January 2, 2017

Post 83: Mary, Block #59 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along

Happy New Year! I wonder how many of you made resolutions to finish your blocks for the Farmer's Wife 1930s sampler before the last block is posted? If my math is correct that is 12 weeks from now.

The Block Named Mary

This block will lay flatter and be a better square if you remember to cut the border triangles with the hypotenuse on straight grain. 

Second, there are 2 pairs of 2 different mirror image corner triangle combinations, not 4 just alike! In the conversion chart (below) we have described a slick, efficient way to sew them together so they will come out right the first time. And every time! Use the same sewing trick for other blocks with similar combinations of triangles.

My Sister Named Mary

Mary is 3-1/2 years older than I. We are the daughters and only children of a farmer’s wife of the 1930s. For me, having an older sister was great 99% of the time.

Side by side or miles apart—We are sisters connected by the heart!

First, parents are a lot more relaxed about second children and Mary had done a good job of breaking them into parenthood!

Most important, I had a great role model. I could learn what to do and what got you in trouble by watching Mary.

Because our nearest neighbors were a quarter-mile away, we were also playmates. We explored the timber together and the haymow. We shared a room and a pony named Sally. Well, we shared the pony until Mary took advantage of me one day and talked me into trading my half of the pony for her half of the chalkboard. It was a great big chalkboard, and I wouldn’t say I hold a grudge, but from then on, I had to ask her if I could ride the pony. I did say, “Having an older sister was great 99% of the time”! I don't have a photo of Sally, who was a darling pony, but I have the saddle we wished for but the grandchildren got, shown here with the Log Cabin Snuggler in my Log Cabin ABCs book. (Those are our daughter Stacy's little cowgirl boots, and the bench is a pew that my parents rescued when the church I grew up in was torn down and rebuilt.)

Mary became more of a tomboy, out in the barns and fields with Dad, than I. I think when I came along, I was encouraged to stay inside with Mom because neither Mom nor Dad wanted to keep up with both of us at the same time. Mary and I went to the same one-room school until it closed and then rode the same school bus into the town school that housed all of the classes in one big building.

When Mary went away to college she included me in lots of her experiences and continued to make it easy to follow in her footsteps. We both went to Iowa State and we both married engineers we met in college. We both left Iowa after graduation to follow our husbands' careers. In the early years of raising young families, we were often all together back on the farm with our parents for holidays and summer vacations. However, as the children got older and had more of their own commitments, it was not so easy to get together.

Neither of us has lived in Iowa since we left college. In fact we have never even lived in the same state at the same time. However, we have inherited and still share the small family farm where we grew up. It has been in our family since 1864 and the home for 5 generations of Glenns. The 6th generation (our kids) only spent vacation time with Grandma and Grandpa on the farm. Dad bought 2 new ponies so the grandchildren didn't even have to share. And they got saddles. Mary and I rode bareback. (Really, I'm not holding a grudge, LOL)

Here are pictures of our families when we all got together for the first time in 2009… Mary and I and our husbands…

… all of our kids (5 cousins)…

and all of the next generation of kids (11 second cousins).

It was a wonderful day to share. There is nothing to compare with family.

My Mary Block

Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the Chart for cutting and making Mary:

Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Mary block:



The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W.