Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Chatterbox in Virginia can be found on page 41.
On April 27, Guernica Spain was bombed during the Spanish Civil war, resulting in the deaths of between 126-1,654 civilians. Guernica is located in Basque and was thought to have been a center of resistance to Franco's government. The majority of he casualties of the bombing where women and children, as most men fighting Franco's forces outside of the city. On behalf of the Franco, the German Luftwaffe carpet bombed the city with the express intent to target citizens in order to break the will of the city to resist Franco's Nationalist party.
The day after the bombing, Nationalist news radios broadcast that the citizens of Guernica had actually been the ones to destroy the city in a kind of scorched earth policy using napalm and dynamite. Franco's media also reported a total of 12 casualties. The entire incident had been covered up or denied by both the Spanish and German governments until the 1970's. The bombing also became the subject of one of Pablo Picasso's most famous anti-war paintings named after the city.
America had a more relatively peaceful month. Cities were not carpet bombed with incendiary bombs, but parts of the country did deal with workers uprisings and strikes. General Motor Company and the Fischer Body Plant, both in Detroit, faced strikes and sit-ins by thousands of workers and ended violently. The Bureau of Labor Statistics chronicles more than 4,000 strikes took place. One of those strikes stands out from the rest. The strike at the Hershey's Chocolate Factory was started by workers and was ended by workers.
Pennsylvania Chocolate workers strike lasted 6 days until the Hershey's Chocolate Factory was stormed by dairy farmers and other Hershey employs forcefully removed the strikers participating in the 6 day sit in. The workers on strike had been protesting for job security and against scheduling changes that reduced a full work week from 60 hours to 40 hours, a limit impose by Roosevelts' National Recovery Administration. The loss of 20 hours per pay check was a huge hit to those worker's income and ability to provide for their families, especially during the Great Depression. Hershey's had a reputation for being a benevolent corporation and offered a pay increase, but sit-ins and factory shutdowns happened anyway.
Not everyone at Hershey's supported the strike, less than 1/3 of factory employees participated, and after 6 days of forced shut-downs, these employees had had enough and gave an ultimatum to the strikers: leave by 1 pm or be forcefully removed. Because of the strike and it's shut-downs, all employees were loosing pay, especially the dairy farmers who supplied the factory and were forced to waste 800,000 gallons of milk every day the strike lasted. The strikers where forcefully removed by their co-workers, resulting in a tense and awkward work environment after the entire situation had been mediated and chocolate production had resumed.
As a note on the Letter To The Editor, I'm fairly sure that I was Chatterbox in a previous life!
Piecing the Jewel block was nice and easy! I did not list any pre-cuts for this block because there are no regular shaped pieces. I cut out the fabrics according to the paper templates. I'll admit that I left about 1/8" edge of extra fabric just in case, but trimmed to a proper 1/4" seam allowance after seams were sew.
I also thought that a monochrome color scheme would look nice. Considering this block was titled "Jewel" I decided to try my had at replicating a jewel-like block. Since Opals are the only multicolored jewel that I know of and wasn't interested in trying, I went for a sapphire, my birth stone. The block ended up not looking like a sapphire, but I still think it's pretty!
It might not look like it, but this block only uses strait piecing. Handsomepants thinks I'm crazy because he only see's strait seams, but to me the Jewel block looks like pieces are slightly curved. I know that some quilting patterns are designed to take advantage of optic illusions, whether the Jewel block was meant to do this or if I really am just crazy, I don't know. Tell me what you think!
Needless to say, piece this block into HST quarters, first by sewing the A and B pieces together, and the C and D pieces together. Join these 2 new larger pieces together to create an HST quarter. Piece these new quarters together to create your block, and square up to 6".