Thursday, April 4, 2019

TBT #16 The Farm Quilt

If you are looking for the Throwback Thursday linkup today, it is at my friend Andrée's blog, Quilting & Learning - What a Combo! She is co-hosting TBT this year with me. For all the TBT dates, click the tab at the top of this page, Quilt Alongs & TBT, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click Throwback Thursday. Clicking here will also take you to the schedule. Basically, starting with April, we will be alternating months.
My post today will do double-duty, it's a Throwback quilt, and also fits the criteria for a fun event on all week at Needle & Foot:

I could tell you about my very first quilt again (hmm, will have to go back and find that post) which I made for my Barbies, at about age 10/11, where I cut squares from my Mum's scrap bag, sewed them by hand, flipped them right sides out, stuff each little 'pillow' with a piece of nylon (yep, pantyhose!) sewed the opening shut and then painstakingly sewed each little pillow together to make a quilt for my Barbie. However, I was only a child, and IMHO that's pretty damn genius to have figured that all out on my own. My mum was not a quilter. Where I got the love of quilts from so young an age, I'm not sure, though I remember loving my grandma's one lone quilt she made, a wool heavy one she'd tied, made of large, maybe 8" squares, of black and red, very simple. I believe the wool came from old worn-out coats. I wish I had that quilt, but no one knows what happened to it.


Here's the blunder. Made in 1998 or 99. From a distance it's meh, not so bad. This is what my family calls 'The Farm Quilt' and it did go on many a camping trip. I didn't care if it smelled like woodsmoke or got dirty because I was kind of embarrassed about the thing. It is the second quilt I made following Bethany Reynolds' Stack 'n Whack method where you stack repeats of fabric atop each other, six or eight deep, and slice them, in this case, into equilateral triangles. I'd made one quilt, that was a resounding success, that started my 'career' lol of teaching classes to members of my guild at that time. This was not so successful.

This quilt method was one that Lori, of Lori's Fabric Cottage, now renamed to Lori's Country Cottage, in Sherwood Park, asked me to teach. She supplied the fabric at a reduced rate (not free!) and I was to teach a class. Well, I didn't have much of any lead time, so she said did I have one similar that I could hang in the shop to show people. All I had was this one, which I knew wasn't a good example. The first one wasn't quilted yet, and she wanted a quilted product.

The problem, which you may notice from the photo above, is that the pattern in the fabric isn't large enough to 'disappear' to form swirling patterns. You can understand this perhaps by looking at the centre of the block where that does happen in the correct way.

There's a look at the fabric.

I sewed and quilted it on my 1979 Elna Air Electronic. You can see my not so flowing, not-so-free motion quilting!

I did pretty decent (and this is just eye-balling, no curved rulers back then) arcs in the stars:

The class did not go. We know it's because this is an ugly quilt. Fabric choices are so key! However, I taught this class several times over at my guild, with great success, and also twice at a sewing machine shop in Sherwood Park! Yeah, I had better examples done then!

I did a wider, single-fold binding back then, and because even I didn't like the fabric (so I'm wondering why I bought it?! But I think it's because I'd thought it would work...and it did, but I'm getting ahead of myself)... Notice the two greens fabrics are different because I didn't have enough of the one to to the inner frame border. There's more of that backing that is on a few of my early quilts, a Northcott, I believe.

Here is the entire back. The quilt is lovely and soft, and is currently in use on our loveseat in the living room, upon which the animals relax in the evening!

I hope you'll visit both blogs, perhaps write up a blunder story of your own (or tell it in the comments at Bernie's blog) or write up the story of a quilt from before you started blogging.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: 'Hexagon Star' Stack 'n Whack by Bethany Reynolds
Size: 53.25 X 60"
Fabric: Cranston VIP and Northcott
Backing: Northcott
Batting: Warm 'n Natural
Quilted: on my 1979 Elna Air Electronic
Threads: pieced and quilted with Gütermann 100% cotton

Oh, and in case you want to see/read about the Stack 'n Whack quilt that I did make with Lori's fabric and for the one that did work with the farm fabric, go here:

Linking up
Quilting & Learning - What a Combo!
Needle & Foot


  1. It's good now and then to look back and see how far we've come, no? Even with the blunder, this is a fun quilt and it has lots of campfire memories and whatnot packed into its story. It will likely be a favorite quilt for years to come. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sandra, Linking up mt TBT. I love all your S&W quilts.
    I have 6 yards of a fabric I bought for a stack & whack or one block wonder (they are similar but different patterns). It's sitting on a shelf because I'm not sure how well it works for this pattern. This one is hard to visualize the finished product.

  3. I took a stack n' whack class yeas ago (and went back for a refresher on how to cut more block pieces, but I never finished it. I had a lot of trouble getting the blocks together and my perfectionism just kept getting in th way. I still have it somewhere and I loved the fabric, but I'm sure I would be frustrated all over again if I tried to finish it. Maybe I can repurpose the finished blocks into a table runner or something.

  4. I got a big kick out of peering at all the farm labels. It's a Stack-n-Spy! Or an I-Whack? One person's ugly fabric is another person' I'm not sure. I want to be kind and say that fabric is nice, but I'm a terrible liar! But hey, you're using it, it's soft and warm and snuggly, and what a great story :)

  5. I think we have all been there at one time or another. Those ugly fabrics, what was I thinking moments and plowing straight ahead anyway. I am sure that your animals are quite happy and comfy with your quilt.

  6. Hi Sandra, the last two are great stack-and-whack. I love that pattern and did try to make it, but I'm so accuracy challenged that it's not pretty and never made it past a few blocks! Like you said, it really is about the fabrics.

  7. Of course, I had to go and look at the farm quilt that DID work for you, and I can see that using the fabric in smaller blocks made such a big difference. I’ve always been fascinated by these quilts but just can’t visualize how they will look. It looks like you really mastered the technique! Having said all that, I do find your original farm quilt interesting in a kind of wacky way. I’m glad you found a fun use for it.

  8. It took me a while to figure out what you were saying about "disappear". I agree some blocks swirl better than others, but overall and from a distance they all like flowers. I am no judge since I have never made such a quilt. It is nearly impossible to visualize the finished block from the fabric.


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