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1930's Farmer's Wife: Mollie

 The Mollie block can be found on page 108 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 222 for template instructions.)

The Mollie block can be found on page 108 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 222 for template instructions.)

Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Mrs. J. M. L. in Iowa can be found on page 40.

April 1937

The Soviet Union announced the second implementation of it's infamous Five Year Plan, nine months sooner than anticipated.  The 5 Year Plan had been a economic brain child of Stalin intended to modernize and industrialize the Soviet Union at a rapid pace.  To some extent the 5 Year Plan was successful, urban populations doubled as industrialization expanded, steel production increased by around 350%, and an infrastructure productive enough to minimally support the Soviet Army through the second world war was created.

In much larger part though, the 5 Year Plan was a horrific failure.  The backbone of the 5 Year Plan was forced labor, the dissolution of private property, and the murder of those who resisted.  In order for industrialization to take place, workers were needed to run the factories.  Most often factory workers were forced to leave their rural homes through conscription.  In order for factory workers to survive, urban areas were subject to collectivization; which was largely attained through the execution or imprisonment of farm owners whose properties were then farmed by peasants for the government.  The majority of the crops harvested were then taken to the cities and distributed to factory workers.  Famine was a constant state of being in rural regions of the Soviet Union because very little was left for the farmers themselves.  An estimated 6-7 million rural inhabitants died, and an additional 3-4 million died as a result of agricultural collectivism. 

In the United States, most people were busy keeping their nose to the grind stone and counting their blessings as the American economy began an upswing in production and income for the first time in nearly a decade. New technologies, the development of national energy infrastructure and the movies were making American lives easier ad more entertaining.. But some difficulties still remained, as they remain today: being sick.

I like thatMrs. J. M. L. chose to see the silver lining of her quarantine and treat it is as a vacation rather than bemoaning her misfortune and poor luck.  Sometimes when life hands you lemons, you need to make lemonade in the form of physical rest and mental restoration.  Personally I like to find my little vacations in the forms of coffee, Chips A'Hoy, and Judge Judy reruns (because they make me feel intelligent.)  Now you know my dirty little secret!


The Block

The Mollie block was fun to piece and is an interesting take on a Shoo Fly block. Do be sure to pre-color your pieces so you don’t get lost while piecing it. There are lots of little HST’s in this block, so make a little effort early on to save yourself from a headache later.

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Pre-Cuts

A (1) 2 1/2 x 2 1/2"

B (4) 1 x 2 1/2"

C (8) 1 1/2 x 1/2"

D (8) 1 1/4 x 1 1/2"

E (2) 3 x 3", cut into HST's

F (4) 1 x 3 3/4"

G (8) 1 1/4 x 1 1/4"

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Happy Quilting!

  • Rita

1930's Farmer's Wife: Carol

 The Carol block can be found on page 79 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 177 for template instructions.)

The Carol block can be found on page 79 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 177 for template instructions.)

Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Mrs. B. S. J. in New York can be found on page 40.

April 1937

On April 25 the Soviet Union announced the completion of all the goals of it’s first Five Year Plan, emphasizing all goals were finished nine months ahead of schedule. This despite multiple local and international papers reporting delays, shortfalls, and the horrid humanitarian loss at enforcing the Five Year Plan.

It is undeniable the importance of media and widespread connectedness. The ability to quickly be informed of world and local events is important for everyone to informed and prepared. But sometimes too much of something can be damaging to relationships and individual mentalities.

“The radio has broadened my horizons, but now I have a narrower outlook on life.”  I find Mrs. B. S. J.’s new worldview eerily similar to the impact social media has had on society today.  If you read the news or log into Twitter or Facebook you would think the world was ending this weekend and that everyone is a hate-filled, idiotic monster if they don't goose step to their political party's leader.  America seems to have become more tribalized.  But is that how life actually is out in the real world?  Do you treat your neighbor abhorrently because they differ with you on tax policy?  I'm willing to bet that no, you don't dismiss, demean, and belittle your neighbor just because of a disagreement.  I think if we stopped listening to pundits and started listening to our neighbors we would see that "the other side" isn't hateful, they're actually well intended and simply differ on how to go about improving the world.


The Block

There’s something about the Carol block that I really like, it has an antique feel to it and for some reason it reminds me of apple pie. Don’t ask me why, I’m not sure myself, but it does.

I’m sorry that I don’t have any pre-cut sizes for you today, maybe I’ll come back and edit them in later. But I would recommend that you slightly oversize the HST background pieces and then trim the block down to size once the block is pieced. My block is a scant undersized and it just bugs me to no end!

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Happy Quilting!

  • Rita

1930's Farmer's Wife: Old Maid

 The Old Maid block can be found on page 84 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 237 for template instructions.)

The Old Maid block can be found on page 84 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 237 for template instructions.)

Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by A Homemaker in Virginia can be found on page 10.

February 1938

In Germany, Adolf Hitler took serious action to monopolize power by decreeing the Oberkommander der Wehrmacht.  This decree forcibly retired 12 senior generals, abolished the position of War Minister, and placed Hitler himself as the head of the military.  Hitler and his high command were making obvious moves to monopolize power within Germany, and on March 11 they marched across the border, took Vienna, and annexed Austria.

Meanwhile in the United States, protections for free speech were advanced in the Supreme Court. The case Lovell vs. City of Griffin decided that it was unconstitutional to require a government permit in order for someone to engage in free speech. Alma Lovell was arrested, fined $50 and imprisoned for 50 days for violating city statute that restricted the distribution of pamphlets without a city permit. The court found that because the statue restricted the time, place, and manner in which speech could be shared, it also violated Freedom of the Press by expressly regulating the distribution of written materials.

