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Becca's Quilt

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A few weeks ago Handsomepants and I loaded up the minivan with all four kiddos, two dogs, and one suitcase and drove a 2,000 mile round trip to WI to visit both of our families. It was great to spend time with the in-laws and pawn the kids off with their aunt for a sleepover with cousins. And it was awesome to watch my baby sister walk across the stage and officially graduate law school at UW Madison with honors.

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While we were staying at my parents house I found this little gem, the very first quilt I ever finished. I made this quilt a number of years for my sister Becca when she graduated high school. If I remember correctly the pattern is based off of the Paintbox pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. Don’t quote me on the name of the pattern, I don’t quite remember as I made it around 10 years ago.

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The backing and the binding are made of scraps leftover from making the blocks. Just looking at all of those wonky lines and bunched up seams kinda makes me cringe, but I also kinda like it. Over all I don’t think I did too bad for my first finished quilt, it could certainly have been worse!

Becca took the quilt to college with her, and now it sits on the bed in my childhood bedroom at my parent’s house. It certainly was a fun reminder of just how much my quilting has improved over the years.

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

Ginger's Quilts: Grandma and Goose

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It’s no secret that our family is based in the Denver area, but like a lot of Coloradan transplants we’re the only ones from our family who live here. My parents and my in-laws are all in Wisconsin. It can get lonely sometimes but we’ve always been blessed that every time we’ve had a baby both my mother-in-law and my parents have been able to come visit and help with the kids.

When the Prime Minister was born last June, my mother-in-law was able to spend just over a week with us and she brought some fabric and a plan to keep Goose entertained. Ginger and Goose both worked together on the 6” blocks for this 32” x 32” lap quilt.

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Handsomepants is from a family of 5 kids, plus a number of foster kids sprinkled throughout. I don’t know how Ginger handled all of those kids, but I do know that the woman has the patience of a saint. Ginger did a spectacular job walking Goose through the importance of consistent seam allowances while Goose sewed away under Grandma’s supervision, but Ginger did confess to putting some decent mileage on her seam ripper when she returned to WI with the finished blocks.

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Ginger took the blocks back to WI with her when she finished her visit with us, and later mailed the finished quilt back to Goose. This little quilt is Goose’s pride and joy and has an honored spot on her bed. None of her siblings are allowed to play with it, and I’ve overheard her bragging to friends about how much fun she had making it with her grandma.

There are many things I’m thankful to my mother-in-law for, and a love of quilting is one of them. She inspired me to start, and she’s inspired Goose to start as well. Sharing a love of quilting is what Posterity Quilt Co. is all about, inspiring the next generation, and that seems to be an innate ability my mother-in-law has.

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Happy Quilting!

  • Rita

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!

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Pre-Cuts

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"


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Happy Quilting!

  • Rita

Baby Bow Tie Quilt

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Several months ago I finished this bow tie baby quilt that I had pieced together from my WIPs collection and apparently I never wrote a blog post about it. So now I’m playing catch up.

I had tried to take some nice, clear pictures of this quilt, but the Prime Minister decided to he wanted to help. I might be biased, but I think the pictures turned out cuter this way.

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The quilt is a nice lap or tummy time size and measures 36” x 54”. I used a layer cake of Moda’s 1930’s Playtime Basics and some other red, purple, and white fabric I found in my stash. The backing is some kind of polyester blend designed to imitate a felt. I don’t remember where I got it from, but it was thick enough to use as a baking and skip batting all together. I know you’re not supposed to mix fabrics when quilting, but this fabric was just cute and fuzzy enough I think that the cotton top will mesh nicely with the backing, and after a number of washings I haven’t noticed any real shifting or shrinking in the layers.

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The quilting itself is very simple. I just used a stitch in the ditch along each of the 36” seams. My Singer Quantum has been on the fritz lately and I haven’t been able to sew on it, so I used the Featherweight, meaning I didn’t even try free motion. But that’s ok, the Featherweight is quickly becoming my favorite sewing machine and I love simple straight quilting anyways.

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When I made this quilt, I didn’t have anyone in mind to give it to. I just wanted to knock off another to-do from my WIPs collection. M seems to have claimed it for herself though because I keep finding it wrapped around her baby dolls and favorite stuffed animals. That’s just fine with me, I’d rather my quilt be loved than stuffed in a closet waiting to be gifted.

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Happy Quilting!

  • Rita