17 July 2011

In my defence, your honour......

.........I was only a newbie, who thought she could do as well as those who has years more experience.

When other people were avoiding the Farmers wife templates, I didn't fully appreciate that they all had years of experience of throwing these blocks together.  If they didn't need the templates, then neither did I!

But after this week's attempt at the FW blocks (only week 3 I'm afraid) I am a 100% convert to the template.  Here's why

1st block (no template)
Flock - no 34

Case for the prosecution
  • Nothing lines up
  • The block is not 6 1.2 inches
  • I made the bigger HST way to big because I "worked out" how big it should be
  • It took me 2 hours to put together
  • I ripped almost every seam at least once
  • It still looks like a bag of sshhh you know what
  • I had a headache at the end of it
  • I considered giving quilting up altogether
2nd block (template)

Hill and Valley (no 46)

Case for the defence

  • It took 20 minutes to cut and 30 minutes to put together
  • Every seam and every point is spot on
  • It measure 6.5 inches
  • It's flat
What more can I say.  

Quite a lot actually.  I resisted templates because I read so many people weren't using them. The consensus was that they took so much longer to cut out, and were such a hassle.   Then I read Lee's post over at freshlypieced.  She has used the templates with great success.  But I was still reluctant as,  I have to admit, I don't really know the best way of using templates, so I went over to the FW group on flicker and found that I wasn't the only one unsure as to how to use them.  Following a suggestion on there, I have now printed off all the templates and laminated them.  I still didn't use them for the first block, but thought I'd give them a go for the second.  Let's face it, it's got a long way to go to be worse than the first! And guess what.  Not only was it quicker to cut them out (I am a very slow cutter, trying to keep them accurate), but IT WORKED.  My second block, whilst not perfect, is pretty damned close. 

So from now on, I will be using the templates and it looks like no 46 is due to be ditched and re-done.  And for any of you less confident new quilters, I suggest you give the templates a try

And so the case for the defence rests.

The next block on my schedule is Century of Progress, which should test my new-found confidence to the limits!!


  1. Ooops! I am still doing the maths - at least for the ones the maths can be done easily. HSTs and maths is easy for me. I add an inch to whatever the finished size is. Half an inch for seam allowance and half an inch for turning the square into a triangle and trimming to perfection. But I must say your template block is perfection so you go with what works for you. You will get far more joy from doing the blocks that way.

  2. brilliant and fascinating post! I'll keep it in mind...

  3. So you've succumbed.
    I've heard that not all the templates are correct, so check as you go.
    I will not be joining you, but both of your blocks look really cute, even if the first one isn't quite the right size.

  4. I don't know why some are anti-template I have been doing a bit of both.

    Diane I have been trying to respond by email to your comments on my blog but it doesn't seem to work! Just wanted you to know I appreciate it!

  5. I teach P & Q and the beginners' quilt has a block using templates which everyone just always hates..the block always turns out bigger, I suspect because of the scope for inaccuracy - tracing, pasting onto card, cutting it out etc -all the tiny fractions can add up but I always stress it's good to know how to make and use a template cos not everything can be rotary cut. Keep going with whatever method makes you less headachey!!