myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

Farmer’s Wife 1930s QAL – Carolina!

Oh Carolina!
Hello and welcome to my first guest post on the Farmer’s Wife 1930s Quilt Along
And yes I hope you also have that old Shaggy song in your head now, as I have every time I think about this block!
I actually made my version of Carolina months ago as soon as I knew which blocks I would be covering in my guest posts, just to be on the safe side as I knew I was going to be very busy this month.
I’ve learnt a lot since I made my first blocks and would like to share a few more EPP tips here, to accompany my original EPP tips and techniques post at the start of the QAL. 

Yes I am English Paper Piecing my blocks and therefore have only made 9 so far! Carolina is block 19 so I am 10 adrift. Hopefully I will catch up over Christmas.

I wanted to show you how I go about prepping a block.

I am using the Foundation Paper Piecing print-outs for my templates as this is much more economical with paper. I am making Carol above which is one big square and many small triangles which are all the same size. Therefore I can completely ignore the numbers and letters on the templates. The important thing is having the right number of triangles, which the FPP sheet will give you.

Rather than cutting out my fabric pieces individually I glue each one to the wrong side of the fabric, leaving at least a half inch between each piece. Then I cut them out with scissors (if I am doing this in front of the TV) or sometimes with rotary cutter (if I am in my sewing room). Then I finish glue basting each piece individually.

I try to use a slightly larger seam (than a quarter inch) as I find the fabric frays when I take the papers out and this is especially important on any pieces which will be at the outside of the block.

I find binding clips are invaluable for holding the larger EPP pieces together while sewing, like the centre square and corner triangles above. You can manage to hold the smaller pieces together easily but these larger pieces need to be secure before sewing and pins are not easy to use through all the layers.

When I’ve finished sewing a take all the papers out, opening the outside block seams right out, and press my block. Then I trim using it using my ruler.

I’ve decided that my quilt will not be made with blocks on point as I am not very keen on this look. Therefore my vintage ladies in Carol are ‘on point’ but the block won’t be.  I plan to sash with a light fabric so all my blocks will have a ‘colour’ background.
I hope you have found this post useful. Head over to Kerry’s blog for all the details about the QAL and if you can do catch one of Kerry’s weekly Periscope broadcasts, they are wonderful and great fun!
I will be back in a few weeks with Crystal, which luckily does not give me an ear worm!!


  1. The shot with the binding clips shows just how tiny these pieces are. Lovely fabric selections and looking forward to seeing Crystal ….. Reminds me of Crystal tips and Alistair, watch it on YouTube and get an ear worm!

  2. I'm a huge fan of EPP. In fact, almost all my piecing is done this way. I greatly appreciate you sharing your trials and tips with us. Your block looks great..

  3. WOW, I am so happy to have found you and this particular post. I too am EPP ing my Farmer's Wife blocks and it is slow going. Some are a breeze and others are impossible for me. But I am improving so that is a positive. All these tips are helpful and thanks for generously sharing.

  4. i have made the dear Jane quilt years ago during the Iraqi War (not civil War) using any method suitable to get the right look. I lived in Jane Stickle's neighborhood and challenges myself with the many small pieces in 1 block.I like Jane had minimal supplies to begin with. I am just learning EPP. I am glad I am doing things one step at a time. A friend has just stepped up to the idea of doing "Jane" in EPP.

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