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2019

Lori Holt's Granny's Garden Sew-A-Long: Week 1 Update

This is Lori Holt’s original design. If you’re interested in purchasing the kit or the templates for this pattern you can find that information either on her website  HERE , or I’m sure your favorite local or digital quilt store can help you out.

This is Lori Holt’s original design. If you’re interested in purchasing the kit or the templates for this pattern you can find that information either on her website HERE, or I’m sure your favorite local or digital quilt store can help you out.

Lori Holt’s Granny’s Garden Sew-A-Long officially kicked off last week so here’s my update! The first four blocks are done (every week has four blocks assigned to it) and they were a blast to make! I’ll admit that I cheated a bit and didn’t stop at just the first four blocks.

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I went on a nice little quilting rampage that lasted several days and resulted in over-TV’d children, a messy dining room table, and several orders of take-out for dinner. But I finished the first twenty blocks and it feels good to be ahead of the game, especially since I’m ready to stop living in limbo in regards to moving.

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Really the only hiccup I ran into was with Block 3 when Little Man decided he wanted to “help” me quilt while I had my back turned. Aren’t children lovely!

I reinforced the cut up area with fusible webbing and a second layer of white fabric and then satin stitched over all of the cuts Little Man had made. In the picture above you can kind of see the outline of the layer of support fabric, but I’m sure that it won’t be noticeable once the circles are appliqued onto background fabric.

The damage.

The damage.

“I helping Mommy!” Yeah, sure you are.

“I helping Mommy!” Yeah, sure you are.

Looking forward to updating you lovely people next week, and I’ll look out for you on Instagram if you decide to join along too!

Happy Quilting!

  • Rita

1930's Farmer's Wife: Caroline

The Caroline block can be found on page 60 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 179 for template instructions.)

The Caroline block can be found on page 60 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 179 for template instructions.)

Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by What-Is-Man in Montana can be found on page 12.

July 1933

A governmental decree made it illegal for a parent to name their Hitler, or any variant of Hitler. This decree came at an interesting time, just days before an Austrian newspaper printed a three page story claiming proof that Hitler had Jewish heritage on his mother’s side, and still had Jewish family members in the city of Polna. Other rumors have been added to the mystery surrounding Hitler’s family origins, including a debate on whether he is the product of an incestuous relationship between his mother and her uncle, which some scholars believe to be substantive. Either way, it is interesting to note that Alexander Basch, the Polna city registrar had died around the time of the newspaper’s publication. Hitler also ordered the destruction of all official documentation regarding his heritage, so it is very unlikely that historians will ever have any solid evidence to validate or refute these rumors.

The United States was experiencing it’s own bit of rumor as a bizarre event was unfolding, known as the Business Plot. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler, at the time the highest ranked and most decorated Marine, claims to have been approached by a number of wealthy business men with the intention of creating a fascist veteran’s organization that would launch a coup against the United States government and overthrow President Roosevelt.

At the time, the Business Plot was dismissed as a hoax, but historians now agree that something was afoot even if a coup never actually materialized. It’s believed that Roosevelt’s decision to end the gold standard, the Securities Act of 1933, and the promise of government subsidized jobs were the main motivating factors for the alleged coup. Those reconstructions of the US economy lead to inflation and the undermining of personal and corporate wealth (the value of the dollar dropped 30% practically overnight), and were seen as socialist expansion of government control over private business. In 1934 it was decided that a Congressional investigation was necessary, although the investigation found there was no evidence to substantiate the claims make by Butler.

 But what I find interesting is that as events were taking place world wide that set the groundwork for some of the most life altering, atrocious events in history, everyday Americans were focused on living and life. The early thirties were the height of the Great Depression and Americans like What-Is-Man were counting their blessings. All things necessary for the sun to rise, or snowflakes to fall, or bodies to form and function are amazing if you just take the time to think about them.


The Block

 While writing this blog post I couldn’t find any pictures or notes I usually take while making each of the Farmer’s Wife blocks. So that means there’s no paper template or pre-cut sizes for you today. I would suggest, as always, to color your paper template so that it’s easier for you to keep fabrics in order. There are lots of pieces that are the same shape and size and it’s better to be prepared than it is to rip seams!


