Sunday, June 26, 2011


Block 19, Checkerboard conjures up images of a family, settled down for the evening, with a checkerboard on the kitchen table, the family enjoying a simple game and pleasures that sadly have so often today been usurped by the 'box in the corner'.  Junior, no doubt, tries a little cheating, but is quickly drawn into line ... valuable lessons of how to conduct oneself learned from familial competition of a game of Checkers.

This block was a joy to stitch.  I have decided, after the frustrations of Cats and Mice, to draw not only the inside of the template, but also the outside.  Result?  Accuracy! 

There is something pleasurable about sitting in a comfortable arm chair, light over my shoulder to give a working brightness, listening to 'my football team' finally winning a game, and a gentle heat from the pot belly stove, fired with wood gathered on the property and sawn into suitable lengths, warming the room.  I could almost be back in the 1920's!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt ... Blocks 17 and 18

Block 17 ~ Cats and Mice looked easy and as I had just the right fabrics I began this with great enthusiasm.  Sad to say I ran into problems; problems that caused me to put this block aside.  A week later I looked at it again, unpicked a little, but could see no way of correcting the mistake, though I dare say there was ... I had a mental block for this block!  In fact it would be true to say the cats and mice block was playing a game of cat and mouse with me.

Block 18 ~ Century of Progress created no problems.  I began and completed this rather striking block in one evening.

Being determined not to let one block cause me futher angst, and no way was this block going to be put off until the last, I cut out the pieces, and stitched again.  While this block is not perfect I am [almost] satisfied with it.  It is complete!  I know the main reason for the mess I made and have determined that any further blocks with 'template 13' in it will be attacked with a determination not to let it beat me. 

By the way, template 13 is the little triangle, in Cats and Mice, with emphasis on little!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Calico Puzzle ~ 16

Block 16, Calico Puzzle, caused no problems ... apart from the fact that I stitched the top row to the centre row upside down, because I wasn't paying attention!  'Check before you stitch' would be a motto worth following!

The letter that inspired this block has an interesting reference to calico.  'The farmer's wife had never dreamed of home conveniences.  The home and grounds were unattractive.  In those days the country woman almost always wore an ugly calico "wrapper" and her one "Sunday dress" was worn for years.'
Those few words paint a picture of drabness and hardship. 

In choosing fabric for this block I deliberately placed that comment to the back of my mind; instead I focussed towards today and chose pretty feminine colours; colours that the farmer's wife of the 1920's would have loved.

I well remember those 'wrappers'.  I am not old enough to remember the 1920's!  Nor did my Mother wear such a garment, but dimly, from the back of my mind, I had been at houses where the morning working garb of the housewife was similar in style. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Buzzard's Roost ~ Block 15

This block was a little slower being completed; mainly because I have been busy sewing other things.  While the original colours in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird, were a murky-grey contrasted with a mainly-white-and-a-little-grey block after much searching through my 'box of fabric' [which incidentally is now tidy], I eventually settled on shades of lavender. 
I imagine any buzzard flying the skies looking for it's nest would do a double flip at the sight of a purple nest.  The nest would certainly stand out. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Butterfly at the Crossroads ~ Block 14

Butterfly at the Crossroads ... doesn't that conjure up a delightful mind picture?  This block has taken longer than anticipated, mainly because I completed my Gum Leaf quilt leaving me a clear conscience thus allowing me to progress uninhibited with The Farmer's Wife Sampler quilt.

I chose delicate colours for Block 14; butterflies fluttering at the crossroads, or anywhere, are delicate by nature!  In my mind's eye I see attention being drawn to this block, simply because of its colours. 

As I make each block I recite to myself the numbers and names and wonder if at the end of 'the making' I can actually remember them all!  I think that this little mental exercise must be good for my grey matter.