Miss Homemaker’s letter was a touching to me, I felt like I could sympathize with her. While I wasn’t called into homemaking due to a death, I was called due to a pregnancy. When Handsomepants and I were in our fifth and last year of college, I had just been accepted into graduate school and a TA position for several weeks in Rome. The very next day I took a pregnancy test. Six months later we graduated, moved 1,000 miles, and I became a homemaker over the course of a single weekend. Within 5 weeks of moving to Denver, I became a mother for the first time.

I’ll admit that I cried for about a week after first finding out I was pregnant, I believed my life was over, I would never have a career, I would become a slave to this growing family. But as soon as Goose popped out and I met her face-to-face for the first time, I found all of those fears to be entirely unfounded. Three more children later, there is nothing else I would rather be doing right now. I know I’m biased about living a life where I can take a nap whenever I feel, but I’ve never heard of a dying person wish they had spent more time at the office when they were healthy. I’ve never heard an empty-nester wish they had skipped that soccer game to attend that staff meeting. I have found joy in making my family my job, as I believe Miss Homemake did when she finally asked herself, “what are the most important things in life: your family or your career?”


The Block

I really appreciate the geometric simplicity of the Old Maid block. Flying Goose blocks are a traditional favorite of quilters, and I like the spin this block puts on them.

Take note that the sizes I listed below are slightly over-sized. Please trim accordingly as you go along. I wrote them a little large because I struggled and eventually gave up with accurate sizing.

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Pre-Cuts

A (5) 3 x 3", cut into HST's

B (4) 2 1/2 x 2 1/2", cut into HST's


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Happy Quilting!

  • Rita

1930's Farmer's Wife: Monette

 The Monette block can be found on page 127 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 223 for template instructions.)

The Monette block can be found on page 127 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 223 for template instructions.)

Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Selfish-Me in Maryland can be found on page 14.

April 1935

Throughout the rest of the world, there were unsettling rumblings of future war.  Hitler unveiled the newly re-created German Airforce when he announced Herman Goering as the Commander of the Anti-Aircraft Force.  Italy prepared for an invasion of Ethiopia that would take place in October 1935.  The Japanese army continued its invasion of Manchuria.  

Britain's Prime Minister Anthony Eden ending his peace tour with the comment, "In the world today no nation can prosper on another's ruin.  We are too intimately connected for that.  We stand and fall together."  Unfortunately for Eden, who retired his office shortly before WW2, not every European leader felt the same way.  However, one of the most important military breakthroughs was invented around this time, Robert Watson-Watt received a British Patton for RADAR.  Radar, the use of sound waves to detect physical objects, gave a significant advantage to the Allies who were able to use it to turn the tide of naval warfare against German U-Boats.

An ominous cloud was spreading over the world, but in America people where struggling through the depression while counting their blessings. I love Selfish-Me's list of her personal joys. The things she likes in life are basic, but not necessarily simple. Enjoying your children’s achievements is wonderful, but raising those children is a battle. The joy and comfort of a loving relationship with your spouse is priceless, but marriage is work. The satisfaction of receiving the fruits of your labor is pleasing, but you did labor for it. Selfish-Me certainly is right when she hints that the best things in life don’t come easy, but how sweet they are.


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The Block

Forward and strait to the point, there’s no special tricks to the Monette block. Just be sure to keep your corners aligned and you should have no problems.

Pre-Cuts

A (1) 2 x 2"

B (4) 2 x 2 3/4"

C (4) 1 1/2 x 1 1/2"

D (48) 1 x 1"


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Happy Quilting!

  • Rita

1930's Farmer's Wife: Betty

 The Betty block can be found on page 100 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 173 for template instructions.)

The Betty block can be found on page 100 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 173 for template instructions.)

Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Music Maker in North Carolina can be found on page 10.

March 1933

On March 4, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was sworn into the office of the presidency, becoming the 32 president, replacing Herbert Hoover. FDR was the longest serving president, holding the office for 12 years, and presided over most of the Great Depression and the Second World War.

Two iconic American fictional characters made their debuts in March 1933. The fictional character Perry Mason was first introduced to America with the release of The Case of the Velvet Claws, the first of 80 novels that featured the defense attorney. King Kong made his first film appearance in New York city at the Radio City Theater and the RKO Roxy. Between the two theaters, the film earned $100,000 in the first weekend before being released nation wide.

I find it rather amazing that while the Great Depression was ramping up, Americans still made movie-going a regular weekly pastime, and most homes owned radios. Entertainment, either paid for or self-made where a must for Americans.

I love Music Maker’s letter on learning to play an instrument later in life, and her perseverance to learn despite busy schedules. I’ll admit that was a fraud when it came to learning to play guitar. It was a skill I enjoyed, but never something I was passionate about, honestly I only learned enough to trick Handsomepants into thinking I knew how to play so he would be interested in dating me! Handsomepants is an avid musician. He plays guitar and banjo quite well, but his love in life is the ukulele, there are 9 currently in the house. The music he plays is a joy for the entire family to dance and sing along to, and I’ll admit that the kids were wooed to sleep on more Irish drinking songs than lullabies. But Music Maker is right when she describes her life and her marriage as enriched by music. It’s a great tool to feel connected to the entire family when he’s is playing and romping with the kids while I’m cooking dinner.


Sorry I don’t have any pre-cuts for you guys this week. I’ve been so backed up on quilting work that I’ve misplaced my Eva block!

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Happy Quilting!

  • Rita