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Quiltathon

1930's Farmer's Wife: Bonnie

The Bonnie block can be found on page 136 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 175 for piecing instructions.)

The Bonnie block can be found on page 136 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 175 for piecing instructions.)

Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Lovingkindness in South Dakota can be found on page 10.

June 1934

June 1934 was a tumultuous month worldwide. The United States called on other nations to repay their outstanding debts of $12 billion, 350 million borrowed from the United States in order to fund reconstruction projects after World War 1. Britain responded by informing the US they would not be repaying its $5 billion war debt, claiming that repayment of the debt would cause substantial harm to the European economy, creating economic conditions that existed prior to the war and ultimately lead to war. France cut the pensions of WW1 veterans to ease the national burden to repayment, resulting in veterans rioting.

In Germany, things took a violent turn with the Night of the Long Knives. A single night when Hitler ordered the murders of roughly 100 people he deemed to be political threats. Victims were largely critics of Hitler and the Nazi party, and those with whom Hitler had long standing political or personal feuds.

In the United States, things were a little more normal. While John Dillinger was terrorizing the Mid-West, President Roosevelt signed the Communications Act of 1934 into law. This new law created the FCC and granted it regulation of radio and telephone communications both nationally and internationally. This ultimately resulted in the end of non-commercial radio stations, that is, not-for-profit stations. It wasn’t until 1996 that the Communications Act of 1934 was replaced with the Telecommunications Act.

On a fun note, Disney introduced Donald Duck in his first ever cartoon “The Wise Little Hen.” This little tidbit was near and dear to my heart because Donald Duck is a household favorite. Little Man’s first question every morning is if he can watch Donald Duck. We like the old cartoon versions and I’m very glad that YouTube has hours of original 1940’s and 1950’s cartoons.


The Block

The Bonnie block is so simple and strait forward that it doesn’t require any instruction or warnings. Just mind your corners and you should be peachy keen!

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Pre-Cuts

A (1) 3 1/2 x 3 1/2”

B (2) 2 x 2”

C (2) 2 x 3 1/2”

D (2) 2 x 4 3/4”

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Happy Quilting!

  • Rita

1930's Farmer's Wife: Ann

The Ann block can be found on page 24 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 163 for template instructions.)

The Ann block can be found on page 24 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 163 for template instructions.)

Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Ugly Duckling in Illinois can be found on page 14.

July 1935

The German government passed a law making draft-dogging punishable up to 6 months in prison.  In hindsight this should have been highly suspicious considering that the German Army was disbanded after the First World War and the German government was only allowed to maintain a national police force.  

Mussolini continued aggressive actions in Ethiopia in an endeavor to recreate the Roman Empire.  Ethiopia appealed to the United States in an attempt to curb Italian expansion by complaining that Mussolini had violated the Kellog-Briand Pact.  The US declined to intervene, sighting "action" from the League of Nations.  Both the League of Nations and the Kellog-Briand Pact were created with the intention of ending military action in the face of international dispute. Unfortunately for Ethiopia, the Kello-Braind Pact was as ineffective as the League of Nations at actually preventing the rise of military ambitions or expansion.  Statements of condemnation do not dissuade countries from pursuing military and economic advancement.  It could be argued that the United State's inaction partially contributed to the Italian invasion of Ethiopia four months later.

 In the United States, Americans sweltered under the peak of the Dust Bowl. Temperatures averaged 101 and hundreds of Americans dies over the course of the month due to dehydration and exposure. Farms continued to flounder under the unprecedented heat. But thankfully coolers temperatures and coolers summers where on the horizon.

On and interesting note, the worlds first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City.  


The Block

 Pre-Cuts

A (4) 1 1/2 x 3 1/4

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

C (4) 1 1/4 x 2 1/4"

D (4) 2 1/4 x 2 1/4"

E (4) 2 1/4 x 2 1/4"

F 1 3/4 x 1 3/4"

G 1 1/2 x 1"

The Ann block is relatively easy to piece, just be sure to watch the tiny triangles at the sides of each quarter of the finished block. Those tiny triangles are really nothing more than slivers of fabric and can easily be lost in the seam allowances. Also, watch how you press your seams, they can get fat fast and then you’ll end up with a lumpy block.

I apparently also never took a picture of my colored paper template for you guys, sorry about that. But here’s the list of pre-cut sizes, I’ll let you use your imagination to decide where they all piece together, those should be some interesting blocks! Good luck!

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Happy Quilting!

  • Rita

1930's Farmer's Wife: Mrs. Brown

The Mrs. Brown block can be found on page 103 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 226 for template instructions.)

