Contrary Wife For a 6 inch finished Contrary Wife block you need       Five 2 1/2 inch squares from a one fabric (gold)       Two 2 7/8 inch squares from both a background color (white) and a contrasting color (blue). Other sizes are listed below.

This block also has a few triangle squares. (Triangle squares, diagonal half squares, or half square triangles. They are all the same thing, just different names.) You may use which ever method you like to make these, this is my favorite.

We will make two blue and white triangle squares first, you will need four. Carefully draw a line corner to corner, (diagonally) through the white 2 7/8 inch squares. This will be a cutting line when you are finished. Place red and white 2 7/8 inch square right sides together. If you have a true 1/4 inch foot on your machine, you can sew on either side of the drawn line.

If not, you will have to draw a second line on either side, exactly 1/4 inch from the first line. They will be your sewing lines. After you have sewn on your sewing lines, 1/4 inch on either side of your corner to corner to line, you will cut this square in half on the drawn cutting line. Clip off the corners as shown.

You will now have two triangle squares, which should measure exactly 2 1/2 inches. You need two more.

Make two rows like this

and one like this.

Then put them together like this to finish the block.

Do you know what happens when an Old Maid gets married? She becomes a Contrary Wife. Not really, but when you combine the two blocks you get a pretty quilt. This makes a pretty quilt by itself (left), but when you combine the Contrary Wife and Old Maid's Puzzle I think you get a cute quilt (on the right).

Here are the cuts needed to make Contrary Wife block in many different sizes (smaller & larger):
Cutting your squares 1 1/2 inches (1 7/8 for triangles) will give you a finished block of 3 inches.
Cutting your squares 2 inches (2 3/8 for triangles) will give you a finished block of 4 1/2 inches.
Cutting your squares 2 1/2 inches (2 7/8 for triangles) will give you a finished block of 6 inches.
Cutting your squares 3 inches (3 3/8 for triangles) will give you a finished block of 7 1/2 inches.
Cutting your squares 3 1/2 inches (3 7/8 for triangles) will give you a finished block of 9 inches.
Cutting your squares 4 inches (4 3/8 for triangles) will give you a finished block of 10 1/2 inches.
Cutting your squares 4 1/2 inches (4 7/8 for triangles) will give you a finished block of 12 inches.
Cutting your squares 5 1/2 inches (5 7/8 for triangles) will give you a finished block of 15 inches.
Cutting your squares 6 1/2 inches (6 7/8 for triangles) will give you a finished block of 18 inches.
Finished means after the block is sewn into a quilt.

Contrary Wife © Delaware Quilts January 2000
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Updated October 8, 2022

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