WIP: Farmer’s Wife, decision?

So, today, I have decided to share my oldest WIP, and contemplate its future. How do we cope with personal styles, goals, skills, and visions changing with our half done quilts? [I apologize now for the picture overload to come]

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2014-09-01 15.33.26

So way back in 2011, Fussy Cut hosted the Farmer’s Wife Quilt Along. And being a newish quilter I, of course, thought I could easily follow along and have a finished quilt in just a few months. Yup, I’m laughing too. But I did make a decent start, and every once in a while I would get this bug in my ear to finish it up and I would sit down and make a few blocks more.

PicMonkey Collage 1

It would again sit in a pile for months on end till I saw another beautiful version online. Then I would make a few more blocks, then set it aside again. The blocks have changed as my tastes and fabric stash has changed. My skills have improved with these blocks as well (don’t look too closely at some of them!) and I still love each and every block.

PicMonkey Collage 2 (1)

PicMonkey Collage 7

There are some seriously gorgeous versions of this quilt. Really. Patch the Giraffe. Quirky Granola Girl. Hey Porkchop. Grey Cat Quilts. Happy Zombie. All gorgeous and wonderfully inspiring.

PicMonkey Collage 3 (1)

But, I’ve recently come to the realization — I don’t enjoy precision piecing, at least not in a large quantity. I don’t really like following a pattern. Traditional layouts just aren’t my thing. And I think I’m okay with that.

PicMonkey Collage 4

PicMonkey Collage 8

Now here’s where the decision comes in. I have 45 blocks; well that I can find. There might be a few more lurking somewhere. Knowing what I do about myself, do I push through more blocks? I was shooting for a queen size, so that’s another 40-60 blocks depending on layout. I could make a smaller quilt, but I really wanted it to be usable. I was contemplating doing a bit of improv piecing and adding large sections of fabric. I don’t want to lose the blocks in whatever piecing I do, and I want these 6″ blocks to really shine.

PicMonkey Collage 5

PicMonkey Collage 6

So what would you do? Carry on? Mod it up with alternate gridwork and negative space? Hide it in a closet for another three years?

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Linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday


21 thoughts on “WIP: Farmer’s Wife, decision?

  1. Personally I would lay it out with some creative gridwork and negative space… the blocks are too pretty to let sit in the closet. Good luck with whatever you choose!

  2. I think that I would definitely lay it out with creative gridwork and negative space. No need to keep storing them, and have fun doing something closer to your heart than more precision piecing!

  3. No no, don’t put it back in the cupboard! You’ve done alot of lovely work, they look wonderful! I checked back at other versions, and if you are really “over it” why not do something like Amanda @ HeyPorkchop… and add alternating 6″ plain squares? Good luck!

  4. Do push on somehow. Your work is wonderful. Use a lot of yellow, lol. But all of the above suggestions are perfect. Negative space, Modern it up. You are really good at that, too. Those blocks are to die for!

  5. This really reminds me of tackling the Quilts for Boston blocks. I wonder if any of those finished quilts could help you figure out how to get this one done? I seem to remember Hema doing one with lots of negative space.

  6. Id call it good enough and give myself a massive pat on the back for doing that many 🙂 Then Id look through my stash and hope I had some news print fabric and just start slicing and joining. The reason Id pick that is, everyone does solids for backgrounds and sharing the “news” that I made it this far and completed the challenge 🙂

  7. Do not push through more blocks you’re not excited to piece! Use what you’ve already completed! Don’t relegate these blocks to an uncertain future in the closet! I can only imagine the burden you’ll feel lifted off your shoulders when you figure out a creative layout for these 45 beauties and get her quilted and bound. : )

  8. Perhaps a Gypsy Wife/Farmer’s Wife mashup? You could play some magic numbers games, and build out an alternate grid using some strip pieced segments and random fussy cut blocks… Remember, crazy + crazy + crazy = awesome

  9. I probably wouldn’t make any more 🙂 . Creative layout and negative space are great friends. You could go all modern and put them all on one side or another and have them pixelate out, clusters of them with neg space around, use them as the pixels in a pixelated picture quilt or set them on point with lots of background.

  10. Embrace what you have accomplished so far and add whatever floats your boat until it is a size you like. All of the suggestions are good. Maybe it can be a farmer’s daughter – a smaller version of the farmer’s wife! 🙂

  11. I’m doing all 111 … even if it kills me! I love what you’ve done so far and if you’re happy with that then have a play with layouts and see what you come up with … otherwise I’ll see you on the ‘other side’ … I’ll be the one with the wonky halo clutching 111 six inch blocks 🙂

  12. If you aren’t loving making the blocks, then don’t make anymore, and just figure out some alternate layout, using negative space and such and make it work! In my opinion anyway!

  13. I pushed through on a sampler when I had already made 9 big blocks- but I kept going to make the 16 and I really hated it and ended up donating it to charity. This “finish what you started” mentality I have can be annoying and I wished I had listened to my instinct to stop at the 9.

    1. I LOVE this advice. It’s so hard for me to decide when to push on so I can be proud of a finish and when to allow myself to move on to other things. Great post, Sarah, and it’s been just as fun to read through the comments on this.

  14. I agree, if you don’t like doing these blocks now, then don’t force yourself to do them. I find I don’t do my best work if I operate that way. Find a way to use these blocks in a way that satisfies you. Negative space, using them off on one side, columns of blocks. I think it’d make you happiest to use them.

  15. Have you looked at Tula Pink’s City Sampler book? All of those blocks finish at 6″ too. One of the blocks only had 5 pieces! That might be a way to honor your original intention of doing a sampler without all the fussiness.

  16. THANK YOU! For that shout out :). I really like what Happy Zombie did with hers to fill space, you could do something creative along those lines to make the 45 blocks you have work on a larger scale. My other thought is blow up a few patterns to be a 12 or 24 inches and really use up some space with one block! Thanks again for making my day!!

  17. I’d add some wide sashing/negative space to frame your blocks and finish it up! Think about how good you’ll feel when you’re done!!

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