Friday, August 21, 2015

Farm Girl Friday - Week 17 - Starters and Stoppers - and a New "Mash Up" block - Farm Girl Star!!!!

Well hello again cute
 Farm Girl Friday people!
Today is week 17 and I have a new 
Farm Girl Mash Up block for you:)

But first things first.
Let's grab our books…
(get your copy by clicking HERE)

And turn to page 56 where you will find
 the instructions for our first block;

Can I just tell you
 how much I love pinwheels?
Such a classic block 
that never goes out of style.

It plays perfectly with 
all of my other farm girl blocks:)

I love making scrappy pinwheels!
And I have several methods that
 I use to make traditional blocks...
and I try to show you
different options in my book.

One way that I make pinwheels is:
 I like to get into my 
scrappy stash basket 
and cut 4 matching squares…
then match them up with
 4 background squares of the same size.

I simply stitch a line from corner to corner...
Then just trim off the excess like this.
When I press open I have a half square triangle
for one segment of my pinwheel.

I just sew the four sections together
 to form my pinwheel block…
Easy Peasy!

That's how I made the pinwheels
 surrounding my
Farm Girl tractor 
for my Quilty Barn quilt label…
in John Deere green:)

But because I learned to
 drive on a red Farmall tractor
that's the kind I made for the book!

After all…
no farm girl book would be complete
 without a Farm Girl Tractor!

I decided to surround
 the tractor with pinwheels 
because pinwheel blocks
 show movement and
 I wanted to give the feel
 of the tractor
 in the middle of the field…
turning and turning 
the soil for planting:)

I named the quilt 
and you can find 
the pattern on page 96
of my Farm Girl Vintage book:)

Because there are so many 
pinwheels in this quilt
I show you another method 
on making them
 in the book using only
 one print square and 
one background square:)

I hope you try both methods
 and see which one
 suits you and/or your
 scrappy stash better!

Next up we have another
 traditional block called
"Postage Stamp"
on page 57 of the book.

This is the 12" block…
but next is the mash up part!

If you make the 6" Postage Stamp block…

And put it in the center
 of my 12" Simple Star block…
(instead of cutting a 6 1/2" square of pink fabric)

You'll end up with my
 farm girl mash up block called 
Farm Girl Star!!!
I've shown this block on my 
quite a while back because
 I have been making a lot of these 
Farm Girl Stars
for a super big quilt!

Although the block is super easy to sew together…
making several Postage Stamp blocks
 may seem a little overwhelming to you 
because there are 36 squares in each block…
and you might be wondering how you 
will cut all those scrappy squares!

My answer is 
I use all of my leftovers to make my
"starter and stopper" projects…
or what I have always called bonus quilting.
I LOVE to get something beautiful out of 
what might have otherwise gone to waste…
that's the farm girl way!

It's just not as hard to prepare for my
starters and stoppers as you may think.
Whenever I have leftovers 
from trimming off my easy corner triangles…
I just quickly cut them into a square
like this!

Sometimes I have quite a few leftovers…
depending on the project.
I cut up to 4 layers at a time…
and I cut a 1 1/2" square or a 2 1/2" square from them…
depending on how big the leftover pieces are.

They are super easy and fast to trim up
especially when using a rotating cutting mat.
My favorite is this round pink one 
by my friend Sue Daley:)

When my squares are cut…
I put them into my 
scrappy leftover strips 
basket that is the same size
 as the squares I just cut.

I have talked about my method of
 saving and using my leftovers many times.
Here is a link to one of my posts…
 if you haven't seen it before.

Once you have a bunch of squares cut
for your postage stamp blocks
you can just go ahead and sew it up
 all at once like you normally would…
and you can sew them a little at a time
 using the starter and stopper method:)

This is how I do that.
I have a container holding my squares
 next to my machine at all times.
(usually it's vintage because that's how I roll)

In this case its a
 pink oval melmac bowl.
When I'm sewing blocks 
for a quilt 
(such as several Welcome blocks from my book pictured above)…

When I come to a 
starting or a stopping point
 between chain piecing…
Instead of pulling out my
 last section that I just pieced ...
I pick up two squares 
and sew them together
and leave them there!
Until I sew the next segment
 of chain piecing for my 
Welcome block.
to see my tutorial on my 
Bonus Quilting method

I put all of my 2 squares
 sewn together segments 
back into the bowl.

