Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Windblown Square Quilt Block

     I found the pattern for this Windblown Square block in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird, but I enlarged it from 6" to 10".  It can also be found free online right here.  
     I love the phrase "every twig and spear of grass and wire each in a separate tunnel of ice" that my grandma wrote in this diary entry.  Can't you just see it?  The kids being referred to are my grandmother's youngest siblings, twins George and Ann (age 11). 

Thursday, February 3, 1916 -
"For some strange reason my room is like an ice box, so I'm here in the bathroom.  The wind is in the northeast and is thus taking a spite at me.  Mother and I went for a little joy ride to town with Lester in the sled this P.M.  It was lovely out, and we got only a little cold coming home.  The pastures and fences and everything are just beautiful - every twig and spear of grass and wire each in a separate tunnel of ice.  We did a little shopping and brought the kids home from school. 

"Coasting is all the rage - even Mr. McGregor and Mr. Edmonson and May said her mother, too - had been out on the hill.

"I'll sure be glad when the butchering event is over.  It seems we haven't got a thing done this week."

You might enjoy reading my previous post:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Churn Dash Quilt Block

     I found the pattern for this 6" Churn Dash block in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird. 
     In this diary entry, the annual hog butchering job is underway.  Dutch is a neighboring farmer who helps them and other families with the butchering.  Orvel is a hired man who lives on the farm.  Howard is my grandmother's younger brother who is going to pre-college in Manhattan, Kansas, 95 miles away.  (The nearest town, Olivet, only has a two-year high school.)
     My grandmother writes about President and Mrs. Wilson visiting Topeka.  World War I has been going on in Europe since August 1914.  Wilson tours throughout the Midwest in February of 1916, speaking on his preparedness campaign.  (He asks Congress for a declaration of war in April 1917.)  Topeka is one of his stops.  While he is there, a delegation of Kansas women, led by Lila Day Monroe, waits outside the governor's home in snow and 0 degree weather for an hour to meet the president.  Lila gives a short speech, urging the president to support the women's suffrage amendment.  The 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote, doesn't pass until August 26, 1920. 

Wednesday, February 2, 1916 -
"The ground hog saw his shadow almost before daylight and continued so until sunset.  But it has not been warm enough to melt any snow away today.

"This was butchering day - Dutch was here, and he and Orvel did most of it.  I am tired as I was 'hafting to churn' this A.M. and sewed and did all sorts of things this P.M.  I got a letter from Howard begging me to come up.  He says a boy there at the house is anxious that I shall come up before he goes home in March.  I think I'll go up this month.

"Well, this has been a big day for Topeka - with entertaining President and Mrs. Wilson."


     In this blog, I usually write of Harriet as a young woman, but here's a related Churn Dash story about her as a grandma.  She always churned her own butter and even made her own cottage cheese.  Every Thanksgiving, she would form her butter in the shape of a turkey and place it in the center of the table.  And every year, immediately after the "amen" of the prayer, my cousin Jay would reach across the table and chop off the head of the turkey butter with his knife.  And every year my grandma would say, "Now, Jay."
     I have made cornbread in the shape of a turkey for Thanksgiving, but my sister Laura has actually made turkey butter (shown above) like our grandma did.

You might enjoy reading my previous post:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

State Fair Sunflower Quilt Block

     I found this 12" State Fair Sunflower quilt block in the book Kansas Spirit: 15 Historical Quilt Blocks and the Saga of the Sunflower State by Jeanne Poore.  After I bought the book and was reading through it, I discovered that my cousin, George R. Pasley, is featured in the article "Finding the Beauty!"  This block is also very similar to part of a block pattern found here:
     January 29 is Kansas Day, the day Kansas became a state in 1861.  Republicans always meet in Topeka, the state capital, on that day.  My grandmother's father, Fred H. Woodbury, was county treasurer for Osage County from 1900-1905 and later was state representative and state senator.
     Thanks to my cousin, Merry Lu Pasley, for sending me the first day of issue stamp commemorating the Kansas sesquicentennial on January 29, 2011.  

