Friday, July 29, 2011

Farmer's Wife Friday--I Love the Farm

This week's letter, our sixth, written by a farmer's wife from Missouri wishes for her daughter to marry a farmer that is perhaps college or university trained.  One who regards "Agriculture as man's divinest vocation, worthy of the the thoughtful best effort of the highest intelligence."
What a forward thinking attitude, it seems to me!

The Peace and Plenty block speaks to the author's wish, "I want my daughter to bear hardships more bravely, not be relieved of them; 
to meet difficulties more sturdily..."
"I want her to help build a home in which children may grow, who will some day carry on the ideals and continue the service that I shall have to leave unfinished."
Peace and Plenty was pretty easily constructed with half square triangles trimmed to exact size. The other block for this week, Jackknife, took a bit more thinking on my part to avoid cutting templates. It's a great looking block....
The challenge was to come up with an easy way to create the corner units. I began by cutting the triangles and attaching them to strips that were a bit longer than the finished size.
 I then sewed the coordinating strips together ...
 and trimmed off the extra fabric
 to create the needed units! 
The author finishes up her hopes for her daughter this way: 
"To give her an 'easier time', should I deny my child?
Let her know the tingle of nerves and brain and body stretched to the utmost
in her fight for better ways upon the farm! 
Let her learn the joy of real work well done!
Let her be a Farmer's Wife."
The theme of 'real work well done' has echoed throughout all of the letters so far.
The blocks are beginning to look like they belong together.
Have you seen Cindy's blocks sewn up in all solids? They are delightful!
Go take a look!

Monday, July 25, 2011


A few days ago, I got up really early in the morning and took a drive to visit these sweet girls at their new home an hour and a half from me.
I really miss seeing my grand daughters, Maelie and Haven, as much as I used to so our time together was extra special.
 While I was there, I also got to visit a few quilts that I have gifted to my son and his wife over the years. It was fun to get reacquainted. I thought that I might introduce you to some of my old friends...
 I love this cheerful lady so much. I made her for Adam and Kodie in celebration of their 5th wedding anniversary almost five years ago.
 I found this little gal hanging out in the kitchen
 where Kodie decorates with a cherry theme.
 The blocks were made in a swap challenge with my quilt guild some years ago...
I can't really remember when. It looks so cute on Kodie's table.
 I made me happy to see this guy was well loved, maybe a bit dated,
  but still looking good
 as he hung out in the family room.
 He was a gift to my son on his 16th birthday in 1993.
 Then in 2000,  when Adam graduated from college,
 I made this modern looking log cabin.
 Remembering all the hoopla accompanying the year
 prompted the message on the label.
 I recall collecting red and black fabrics for quite sometime 
before I started the sewing of this quilt.
 (It took a lot of shopping, but someone had to do it!)
 Haven keeps this quilt at the end of her bed....
 So we got her out and played...

 Which was a good reminder of another I Spy quilt that needs finishing.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Something

"From one man He made every nation of men,
 that they should inhabit the whole earth;
and He determined the times set for them
 and the exact places where they should live."
Acts 17:26

Friday, July 22, 2011

Farmer's Wife Friday--The Best of All Good Things

Friday has rolled around again and it's time to reveal the blocks I've been working on this week to illustrate the next letter in the 1922 Farmer's Wife Contest. I found "The Best of All Good Things", by Mrs. S. O from Mille Lacs County, Minnesota,  a delightful, convincing, and articulate letter conjuring up mental pictures of an idyllic life on the farm. The first block, aptly named, Mother's Dream, is simple to look at, but a bit tougher to create....
The math involved in making this block come out perfect evaded me for some reason, so don't look too closely at the edges of the block! Fortunately, once it is pieced into the quilt no one will notice, I have assured myself. It's a cute block, don't you think?

My next little block went a bit better. Called Seasons, I found myself thinking that my fabric choices certainly spell summer. I like this block so much, that I'm thinking it would make a lovely quilt of more blocks set side by side in bright pretty colors. (For some reason it makes me think of a Band-aide!)
To create the block, I decided to cut rectangles a bit longer than the templates measured, and piece them onto the background triangles.
 Then, using my Easy Square ruler, I simply trimmed it to size! To quote the farmer's wife, "Is there any greater joy, I wonder, than that of a hard task well done?"
Besides the happiness which comes of service, Mrs. S.O. reminds the reader of the beauty of family life on the farm where "we'll be spending our evenings together with our music, books or mutual friends, or going to some amusement together". I doubt she could have even imagined late night TV or Facebook! Let's pretend this farm family spent some time together enjoying the moon through the attic window, shall we.... Ah, the next block accompanying the letter is called just that: Attic Windows!
Again, I used the trick of making two of the pieces in this block longer in an effort to simplify it's creation...
 The trick worked pretty slick, I thought...
 A couple of slices with my rotary cutter, and it was trimmed to exact size!
"And last, but not least, of the good things I desire for this daughter-o'-mine, are peace, a love of nature and time for quiet, happy thoughts." These words are reflective of the last block, called End of Day. I used the same lengthen- the- piece- sew -it- together- and -cut- it- off technique to sew up this modern looking (I think) block in happy colors. It's not perfect, but I think it will work!
The author lovingly sums up her attitude about being a farmer's wife this way: "And so, folks, I want my daughter to marry a farmer, a good man, upright, steadfast and true, with visions of the farm-life-to-be in his heart. Then, hand and hand, they can work to make their dreams come true, and she will know the happiness I have known. I could not ask for more."
Now this lady is someone I wish that I could have known, don't you!  I know that Cindy has some pretty blocks to show you on her Farmer's Wife Friday post. Don't miss it!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Getting My Eyes Examined

This morning I had my eyes examined. Thoroughly. 
The doctor sent me home with some new products to help me see better...
But, when you get a load of the borders on this quilt I'm making,
 you might all shout,
"You need your eyes examined!"
It will be too late though, 'cuz I'm getting ready to quilt the cutie.
Stay won't be boring!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

These Hot Days of Summer

When the weather outside is this hot
 and even the usually perky daisies are feeling pretty wilty
I'm definitely not in the mood for gardening 
or a trip to the zoo with the grandkids.
 Taking in a baseball game
or getting out the mixer
to cook up some favorite sweets doesn't sound fun either.
If I owned a swimming pool, I know just where I'd be hanging out,
wearing my shades
and having a cool treat!
But, since I don't.....I'll just have to stay inside waiting for a change in the weather
 as I cut and sew 
till the sun goes down and I can venture out again!
I love these hot days of summer......I get so much done!
How are you surviving these extra warm days?