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Farmer's Wife Quilt - The Big Assembly

I wouldn't be surprised if you thought I was ignoring my FW quilt because you know how OCD I am with block placement and all my silly rules about colors and prints etc. not touching and all that.  Some of you even (rightfully) poked fun at me and how hard a time I was going to have with the layout process of my 98 blocks.  Remember the nightmare I had with only 12 blocks?!  LOL!

Lucky for me I still have a few brain cells that operate on common sense and they made me realize it was totally, utterly and completely IMPOSSIBLE for me to lay out this quilt AND follow all my rules ... AND keep my sanity.


I let all my silliness go ... (ok, maybe just most of it ...)

I really only made sure that:

  • the reds were evenly distributed (100% successful)
  • the blocks - which I sorted into "lights" and "darks" - weren't clumped anywhere (mostly successful ... found a few problems after the top was put together ... I just practice taking deep breaths when I notice them)
  • and of course I tried to avoid any obvious color/print touching (much leniency was required in this regard)

So now let me show you how it all came together. 

It's not often a quilt looks as good or better in real life than it did in my mind when I started.  It's always still a bit of a surprise to me.  Sometimes I'm close, others are total disappointments.

But never mind.  My Farmer's Wife quilt is an unmitigated success.  For me.

Remember my pink sashing disappointment ...

because I was trying to make my quilt look like this ... ?

Well, I officially forgive that pink fabric for not cooperating because I gotta say, I'm THRILLED with how the white turned out.  I especially love how the white background blocks "float". 

The red.  Ok.  I'm not much of a red girl ... unless it's for Christmas or Valentine's Day.

However, from the very start - before I even made my first block - I pictured this quilt with red ... sparkle ... you know?  I didn't want any bold or heavy redness so I carefully used it just as little bits here and there.

For the few red (& white) only blocks I used prints that weren't dark, but had lots of white or other colors in it, like these.

(There's a reason why this block is going on the back ... )

And the red posts?  They finish at a mere 3/4" and seem to hold everything together.

When I stand back and squint my eyes to look at this quilt, I'm fascinated by the pretty, "random" geometric pattern created by the red punctuations.  (I overexposed this photo to help you see what I mean.)

Oh, and one more thing about the posts.  I wasn't wild with the finish in the book and how the outside posts were cut in half. 

That would have driven me banana nuts crazy.  So I made mine full squares.

And I am so pleased with how the light blue side-setting triangles frame the blocks without being too .. chunky.  Subtle, but effective to my eye.

Also the book only has one large border.  I wanted something a little different.  So I added an inner border the same fabric & width as my sashing.

And then I went with this happy blue dot - mostly because I have limited "Flower Sugar" yardage in my stash. 

But I wonder if I had a choice of every print in my quilt that I would have picked this one anyways.  It's perfect.  Grounding, happy, love the personality of the dots ... it's strong enough to hold up as a frame, but not too busy as to take the focus away from the intricate piecing in the blocks.

No, it's not pink. 

And no, I don't care. ;)

For width, the outer border finishes the same width as a block (4 1/2").  It always seems logical to me to repeat a dominant measurement from the body of a quilt for the border. 

I'm also going to bind it with the same border fabric.  I was originally planning either red or scrappy, but now I think both those options would be too much.  I'm just gonna keep it simple.

Now.  I'm still not sure about these blocks being stuck in the bottom corners.

I don't know why, but I assumed the signature should go in the bottom right corner .... you know ... like where you sign a letter.  That is until someone suggested placing it in the middle.  Oh that would be so nice!

And I'm not happy with the other horizontal striped blocks so symmetrically placed.  Looks ... predicable?  And maybe boring.  Not sure what I mean.  So I'm thinking about moving at least one of them. 

But I haven't yet.  Cause doing stuff like that makes me cranky. 


I should probably just do it.  I think I'll be unhappy if I don't.

Oh WHO AM I KIDDING?!! They are staying put.  The end. ;)

And a quick mention about this "Flock of Birds" block ... I set it so the birds are flying east ...

... 'cause remember my crazy birding sister?  She lives east of us.  So the birds are flying in her direction.

But now to the quilting decision.  I have a habit of cheaping out on things sometimes - either with the border, or the backing ... or in this case, the top-stitching.  And then I live to regret it.

I can do it myself with a cross-hatch - classic, acceptible ... but not necessarily the best option for taking this quilt to the next level of amazing, right?

I could free-motion quilt it, but my FMQ repertoire is limited at best and totally inappropriate for this quilt at worst.

So lucky for my I've let my BFF talk me into having it longarmed ... so now I'm saving my pennies.

