Farmers Wife quilt top

The top is finally done and I could not be more happy.

Farmer's Wife quilt top

(All of the pictures of the completed top are by Jessie Aller)


I love love love my Farmer's Wife quilt.  It is such a big project to take on.  The book has 111 blocks.  I chose not to do a couple of the blocks from the book, but then I added other sampler blocks until I had 121 blocks total.

Farmer's Wife quilt top


I opened up my entire stash to be used in this quilt.  I started it with the idea that I'd use my very favorite fabrics.  That way, even if the colors are a jumbled mess, I'd still love it.  The finished quilt top has 354 different fabrics in it. 

Farmer's Wife quilt top

I decided to omit browns and dark cream fabrics and any fabrics that had heavy brown tones.  Sometimes choosing what you leave out helps the other colors come together more.  My stash is heavy in greens and aquas and lighter in yellows, oranges and purples, so you'll see that reflected in the quilt, too. 

Farmer's Wife quilt top

When I was deciding what fabrics to use in which blocks, I would spread my stash over the floor and surfaces in an entire room, pick one fabric that I loved and then pick another fabric or two to go with it and then I'd look through the book to find the right block to go with those fabrics.

farmer's wife prep

Then I'd do it again and again until I had the combinations I liked for 5 to 40 blocks.  After that, it made the most sense to me to do all of the cutting in a night or two.

prepping blocks for the fwqal

And then I'd wait until I had the time and patience to sew the blocks and I'd do that for a few nights in a row.  I paper pieced only 3 blocks out of 121.  Otherwise I did the quilt math or used the templates from the book.  Because so many blocks were heavy in pieces cut on the bias, I starched my fabric pieces and blocks like crazy!  Some of those blocks could nearly stand on their own.

Farmer's Wife quilt top

I've been thinking a lot about how to quilt this.  The finished top is 106" square.  I know I can't handle that on my machine and I've been pondering different ways to have a long armer help me, but I'm not sure that I can.  This one is so precious that can't really hand it over to anyone else.  So I guess I'm going to hand quilt it.  It may take me a few years, but I think it will be worth it.

Farmer's Wife quilt top

55 comments:

Kim with a K said...

Gorgeous!
Your blocks are stunning and the back ground fabric is perfect!
Thanks for sharing your method of choosing fabrics...I especially like how you cut and keep all your block pieces together with paper clips and paper.
I'm still slowly working on mine and it is always motivating to see your work!
Hand quilting will look beautiful.

Kim with a K said...
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Kim with a K said...

Also wanted to say that I love how your blocks are set so that some are on point!

Beth said...

This is beautiful. If I make one, I want mine to look like yours. Really lovely.

Beth said...

This is beautiful. If I make one, I want mine to look like yours. Really lovely.

Leanne said...

This is so inspiring to see, I love hearing about your process and seeing the quilt. I am sure hand quilting will be perfect too.

Laura said...

My longarmer will just baste a quilt if that's all you want done.

Kara said...

What a stunner! I love the way you alternated on point blocks, and I think hand quilting is a great idea - this whole quilt is a labor of love (in the best sense) so why not keep going?

Lisa D. said...

Your quilt is amazing!

Julie said...

I don't think I have words to express how beautiful this is. Truly amazing!

Cari said...

Wow, this is amazing! I just LOVE all the colors and patterns together. What an heirloom you've created!

Carmen said...

Absolutely stunning!

Claudia said...

It's really a wonderful modern take on the FWS quilt! I'm not wild about having someone longarm an all over pattern over such intricately pieced blocks and so I think hand quilting it is a great idea.

It's interesting to me to see the different approaches to this quilt. My philosphy was it's all about the "whole" or macro of seeing lots of tiny blocks together and I didn't worry about establishing a color theme. I also varied my values (some high contract and some low contrast blocks). I noticed the book author did this and I think it adds interest.

Artsy-Craftsy Ivy said...

This is beautiful. The Tallahassee block, which wasn't even a FW block, is the reason I started following you. This is jut lovely and, yes, hand quilting it is a great idea :)

giddy99 said...

Stunning! It's not a "jumbled mess" at all; the colors and fabrics look great! :)

Amy Friend said...

Gorgeous! Handquilting will be beautiful. Do you have a long arm quilter around who rents time on her machine? That would be another option--it would still be your work. Congratulations!

Prof. S (the enchanted bobbin) said...

You did it!! Hip hip hooray!! You know I'll cheer you on through the hq'ing, right? I stalled on the quilting of mine but am going to start up again when the weather cools....

Also: you know what struck me, looking at your finished top: RED!! There are a lot of pops of red. It's really gorgeous!

xx

Archie the wonder dog said...

I love it!!!!

Toni said...

This is just so incredible! I have loved seeing your process and how carefully you are planning it, even to remake the blocks that you weren't wild about. And just think how much fun it will be to sit and relax while you hand quilt, revisiting each block!

Jennie said...

As I said over on Flickr - this is fabulous! Good luck with the hand quilting!

Working Mom said...
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Pip said...

It's a lovely quilt, you must be really proud of it, I love the way you have set the blocks. I finished mine last year and ditch stitched all the sashing and then ditch stitched the blocks on my domestic machine, I had plans to do some hand quilting on it as well, but I can't bear to take it off my bed now.

Staci said...

This is really beautiful! You must be so so happy!
I'm working on one right now, too. I have 89 blocks finished. I can't wait to be finished!

chicken lover said...

