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July 25, 2011



Nicole, from experience, all those little 1/4" seams add up and can distort the whole quilt if you sew them with the larger block. I know that some will say it won't make a difference just stretch them. After doing all that work, why? Choose which size you want and use the others on the back or for a pillow. Just my small opinion. BTW, we had our grand-daughter on July 14th. Beautiful as expected.

Stephani in TX

This is the first FW put-together that I just love. Good choice Nicole. The fabrics make it sparkle. Love the fabric, little bitty pieces not so much. This is your version of putting together a 1000 piece puzzle while you do the WAIT?? Have fun with Sara.


thank you so much for that link for the templates . . . I just printed the pages off using NO scaling . . . that should make them accurate . . .

remember I told you the problems we all had in my class . . . with different size templates . . .

some of the blocks came out 6 1/2" and some came out 6 1/4" . . . that was the frustrating part . . .

the bigger problem was that the 6 1/4" blocks the points were cut off once I sewed them to the sashing . . .

I did get my book back out this weekend and I was going to do what you and Sara are doing . . . rotary cut as many blocks as I can . . .

I'm hoping these templates I just printed off will work perfectly for all the others . . .

Jo Anna

Somewhere I read how to make the templates print the right size. It had to do with the scaling. I think it might be on the Flickr site for the quilt-a-long.

Wendy P

When you print the templates, your printer is probably set to default to the "Shrink to Fit Page" setting. You just have to change that to NONE before clicking PRINT.


Haven't started my Farmer's Wife blocks yet. Still dithering about what fabric to use, a collection or just dig into my stash. I think your fabric choice is spectacular. The blocks really pop. Thanks for the many good tips on how to make these blocks. I know when I start, they will be very helpful.


Hi Nicole. I haven't taken the plunge yet but I did order the book this past weekend. I love the fabric you and Sara chose for your quilts.

I have been reading the blogs and Flicker group about the template woes. I did a little research and I found this link (see below) on the Farmers Wife Quilt website for the templates. Make sure you set your printer not to scale. As a reference, I have read that Template 1 should be 2 1/2 inches. I hope these are more accurate.

A free download of the templates for The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt is available. These templates are organized by block, instead of one template per page.


Hi Nicole,
When you put in your disc there is a file called "Read Me". It explains about using the 100% setting or Actual setting. This was helpful to me because my computer automatically goes to 130% which I didn't even realize. I have been making the simpler blocks such as #2 or #9 by rotary cutting the pieces, since they are 4 patch and 9 patch blocks the math is easy to figure. On the blocks that have odd size pieces such as #5 and #37 I have been printing out the templates for the odd shaped pieces only. This way I am only printing out templates that I need instead of printing out over 100 templates. So far all of my blocks have been coming out at 6 1/2". Hope this helps.


Nicole, the templates printed out one at a time also result in small blocks. If you measure your template you will see they are 15/16th instead of 1 inch. VERY frustrating and a very poor way to make a quilt book with 100+ patterns. I wouldn't have bought the book if I had looked through it and knew that they templates were one per page, which is how I printed mine! If you want to work in your smaller blocks, right now pin one to a full size block and see how much stretch you are needing. Pin at both ends, then pin in the middle and then work in the 6 1/2 " block to the smaller one. Love your colors


I have been printing the templates and then measuring them for rotary cutting. When I did use the templates alone, my block ended up being a quarter inch smaller. I was thinking about using the paper piecing method many people are trying. I wonder what size those will end up;) Your blocks look so great and cheery! I hope they won't give you a problem sewing them all together-a little stretch here and there and no problem:) Enjoy!


I bought the marti mitchell templates. They are wonderful. and worth the money!


Love love love your FW blocks in this fabric they are gorgeous. I've not used the templates so can't help with any problems there as I've either done the maths and rotary cut or drawn the block in EQ and printed out for paper piecing.


I forgot to say - for your blocks that are a little too small - could you not lose that in the sashing but stitching a narrower seam?


First of all, I love the fabric! It has that summery, county fair, kind of feel. Is there any way that you can print just 1 page from the CD, to see how it really does print? You could also compare the size of the templates that way. You are a prefectionist, so I don't think you will like using the 2 different sizes of block in one quilt. Maybe you can make a smaller project with the 6 1/4" blocks. AND, you know we want to see that ugly block, so we don't get an ugly one, too!!


Love your blocks! I have the same fabric and your blocks are so cheerful!
Thank you for this info!! I am expecting my book in the mail today and I am glad I read your post first. Will definitely read all comments before I begin!
Thanks again!


