Friday, August 19, 2011

Farmer's Wife Friday: Better a Farmer...

The writer this week is from Ramsey County, North Dakota. This writer strikes me as a bit defensive. "Why select the wives of unkind or thoughtless husbands, and use them as examples of the farm women?" Having said that, again this farmer's wife is clearly not someone who would enjoy living in the city.

"Compare a farmer of moderate means with the common laboring man of the city. Dos he have the means to give his wife many of the labor-saving devices? Does she attend afternoon teas and the best operas? No; from morning till night she toils, planning, saving, and trying to exist on his meager wage. Where can she go when mentally depressed? She hasn't the beautiful wide out-doors, the green fields, flowers and trees, or the invigorating fresh air which the country woman has and loves. She only has that stuffy, little house and if she steps outside, she is on the street, surrounded by noise, walls and people.

The two blocks this week had names taken straight from the outdoors: Night& Day, and Tall Pine Tree.

#59 Night&Day

So let me just complain a bit. You saw that sentence up above? The one that says "from morning till night she toils..." Yep, that's how I felt about this block. It wasn't named Night&Day for nothing. I started working on it at night, gave up in frustration, and started again today. I tried templates. I tried paper piecing. I drank a glass of wine (along with my whine...). My plan was to write a poetic description, something along these lines. "I chose the inky dark blue of a night sky and contrasted it with the warm yellow of a sunny day." Whatever. By the time I was done with it I didn't care what colors I chose. I didn't even care if all the pieces matched up.

What was the problem? I tried to analyze it. With a clear head. Before the glass of wine...I didn't ever quite figure it out. Carla had some problems with this block as well. She seemed to think that one of the templates was reversed. She even contacted the author, and after some email conversations, told Carla she had discovered an error in the book. Way to go, Carla!! My first two attempts (one made with templates, one paper pieced) ended up looking like kites.

I finally put my plastic templates on top of the paper piecing template to see if that would help me visualize things. It did. Whew. Done. Never doing this block again. Ever.

But it looks great, right? (Warning: This would not be the time to make any negative comments about this block. Just sayin'...)

On to #94, Tall Pine Tree.

Compared to Night&Day, this block was, well, night and day. It went together very easily. Poetic description: Can't you just smell the fresh pine needles when you look at this block?

Here they are together:

And the whole group so far.
Up next week is Cats& Mice and Windblown Square. I'll try not to read too much into those block names...

Don't forget to head over to Carla's this week to see what fabrics she chose for these blocks. Until next Friday...


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Elizabeth Dackson said... #

Wow - it's a good thing that Night & Day block turned out so stunning after all of the trouble it gave you! I really do think it's amazing, though!!

Bonny said... #

Sorry the night and day block was such a pain. It really turned out amazing anyway

Amy Friend said... #

Looking good! Sorry that block gave you so much trouble. Yesterday I ripped out and stiched one row of a block 4 times! I was losing my mind.

Mary said... #

gorgeous blocks!

Terriaw said... #

In spite of the problems you had with the Night&Day block, it turned out gorgeous! I really love the contrasts, of both blocks. That pine tree block is just my style! Might have to look further into that one. All your blocks look so stunning together!

Anne at Film and Thread said... #

It is a gorgeous block and turned out spectacularly, so your efforts weren't in vain, although it is too bad that you don't ever want to make it again. It has been fun watching your progress. Really beautiful, as usual!

Grandma G said... #

YES, the Night&Day looks GREAT! After battling that and the Weekender, your patience must have grown by leaps and bounds this year! ;)

pinsandneedles said... #

Sorry that you had such a hard time with the Night & Day block but I think it is very striking! I am enjoying following yours (and Carla's) progress on the Farmer's Wife.

Karen said... #

Your Night and Day block is so striking looking in the chosen colors.

PNW Quilts said... #

holy smoke!! you are amazing! thanks for the update with #59, i put your blog notes on that page so when i get there, i'll open up the gin n tonic haha

Little Spouse in the Old House said... #

Having toiled in the Kansas clay and now growing veges surrounded by the noise of San Jose, I find I must plan purposefully to plant, water, and care for my garden and my soul. To the struggling wife wherever she may be- Take joy in the bee that goes from plant to plant or the weed that pops up through the concrete! You can thrive!

Jennifer said... #

Wow! That turned out to be a stunning block! Both of them did...

I think I've told you this before but your FW block's are some of my very favorites!

Jennifer :)

Terri said... #

you rock my socks with all that solid love :)

Latebloomerar said... #

Enjoyed your post! And the night an day block looks good! I'm just saying...

suemac said... #

Your night and day block looks great. I think I am not going to enjoy this one.

Sheila said... #

thank's for the "heads up" i shall have a go at this in the Morning, (My Day Your Night as i am in Australia) hopefully all your warning' and angst will save the rest of us from the same frustration's. It was worth it, your night and day is stunning, I'm not sure if i can smell your Tall Pine tree or the ones across the road on the foreshore :-)

Vicki said... #

They both look great! The Night and Day block looks complicated...

Letterpress said... #

Okay. I love it. Even without the poetic night-sky-dark-light language, it packs a visual punch. And I love that you hate it, too. I have lots of quilt blocks like that as well, but they go on to be great quilts. I also enjoy looking at all of them on your wall--bravo to you!

Elizabeth E.

Mama Pea said... #

Yes, the block is beautiful! Seems like there has been more than one block with an error in the book. Do you know if the errata are cataloged somewhere for those of us who haven't started yet?

Anonymous said... #

Found you from Carla's loving your solids quilt! Looks great!

Also love that photo of your mother and granddaughter. What a treasure!