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Quilt A Long

1930's Farmer's Wife: Hope

The Hope block can be found on page 128 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 202 for template instructions.)

The Hope block can be found on page 128 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 202 for template instructions.)

Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Mrs. F. M. M. in Illinois can be found on page 7.

July 1938

Throughout Germany Jews were banned from specific areas of public life: private schools were shuttered, they were prohibited from health and beauty spas, and they were banned or fired from employment in law enforcement, realty, and tourism. At the same time, an international conference in Evian-les-Bains in southern France lasted a week, where countries discussed a resolution to the multitudes of Jews who had applied for asylum and refugee status in an attempt to escape Germany. Ultimately the conference ended with no solution as no country except for the Dominican Republic was willing to accept Jewish refugees.

While disagreement and division changed the lives of Europeans, America celebrated a four day long reunion of Confederate and Union soldiers commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. It’s estimated that over the 4 year course of the Civil War, 620,000 American soldiers and 50,000 civillians were killed. Over the course of the four day celebration, survivors of the Battle of Gettysburg met on the battlefield. The average age of the soldiers who attended the event was 94. I was able to find some original footage of the meeting on YouTube, it’s pretty neat.

Mrs. F. M. M.’s letter to the editor: spend less time obsessing over the details of a clean house if it costs you quality time and a relationship with your children. Turn those daily tasks into weekly tasks and take some time to enjoy one another instead. I can personally say that’s more easily than done when laundry is never ending, dishes are piling up, and constantly cleaning the floor to prevent baby from eating anything and everything he can crawl to. But it’s also good advice, children aren’t small forever so you might as well enjoy them while you can.

The Block

I’m not sure how it happened, but my B pieces didn’t flush into nice, neat corners when I pieced the Hope block. There’s a good 1/4” difference from the the B piece ends and where the corner is supposed to be. I’m worried about it because the opposite corners of the B pieced will also be cut off when the Hope block is pieced into the quilt, which will give the block a softer, more flower petal type look to it. Oh well, done is better than perfect!



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

B (2) 3 x 3"

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

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

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


Happy Quilting!

  • Rita

1930's Farmer's Wife: Grandma

The Grandma block can be found on page 22 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 198 for template instructions.)

The Grandma block can be found on page 22 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 198 for template instructions.)

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

February 1931

While unemployment steadily rose over the past year and would continue to do so until well into 1932,  not all Americans were consumed by the Great Depression.  That's not to say that they weren't affected, but over 80'% of the work force was employed, the average annual income was $1,850 and the average cost of rent for a house was $18.  Commodity prices would fall 17% later in the year, giving Americans greater spending power, a relief when most budgets were tight.  

bela (1).jpg

Despite the Great Depression, movies still remained a cornerstone of American culture as a means for news consumption and entertainment.  While weekly movie attendance did fall by a third between 1929 and 1934, more than 60 million Americans were watching a film every week.  In February 1931 Brahm Stoker's Dracula was first legally released in film format.  Bela Lugosi starred as the vampire, and a craze for horror films began to sweep America, Dracula was soon followed by Frankenstein, werewolves, deep sea creatures, and over-sized spiders.

The Block


This is one of those blocks where coloring our pattern in advance is helpful.  As you can see, I even messed up my coloring, imagine how terribly I would have messed up if I had just winged it!

The Grandma Block also offers lots of variation possibilities.  I chose to follow the same variation that Laurie shows in the book, but I had considered adding some squares to the variation.  

* Remember, the pre-cut sizes listed below are slightly large.  Trim fabric to size according to the pattern after pressing for an accurate block.


A (3) 3 x 3"               B (12) 2 3/4 x 2 3/4"

1 of each color                      2 blue

                                          5 yellow

                                          5 white


Happy Quilting!

- Rita

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 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"



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"


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

1930's Farmer's Wife: Aunt

The Aunt block can be found on page 97 of the  1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler  (page 167 for piecing instructions.)

