... the favorites are the ones that disappear first. This is not unlike doing the Farmer's Wife sampler quilt. The "easy" blocks are the ones that get done first. Then you decide whether to continue with the project... or just say, "'nuff!"
63 completed blocks from the Farmer's Wife sampler quilt. Made with Art Gallery Fabrics.
Well, this project hasn't beaten me yet, but the "fun and easy" blocks are slim-to-none at this point in the game! I've already veered off the straight and narrow when I decided I didn't have to follow the patterns exactly as shown in the book (see this blog post). And now with 63 of the 111 blocks completed, I'm looking at the remaining not-so-easy patterns to see if, or how, I can modify the design or simplify assembly.

Strip piecing
Here is one block, Streak of Lightning, that went together fairly quick once I figured out a strip sequence.
Piecing a strip set.

The strip set was then cut into 6 strips. One for each row in the pattern.
Cutting the strip set into 6 units. One for each row.

Following the color placement, I cut off one end or the other of each strip.
Trimming the ends in order to match the block pattern.

With this method, the block was much easier to assemble and more accurate than piecing individual units.
Upstairs Downstairs.

I'm calling my block "Upstairs Downstairs." There is more than one direction to take for any given block.

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