Periodically I pull them out
 and press my seams open
 and sew them into rows
until I have a
 Postage Stamp block complete.

Then I simply use it for
 the center of a 12" Simple Star.

After a while it's amazing how many
 blocks you can complete
just by sewing these cute
 Farm Girl Star blocks using my 
starter and stoppers method!

Another bonus by 
sewing this way is that 
you NEVER waste any of
 your precious thread or
 you don't waste time 
trimming those long thread tails.

It also helps to keep 
your machine from 
when you are starting 
to sew each segment of a block.
No more or that!
Each piece goes under and through
 the feed dogs smoothly 
and that's important! 
(if you want your piecing to be accurate:)

Any of my 6" farm girl blocks will
 fit in the center of 
my 12" Simple Star block.
(I feel another sampler coming on!) 
My pinwheel block would 
be adorable inside one!

And remember back last year 
to when I showed you how 
to sew these 3" blocks from my 

and put them inside my
 6" Simple Star block?

Don't you just love it?
 It's all sew much fun!

These cute little
 "X" blocks are also in my
from 3 years ago when 
my fabric collection
Polka Dot Stitches came out:)

I also put my
 6" Great Granny Square block 
inside of my 
12" Simple Star block as well:)
Both the 6" block and 
the 12" block patterns are inside my 
Great Granny Squared book:) 

We did a scrappy square exchange in my June 
Farm Girl Vintage retreats and one 
of the things that we made with the
 1 1/2" squares were Farm Girl Stars.

I love doing mash up blocks for my retreats
 as well as Farm Girl Vintage companion blocks
 like Penny Pig and Apple Picking.

In other Farm Girl Vintage news…
I'm doing 2 more retreats in October!!!

Again hosted by 
Thimbles and Threads
 but at their new lodge in
 beautiful Draper, Utah. 

Sign ups opened for
 the second one yesterday…
to reserve your spot!

While there
I will be revealing my 
long awaited and requested
 Milk Cow farm girl block
 as well as a few other surprises!

to go to our Farm Girl Fridays sew along schedule 
to keep on track and to visit our guest bloggers:)

Have a Farm Girl Friday
 quilty kind of day!


Quilts By Laurel said...

I love all the new blocks you're releasing!! I'm going to have to make a companion quilt for the huge quilt I already made so I can use the new blocks! :)

Sherry B. said...

Yeah! Got my email and rushed right over to read the blog for Farm Girl Friday. I kept reading and reading and reading and when I finally reached the bottom, the brain says "it's a big one Ethel!" Hum, where did that weird thought come from? Oh, maybe it was the "OMG TGIF IT'S FRIDAY BRAIN" doing the thinking, or was it the "ugh its friday my brain is fried from work this week brain." Either way, it is obvious you had a huge burst of energy to do all that work in one blog. Kudos to you, and as always, thank you so much for sharing. Hum, now maybe if I focus, my work day will end quicker...

Libby said...

Thanks for the blog post ............... Love all the stars.

Looking forward to the "Milk Cow Farm Girl Block". Thanks for all
you do!

Kimd said...

Lori, I love all your ideas. How about a 6" tractor block? Pretty please?

Little Quiltsong said...

Again, Love, Love all your ideas and reminders!! When my stash is overflowing, I try to remember what I wanted to do with it - the postage stamp block for the stars and have given me additional 'mash-up' block ideas. Thank you!! Wish I could be at one of your retreats, but I'm looking forward to all your additional block patterns - now the 'cow' block. (This is the block my husband was looking for in your book :) - he'll really be pleased now - My Farm Boy)!!

Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

Thanks for all your inspiration Lori! Beautiful, bright colors of all the fun you are having! xox

Pam McDonald said...

Mish Mash blocks. LOL, I love it! I would love to go to one of those retreats also. Maybe you could come to the Pacific Northwest? :D

Thank you for all the fun stuff, Lori!

Donna@AllthingsMing said...

Wow!!! So much great info here!!!! Thank you!
Ps. I too learned how to drive on a tractor on our Christmas Tree farm that I grew up on!

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