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1930's Farmer's Wife: Malvina

The Malvina block can be found on page 121 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 214 for template instructions.)

The Malvina block can be found on page 121 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 214 for template instructions.)

Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Radio Fan in Wisconsin can be found on page 12.

January 1935

Under the shadow of the murder trial of Charles Lindbergh Jr., January 1935 did experience several other notable events.  Amelia Earhart flew non-stop from Honolulu, HA to Oakland, CA, Bob Hope made his network radio debut, and Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, MS.  

Around the world, and American woman was released from a German after being imprisoned for 11 days for insulting Hitler.  In Rome, the Franco-Italian Agreement was signed between the French Foreign Minister and the Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini.  The agreement outlined new territorial boundaries between French and Italian territories in modern Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, and Eritrea.  The French willing conceded territories in exchange for a promise of alliance against Hitler's Germany.  

While all of these events, and more, were taking place, Americans at home weren't unaware.  Throughout the 1930's roughly 70% of Americans visited the movies on a weekly basis, and 28 million Americans owned a radio. (I couldn't find information on news paper consumption in the 1930's.)  Radio Fan's letter to the editor highlights the importance and variety a radio offered to a family.  News, music, programs designed for all ages, and even college lectures were as readily available as the time it took for the tubes to warm up. 

I find Radio Fan's description of programs rather startling.  None of the descriptions that she gives sounded remotely like most of the programming seen on TV today.  True, entire channels are devoted to sports and children's entertainment, but how often do you turn on your TV to audit a college class?  How many news hours actually cover international news or political conventions for you to watch yourself, rather than giving a highly edited 5 minute highlight reel?  For that matter, how many news channels actually report news rather than opinion?  How often do we see programs filled with fashion, sex, and obsessive coverage of some rich and famous person who really has no bearing on our everyday lives?  I found Radio Fan's letter to be a good reminder of not just the quantity, but also the quality of media myself and my family consume.

The Block


Sorry for the sloppy coloring! I had started coloring in the pattern and then got distracted, and it was a couple of days before I got back to quilting and had forgotten what "look" I was going for with this block.  Needless to say, there where some corrections I needed to make...


Unless you are planning on creating a block like Laurie Hird's on page 121 with only two fabrics, I would highly suggest you pre-plan and color in your pattern ahead of time.  There are a lot of half square triangles and it's very easy to confuse which fabric goes where.


A (4) 2 x 2"            B (28) 2 1/4 x 2 1/4" 


I really like the patchwork quality of this block, the mix and match, butterfly kiss pattern looks random, but it's actually quite ordered.  

I fell like that's a bit like my life right now.  Since the house flooded back in November, we've been living in a construction zone.  But now things are starting to fall into place.  There are boxes of flooring stacked in the dining room, drywall and mud have taken over the kitchen counters, and buckets of paint are waiting patiently in the garage.  Our house might look like something exploded, but there is a method to the madness, and I almost have my house back!


Happy Quilting!

- Rita