The Mrs. Brown block can be found on page 103 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 226 for template instructions.)

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

July 1936

England's King Edward VIII escaped a perceived assassination attempt as he rode a horse passed crowds on Constitution Hill.  George Andrew McMahon reportedly raised a pistol in the king's direction but was interrupted by a woman in the crowd who grabbed his arm, alerting a nearby constable.  McMahon claims he never intended to shoot the king, he was merely making a protest about authorities apparent refusal to take seriously his warnings of an impending assassination attempt against Edward VIII.  McMahon was sentenced to a year of hard labor and remained under M15's surveillance until his death due to suspected personal connections with Nazi hierarchy and British fascist groups.   

Several decisions were declared in July 1936 that eased the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in October of the same year.  First: the United States refused to directly intervene in the brewing conflict on behalf of Ethiopia, deciding to defer to decisions and mediation by the League of Nations; second: the League of Nations ended economic sanctions against Italy, easing restrictions on imports; third: Great Britain announced reductions in naval patrols of the Mediterranean due to increasing tension between Italy and Ethiopia.

While things in the Mediterranean sphere where cooling down, things in the United States were heating up both figuratively and literally. A number of strikes throughout the country impacted production and employment in several industries; and the 1936 American Heat Wave took place, where week long temperatures averaged 101. This heat wave marked the peak of the Dust Bowl temperatures and resulted in hundreds of deaths across the Mid-West.  168 deaths were reported in a single weekend.

Suggestion's letter to the editor is an eye opening one, especially when compared to today's heated political climate.  It’s impossible to escape when everything is politicized and there is never a good word said about anyone. But what would things look like if we took Suggestion’s suggestions? Rather than gossiping, de-moralizing, and assassinating the characters of others, focus on their virtues.  Hanlon's Razor is a philosophical razor that can be summed up like this: never attribute to malice what can be attributed to ignorance.  Rather than assume someone is evil and vile, take a moment to consider the possibility that they just don’t know.


The Block

 The Mrs. Brown quilt block is a simple, straight forward block to work with. It’s really nothing more than a fancy 9-patch. I do think that this block would be striking as an entire quilt top, but I suppose that’s just another to-do on my ever growing wish list.

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Pre-Cuts

A (5) 2 x 2"

B (10) 1 3/4 x 1 3/4"

C (2) 2 1/2 x 2 1/2"

D (2) 2 1/2 x 2 1/2"


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Happy Quilting!

  • Rita

1930's Farmer's Wife: Mary

The Mary block can be found on page 64 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 218 for template instructions.)

The Mary block can be found on page 64 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 218 for template instructions.)

Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Mrs.E. J. H. in Nebraska can be found on page 15.

August 1930

I’m going to take liberties today with this post and skip the history lesson so that I can rant a little bit about the Mary block’s letter to the editor.

I truly sympathize with the judgement Mrs. E.J.H. describes in her letter to the editor.  While pregnant with the Prime Minister and toting around three other children, I can honestly say that some people were enthusiastic about seeing "such a large family."  But not everyone was so polite, some people were downright rude and for some reason the felt the need to comment with snide remarks.  "Wow, really?" "Your husband must have wanted a large family." "You know what causes that right?" "What's it like being your husbands personal prostitute?" (This literally was said to me in the checkout line at King Soopers.)  There is a difference in tone between remarks meant in jest and remarks filled with self-righteous condemnation, and these remarks were usually delivered with a huff and an upturned glance towards my swollen stomach.  

I am a believer in Hanlon's Razor, and I tired my best to remain polite and respond with a smile, "Yes, I couldn't be more excited to meet this little one!" "Actually I would like to have more, but my husband is the one who's ready to be done having kids."  But those days when my temper was short, my responses were usually more along the lines of "I do know what causes this, clearly we're very good at it," "We just haven't found a new hobby yet," or to the last commenter, "Thank you for thinking so little of me, I'm sorry you're so bitter over your own loneliness."

Like Mrs. E.J.H. I find it somewhat baffling when a woman is judged for wanting to have more than 2 children.  I grew up under a feminist age (second wave) when girls were told they could do whatever they wanted to do, grow up to be whatever they wanted to be.  Unfortunately as I have grown up, I’ve discovered that Mother is not part of what is acceptable for girls to aspire to. 

And now that I’m pregnant with baby #5, it’s only gotten worse. Well I’m sick of it, and to be perfectly honest, those ladies can shove it.