The Aunt block can be found on page 97 of the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler (page 167 for piecing instructions.)

January 1933

Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Aunt Maria of Indiana can be found on page 9.

In January 1933, the foundations for major events in the 20th century were being set.  Joseph Stalin began implementing his famous Five Year Plan which ultimately lead to the starvation of millions of Russians, Ukrainians, Turks, and Eastern Europeans.  Japan was invading China, and Adolf Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany.

In America the Great Depression was in full swing. Bonnie and Clyde were becoming a household name. President Hoover signed into law the "Buy American Act," which required government purchases to favor American made products to foreign made.  Workers strikes resulted in Ford Motor Company to close it's American factories indefinitely, putting around 150,000 workers out of a job.

But the letters received by the editors of Farmer's Wife Magazine only seem to reflect a sense of steadfast calmness if not positivity.  Aunt Maria reminds us that life happens one day at a time, enjoy what you have today because it might not be here tomorrow.  But when things do get tough, there is no profit in wasting you energy by worrying about tomorrow.  Do what needs to be done today and take things one day at a time.  I can only imagine that's how most American's handled the Great Depression, one day at a time.

The recipe I tried was the Gold Cake on page 17.

The Block

When prepping for this quiltathon I had decided that I was going to paper piece all of the blocks.  Not only did I find all of the individual templates a little overwhelming, but the paper piecing templates conserve more paper.  Ultimately this hasn't made a difference for me when I found out that my printer doesn't work so I resorted to tracing the templates off of my computer screen!


After tracing the paper piecing templates I relabeled them into units that made more sense to me, and I colored in the units to plan out which fabrics go where.  Then I used my little quilting ruler to measure approximate sizes to pre-cut fabrics.  The sizes I pre-cut are listed below if you're interested.

Also, I changed the color of the center square from yellow to white, hope that doesn't confuse anyone.



Yellow/White Square: (1)

Light Pink Triangles: (2)

Blue Rectangles (4)

Pink Squares (4)

Piecing was nice and easy and I thought a nice easy start to the new year was needed.  I don't know about you, but I've found these last couple of months were hectic!  Hopefully 2018 will be kind to all of us.  But even if this turns out to be a hard year on any of us, just remember to take things one day at a time.


Happy Quilting!

- Rita

1930's Farmer's Wife Quiltathon

Last year I watched social media blew up with images and quilt-a-longs from the Farmer's Wife quilt books.  I've had the 1930's Farmer's Wife on my shelf for a while now, and I've decided it's now or never to do something of my own.  Because I'm a procrastinator at heart, I've decided to organize something a little less official than a full blown quilt-a-long, but will also keep me accountable, so this is a quiltathon.  33 weeks of piecing and posting all 99 blocks presented in the 1930's Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt.

This is going to be a quilt for my family, and I am so excited about it because I have given away almost every quilt I have made, and now my own kiddos will have a beautiful, full sized quilt to snuggle under together on the couch.  I also need to make some quilts for the family so that I can convince Handsomepants to build me a quilt ladder for our living room.



How It Works

This quiltathon will start January 1 and end in December 2018.  

Every week I will be releasing between 2 and 3 posts.  Every post will have a quick how-to on block assembly and a little something on the block's accompanying letter.

The quiltathon will primarily be held on Instagram, so follow along and post your own blocks using the hashtag #PQCfarmerswife.  There will be monthly updates on the blog, so you can check in at the end of the month to see what blocks were covered. (The quiltathon is in no way hosted or endorsed by Instagram.)



A copy of the The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt.  I will be demonstrating the construction of some of the blocks, but I will not be providing the templates or paper piecing patterns. Those are included with the book and can be printed from the CD provided.  Just make sure that when you print you're set to print at 100% scale, otherwise you'll end up with different sized blocks.  Blocks should be 6 1/2 x 6 1/2", unfinished.

