Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Renter in Ohio can be found on page 55.
Joseph Stalin faced problems in Soviet Russia. Communist programs of forced collectivism caused thousands of Russian farmers to flee into neighboring countries that did not forcefully seize the farmer's privately owned land, equipment, and harvest. In an article entitled "Russia Loosens Iron Grip On Peasants," published in the Chicago Tribune, Stalin officially recognized that collectivist policies only work if they are agreed upon by every member of the community, and every member contributes equally. This letter was shortly followed by international protests lead by Communists against hunger, unemployment, and food shortages in Russia.
In the United States the Great Depression continued to grow in severity, a quarter of the US workforce was unemployed. While state manufactured food shortages weren't a concern for Americans, many struggled to pay the bills and keep their homes. I think that's one of the reasons why I have such a respect for Renter's Letter to the Editor. The unsure situation a national economic crisis can shake your confidence, but facing that uncertainty and loosing your spouse could crush a person, but Renter chose to persevere.
I don't care who you are, Renter's Letter to the Editor is humbling and thought provoking. Once can't help but take a moment to stop and give thanks for the things you have after reading her letter. I can't imagine the pain and difficulty of loosing your husband to an accident while pregnant and wondering how you're going to feed your other eight children, or pay the rent, and being concerned over your own health condition.
But I can admire the thankfulness she shows for the fact her needs and those of her children have always been met even, if their wants have gone unanswered in the past. And the indomitable spirit she shows in the last line of her letter: "I am down, and down bad. But I'm not out even yet," only demonstrates a mother's strength in the face of terrifying adversity. But for the sake of her children she will persist because she must.
Essentially the Patience block is a 9-patch, although Laurie Hird altered her block in the book for a different look. I chose to go with a traditional 9-patch look. But that's one of the fun parts of a quilt-a-long, every block looks different!
I will also admit to not actually using the paper piecing templates. I measured the templates, those measurements are listed below, and then used a scant 1/4" seam allowance to piece the squares together. I skipped the templates for 2 reasons: one, piecing was faster without having to to worry about removing the template from the seams; two, pressing seams open is easier, and open seams mean a flatter block!
(9) 2 3/8 x 2 3/8"