I can only assume those individuals have never held their own "bundle of humanity" as Mrs. E.J.H. so aptly calls a new born, or celebrate the little milestones mastered by tiny hands and chubby feet.  I wonder if they've ever even tried to reorient their life's priorities away from personal want to meet the immediate and future needs of another who is absolutely dependent and completely trusting in you.  That, I know, is the most amazing and daunting job in the world.


 The Block

The Mary block is simple and quick once you get into the swing of things. I chain pieced the small B triangles to save thread. In the pre-cut section, I listed the B triangles a tad over sized. I found I was having trouble maintaining comfortable seam allowances, so I wanted you guys to have a little wiggle room just in case. Just be sure to square the block and trim to size when you’re done piecing.

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Pre-Cuts

A (2) 4 x 4" cut into HST's

B (14) 2 x 2" cut into HST's


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Happy Quilting!

  • Rita

1930's Farmer's Wife: Mary Gray

The Mary Gray block can be found on page 69 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 219 for template instructions.)

The Mary Gray block can be found on page 69 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 219 for template instructions.)

Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Emansipated in Nebraska can be found on page 14.

July 1937

The first week of July 1937 witnessed a sudden escalation of international relations in China with the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese soldiers that sparked the Second Sino-Japanese War. Tensions between the Chinese and Japanese had been high since the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. After the end of the First Sino-Japanese War certain agreements were made regarding military deployment and territorial control. By 1937 the Japanese army had deployed 15,000 soldiers around the port city of Wanping, a number well above the established agreement made in 1931. On July 7, shots rang out and withing hours both armies had reinforced themselves, and scattered fighting culminated into the first charge and official start of the Second Sino-Japanese War at 4:50 July 8, 1937.

The Second Sino-Japanese War lasted from July 1937 to September 1945 and ended with the Japanese capitulation to the United States at the end of World War II. The war was a result of Japanese imperial aspirations and resulted in an estimated 6,800,000 - 15,600,000 military deaths (Japanese and Chinese combined) and 17,000,000 - 22,000,000 Chinese civilian deaths. Today the war is still a point of contention between Japan and China that is reflected in trade relations and allegiances with other neighboring nations such as North Korea and Taiwan. Both countries have been pressured to make a show of amends with nation wide actions, China to deescalate its naval strength, Japan to rewrite high school text books and curriculum that glosses over the brutal nature of it’s military history.

News of war and atrocities in the far East were not unknown in the West, but Americans were unwilling to intervene in a conflict far away that had nothing to do with American interests. Particularly since most Americans still remembered those who had died fighting for European allies in World War 1. Prior to Pearl Harbor, most Americans were content to tend to their own problems, mainly national politics.

The Senate struck down Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Court Packing Plan," an attempt by the president to increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court from 9 to 15, give justices the chance to retire at 70 with full pay, or if a justice did not retire by 70 the president would assign them an "assistant" who had full voting abilities and would sit on the bench for them.  Roosevelt argued the increased number of judges would make the court more efficient, his critics maintained he was attempting to bypass justices who had prevented several key parts of Roosevelt's New Deal Legislation on the grounds they (the Social Securities Act and National Labor Relations Act) granted unconstitutional powers to the executive branch.  The Senate disagreed with Roosevelt and failed the court-packing bill 70-22.

But amidst all of the upheaval and insecurity of the world, Americans still remembered to take time to appreciate the simple things in life. Laroka’s letter to the editor reminds us of the simple joys of outdoor seating. "God made outdoors, man made indoors."  What an interesting perspective on life by Laroka, I think her perspective is more acute today than ever before.  When was the last time you spent all day outdoors?  If you have kids, how much time do they spend in front of a screen? I admit I have been very guilty of this lately, but I do try to get all four of them out side at least once a day. So many children are raised by their tablets and TV’s there’s even a new category of autism attributed to too much screen time, called Virtual Autism!

Many of the letters included in the 1930’s Farmer’s Wife at least reference children. Obviously the future generation was important to women in the 1930’s as they are important to women now. Let’s take more time to listen to Laroka and invest in our children over a meal while we watch the sun set.


The Block

The Mary Gray block is and easy block and doesn’t require anything from you other than strait stitching! Take a look at the picture below and line up your pre-cuts and paper templates to match the layout in the picture. Start with the little triangles on the top and bottom of the block (D) and build up the larger half square templates. That’s really all you need to know!

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Pre-Cuts

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

B (1) 1 1/2 x 1 1/2"

C (2) 4 x 1 1/2"

D (2) 2 1/2 x 2 1/2" cut into HST's

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

F (4) 3 x 1 1/4"


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Happy Quilting!

  • Rita