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Reader Comments (97)

Beautiful! You should be very proud. Can't wait to see it quilted.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLoula

This has turned out totally beautiful!!! I love the red sparkle-ly posts with the white sashing...the whole quilt just pops with these additions. You should be so proud! i can't wait to see what it looks like with the quilting done. :)

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDana

Oh Kristyne! This turned out just gorgeous!!! I think you did an awesome job - love, love, love the colors in each block, the shashing, and the lovely blue outer border. What a fantastic quilt! Can't wait to see the final quilting and binding. As I've said before, you are one seriously talented lady!!!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTina

Wow, wow, wow! Way to go! Worth all of the headache along the way, heh???

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracey Holzer

Oh my! This came out awesome! Now you have inspired me to start mine!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Russett

breathtakingly beautiful!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClara

This turned out sooooo ahhh-mazing! I sure hope to see it in person one day!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

It's lovely! Thank you for sharing. I like having the signature block at the bottom right -- to me it feels like the period at the end of a sentence.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie*

Ok. Pulling out the name I gave you months ago....the quilting rock-star! This is the MOST beautiful FWQ that I have seen ever. EVER!!! I am so glad the pink sashing failed......the white with red posts is perfect. Absolutely perfect. I will never attempt a FWQ because I would want it to look just like yours, and of course it wouldn't resemble it one bit.

In other words, I love it!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarge

Breathtaking. What an accomplishment! Everything came together perfectly and you now have an heirloom quilt. Now, I need to get back to my neglected FW blocks and finish mine too!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Looks absolutely beau-t-ful! Great work, the blue ihelps pull the whole thing together.Great work, I hope you have the biggest smile on your face for getting it done and looking so good, pat yourself on the back, you deserve it.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGinny Worden

If this is what you achieve when you break the 'rules', well ~ wow!!! :)
V xxxxxxxxxxx

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergreenrabbitdesigns

Oh my goodness - YES - now that I see it all together - long arm is THE way to go - it is just gorgeous!!!!! I just L*O*V*E this quilt - you have done a fabulous job!!!!!!! I love this signature block too!!! And the pops of red all over are just perfect!!!! I love the white sashing, too, and how you framed the blocks on the diagonal and I love how you didn't cut off the squares at the ends of the rows... and I just love it all! This is a masterpiece! Thank you so much for showing all of this to us!!! What are the finished dimensions of the quilt - just curious with the smaller blocks! Oh I cannot wait to see how it is quilted!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBari Jo

It turned out beautiful! It will be worth having it long arm quilted if you don't feel up to the job of FMQ. You've put too much work into it, to be less than thrilled with the final quilting. Love your choice of border and I think that the signature block was a really nice touch.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

It's amazing, truly amazing! You did an awesome job and this is quite an accomplishment - way to go!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRenee

Wow, it is so beautiful!! A quilt that you will treasure!! Great job!! xo Heather

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Wow. Is is stunning. I would definitely have it professionally quilted but you have to figure out HOW you want it quilted. Lots of deicisions there.

Anyway, it is just beautiful. I'm so glad you finished it. You rock! ;p

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterina

I LOVE IT!!! This is the most beautiful FW-Quilt ever! Love the red squares, the white blocks, the blue border ... and don't get me started on the blocks themselves! Girl, you're amazing, talented and genius and this quilt shows all of it!
And about your decision for a longarm quilter: I think the quilter should pay YOU for let her quilt this masterpiece;-) Hildy

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHildy

ps - I just cannot stop looking at these beautiful pics! I am excited to see how you put the back together with the extra blocks you have! You know... you are going to need to make a second one so each daughter can have one some day! I would fight my own flesh and blood for this quilt! LOL

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBari Jo

Wow! This is gorgeous! Love the colours!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoan

The colors are gorgeous! Step back and pat yourself on the back. Don't change a thing.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I like your top MORE THAN your original model on the cover of that Japanese magazine! And rules are meant to be broken, right? Glad to see you allowed yourself some freedom when putting the blocks together. Great finish... congratulations!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergreg

Ohhhhhh, so beautiful! Truly inspiring. I have the book, and this is on my "quilt bucket list". Someday. . . . .

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterislandsewer

Your quilt top is really wonderful!
I think you have a lot of skills to free-motion it yourself!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTiina

It turned out wonderfully!!!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Of course, you know......there is ONE more quilting option. All that gorgeous work. All that time and effort. You could hand quilt it. ;-D

It's really stunning! My fav block is the one you've highlighted (whether you know it or not LOL.) That red star -- front and center -- well above center horizontally, but definitely centered vertically. It's Stunning!!!!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThimbleanna

It's spectacular! Congratulations! The colours are wonderful, and each block its own exquisiteness. Great layout. Love the red punctuation. Can't wait to see it quilted. Thanks for sharing your thoughts (and angsts) in the layout process.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie R.