Saturday, January 29, 1916 -
"May phoned me this A.M. that coasting was in order now on Bob's hill and wanted me to tell Beck and come up tomorrow P.M., and perhaps we would go up to her house and make candy afterward.  

"Papa is in Topeka today and night attending the Annual Banquet, so our family is slightly reduced.  It has been pretty cold today and is snowing at intervals.  

"I hope it will be decent enough for us to go to Church in the A.M."  

You might enjoy reading my previous post:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Postage Stamp Quilt Block

     I found the pattern for this Postage Stamp block in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird, but I enlarged this block from 6" to 9" finished.
     In this diary entry of my grandmother's, she is 20 years old and living on the farm near Olivet, Kansas.  Her brother Howard is 18 and going to high school (pre-college) 95 miles away in Manhattan.  Orv is a hired man about my grandmother's age.  Lesta Alvord is a friend from high school. 
     My dad explained to me how the mail was delivered.  A tall iron post with a hook was located right along the railroad tracks in Olivet.  Without even stopping, the train could go slowly by the iron post, and the postman on the train's mail car could hang the incoming mailbag on the hook.  Then someone from the Olivet post office would bring the mailbag to the post office to be sorted.  The reverse would be true for outgoing mail.   

Monday, January 19, 1916 -
"I have just finished a much delayed letter to Howard.  It seems like they come in as fast as I can answer them, though.  Orv just whistled as he brought the mail awhile ago, so I went down to let him in.  I got a note from Lesta and an invitation to a surprise party for Griffie Friday night.  Carrie is getting it up.  This hasn't been a very eventful day.  It's like Orv says, we sleep all night and are dead for sleep all day.  But still I have kept on the go pretty well all day, too.  But we didn't get up until horribly late.  There has been a cold south wind blowing all day, and it has sleeted some."

You might enjoy reading my previous post:

Friday, August 19, 2011

Evening Star Quilt Block

     The pattern for this little 6" Evening Star block is from The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird.  It is made of leftover scraps from other sewing and quilting projects.
     I have included an entire diary entry of my grandmother's.  My grandmother, Harriet Edith Woodbury, is 20 years old at the time of this writing.  Her brother Ted is 14.  George and Anna (twins) are 11.  Nancy and Ruby are horses!  Nora is a hired girl who helps with housework and cooking. 

Sunday, January 16, 1916 -
"Although it was snowing a little this A.M., Ted, George, Anna, and I piled into the sleigh behind Nance and Ruby and went to church.  We didn't get very cold.  There was just a handful of people there, and we had a good sermon, too; a Dr. Holcomb preached.  We got home just in time for dinner, and I certainly did justice to the meal.  This P.M., Anna, Nora, and I went down to inspect the ice; it is fine, a little snow on to make motorcycling good.  We followed some tracks but found not the owners although we went way up Turkey Creek.  Orv said there was a bunch wanting to come out skating tomorrow night.  I do hope we can have a party, for it is such grand moonlight weather now.  

"As the lights are rather dim, we amused ourselves this evening by guessing initials down by the fire - had lots of fun.  We were also measured.  I reached 5 feet, 8-1/2" with my high heels, and Ted was 5'9"." 

You might enjoy reading my previous post:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Spool Quilt Block

     I changed the pattern a bit because I wanted some thread on my spool!  I had seen others use a stripe to imitate thread so wanted to do that.
     I have included another diary entry of my grandmother's.  Ted is her younger brother, who's 14 years old.  Nora is a hired girl who helps with the cooking and housework.

Thursday, January 13, 1916 -
"Ted tells me it's twenty-three and one-third minutes until eleven, so it is high time I was in slumber.  We didn't get up until rather late this morning, but it seems like it has been a dreadfully long day.  If it would only warm up a little so I could at least stick my nose out the door, maybe I wouldn't think the days were so long.  It was 15 degrees below this A.M., and the temperature has hung around zero all day.  It is hard to keep the house comfortably warm, but I had a very welcome job this A.M. - ironing the table linens.

