Monday, 7 September 2015

Farm Girl Vintage

Reader, a new obsession has gripped me of late.  I decided it was time to get myself back in the Den and get down to some sewing.  A new book had me all of a tizz, that book is Farm Girl Vintage by Lori Holt.



I've long been a fan of Lori and her blog Bee in my Bonnet.  I have made some of the blocks in her fabby book Quilty Fun which are now mini quilts on the wall in my Den.  I also took part in her sewalong last Christmas and enjoyed it very much.  I was therefore very very happy to get my mitts on Farm Girl Vintage which looked, if possible, even better!

A little like the Christmas sewalong and Quilty Fun, the idea with the new book is that there are lots of individual blocks and these can then be made into a variety of quilts, the settings for which Lori helps you with, or you can make smaller projects such as pot holders or table runners.


This appealed to me enormously as I have found myself with not much time to sew in recent months so the idea that I could just fit in making the odd block for an hour here or there seemed a winner.  At least that was the theory.


As you can see from these images, it's a really beautiful book to look at.  I never tire of looking through it and it is often to be found beside my bed of a night for a little pre-sleep inspiration so I wake up all fired up the next morning.  Lori has a gorgeous home which is really individual to her and provides the perfect backdrop for the shots of her blocks and quilts.  Drool-worthy stuff!




It has been great fun and very inspiring to follow the farmgirlvintage hashtag over on Instagram.  It feels like one big farm girl vintage obsessed sewing family!

I wanted to use similar fabrics to Lori, bright happy colours with a vintage feel, modern fabrics in a retro style.  It looked like the stash could handle it.


However, at the annual Festival of Quilts, a little farm girl vintage inspired shopping may have taken place.


It is a very practical book as it is spiral bound so it is easy to turn to the page you need and not wrestle with the spine.  The format is that the first major chunk of the book is devoted to the individual blocks followed by the various quilt settings and projects.


The style of the blocks varies.  On the one hand, there are what  I would term traditional patchwork blocks such as stars, squares, churn dash, flying geese (above) and so on.  These have afforded me some good opportunities for fussy cutting to which I am always partial.  







(The fussy cut centres are from a single fabric by Kokka.)

Then there are the more pictorial style blocks.  These are cute and fun!  





I love them all!  I try to intersperse making the traditional blocks with the pictorial ones to keep things a little varied.



The blocks are a good test of your patch working skills.  There is quite a bit of cutting for each block.  The best bit is choosing all those fabrics, of course.  So from this many pieces...


...you might end up with a cute chick.


The traditional blocks in particular often look deceptively simple however they have lots of little pieces and many points to match which you can easily sew over or chop off if your cutting and stitching is not millimetre perfect.  It's really satisfying to get them right, even it it does involve the seam ripper on occasion.  

Take this gingham block below, made up entirely of squares, thirty-six of them to be precise.  Not so hard you might think.  


Aside from choosing your fabrics carefully to balance the lights and darks and achieve the contrast this block needs, did you realise it is just six and a half inches square when finished?  Working on that scale is tricky because there is very little room for error.  The book gives you the option of making six or twelve inch finished blocks (giving you the cutting requirements for each).  I fancied working small as I love the fiddliness of it and I have enjoyed the challenge of trying to get it as perfect as I can, that to me is the beauty of working on just one block at a time.  It's an exercise in patience though!


I've really enjoyed getting into the spirit of farm girl vintage.  Being a country bumpkin now, I seem to be surrounded by the perfect inspiration.  From our fluffy chooks I can see from the window of my Den, to the cherries we've picked in the garden, to the fabulous vintage farm tractors at the Great Dorset Steam Fair last Friday.


How I would love that tractor for a little photoshoot once my quilt is finished!  I have enjoyed trying to think of different ways to snap my finished blocks which I've been posting on Instagram along with all the other farm girl sewers.  Each time we post a block, we hashtag it with the name of the block so it's great to be able to search and see everyone else's blocks.



Lori's Instagram feed (where she is beelori1) is incredibly inspiring.  She has posted lots of updates including sharing with us what has been happening on the sewing retreats she has been running over in the States.  At these retreats, she has released a couple of new patterns and also shown us variations on some of the existing blocks in the book.  There are several PDF patterns which link in with the book over at Fat Quarter Shop.  I have made this cute pig and I think the apple will follow soon.



Lori has also created Farm Girl Fridays over on her blog where she posts something new on the topic, you guessed it, every Friday.  She talks through the process of making one or more blocks and suggests some fun variations.  She also links to various other bloggers who are sewing along with Farm Girl Vintage.

My aim is to make the Farm Girl Sampler Quilt from the book.  This will have forty-eight different blocks (all those in the book plus a few of the PDFs) along with sashing and borders to make a finished quilt 62.5" x 76.5".  I have now made over half the blocks so I need to keep trying to fit in a few when I can and get them finished, hopefully this year!


I'm loving it!

