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1930's Farmer's Wife: Sylvia

The Sylvia block can be found on page 18 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 254 for template instructions.)

The Sylvia block can be found on page 18 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 254 for template instructions.)

Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Mrs. A. M. from Maryland can be found on page 10.

February 1931

February 1931 opened the year with with a sober tone with the news of the deaths of hundreds: in New Zealand an earthquake killed over 250 and in China a mine explosion killed 3,000.  Trouble was brewing in Cuba and the president Gerardo Machado survived two assassination attempts in a period of 24 hours.

Thankfully in the United States the new year was relatively uneventful, but that doesn't mean all was well.  Herbert Hoover was president and mass unemployment was starting to really take off.  When Hoover entered office in 1929, unemployment hovered around 9% (FYI, the 2017 unemployment rate was 4%.)  By 19332, unemployment under Hoover bloomed to just under 25%.  Shanty towns, also known as Hoover-villes, began to spring up in large cities, where the unemployed and their families literally set up camp after loosing jobs, houses, and everything else they had.  

Hoover, like many Americans, believed the depression would be short lived like the stock market crash in 1920-21.  But as unemployment continued to grow along with inflation and restricted lending, Hoover began formulating the Emergency Relief and Construction Act, which later became to foundation for FDR's New Deal.  Hoover would became a staunch supporter of the Glass-Steagall Act until the end of his term in 1933. 

But Mrs. A. M.'s letter showed that not all American's were destitute.  Mrs. A. M. and her husband were able to take a year to save their extra money to take a road trip across the northern peninsula, stay with friends, and see the sights of New York City.  They were able to enjoy themselves and traveling companions, and Mrs. A. M. contends it was a trip to remember.  I wonder if part of her satisfaction with the trip was the fact she and her husband paid in advance, finances were not a worry.  

I don't have as much experience traveling as I would like.  Handsomepants and I have been married for eight years.  We've never had a honeymoon.  We've never had a vacation that didn't involve Grandma's house.  But I can imagine how easy it would be to wrack up the ol' credit card because why not, you're on vacation!  I also wonder how much more we as a culture would better appreciate the things we have if we all took the time to save up and pay in cash for the things we want.  I think sometimes the value of an item is missed when we just swipe a card and we don't see the physical transaction of money, especially when the average household burden of debt is over $130,000.


THE BLOCK

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The Sylvia block was simple and strait forward.  I think it would be great for fussy cutting, hint hint to those with large print patterns!

I chose to go the lazy route while piecing this block, and I didn't press every seam before I added a new piece!  The B1 and B2 portions of the block I finger pressed and pieced the entire strip before pressing with my iron, otherwise I would have doubled the time it took me to make the block.  Once the whole strip was pieced I then trimmed it to size.

I also found that for some reason this block ended up slightly larger than 6 1/4".  I'm not really sure why, but I did trim it down to 6" like the rest of my blocks.

*Remember, the pre-cut sizes that I list below are slightly large because I'm lazy and measure to the 1/4" not to the 1/8"

 

Pre-Cuts

A1 (1)3 x 3"                 B1 (16) 1 1/4 x 1 1/4"                    C1 (2) 1 1/4 x 5" 

A2 (2) 1 1/4 x 3"          B2 (12) 3/4 x 1 1/4"                     C2 (2) 1 1/4 x 6 1/4"

A3 (2) 1 1/4 x 5"

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Sorry this post came out late, I got swept up on the house renovation and did realize that I never selected a publish date for this post!  I like to write the post at least a week in advance and set it to auto publish, but I apparently skipped that step.  But I finally, finally, finally have new floors! Speaking of underappreciated items, the family and I have lived with sub flooring and studded walls since the week before Thanksgiving.  I am so thankful that I can not walk around my house barefoot again!

Happy Quilting!

- Rita