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.


1970s Memory Quilt

Last summer, my youngest daughter asked me to make a beach-themed wall hanging for her family room.  Now that summer is over, she thought she’d like to have a quilt representing her favorite era – the 1970s – with photos of her two kids in 70s-style clothes.  She chose the fabric and pictures, my oldest daughter worked with the pictures to make them suitable for printing on June Tailor Sew-In Colorfast Fabric sheets and I set to work to make the quilt.

The centerpiece is a photo she took of David Cassidy in concert – her favorite singer from the 1970s.  He’s surrounded by fun pictures of the kids ….

…and even one of their Build-A-Bear cheetah in 70s garb.

I used a block called “Sugarbowl” in the 4 corners …

…and otherwise used 6-½ inch blocks with sashing around the pictures.

I used up all of the fabric to make the backing and binding.

Quilting was very simple machine stitching.  It was a fun and easy project.

Pause and Remember – 6/15/2012

On Friday, I pause and remember a single moment from the past week – inspired by The Warden’s Log.

My daughters visited the Roycroft Museum and gift shop in East Aurora, NY, on vacation and this is what they brought back to me.  They definitely know what I like.

Artists:  Laura Wilder and Rix Jennings

Click on pictures to enlarge.

Busy Quilt Room Wall Hanging

About a year ago, my oldest daughter gave me a birthday gift of some beautiful redwork panels she had embroidered from patterns by Quilting Bee Designs.  I’ve been working on turning them into wall hangings throughout the year and just completed the largest one of the group – a scene that shows a sunbonnet lady working on her design wall.

I love all the details in the piece – the shelves with the fabric stash, the slightly messy appearance with snippets of material on the floor ….

….and the award ribbons on the wall – two first place and one second (not every quilt is a blue ribbon winner!).

I like the idea that the 1880s-dressed lady is making her quilt with modern conveniences like a sewing machine and an iron, a rotary cutter and the latest rulers.

I wanted to highlight my daughter’s beautiful hand embroidery and kept the border simple.  From my Electric Quilt 6 software, I chose Clay’s Choice as the corner blocks and arranged Hour Glass blocks for the border.

The piece would have been better with my daughter’s hand quilting, but she had other projects she was working on, so I did some very simple machine quilting.

The center section measures 16×12 inches and the complete wall hanging is 28x 24 inches.  After photos in the backyard, I brought it in to hang on my computer/sewing room door.

Here are other projects I posted earlier, using some of the panels:

Back to School Wall Hanging

Sunbonnet Quilters Wall Hanging

Airing the Quilts Wall Hanging

Airing the Quilts Wall Hanging

This is another collaboration piece with my daughter who in this case did almost all of the work.  She did the redwork hand embroidery from a pattern from Quilting Bee Designs.

Then, she hand-stitched four reverse-applique blocks for the corners….

…and did some exquisite hand quilting.

My contribution was a little assembly, sleeve, binding and a label.

I like the idea of a label showing a current picture so that anyone who might see this piece in the future will have some idea of the person who did such gorgeous work.

The completed hanging measures 26-1/2 inches x 21 inches.

Sunbonnet Quilters Wall Hanging

For my birthday last September, my oldest daughter made up a bunch of redwork embroidery pieces featuring sunbonnet ladies doing various phases of quilting.  She got her patterns from Quilting Bee Designs.  I chose five of the panels to make this wall hanging.

I spent months looking for fabric that I thought would complement the embroidery but not overwhelm it.  I found three pieces at Fabric Shack in Waynesville, Ohio, that I thought would work well.  Then, I tried out some blocks, again not wanting to detract from the embroidery.  I wasn’t happy with anything until I got this book for Christmas.

There were 111 vintage blocks to choose from and in leafing through the book, The Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt”, on Christmas Eve, I was immediately drawn to one called, “Flower Garden Path”. The book has a CD to print out templates for sampler blocks which are 6″ but I wanted 9″ blocks, so I used my Electric Quilt 6 software to re-draw the pattern and print it out for rotary cutting in the 9″ size.

I machine-pieced the blocks and put the quilt top together.  It’s a rather time-consuming block to sew, but I like the way it seems to frame the redwork panels.

I do only very simple machine quilting and was happy that my daughter offered to hand-quilt this piece.  Her beautiful stitching was just what the quilt needed

…and we liked the idea of vintage buttons in the center of the pieced blocks.

I made a scrappy patchwork backing and scanned recent pictures to print on the label.

It makes a nice, cheery wall hanging for my living room.