"This afternoon I sewed - finished my blue gown.  As Mother wasn't feeling well, I got supper (with Nora's assistance).  Papa and Mother and I have been sitting around the grate fire talking; we discussed everything from fashion plates to quitting the farm."

I also wanted to include the story of when my grandmother received her gold thimble.  Her father would travel on the train with his cattle or hogs when he shipped them to Kansas City or Chicago.  He often shopped for his family in these big cities.  Can you imagine your father being the one to choose your clothes and fabric?

from A Kansas Yankee by Harriet Woodbury George -

"We children and Mother, too, were always delighted when Dad would select clothes for us, when he shipped stock to Kansas City or Chicago.  He more often bought lovely yard goods for our dresses and jackets, and sometimes ready-made coats of good style and quality.  And, always, some good food from wholesale houses in large quantities for our large family and the hired men we had at our table - one hundred pounds each of sugar, flour and beans, wooden boxes of dried fruits, etc.  When he was shipping to Chicago, we usually asked him to buy something 'special' for us girls - in the jewelry line, perhaps!  I remember silver thimbles he brought for the older girls when each were twelve years old.  One time when I was a little past twelve and had no silver thimble as yet, I reminded him.  The others gave their choices of a ring, a bracelet, a necklace, a watch.  When he gave me my thimble, it was a gold one.  Was I ever so proud!"

You might enjoy my previous post:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Snowball Quilt Block

     I loved making this little 6" Snowball Block, taken from The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird.  I didn't have to use the templates because it is all squares and half-square triangles.
     In these diary entries, Mother is Hattie's step-mother.  Her Mamma passed away three years earlier.   Orvel and Charley are hired men.  They eat with the family.  The children who didn't go to school are her younger siblings Ted (14 years) and the twins Anna and George (11 years).  Ted and Orvel have been working on the plant that provides their electricity.  In a previous diary entry, my grandmother writes about weighing herself on the barn scales.  She's now afraid she's eating so much that she'll soon weigh more than her usual 110 pounds!

Monday, January 10, 1916 -
"This hasn't been a blue Monday exactly, at least not speaking for myself, but it has been far from bright outdoors.  Mother and I sewed and talked and planned, building air castles most all A.M.  She wants me to try a little journalistic work.  I always have been very enthusiastic over it and think I shall really try something along that line.  Papa went to S. Schrader's sale so was not here for dinner.  Immediately after eating dinner, Charley brought the horse around, and Mother and I went to town.  We were gone most all afternoon as the roads are quite muddy.  We took in everything including the Crochet Club, Post Office, Barrett's, Wilson's, Phinney's, and Mc's.  I have been crocheting steadily all evening for amusement. 

Tuesday, January 11, 1916 -
"This was wash day, although a very gloomy one, and, of course, I was quite busy all A.M.  It has misted, then frozen so that it is very slippery.  I wish it would snow a good deep snow so the universe would at least look clean.

"It's nice and warm down here by the fire, so I'm writing down here.  My room has been like outdoors all day as the wind was in the northeast and Papa was not in to keep up a good fire.  I had a bad dream and awoke rather early, so I'm rather sleepy tonight.  I have been reading David Copperfield and made a little crocheting that I intend to put in a small gown for one of my future relations. 

"It didn't take me long to get rid of the plate of candy tonight.  Everyone helped themselves on leaving the table.  Orv promised to take a piece to Charley, but he explained afterwards, with great regret, that he didn't have any place to lay it when he put on his overshoes.  So he put it in his mouth, and it melted before he could get it out, and could he not have another piece for Charley?  Well, anyhow, he would tell Charley all about it."
Wednesday, January 12, 1916 -
"I am sitting in the bathroom enthroned upon the toilet with my pencil and paper in hand and my thoughts almost in dreamland.  (I didn't mean to rhyme), but I'll endeavor to stimulate them enough to let me get a few of them down in black and white.