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Happy Quilting!

  • Rita

I ♥You Baby Quilt

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I know I’ve mentioned in previous posts, that four of my friends are all pregnant right now. That’s a lot of babies to make baby quilts for, yeah me!

Well as it turns out, my friend Christa is due any moment now. Earlier this year we went on vacation to Wisconsin and unfortunately we missed her gender reveal/diaper shower. For the past 15 weeks or so, I’ve been under the impression that she was having a girl. I know she’s not the girly-girl type, so when I was selecting fabrics for a baby quilt I chose some not-so-girly fabrics but also went with a pattern that was sweet. (Thank you Cluck Cluck Sew!)

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The triangle patterned fabric came in a bundle of fat quarters I received in a gift exchange in my Tuesday night quilting circle. The teal apple blossom fabric used for the backing and binding I found buried in my stash, and I settled for this fabric because it had related colors, but also because it tipped the scales of this quilt towards the feminine. Perfect for a not-so-girly baby quilt.

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I made a quick job of quilting this quilt, with horizontal, diagonal, and perpendicular top stitching. Nothing fancy, just quick, clean top stitching. I will admit that the tiny hearts in the sashing were a bit of a challenge just because the seams didn’t want to lie flat, but I eventually wrestled them into submission. The finished product measures about 33 x 42”, a nice crib/tummy time sized quilt.

Now for the kicker.

Christa’s having a baby boy! I don’t know why I hadn’t thought to double check with her BEFORE I started this quilt, but I have a habit of “knowing” I’m right and then later finding out differently. Oh well, now I have an extra baby quilt on hand. Instead of this quilt, Christa’s little boy will be getting one of these Baby Blocks quilts instead.

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Happy Quilting!

  • Rita

Lori Holt's Granny's Garden Sew-A-Long: Getting Ready

This is Lori Holt’s original design. If you’re interested in purchasing the kit or the templates for this pattern you can find that information either on her website  HERE , or I’m sure your favorite local or digital quilt store can help you out.

This is Lori Holt’s original design. If you’re interested in purchasing the kit or the templates for this pattern you can find that information either on her website HERE, or I’m sure your favorite local or digital quilt store can help you out.

This fall Handsomepants and I are trying very hard to actually move from Denver back to Wisconsin. We’ve been trying for the past several months and we are sooooo close, but Handsomepants has been running into snags while on the job hunt and his current job is willing to let him work remotely but they are taking their sweet time getting the paperwork in order. I wouldn’t have thought it would take HR a month to figure out interstate taxes, but it is the government and nothing about the government is efficient, so I shouldn’t be too surprised. We ran into another hiccup last week when we tried to buy a house that had been on the market for 9 months, only to be beat out by a cash offer that had been placed THE SAME DAY we made our offer.

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I’m getting so impatient and frustrated, and being 7 months pregnant doesn't help either. So in the midst of living in a half-packed house and entertaining three children who should be in school now, I decided to join Lori Holt’s latest quilt-a-long, because who doesn’t need a little more craziness in their life? The Granny’s Garden Sew-A-Long started last week and you can follow along on Instagram to see how everyone is progressing. I thought this particular project would be a great way to expand my quilting skills because I have little experience with applique and all 42 blocks of the quilt are appliqued.

I chose to use a fat quarter bundle of “Posy Garden” by Carina Gardner for Riley Blake Fabrics. The green fabrics I’ll be using for stems and leaves are all scraps.

I chose to use a fat quarter bundle of “Posy Garden” by Carina Gardner for Riley Blake Fabrics. The green fabrics I’ll be using for stems and leaves are all scraps.

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I originally thought I would cheat a bit and use my own fabrics instead of buying Lori’s complete kit for quilt, and I am happy with my fabric choice, but man o man did it invite a whole day’s worth of work prepping and measuring and planning everything. Something that Lori had already done and prepared in a nice little sew-a-long guide. Oh well. In order to fully plan out my quilt I ended up sketching and coloring a rough draft of all the quilt blocks. While it took a while, it sure was nice to use as a map when cutting out all of my fabrics and templates in preparation for the sew-a-long.