29 comments:

  1. Oh I have so loved reading this post. At first couldn't tell which were your photos and the ones from the book. But an online trip to Amazon is in the offing now as I love those blocks. Your own home is gorgeous too so shouldn't be difficult for you to find photoshoot opportunities around there.

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  2. I can see why these blocks are so addictive! Unfortunately my patchwork skills are very lack-lustre and I feel these patterns are a bit above me. However, I love watching Lori's Instagram and the hashtags to see what other more talented seamstresses have made. Keep it up Hen - I am watching and loving it!!

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  3. It is all so wonderful and so clever. You are an inspiration, I have not quilted in quite a few years so am enjoying getting more fabric so start something simple first. Thank you for all your lovely photo's and inspiration.
    I am so pleased the cats are getting on ok, I love seeing them and am sure in time they will be the best of friends.
    Fondly Michelle

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  4. wonderful blocks, I have the book on my birthday wish list - so hoping to join in come October! our super fresh eggs look totally in keepong with the wonderful block!

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  5. It's been a joy seeing your squares on IG

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  6. Quantos projetos lindos,parabéns.É muito bom fazer peças de nossas revista,assim ficam só na coleção,também passo por isso.Boa semana.Valéria.(Brasil).

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  7. I agree. This is one of the cutest quilt books I have purchased in a long time. So many ideas. So little time. I have made almost all the blocks and am working on the large chicken quilt and the large barn and silo quilt. So much fun. Love your fabric choices and I see some of the same fabrics in your blocks that I have in mine. This farm girl is in love with Vintage Farm Girl.

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  8. Love your blocks, such fun happy colours! I also like your flannel boards for laying out your pieces, how did you make them?

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  9. I'm loving these blocks! Wish someone here could do a class where we could make a square a couple of times a week. I am not a "cutter" and would need help and advise. But your quilt will be wonderful!!!

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  10. I looked at Lori's Blog a week or so ago and fell in love with these blocks. I haven't made any as I need to finish a lot of WIPs. I'm so glad you are back as I love all the things that you do. Are we going to get more glimpses of your new home? I'm sure it's beautiful with you putting it together. Again, glad you're back and we can see all the lovely things you make.

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  11. I am in love with this book! There are so many adorable ideas that I find it hard to chose. I completed the Farm Girl Sampler quilt and it was an absolute joy to create entirely from my stash. I LOVE your fussy cuts! In fact, I think I might need to make some more blocks to add in some new fun cuts. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  12. Another post what a lovely surprise. I went on to re-read the chicken post and there you were with yummy pictures. I don't think you will stick to a few squares and I bet you will have that quilt finished by the end of this month!!!

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  13. Wow! Love your blocks. Admire the precision of your sewing. Applause the attention you brought to your photos with accessories. Too cute. Really enjoyed this post. Thanks. ;^)

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  14. What fabulous blocks and a really great post about them!!! They are all so gorgeous aren't they - the blocks! It must be very hard to choose which ones to make. Your fabric stash is amazing and gorgeous too!! Happy quilting! xx

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  15. Your blocks are just adorable. You are a very productive lady, especially to be busy with new chickies. :)

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  16. great blocks. love all the fabrics. and wow, what a post!

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  17. Ha, another person that has succumbed to farm girl vintage! I am sewing along too, with a group of ladies on Facebook. It has been great seeing everyone's creations and it has been SO addictive! Can't wait to see your finished project!
    Monique

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  18. Your blocks are beautiful. I only have 4 more to make!

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  19. What a fabulous review of a fabulous book! I too, am enjoying the sew along. However, with Fall approaching, I am getting a bit antsy to get back to some other sewing, along with holiday gifts. But I have thoroughly enjoyed this book and making the cute blocks!
    Your blocks are all beautifully precise. I am afraid, I am not quite as fond of the fiddliness as you are. But the challenge is satisfying.
    Happy Day to you.
    XO Kris in CA, USA

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  20. Your fabric stash is simply amazing and your blocks are so beautiful!!! If only I had the patience to put together all of those little blocks together...

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  21. These are so charming! I always mean to try quilting, but haven't seen projects like these. I love the fabrics you've used. I'm going to order the book.

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  22. Those blocks are amazing. Wish I had time to make some.

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  23. I too have been enjoying the Farmgirlfridays and Lori's book. Your blocks are so precise!!!!!! I get a little frustrated with too many 1" pieces, but it has been fun.
    Lovely post!
    XO Kris

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  24. What simply charming little blocks! I must check out this neat book! Thanks!

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  25. These are charming Hen, I love the kettle would be fab on a mitt for my wood burner...xx

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  26. These blocks are so cute & look simple enough for even me to try! phyllis

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  27. Gorgeous, charming and heartwarming! Love it!

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  28. They are all so cute!! I think I love the tea kettle the best! When you put them all together, they will make a beautiful quilt!!
    God bless
    Kelly

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