"This has been a below zero day.  It snowed hard with a bitter cold northwest wind all morning.  The house has not been really warm all day - the wind seems to keep the heat from rising.  But it isn't so bad if we keep near the fireplace or registers.

"I have been sewing most all afternoon.  I almost made me a little gingham slip-on dress and another blue nightie.  I had the machine moved in my room near the register.  The children didn't go to school as it was so very blizzardy.  Ted and Orvel have had quite a time with the plant tonight - perhaps it is cold, too.

"I must hop in bed.  It seems as if I can't get enough sleep nor eats.  I have a most alarming appetite.  I'll soon surpass my hundred and ten, I fear."

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog entry:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Storm Signal Quilt Block

     The pattern for this 6" Storm Signal block can be found in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird. 
     In these diary entries, Dan is foreman at the farm.  Fern is a high school friend of Hattie's from Emporia.  My grandmother (age 20) is describing another Sunday that she misses Sunday School due to bad weather.  I looked up the word "grippe."  It is an archaic term for "influenza." 
Saturday, January 8, 1916 -
"I'm so weary I can hardly sit up.  I don't know why for it is not late, and I haven't labored much today.  Nora and I cleaned the living room, hall, and den this morning, and I went to town after dinner.  I wasn't very crazy about going as I thought it was pretty cold and I had several little things I wanted to do here.  But after I got started, I didn't mind for it was not very cold.  I had some business to attend to for Papa and some bills to pay.  But the funniest thing - I met May in Wilson's, so she was going to ride as far as her house with me.  We very carefully piled our purchases in the buggy, unblanketed and reined Luke, climbed in and bade him back - when to our embarrassment we discovered we had failed to untie him.  (I don't think anyone saw us.) 

"Dan has made us a 'Jess Willard' sled.  If it snows we might go in it.  Stub said he got out and tried his new bells yesterday."

Sunday, January 9, 1916 -
"Another Sunday of the New Year gone without me going to Sunday School.  But it rained and melted the snow last night, then turned stormy and cold this A.M., so I thought the day much too disagreeable for me to venture out.  I am determined I'll not have the grippe like everyone else.

"I spent a good share of the day in writing an immense letter to Fern.  I hadn't written since Thanksgiving.  I lay around and read until about supper time.  I cracked some nuts and after supper made some candy, but we had been eating so much that we didn't care much for it.  However, I think there is no danger of having to throw it out.  I am a wee bit lonesome tonight.  I don't know why unless it's because I haven't been out all day."

You might enjoy reading my previous blog entry:

Duck Tracks Quilt Block

     The pattern for this 8" Duck Tracks block can be found free online at:
     In these diary entries, my grandmother always spoke of her step mother, Louise Daniels Woodbury, as "Mother."  She referred to her actual mother as "Mamma," who died in the summer of 1913.  Her father and Louise Daniels married in March 30, 1915.  Ted is Hattie's younger brother.  
     I looked up the word "grippe."  It's an archaic term for "influenza."

Tuesday, January 4, 1916 -
"The wind has blown quite strong all day, and it has been cloudy and misty, too.  So that it was hardly pleasant enough for me to go for the horseback ride I had planned.  I wanted to get out, too, as I ironed almost all A.M. and felt in need of some air.  But instead I came up here and wrote a long letter to Gusta and mended a little and tried to sleep a few minutes.  I have crocheted a little between times when I was trying to beat a little Algebra into Ted's fertile (?) brain. 

"I received a rather delayed New Year's Greeting in the form of two pretty handkerchiefs from Grace McC today."

Thursday, January 6, 1916 -
"Mother was in bed all A.M.  I think she is having the latest fad - the grippe.  I spent the morning busy as usual - made about 4 dozen doughnuts, got dinner with Nora's assistance, etc.

"It has been dreadfully cold all day and has snowed and sleeted most of the time since 10 A.M.  I hardly think it's fit for sleighing, however.

"Papa shot a couple of ducks this P.M. and, of course, is very proud of the fact.  I had the pleasure of cleaning them after supper.  Everyone else pleaded ignorance.  It took me about an hour and a half.

