It's week 5 of our Farmer's Wife 1930s Quilt-along and here I'm back to share a little about Block 10: Ava. This block is SO easy and satisfying to make. I have absolutely no problems handsewing Ava block! All straight line end-to-end sewing. No Y-seams, no curves... nothing. It takes me only about two hours to complete (from printing to cutting to sewing)!
The story behind this block is very inspiring. Children were seen as angels or treasures to cherish even during the difficult depression period. The author, Synthetic Mother from Ohio, was an amazing lady who adopted two babies whom she loved so deeply like her own. ".... it's the most satisfying experience I ever had - so much better than going through life with empty arms." she wrote. These words etched so deeply in my heart after reading. I found myself so much more willing to put down my sewing very often these days just to be around with my children. To treasure their presence and to enjoy our lives together as a family.
The fabrics I chose for this block were pure coincidental. I picked the fabrics just by looking at the block diagram before reading the story. Kids, little chicks, grass, flowers... Then after reading the heartwarming story, I realised, don't the fabrics fit so perfectly into the story?? I was rather surprised with myself!
I really adore how this Ava turned out to be. It looks a lot better than I imagined! It gives me the kind of fluttery feeling in the tummy whenever I look at it. Super love!
Since the templates are all symmetrical, the drawing of templates on the fabrics is straightforward. I have mentioned a point in IG regarding some of the blocks with asymmetrical templates like blocks 3, 4, 5. It's important to note that the templates are right side up, so you have to flip the templates when drawing on the wrong side of fabric. Or, you can flip the page before printing out the templates from your computer! It's your choice.
To answer a few questions sent to my email, I use Clover Patchwork Needle size 8 or 9 (you can get it here and here) and Fujix hand quilting thread in natural cream color for handsewing. The needle size is good for me to catch more than 7-8 continuous stitches every single time before a backstitch. Continuous stitches is important to ensure a straight sewing line and not a crooked or slanted one. You can choose to use normal (machine) sewing thread but I find it breaks a lot easier so I prefer handquilting thread which is stronger.
One more question is about how I cut the pointy edges of the templates. I have no specific answer to that because I'm still figuring out! But this is what I normally do. I try to align the ruler perpendicular to the pointy edge with 1/4" seam allowance. It works most of the time but not everytime. A simpler way is to cut the pointy edges only after you finish sewing. Well, if you do have a good idea on this question, we will be very happy if you can share with us!
Here's how the back of the block looks like.
So here it is, block 10 Ava of our Farmer's Wife Quilt-along. Hop over to Kerry's blog to read more about block 9 Autumn and previous blocks. She has many many tips on foundation paper piecing as well as information from other talented blogger friends about english paper piecing! Please continue to sew together with us and enjoy!xx