Getting Organised – The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sew Along

By now, you may have heard about a little sew along that has been announced?  Well, by little, I mean HUGE!!  Angie from Gnome Angel, along with Fat Quarter Shop are running The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sew Along.  And in exciting news, Angie asked if I would like to blog along?  Ummmmmmm, YEH!  The sew-along officially starts on September 28, but there is already a massive group of quilters joining forces in the FB group – over 1800 of them from all around the world!

What do you need to join in?  Well, you just need the book and some fabric.  There are plenty of other goodies you can get, such as templates, but they aren’t a necessity.  The sew along runs over ONE WHOLE YEAR, which equates to two blocks a week – a definite can-do timeframe.


In the lead up to the starting date, I have decided to get super organised!  This is highly unusual for me, as I am a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of gal.  But I fully appreciate that this is quite a large project, and given it runs over 12 months, I wanted to make sure that everything I need will be stored in the one place, and will limit the risk of me misplacing items or God forbid – losing finished blocks!  So I thought I would share how I am preparing with you…..


I took a little trip to my local Officeworks on the weekend, and strolled around for far too long a bit.  I had an idea in my head of what I was after, but that place is like a whirlpool, and it’s so easy to get distracted by all the pretty things!  What I ended up leaving with, was a fabulous zippered binder, 100 plastic sheet protectors, a new packet of A4 paper, page dividers and a new ink cartridge for my printer.  Now, don’t feel like you have to outlay all of this money at the beginning.  These are all optional items – but ones that I have decided will hopefully help me feel like I’m organised!


I have divided my binder up in to five sections, allocating 20 blocks to each, just so they will be easier to find when the blocks are announced each week.  Now that you’ve read Angie’s post on how the sew along will work, you will know that we will not be sewing the blocks in numerical order – the organisers have split the 99 blocks up in to grouping of easiest to more difficult blocks, so we can all start with the easier ones and work up to the others.


I have decided to print out all of my paper piecing templates in one go.  Once again – You don’t have to do this.  If you want to print out the two blocks each week (You know, if you have a printer and access at work, you can just quickly hit print and be done with it!  Ssshhhhhh……), then that’s totally cool too!  But for me, I know I would inevitably run out of ink at some stage and the store would be closed and I’d be left crying in the corner with piecing withdrawals….. Ok, maybe that’s going a bit far…..

I digress.  Each plastic sheet protector contains the templates for each block.  Now, I won’t be paper piecing every single block, because there are so many options for how to piece them.  And there are loads of fabulous bloggers who will sharing their tips and piecing tutorials.  But my blocks are all there, in numerical order.  And then when I have sewn a block, I will be storing the finished block back in its plastic pocket so it WILL NOT GET LOST amongst my WIP pile!  The little beauty above is my test block, so I could confirm I actually liked my fabric choices!  I do.

Side note – I love the fact this binder has a zip to contain it all.  I think that is genius.

So.  That is my plan.  I have no idea if it’s going to work, but I have never undertaken a project of this scale before, and want to give myself every conceivable bit of hope possible that I will keep on track!  I do hope you have taken something from this – even if it’s just that some forward planning may be your best friend.


22 Responses to Getting Organised – The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sew Along

  1. Janine says:

    That is a great idea!! Love the zippered folder.
    There is a lady on the FB group who had her book not spiral bound but she had it hole punched so she has the book in the folder as well, not a bad idea. Not sure if you saw that pic.

  2. Ohhh, zippered binder! Why didn’t I think of that?! I just got a standard plastic pocket folder thing (Japan has odd variations I’ve never seen before!)… And my blocks are in the snaplock bag my book came in from the Fat Quarter Shop, ha!

  3. Dawn says:

    Hi Melissa,
    Good idea with the zippered folder!
    but one teensy wensy itty bitty question…
    Will all 99 finished blocks plus paperwork/paraphernalia fit into one zippered folder?

    • Ms Midge says:

      I know I answered you via email, but thought I’d pop it here too! I too thought of that, but if I have to buy another zippered folder, I shall! x

  4. Love the organisation, I had no idea these were paper pieced blocks, mmm may have to rethink this one 🙂

    • Ms Midge says:

      I have replied via email but thought I’d add it here too – LOTS of options for piecing these blocks – paper piecing is just one of them! You’ve gotta stick it out!

  5. Lesley Gilbert says:

    Thanks for all these tips. I was going to ask if the blocks would all fit into one zippered folder but Dawn got there before me haha – I guess you’ll find out once you start filling them all up 🙂

  6. Libby says:

    Thanks for the organization tips…………..I have been racking my brain on how I was going to stay organized ( we are talking about 6″ blocks) !! Now I know! Thanks again!!

  7. Kathleen says:

    Awesome binder for organizing these blocks!

  8. Oh man you are organised! Such a great idea to print everything out in one go too 🙂

  9. Anita says:

    This post was a fun read Midge! 🙂 I agree, although I am not highly organised in the sewing department for this one we should make an effort to be. I’m with you on printing everything out in one go too. It is such a pain to run out of paper and/or ink just when you really need to print something.

  10. Karen Chandler says:

    So I’ve been humming and ahhing about this for a couple of weeks …do I really need another project? I really should be finishing my Gypsy wife quilt, my Gorgeous Georgia, the kits that haven’t been opened yet and of course the Cotton and Steel Charm A Long not to mentioned the dozens of ideas and inspirations that fill my head each day….Oh what the heck, why not, and I pledge not to start before the 28th September!

  11. Pingback: Planning for the Farmer's Wife 1930's Sew Along - The Crafty Mummy

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