Farmer’s Wife 1930s Book – Quilt


One of my birthday gifts in September was a copy of The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt book plus 20 fat quarters of 1930s reproduction fabric.  I had fun picking out blocks that I would like to make at random and using a couple of the pretty fat quarters along with some white fabric to make 6-½ inch unfinished blocks.  This is the first one I tried, “Addie”….


Then I tried “Mrs. Smith”

Mrs Smith

…and “Martha”.


I did all of the piecing by machine and used the CD provided with the book to print out the patterns.  I like to work with small blocks, so the 6-inch finished size was good for me.

The book includes assembly diagrams for piecing the blocks and template cutting instructions with full color pictures.  It also includes 99 letters from the 1930s depression era to the magazine, “Farmer’s Wife” with stories of how they were surviving and enjoying life in the middle of the depression.  My daughter found my book on eBay about $10 cheaper than the advertised price.

I used 22 different blocks from the book (plus two repeats) to make Christmas lap quilts for my two daughters (36 x 48 inches).  I placed the blocks on point and added white fabric to complete the quilt tops.


The borders were made from scraps of the fabric in each quilt.


I pieced together scraps to make the backing for the older daughter who likes batting and a cotton backing.


The younger daughter prefers fleece as batting/backing and I chose a pretty pink fleece with hearts for her quilt.  For each quilt, I made a duffel bag of Christmas fabric scraps to use as a gift bag and then later to use as a storage bag.


I love the blocks because of my own memories of the 1930s and because they were made from treasured gifts.


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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

14 thoughts on “Farmer’s Wife 1930s Book – Quilt”

  1. How beautiful they are! What lucky girls. All this going on in the background of everything else. You are amazing!

  2. Wow!! They all look so pretty! And you even made the duffle bags – they’re a whole extra gift! I’m sure your daughters loved both quilts! My son gave me The Farmer’s Wife book from the 1920s for Christmas, and I can’t wait to get started this week on making the squares. I haven’t yet decided which fabrics I’m going to use, but it’ll be fun choosing from my stash 🙂 Happy New Year, Lillian! Love seeing your sewing and quilting projects!

  3. I’ve never collected 30’s reproductions, but used them to make several ‘for sale’ quilts when I worked at the quilt shop in WY. There is a real springtime freshness about the fabrics, especially when paired with a crisp white background.
    I like the blocks you have made–I think an ‘on point’ setting is usually more interesting than a straight set. Finding room to lay one out can be a bit of a challenge if the planned quilt is queen sized.

  4. I absolutely adore the cloth. Something about the patterns really resonate with me. I have vague memories of making quilt squares for a doll blanket when I was a child that used fabrics very similar to these 1930’s patterns. I suppose that my mother had some “old” scraps that I used.

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