I’m also changing the applique technique because I’m cheap. Instead of using interfacing like Lori I’m using freezer paper to turn my seams. This decision also cost me a lot of work because I traced and cut out every single template needed for all 42 blocks. I got a blister from my scissors!

Either way, thanks to Lori Holt for designing and hosting this sew-a-long. I’m looking forward to it!

Happy Quilting!

  • Rita

1930's Farmer's Wife: Rosemary

The Rosemary block can be found on page 104 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 247 for template instructions.)

The Rosemary block can be found on page 104 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 247 for template instructions.)

Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Right-at-Home in North Dakota can be found on page 12.

July 1933

1933 in general was a tumultuous year for Germany. This was the year that the Wiemar Republic came to an end and the establishment of the German Third Reich occurred. Rapid inflation and an unsteady economy was the hallmark of the Wiemar government, along with political violence between black-clad Communists and brown-shirted Nazi Socialists. High unemployment rates of WWI veterans only helped to sew the seeds of discord in a country trying desperately to recover from the First World War.

But not all changes were limited to the realm of politics. While many changes were political in form, they were more cultural in nature. The Third Reich began to issue laws that restricted the employment of married women. The fields of both study and employ as well as the hours worked were severely limited compared to what had been available to women the previous year. Hitler’s government placed great emphasis on the importance of women begetting and raising the next generation as part of the government’s Blood and Soil policy.

Women were also starting to experience the beginnings of the Reich’s eugenics program, inspired by the works of Margaret Sanger. Individuals with hereditary and non-hereditary birth defects were sterilized. In many cases a woman was deemed to have no physical defects, but rather moral defects that were prohibited by the government. Things such as prostitution, addiction or alcoholism, alleged promiscuity, and “repeated rebelliousness” were considered moral defects that resulted in mandatory sterilization. Women were first invited to present themselves voluntarily for the procedure, but eventually many were arrested by gestapo and forced to undergo sterilization.

While ominous and oppressive clouds formed over Germany, life continued on as normal in the United States. President Franklin D. Roosevelt enraged international players in the wold market by refusing to return the dollar to the gold standard, which would have depleted the US of her gold reserves and inflated prices in exchanges for maybe stabilizing foreign currencies. Roosevelt noted a duty and responsibility to protect American interests, as well as other countries deficit spending as his main reasons for remaining on the silver standard.

While the president was protecting the American economy on an international front, the Congress was making it’s own economic decisions as well. The first minimum wage law was passed, setting a national minimum wage of ¢33. Historians account this well intended piece of legislation as a significant factor in increasing the duration of the Great Depression. Mandatory minimum wages laws resulted in many more men being laid off because their employers could or would not pay the increased overhead.

Something about Right-at-Home’s letter to the editor speaks to where I am in life at the moment. I grew up in a small town and longed for that big city life, adventure in the great wide some where. But now that the kids are growing up, all I can dream about is country living complete with splashing in creeks and dirty bare feet at the end of the day. I have found city living to be crowded, stressful and expensive. Waiting on moving is a test of patience, but I’m looking forward to finding what Right-at-Home found: that life doubled back and was waiting for her at the very place she had run from.


The Block

There are lots and lots and lots of tiny pieces in this block so prepare accordingly! Color that template ahead of time and always double check the placement of your fabric pieces before you stitch any seams. And, as always, be mindful of how you press your seams. This block has lots of seams and can easily become gnarly and thick.

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Pre-Cuts

A (1) 1 3/4 x 1 3/4"

B (4) 3 x 1 1/2" 

C (4) 1 3/4 x 1 3/4", cut into HST's

D (2) 2 x 2", cut into HST's

E (8) 2 1/4 c 2 1/4", cut into HST's

F (16) 1 x 1"

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


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Happy Quilting!

  • Rita