Thursday, 1 October 2015

Addie, Aimee, Alice and 3 others

Do I really need a new projects considering the number of tops that need quilting?  The answer is NO.
Do I need a fiddly paper piecing project with tiny winy little pieces? The answer is NO.
Do I need a project that will go on for months and maybe years? The answer is NO.

So it does make sense that I have joined The Farmers Wife 1930s Quilt along, doesn’t it?

FW1930sQAL 2It is week 3 of the QAL, and so far I have managed to keep on top of this.  Two blocks a week does not seem that big an achievement! You are mistaken.  The paper piecing prep, the fabric choice, the sewing and… the removal of the paper which takes F O R E V E R… I need to find a faster, less time consuming way of doing this.  And it needs to be an economical way because I don’t feel buy more specialised paper yet.

Orlando High Nothing very original in my choice of fabrics, I’m using 1930s repro and solids.  It is what attracted me to this quilt in the first place.

Now let me introduce you to my first 6 blocks.

FW1930SQALTop row: Addie, Aimee, Alice
Bottom row: Ann, Anne, April

FW1930SQAL1 

Initially I bought the book in order to follow the QAL, for the patterns and the instructions.  But there’s more to it. The first part of the book is a collection of letters from ‘Farm women’.  They were written between 1930 and 1939, during the recession.  The tone of the letters is quite cheerful, the idea was to boost moral. Reading between the lines, you get an idea of the life of these women in farms at the time, and recession or not, it was surely a hard time.

All of this made me think of my grandparents from my mother’s side.  Both of them were born and raised in a farm.  My grandmother always says that hers was more modern and advanced.  I can believe that: my great-grand mother ran the farm on her own, managing the day-workers.  Ma grand-mother is the 7th of 10 kids, she went to school until she was 12 at a time where farm kids would be pulled out of the class room much earlier to help (which happened to my grandfather who went to school only when he was not needed at the farm).  My grand-parents got married during the war, worked for a landlord.  My grand-mother realised that it was too difficult and that she wanted a different life for her family.  So they moved to the city where she opened a grocery shop whist my grandfather worked in a factory.  She always said that her life was better than the life of her sisters who stay in the farm.

Paper piecing1Top row
My grandmother with her siblings (sometimes in the 70s)
My great-grandmother (who I knew), my great-grandfather (who I never met, and who, according to the family legend, has been ‘kicked-out’ of the farm) and their 10 kids (my grandmother is the last one on the top row).

Bottom row
My grandparents on their wedding day during the war (1942)
My grandparents, my uncle and my mother (any opinion on those very short shorts?)
4 generations of women: my grandmother on the right (she used to have her dresses made once she moved to town), my great-grandmother, my mother and the cutie one is me.

I realise that I should speak to my grandmother and understand her life better.  In comparison, I find the letter of Mrs H.S.L., from Washington (page 82) very interesting.  I’d love to know what this lady’s life was in town to make her said that once she move to the countryside, she was ‘Happier than ever before’

…When I left town I traded my electric washer for two cows.  I have no modern conveniences, yet, as I had in town; still I am happier than I ever have been before….

I think my grandmother felt the exact opposite.

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