Thursday, November 19, 2015

Farmers' Wives Speak

Here are the latest blocks I've completed for the Farmer's Wife 1930's sew along, and some thoughts from the letters in the book.

 Addie: This wife traded her electric washer for two cows when they moved to the country to build a homestead. I found myself really frustrated this past week over silly things compared to her circumstances. Who took all the rechargeable batteries, because my computer mouse is dead. My dishwasher is suddenly running inefficiently. My vacuum needed a new belt. Our power went out for 30 hours, and we were a little chilly. All those things add up in my mind, until I take a step back and put myself in her place! Thank you God for everything, especially the inconveniences that remind me that I need You.

 Aimee: "And go to bed with backward looks, At my dear land of Storybooks."  This school year I am trying to spend more time reading stories to my children. It is really the best time of the day. We are all together, all listening to the same thing, committing poems and Scripture to memory, learning to love what is true and beautiful. These will be the times we fondly remember years down the road.

 Margaret: Ahhh, this letter rings so true with me! Our house is often full of this same happy chaos, sometimes so much so that I can't be heard. The dinner table is the busiest, loudest, happiest place in our home. I am learning to love it because it won't be like this forever. They will grow wings and fly away soon. Not too soon, please. "Outside there was rain, wind, darkness, but indoors there was warmth, light, food, shelter, Home, and Love." Let this be said of my home.

Nancy:  "As a lasting investment there is nothing to compare with even a small library." This wife writes about what a treasure books are in the home, even if there are just a few. I heartily agree with her. I find warm delight in a child snuggled up in a chair immersed in a good book. Teaching a small child to read. Unhurriedly reading and re-reading favorite picture books to the toddlers. Our house is full of books. Too full? No. No house is too full of friends, and there will always be room for more.

This is my favorite letter of them all. She writes about "blind flying" in our lives, "flying by faith." Faith in what? In God's sovereignty and sufficiency, and in His unchangeable Word. Our ability to pray to Him as His children and know that He hears us. Our world is in confusion everywhere we look. But God does not change. What peace we have if He is our Father and we His faithful children.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


Here is my rendition of Block 45, Jenny. I constructed it using the "stitch and flip" method. I made two flying geese, one quarter square triangle, and four rectangle/square units. Pretty simple to put together, and again I was able to avoid cutting and stitching on the bias. If you are not familiar with "stitch and flip," Lori Holt's books are excellent. I have sewed through most of her books Quilty Fun and Farm Girl Vintage. I am using those same techniques to get me through Farmer's Wife. Whatever scraps I have left I try to save for mini-blocks, so I don't feel guilty wasting precious bits.

For my friends not familiar with The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt, it is a gem. The first half of the book consists of letters from farmers' wives of the 1930's, published in the periodical The Farmer's Wife in a column called "Letters From our Farm Women." Each letter in this book is paired with a quilt block, and the second half of the book provides diagrams and instructions for piecing each block. The CD included has all the templates as well as instructions for different methods of piecing.

I hope to be posting my blocks consistently as I sew along this year with Angie at GnomeAngel and all the other thousands of quilters participating. As it is the school year, I am busy homeschooling and caring for my family, so these blocks are perfect to give me a little sewing time each week without overdoing it.

A word or two about Jenny: this letter is about spending time with your kids. I used to count changing diapers and feeding them as quality time, but I was probably mistaken. As they have gotten older, I have learned how enjoyable it is to sit down and really give them my attention, whether it's working together cleaning the house or sitting down for our daily read-aloud time. It doesn't have to be playtime. Jenny reminds me that I should think of my children as my partners, my brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. We work together for a common goal. A good reminder!