The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sew Along Prep with Kimberly! - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sew Along Prep with Kimberly!

Hi everyone! It’s Kimberly on the Jolly Jabber today! I am super pumped for The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sew Along hosted by Angie of Gnome Angel and Marti Michell. I thought it would be fun to share some tips on how I am making my blocks. My goal is to make all of the blocks and I really hope I can achieve that! So here are my tips for starting….

I decided to work with Layer Cakes since the blocks finish at 6″ this should be enough to get me started. I am using the Miniature Gatherings collection by Primitive Gatherings for a classic, primitive look. 

I love starching my fabrics. I love it so much that I soak all of my later cake squares in starch (thank you Lisa Bongean for teaching me how to do this!)

Once I have everything soaking wet, I lay my squares in my bathtub to dry overnight. 

Then I start my design process. Since my fabrics have miniature prints and the Farmer’s Wife blocks are small in scale, I am going to keep my blocks simple by using a one color-scheme in each block. 

For each block, I print the template sheet for that block from the CD that comes with the book. Then I measure each piece. 

If I am able to use my Creative Grids Rulers without templates, I made the block that way – nice and easy.

If I can’t figure out the math, I use Marti Michell’s templates, which are so helpful!

And if it’s super challenging, I will paper piece my blocks using Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper. Once we get to paper piecing, I will show you how fun this is on Instagram (be sure to follow us @fatquartershop)

To start my blocks, I drew ten random blocks in Electric Quilt to get the feel of my blocks then I printed each block on color paper to follow as I piece.

I am very picky about my thread selection (no wonder I have a thread obsession!). Before I start every project, I match my thread to my fabric. I usually pick a color that is “in between” my light and dark fabrics. For this particular quilt, I chose Aurifil 2340.

My last tip is try making your blocks in groups. I like to make blocks ten at a time to save time. I cut all of my blocks at once and put them on my Lori Holt Design Boards. To learn how to make them, watch her video or check out our step-by-step blog tutorial or you can buy these already made here. 

As a fun teaser, here are my first few blocks.

I can’t wait to see all of your blocks! Make sure to check back Monday, September 28, 2015 for the start of this Sew Along and don’t forget to join our Facebook group and follow the #FQS1930FarmersWife on Instagram


  1. Thanks for this post. I just got my book and it seems really intimidating so any and all help and pointers are appreciated! I've been ordering Kim Diehl fabric from your store (another order last night, in fact) and I'm going to be using that for my quilt.

  2. Kimberly, I just received my first Storyteller's BOM and want to try out this starching technique. Do I need to cut the pieces first, or go ahead and starch the fabric before cutting?

  3. Excellent tips! I also heavily starch my fabrics. In my opinion, it helps not only in the cutting process but in the piecing also. Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful creative day!

  4. I am handpiecing the blocks using the templates. My best tip is to lay out all the pieces on a Strong Grip Cricut mat. Everything stays in place, it holds the pins and the needle when I put them down, you can carry the mat with you without the pieces shifting, and it grabs all the tiny threads from any fraying that occurs.

  5. How Awesome Kimberly! Your blocks look fantastic! Thank you for the information. Even though I am not participating it is good to watch and learn for my other projects and I appreciate you taking the time to post this! Thank you!