Gorgeous! I Love the grey it really sets of the blocks.

LethargicLass said...

It will be worth every moment of it... amazing Melinda :)

quilting butterfly said...

Oh my goodness Melinda...it is amazing. I totally understand not being able to hand this over to be quilted....it would make me nervous too. I think you have done an amazing job! Thanks for the inspiration here! :)

Unknown said...

Wonderful job, Sweetie! You can really see the many hours of love and toil that went into it! Love, B

Linda F. said...

Wowie, Kazowie! That is one beautiful quilt. You should be very proud.

Debbie said...

WOW. What an amazing project, and this quilt is going to be so awesome - it looks wonderful!!

Ulli said...

It`s wonderful, wonderful, gorgeous!!!!
Do handquilting, I`m sure you won`t regret it!

Hope said...

It looks truly wonderful. Hand quilting would be so perfect, I hope you will show us progress photos.

I'm not sure I'd have the patience to cut more than one block at a time, I get anxious to sew and bored with cutting while doing one block at a time sometimes :)

Helen in the UK said...

Saw this on Flickr and had to come take a closer look. It is wonderful! Love how you did the setting. It is obviously a very special quilt, so it sounds like hand quilting will ensure it becomes a family treasure :)

Rachel said...

It's so incredibly beautiful Melinda! I wish I could see it in person! Hand quilting does seem the perfect match for this quilt, guess it will be a while before we see the finished quilt;)

jeanne e. said...

wow. it is really wonderful! i think hand quilting it is going to be amazing! (though, i like the idea that someone posted of having a long arm quilter baste it for you.) looking forward to watching the progress and seeing what you do with the quilting.

Jess said...

This is fantastic, Melinda! I can't wait to see it in person!

Frederick Nunley said...

Hand quilting is surely the right thing. I bet if it was on a frame in a corner where you could get to it easily it would be done pretty quickly. I was so impressed with the tiny size of your blocks and how precisely they are built. Lots of starch helps! It looks like a library of quilt blocks like an index of what is possible and beautiful. Yours will be a treasure when it is completed and is a wonder now as a gorgeous top.

Cassie said...

This is pretty much incredible! After seeing your beautiful blocks come together for so long, I love the finished top. The blocks are all amazing and make quite a stunning quilt!

diane said...

I am so impressed. This is gorgeous. I gave up on mine after 25 blocks. I think it was my fabric choices.
Maybe I should pull it out again.

Kathy@KayakQuilting said...

Stunning! Congratulations on this amazing accomplishment! I love the grey sashing, the on point blocks and your approach to fabric selection! Thank you for sharing! You have inspired me to open up the book and get started!

Gretchen said...

I just saw this over on In Color Order. Beautiful quilt!

knitting sandwich said...

oh my dearest... my heart is singing the beauty of this quilt!!
so much love and thought and skill went into the making of this top, i think handquilting is the obvious answer for such a precious and perfect project!
-melissa

Kim said...

This is gorgeous, it will be amazing hand quilted and you'll get to see all those favorite fabrics again while you work on it :)

Kat said...

Unbelievable, and absolutely stunning! What an amazing achievement! I agree, with that much effort in the piecing, it is worth the effort to hand quilt. What a wonderful heirloom!

Angela {fussycut} said...

Absolutely gorgeous, a work of art. Good for you!!!

Teje Karjalainen said...

Hi Melinda! This is amazingly beautiful! That dark background is perfect to show all those fantastic blocks! I think it's good idea to hand quilt and it doesn't take so much time as you think. x Teje

snips said...

On my gosh, this is stunning! And so inspiring! Fantastic work!

tusen said...

Can I please use "stunning" as well? It really is. The grey is just perfect for displaying the blocks and I love the layout. And I'm simply stunned by the number of fabrics you've used and how well they work together.

Heidi Staples said...

Stunning! I understand the decision to hand quilt it -- I would have a hard time handing this one over to someone else too!

Carla said...

An absolute stellar finish! I love the grey background. Just beautiful

Sarah said...

Amazing! It's beautiful. I love the grey background. I think hand quilting will be perfect. But I'll leave that to you, coz I would not have the patience for it!

amandajean said...

it's utterly fantastic. picture me in my kitchen standing and applauding. it's going to be even better hand quilted!!! you go, girl!!

p.s. I had to laugh about your comments about the starch. Flaun and I sewed together this weekend and we talked a little bit about your starching habits. :) i'm going on the hunt for stay-flo starch. soon!

Kristin said...

I absolutely love the setting you have used. I am done with 55 of my FW blocks and have been pondering how to set them. This is an inspiration for sure! Beautiful and to be cherished for a very long time I am sure

Tracy T. said...

Gorgeous! First time to your blog so haven't yet looked at it's progression, but the results are stunning. But, dang you, now I have added this beast to my "want to do" list!

Buffie Lorah said...

Hi. This is fabulous!!! Do you mind letting me know you setting directions for this layout? (To make the two different setting blocks) I have all my blocks done in civil war fabrics just waiting to see a layout I enjoy and yours is so refreshing!!! I just love it! Great job, the grey makes it pop.

mfaires said...

Good morning! I just found your farmers wife quilt as I was looking through Google for inspiration. I'm going to be starting a quilt along in September for this and it's something I've always wanted to do. Your quilt is exactly what I had in my head! It's just gorgeous! What did you do about the quilting? I'd love to see any updates.

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