Did you be sure to print them with scaling OFF? Template #1 should measure at 2.5" unfinished, I believe. On the Flickr group I gave a couple measurements for a few templates and strongly suggested that you compare a few with the actual measurements and/or with a few printed from the cd. A lot of people have been having this problem and it stems from printing them with scaling on which seems to be the default for PDF files. I've been using them with no problem and all my blocks are coming out right at 6.5".


I love this fabric line, and your blocks are beautiful. I've been debating if I should join in on the fun, but these templates seems to be an issue I'm not sure I can deal with!


I have not given in yet on this craze - but just wanted to say I love the green you're using. Your blocks are so rich and fun looking. Can't wait to see more!! Hope your template issues get resolved!

Name Barbara Clarke

Nicole, I've been addicted to these little things as well! Instead of using templates, I have been "doing the math" to rotary cut. I started with the 9-patch blocks, then the 16, 32, etc. Once I do the math for one type of "patch", I have it for all the other blocks as well. Eventually I will likely have to work with the templates, but I'm gonna try like crazy to avoid them. Your blocks look great - it must be wonderful to sew with your daughter.


What a great way to take your minds off Baby E coming (as if that's possible!)! Thanks for this post, Nicole. After reading your comments I'm convinced the $90 for Marti's rulers outweigh the time and effort in cutting templates and doing the math for sure!


Great fabric choice! I started mine this weekend and they are addictive. I agree with the readers who advised you to print the templates with your printer set for "none" scaling. I first printed the whole batch with shrink to fit, then dumped them and reprinted them. And I've been sewing with a scant (maybe a tad less than scant) seam allowance. And they're exactly 6 1/2 " now. Please keep posting your progress!


Nicole, I haven't read the other posts so someone may have already pointed this out to you.
I understand that you would be staggering the smaller blocks amongst the multitude of blocks in this quilt so could you snudge it??? I don't know. I'm just wanted to pass on something that was explained to me when I made a BOM with 12 1/2" blocks,(unfinished size). Three of my blocks were only 12 1/4", they each had over 90 pieces in them so I mush have cut something wrong. Point is, those three smaller blocks threw my entire quilt off. I had the worst time trying to do sashings, it was awful. I went to my LQS and asked the BOM class teacher about it and she pointed out to me that those smaller blocks weren't just 1/4" smaller. They were 1/4" smaller on all 4 sides which made each of them a full 1" smaller than my perfect 12 1/2" blocks. I've only been quilting for 3 years and I was not thinking about the overall size, just that little 1/4". Anyway, I'm just passing on to you what my instructor told me. I finally pulled the 3 small blocks out, Then I finished it with the 9 good blocks and added an extra border so I would still have the size quilt I wanted. The instructor also told me that if we want our quilts to square up nicely, we shouldn't try to use any blocks that are more than 1/16 - 1/8 inch smaller than called for. That rule of thumb has served me well since then.
Also, just a thought...looking at the wonderful blocks you have finished, they would make a really delightful table cloth/topper if you decide you aren't going to used them in your quilt. I love your fabrics, absolutely gorgeous. Hugs...

Barbara Anne

Love the blocks and fabrics!

Do the Farmer's Wife blocks require going together in a certain placement order? If so, I'd suggest remaking these few blocks for the quilt and use the 6 1/4" blocks for a wall hanging to go in the room where the quilt is on display.

If you can put the blocks together any way you choose and add any border in your imagination, these blocks be scattered in the corners and along the length of a border. On way or another, they wouldn't go to waste.

Busy day here with AMIL. How delightful you and Sara share the love of fabrics, sewing, and quilting!


Joan S.

I bought the book at BN this weekend when we went to visit the new grandbaby, so I'm excited to read all the thoughts about putting the blocks together. Love looking at all the different fabric combinations too! It was the last book in the store - now we'll see how long it takes me to get one block completed.


I just finished making the last of the 111 blocks and I did use Marti's templates for quite a bit of it. They were a life saver actually for quite a few things. I did have an advantage though as mine were through a BOM from Primitive Gatherings and there were template cutting instructions included in each month which saved a lot of time. I have found MM's templates excellent for other projects as well though, so I think they're worth the money.

I also printed off the templates from the CD and didn't have a problem with those either. Just make sure that your printer is on the correct settings and you should be fine.

And as far as your 6-1/4 and 6-1/2 inch blocks. I had that happen in a couple instances (operator error) and I drew a line on the back of the blocks all the way around for the seam allowance (1/4 for the correct sized block and 1/8 for the smaller blocks, pinned to line up the lines and sewed away. Some of these blocks - no matter how careful you are in sewing tend so size up a little small. I mainly had trouble with the ones that you had some wonky template shape. One block came out looking like a volcano. I will probably paper piece that one. The paper piecing patterns are in the Yahoo Group.

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