Making a start on my Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

In the summer I wrote about a sampler quilt that I wanted to make for our home using a fabric collection called Happy-Go-Lucky by Bonnie and Camille. It seems a really long time ago now but having unpacked a few more boxes, caught up with our friends and family, and my day job being a little less busy, I decided to finally make a start on this quilt project. Sewing a quilt is a perfect project to start in the winter, the rainy and cold days can be spent selecting bright fabrics, drinking tea, listening to the radio and gradually making a quilt block by block.

I have been pretty indecisive with this project and have spent quite a bit of time trying to work out what quilt project I really wanted to make, the choice was between the The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt or Tula Pink's City Sampler Quilt. Both options contain around 100 blocks to make and have a combination of easy and more challenging quilt blocks. I love both of the sampler quilts and the finished looks you can achieve, so it was a really tough choice. However after a lot of thought I decided to go for the first sampler quilt I had come across, The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt.  A few self-doubt niggles crept in during the decision making process, my main concern when picking this project was whether I am skilled enough to create such a huge and challenging quilt. The idea of piecing together super accurately small pieces does make me a little nervous however sometimes the most challenging and large scale projects can be the most rewarding!

On starting the quilt I decided that it will be a long term project, it isn't something I'm going to rush through, and I'm not giving myself a specific deadline. I love the idea of having a project like this that I can dip into each month and make the blocks as and when I want to and in whatever order I fancy! There are 111 in total so there are plenty to choose from.

At the beginning of the month I sat down and set up my sewing machine and gave myself a little bit of time to play around. It has been a long time since I have sat at the machine and made something. The light and space in our attic has made a huge difference to my sewing experience. I get excited at the thought of heading off to the attic for an hour or so, cutting fabric and piecing it together. I'm using the charm squares, jelly roll, mini charm squares and some additional fat quarters that I've bought to make the blocks. Each block is made up from a number of shapes, there are no measurements in the book, only a set of templates on a CD that you have to print out for each block.

I started at the beginning with block 1 - Attic Windows

and then made block 2 - Autumn Tints.


I really enjoyed picking the fabrics to use for each block. What makes this project a little less daunting is that using a fabric collection really does make life easier and simpler as all of the fabric designs are meant to work together.

After making these two blocks I decided to get myself organised. I worked through the book to see what blocks I'd like to make first, prioritising the ones that I felt looked like the easier options. I printed out a number of the shapes onto card and cut them out ready to use.

Today I made two more blocks, here's block 4 - Basket Weave

and block 5 - Bat Wing.


Here are all four quilt blocks together...



Seeing all four together makes me giddy with excitement, I can't imagine what it is going to be like with 111 of these blocks completed at the end. I'm loving the fresh bright colours in this fabric collection giving a boost to the grey cloudy days. I've got a long way to go with this project but having made a start on a project with such variety that can be worked on in small steps really excites me. I'll keep you posted with my progress and let you know how I get on.