Fabric requirements might be different for everyone depending on what size quilt you choose to make, and whether you place your blocks on point or not.  Requirements for background fabrics, batting, and backing fabrics are all provided in the book, but I will share with you the number of blocks needed for each size so that you can plan ahead how many blocks you need for the size you want.


Lap Size: 32 blocks

Twin Size: 84 blocks

Queen Size: 99 blocks

King Size: 126 blocks, there are only 99 patterns in the book, so you will have to repeat 27 blocks.


The Schedule

I'm organizing this quiltathon in a semi-chronological manner.  All of the blocks in the book are identified by a title, a woman's name, month, and the year their corresponding letter was published.  I've arranged all of the blocks according to the month and year the letters were published.

This organizational method distributes between 8 and 10 blocks into each month, with the exceptions of May and June, which will give use a little break with only 6 blocks those months.  We'll skip around the book throughout the year, but it was important to go month-to-month so that the blocks match up with some other fun tid-bits I'll be including with every post.


  • Aunt - 1933
  • Mother - 1933  
  • Tirzah - 1934
  • Dinah - 1934
  • Joy - 1935
  • Malvina - 1935
  • Ava - 1936
  • Peony - 1938


  • Sylvia - 1931
  • Grandma - 1931
  • Katherine - 1931
  • Anne - 1933
  • Doris - 1933
  • Aime - 1934
  • Nellie - 1935
  • Caroline - 1936
  • Lucy - 1938


  • Patience - 1930
  • Mrs. Morgan - 1931
  • Eva - 1931
  • Betty - 1933
  • Becky - 1934
  • Mrs. Smith - 1935
  • Tracy - 1938
  • Flora - 1938
  • Jenny - 1939


  • Nan - 1930
  • Marcella - 1932
  • Mrs. Fay - 1934
  • Monette - 1935
  • Old Maid - 1936
  • Jewel - 1937
  • Carol - 1937
  • Mollie - 1937
  • May - 1938
  • Autumn - 1939


  • Mrs. Thomas - 1932
  • Prudence - 1932
  • Poppy - 1933
  • Primrose - 1936
  • Blossom - 1938


  • Judy - 1930
  • Augusta - 1931
  • Widow - 1932
  • Bonnie - 1934
  • Mrs. Taft - 1935
  • Grandmother - 1937


  • Lily - 1930
  • Fern - 1932
  • Caroline - 1933
  • Rosemary - 1933
  • Ann - 1935
  • Mrs. Brown - 1936
  • Mary Gray - 1937
  • Alice - 1937
  • Hope - 1938


  • Mary - 1930
  • Pharlemia - 1934
  • Lola - 1935
  • Mrs. Anderson - 1935
  • Georgia - 1935
  • Bride - 1936
  • Ruby - 1936
  • Fannie - 1936
  • Sonnie - 1937
  • Posy - 1938


  • Dolly - 1933
  • Golda - 1933
  • Sara - 1935
  • Susannah - 1935
  • Margaret - 1935
  • September - 1935
  • Farmer's Wife - 1937
  • Patricia - 1937


  • Mrs. Lloyd - 1930
  • Addie - 1930
  • April - 1933
  • Em - 1934
  • Geneva - 1934
  • Sarah - 1936
  • Coral - 1936
  • Charlotte - 1937
  • Viola - 1937


  • Iris - 1932
  • Mrs. Keller - 1932
  • Lady - 1932
  • Magnolia - 1933
  • Starlight - 1934
  • Crystal - 1936
  • Granny - 1937
  • Heather - 1938


  • Milly - 1931
  • Nancy - 1933
  • Daffodil - 1935
  • Bea - 1935
  • Belle - 1935
  • Martha - 1937
  • Carrie - 1937
  • Priscilla - 1938

If you're hopping on board with me, start planning your fabric choices now and order your own copy of 1930's The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird.  

Remember, the Istagram hashtag is #PQCfarmerswife so you can show off your blocks and see what others are up to!  I look forward to it!

Happy Quilting!

- Rita