Monday, August 12, 2013

Thoughts from The Farmer's Wife

I know most quilters use The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book as a resource for the quilt patterns to make a sampler quilt.  I liked many of the patterns in the book but I've decided I'm not interested in sewing a sampler quilt just now.

However, I was thoroughly interested in the writings of the farmers' wives who entered the 1922 competition telling why they wanted their daughters to marry farmers.  Many of the entries were eloquently written and most were very persuasive.  My father grew up on a farm and determined never to return to farming after he was able to move away.  He said it was just too much work.  His sister agreed.  But these farm wives loved living and working on their farms.

There were two entries that I especially appreciated, thoughtful whether living and working on a farm or in our modern world.

Mrs. R. C. W. of Jasper County, Mo., wrote:
"The average farmer’s wife who plans her work can find a number of hours for reading, writing and social pleasures and in this day of autos and good roads, has time and opportunity for movies, concerts and lectures.  The woman who is a drudge on a farm will be a drudge wherever you put her.  It is lack of management, lack of order and lack of backbone and brains that make drudgery."    (p. 64 ¶3)

Mrs. M. M. C. of Allegheny County, Pa., wrote:
"The work of the farmer’s wife is often burdensome.  This can be helped by the spirit in which it is done and by the putting some of the element of play into it.  If some task is to be done, attempt it, believing it to be a recreation and notice the difference in your outlook.  Since we are only children grown up, and a child is taught to love work by doing it as play, cannot grownups try this a little?  Too often we forget that work is a blessing God has given us; that He meant each of us to be a producer--not to be content with doing less than our share.  Life is what we make it and the busy person is always a happy one."    (p. 99)

I think the covers are charming and I'm sure the pages inside would be just as attractive as well as interesting to read.  I've been unsuccessful in finding an online resource with OCR images but I hope one day some organization will make them available.

How about you?  Are you making or have you made a sampler quilt?  Have you read the book and, if so, did you enjoy it?


1 comment:

  1. I haven't made a sampler quilt, but I have picked up that book on several occasions. I am completely smitten with the letters and love the two you have chosen to share. The advice given then is entirely applicable to today as well. Wise women and I would have loved to visit with them.


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