Absolutely gorgeous! The most beautiful Farmer's Wife I have seen! Perfection!!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWendi

Stunning! I love it! So fresh and modern x

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSally

If ever there was a quilt that would persuade me to flirt with the farmer then this is the quilt! It's absolutely stunning! I love the border/setting fabric you chose and the flashes of red really set off the other colours. Well done!!! *standing up and clapping like a madwoman*

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArchie the wonder dog

Congratulations - it is absolutelu beautiful! Lovely to see it all together after so many sneak peeks! I am fighting the sashing atm - my least favourite part! but I'm totally inspired to do another one in a different colour scheme having seen how yours has turned out.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJennie

Just a beautiful quilt!!! Your amazing work just makes every single part of this quilt just perfection!!! Love the borders! Your choices all along the way have been spot on!! This has been a long labor of love, and the finish line is so worth it!!! I would let the longarm lady do her thing! The pattern I like best for longarm is called Fruitopia I think! Tell us who will be using this beauty and what does the family think about it???? Just another perfect work of art from you!!!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie Nyquist

You made some very good decisions along the journey. Lovely quilt!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLouise

Absolutely stunning! Love it to bits. :)

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHope

WooHoo!!! The loveliest FMQ I've ever seen! I love the added border and the full-square posts. That would've driven me banana-nuts crazy, too! My favorite? It's the tiny little attention to detail and thought that went into flying those birds over to your sister! I LOVE the little hidden jewels to be found on a quilt! Oh, that and your generous use of red quilting fabric. Repeat after me: Red is our friend. Red is our friend. Haha! :)

So beautiful and yes get it quilted cant wait to see it!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHelen

absolutely gorgeous. I just had my first quilt long arm quilted. I loved it. You will too.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercharlotte

Your FWQ is beautiful.A lot of hours went into it.Yes have it longarmed they will do it justice. Let us see it when you get it done.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSandyD

K!!!!!! I haven't visited for a while (got an iPhone, they're all the rage you know, and subsequently haven't really touched the computer) and I have to say "THIS LOOKS AAAAMAZING!" It makes me giddy!


July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

Holy cow batman! That quilt is gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!
Well done for getting them all done.......you would frown at my WIP pile :)

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca Bird

FANTASTIC! Absolutely beautiful.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLynda

Your Farmer's Wife Quilt is just stunning! I love the colors and the setting. Well done, you should be so proud of it.
By the way, I just today got my book and am going to make it along with my friend so we can cheer each other on. If mine turns out 1/2 as pretty as yours, I'll be thrilled. I am using the fabrics from Moda Called Vintage Modern with white solid. I'm really excited to start not that I've seen yours. CThanks

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret Parks

waht a great looking quilt! love the colors

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlori

It is so beautiful! I cannot wait to see it quilted. It has been so fun watching you make your blocks. And so inspiring to me to get back to work on my own.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHappierThanABirdQuilts

Your FW quilt is absolutely beautiful!!! I love the colors and the sweet fabrics. Thank you for sharing it with us!! I love all of your work, you are really amazing!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

Wow! That is a stunner. Love, love, love it! Polka dots, aqua, red, pink every favorite thing checked off. Congrats on a real beauty. You have motivated me to get moving on my version which is only about 20 blocks at this point.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

I made only 10 or so blocks and have not touched that project. I might have to dig them out and start again. : ) Probably mine will be smaller size, though. Yours turned so pretty!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMiwako

Your quilt could not be more perfect! Just the right amount of red, and the full posts along the edges and the extra white border create a balance that the book's finish is missing. I think your name belongs in the corner where you placed it. It just seems right.
I am also cheap when it comes to top-stitching. I either do a simple FMQ job or hand quilt, which I'm getting away from because I usually end of hating the quilt by the time I'm finsihed :) Anyway, if ever there was a time to spend the money and have a quilt beautifully quilted on a long-arm, this is the quilt.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary

Kristyne - that came out beautifully!! You should be busting your buttons about this quilt. It came together perfectly. Good job!!! It's been so much fun to watch your block progress, and now see the outcome.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Shackleford

This quilt turned out beautiful! It's been so fun watching your progress on this one, and it's great to see it all come together. Can't wait to see it after you have it quilted.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

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