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1930's Farmer's Wife: Nan

The Nan block can be found on page 154 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 234 for template instructions.)

The Nan block can be found on page 154 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 234 for template instructions.)

Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Mrs. J. D. K. in Kansas can be found on page 34.

April 1930

April 1930 saw the introduction of two American icons and staples of childhood: the Twinkie and Looney Tunes.  The Twinkie was invented by James Dewar.  I personally am not a fan and I've probably eaten less than ten in my entire life, but Hostess sells more than 37 million packages of Twinkies every year!  Even bankruptcy did not prevent the American public from petitioning Hostess to continue making Twinkies in 2011.

Looney Tunes, was officially introduced by Warner Bros. when its first cartoon "Sinkin' In The Bathtub" aired on April 19.  The title of the cartoon was a play off of the song "Singin' In The Bathtub" written in 1929 as Warner Bros. satirical take on "Singing In The Rain."  "Sinkin' In The Bathtub" introduced the character Bosko, and was the first non-Disney cartoon to have been released.

Considering the first television station opened in 1928, I think it's safe to say that not many Americans owned a TV.   I can only assume that Bosko made his debut in the cinema.  I couldn't find any statistics on TV ownership until 1947, but many Americans did attend the movies; about 70% of Americans attended on a weekly basis.  

While I didn't (and still don't) like Hostess treats, I do remember mowing the lawn for a few extra bucks so I could go to the movies on the weekends with friends.  Then we'd walk down Main Street to Steve's Pizza and sometimes be home by curfew!  Bright lights and the delicious smell of grease are intrinsic in my memory of childhood, as are rope swings, cold water, and hot sand at local swimming ponds.  

How terrible for Mrs. J. D. K.'s son to have died while enjoying his childhood.  I can't imagine the depths of loss and sorrow caused by the death of a child.  It seems to me to be against natural order.  I have never lost a child, I have lost aunts and in-laws, and my Grandmother yesterday, but not a child.  I think that would end me.  But God blesses those who walk through trials, as Mrs. J. D. K. reminds us: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

I know that people tend to question God in the aftermath of a horrible event.  How could God allow something like this!?  If you are atheist and you ask this question, that's odd; how could something be allowed to happen by someone who doesn't exist?  If you are theist, you know that we live in a fallen world and He doesn't always protect us from the consiquences of sin, but His blessings will sustain you through the storm.

The Block


The Nan block was easy enough to piece, although I came across a little hiccup while piecing the Nan block and I'm not really sure why, but I'm also not in the mood to figure out why.  Perhaps I pieced the D and E pieces wrong, so double check your piecing instructions! 

I'll also admit to not using the paper templates while piecing the block.  I found that pieces where large enough to manage the machine without stabilization.  Chain piecing really sped up the process!  



A (1) 2 x 2" cut into 2 hsq's

B (1) 3 3/4 x 3 3/4" cut into 2 hsq's

C (1) 1 3/4 x 3 1/2"

D (1) template


E (1) template

F (1) 2 1/4 x 6"

G (1) 1 3/4 x 2 1/2"

H (1)  3 x 3" cut into 2 hsq's


For some reason the ends of the D and E pieces did not line up with the rest of the pieces by about 1/4".  Again, I would suggest that you double check piecing instructions if you're interested in strictly using the templates, or I would suggest using over-sized pieces of fabric and trimming them down to size after they've been pieced.

If you've run into the same problem that I did, sorry about that.  I used some scraps to "cover up" the mistakes and pieced the scraps onto the block at an angle and trimmed to block to it's 6 x 6" dimensions.  I attached the scraps at an angle so that their seam allowances don't become compromised when the block is pieced into the quilt top.

Before the "cover-up"

Before the "cover-up"

After the "cover-up"

After the "cover-up"


Happy Quilting!

- Rita