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1930's Farmer's Wife: Mary

The Mary block can be found on page 64 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 218 for template instructions.)

The Mary block can be found on page 64 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 218 for template instructions.)

Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Mrs.E. J. H. in Nebraska can be found on page 15.

August 1930

I’m going to take liberties today with this post and skip the history lesson so that I can rant a little bit about the Mary block’s letter to the editor.

I truly sympathize with the judgement Mrs. E.J.H. describes in her letter to the editor.  While pregnant with the Prime Minister and toting around three other children, I can honestly say that some people were enthusiastic about seeing "such a large family."  But not everyone was so polite, some people were downright rude and for some reason the felt the need to comment with snide remarks.  "Wow, really?" "Your husband must have wanted a large family." "You know what causes that right?" "What's it like being your husbands personal prostitute?" (This literally was said to me in the checkout line at King Soopers.)  There is a difference in tone between remarks meant in jest and remarks filled with self-righteous condemnation, and these remarks were usually delivered with a huff and an upturned glance towards my swollen stomach.  

I am a believer in Hanlon's Razor, and I tired my best to remain polite and respond with a smile, "Yes, I couldn't be more excited to meet this little one!" "Actually I would like to have more, but my husband is the one who's ready to be done having kids."  But those days when my temper was short, my responses were usually more along the lines of "I do know what causes this, clearly we're very good at it," "We just haven't found a new hobby yet," or to the last commenter, "Thank you for thinking so little of me, I'm sorry you're so bitter over your own loneliness."

Like Mrs. E.J.H. I find it somewhat baffling when a woman is judged for wanting to have more than 2 children.  I grew up under a feminist age (second wave) when girls were told they could do whatever they wanted to do, grow up to be whatever they wanted to be.  Unfortunately as I have grown up, I’ve discovered that Mother is not part of what is acceptable for girls to aspire to. 

And now that I’m pregnant with baby #5, it’s only gotten worse. Well I’m sick of it, and to be perfectly honest, those ladies can shove it.

I can only assume those individuals have never held their own "bundle of humanity" as Mrs. E.J.H. so aptly calls a new born, or celebrate the little milestones mastered by tiny hands and chubby feet.  I wonder if they've ever even tried to reorient their life's priorities away from personal want to meet the immediate and future needs of another who is absolutely dependent and completely trusting in you.  That, I know, is the most amazing and daunting job in the world.

 The Block

The Mary block is simple and quick once you get into the swing of things. I chain pieced the small B triangles to save thread. In the pre-cut section, I listed the B triangles a tad over sized. I found I was having trouble maintaining comfortable seam allowances, so I wanted you guys to have a little wiggle room just in case. Just be sure to square the block and trim to size when you’re done piecing.



A (2) 4 x 4" cut into HST's

B (14) 2 x 2" cut into HST's


Happy Quilting!

  • Rita