Friday, September 9, 2011

Farmer's Wife Friday: The Very Breath of Life

The letter this week was written by a farmer's wife in Chautauqua County, New York. This farmer's wife gave a different perspective as she was a "town girl but I married a farmer to whom the country is the very breath of life. I have only to close my eyes and again in memory comes back those first lonely years. The long solitary days when for hours no sound broke the silence, save the hum of bees, the song of a bird, or the low of the cattle. Yet to me, with the blood of town bred in my very all these years, has come a love of country which surpasses all." While some of the letters before this one did not desire anything city life could offer them, this farmer's wife needed to shift gears to see what country life could offer her. She seems to have reached a happy medium as she ends her letter in this way: "The best of the city--its concerts, lectures, churches, and the newest of books and magazines, are within reach of all."

The two blocks this week did not require any templates. Thank goodness, as I seem to have fallen into a pattern of starting my blocks after 8 p.m. on Thursday night. Never my intention. I always mean to begin earlier in the week. And then the next thing I know it is Thursday night.

#72 Railroad
I didn't want to use the black of a locomotive, and the set of shot cottons doesn't have a "caboose red," so I used the closest I could find, kind of a deep reddish burgundy. And have you noticed that it's hard to find a caboose at the end of a train anymore? Sad...

#111 Wrench
I asked Mark for a color suggestion that wasn't silver or grey like the wrenches in his toolbox. He said to use a "greasy" color. Um, thanks...I ended up with a kind of bluish silvery grey (so it must be a new wrench!). This block is so simple in structure, yet it looks completely different when set on point compared to the straight setting. Either way, I really like it.
And part of the group so far. Honestly I was just too tired to work very hard to get a picture of the whole group, but there are 28.

I'm anxious to read Carla's thoughts on this letter.

Have a lovely weekend.


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Bec said... #

Ohhh its looking Awesome!! I so have to get me one of those books!! xx Hope your keeping well.. xx Bec

Archie The Wonder Dog said... #

I love the fabric you picked for your wrench block! The railroad block is lovely - I had no idea what a caboose was, though...had to look it up!!

Terriaw said... #

Cool blocks! Love that burgundy color in the railroad block, which creates such a cool effect. All your blocks look so fabulous together. Good for you for keeping up with this amazing project!

Lisa said... #

I have to say that your solid/shot cotton blocks are my favourite Farmer's Wives blocks that I've seen online - and I've been seeing lots of them! I love the contrast that the solids/shot cottons provide, and the sense of modesty which seems so apt for these blocks. I'll be fascinated to see how you end up setting them out (i.e. with or without sashing etc.) One question - do you find the shot cottons a little tricky to use? I've found that they fray alot.

Grandma G said... #

I finally had to look up and see what shot cottons are. Now I know. :) Does Mark know? ;)

Mrs Flying Blind... said... #

Lovely - I admire your thought processes so much!

felicity said... #

As kids, we would ALWAYS wait for the caboose and wave.

Cindy said... #

The group of blocks is spectacular. This is going to be one lovely quilt!

Anonymous said... #

Grandma G, I had no idea what shot cotton is so I looked it up. The problem is they used two more words I have no clue about. Warp and weft? I figure if I look up a word I do not know and they use two words I have no clue what they are why would I look them up because then they could use four words I never heard of. I am going to quit while I am ahead.

I guess I will stick to being a color consultant for Cindy.

Grandma G said... #

Yeah... better to just stick with colors like "greasy", Mark! Even 'I' know what that is! ;)

Letterpress said... #

Before I crash into bed with a book (sinus infection again!) I wanted to comment on how lovely things are working out for your quilt blocks. While I love visiting the country (like your post yesterday) I like the perks the city can offer, just like your farm wife.

One of my fav parts of your Farmer's Wife posts is when you put them all together. I love them all mashing up beside each other.

I finally learned about shot cottons by reading the Material Obsession blog from Australia, where they use them a lot in the their quilts (talk about mash-up of designs!). So don't feel bad, Mark and Grandma G!


Carla said... #

Cindy, I love how you are working toward matching your block colors to the name...unlike me who thinks nothing of making a pink wrench! Perhaps, I need to get a color counselor also!!

Mama Pea said... #

More great blocks! It's really taking shape, huh?

Lasso the Moon said... #

These are wonderful, and your progress looks great! What a fun, ambitious project!