"I have been toasting myself by the fire and crocheting and talking to Papa until I'm terribly sleepy so think I'll tumble in, quick!"

Friday, January 7, 1916 -
"My dreams may be rather wild tonight because we had wild duck for supper.  They certainly were good.  I felt almost repaid for having to dress them last night.

"It turned out quite clear and bright today although the snow didn't melt any.  I cleaned all A.M. and did odd jobs this P.M. and took a nap.

"I am crocheting lace for some of my towels.  Have just finished a much delayed letter to Hen."

You might enjoy reading my previous blog entry:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Country Farm Quilt Block

     The pattern for this Country Farm block comes from The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird.  Using templates for this 6" block, I made it from scraps left over from my Joel Dewberry Aviary 2 quilt.  The pattern for a 9" block can be found at The Quilter's Cache right here.
     My grandmother, Hattie, is 20 years old as she is writing this diary entry.  Minerva is her oldest sister and is married to Robert McCauley.  They live in Olivet, Kansas.  Howard is my grandmother's brother - two years younger than she is.  Howard goes to high school (pre-college) in Manhattan, Kansas, 95 miles away.  Olivet, their nearest town, only has the first two years of high school.  Lesta is a close friend of my grandmother's.  They went to high school together in Emporia.

Sunday, January 2, 1916 -
"This has been such a glorious day except pretty bad underfoot.  For this reason, we did not go to Sunday School.  I admit it was not a very nice way to begin the New Year.  But Luke had such a hard time pulling me alone yesterday, I don't know what he would have done with the buggy full.

"After dinner, Minerva and Rob and the kids came down for awhile.  We went down to the barn, and Howard weighed me.  Minus rubbers and sweater, I weighed 110 pounds.  Just after the folks left, Howard wanted me to jump into my riding suit and go with him after the cows.  We had the best ride together.  It was the first time I had ever driven any cattle, and it was fun for me.  We had to go away down by the east bridge and drive them up through the fields. 

"Howard left for school again this evening.  I certainly hated to see him go for we had such good times when he was here, and I miss him terribly.  I wanted to take him to the train, but it was rather dark and the roads were a little too rough for Papa to consent. 

"So I came up here and finished a 14-page letter to Lesta by candlelight as they couldn't start the plant tonight and there isn't much juice."

Uncle Howard's Hayfield or Pasture Cookies
3/4 cup lard
2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 cups oatmeal
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup nuts (black walnuts, if you have them)

1.  Cream the lard and brown sugar.  Add in the eggs and vanilla.
2.  Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  Add to sugar mixture.
3.  Mix in the oatmeal, raisins, and nuts.
4.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until brown.

     Uncle Howard always kept these in a tin box in his pickup so he could eat them while he watched his cattle.  If he was late to dinner due to a cow calving, for example, he'd always have something to tide him over until he got home.  His wife Rachel or daughter Ann made them for him.  Ann remembers that during World War II when sugar was scarce, they used any kind of sweetener they could find - molasses, corn syrup, sorghum - so they could feed these to the high school boys who came after school to help with the haying.   

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog entry:

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Writer's Block Quilt Block

     This 10" Writer's Block quilt block comes from the book Judy Martin's Ultimate Book of Quilt Block Patterns.  Making it involved templates and partial seams, and the one you see is my second try.  The first one ended up in the trash!
     I am including a diary entry from my grandmother, Harriet Woodbury George, dated New Year's Day, Saturday, January 1, 1916.  She was twenty years old and living on the Woodbury farm, two miles north of Olivet, Kansas.  She was a prolific writer all of her life.  When she passed away on December 15, 1986, her many diaries were divided up among her children and grandchildren. 

New Year's Day, Saturday, January 1, 1916 -
"I decided last night to start a diary this year so Papa said for me to scratch it down on a piece of paper, and he would get me a diary the first time he went to Kansas City.  This has been the warmest day - more like March than January.  It rained last night, so there is scarcely any snow left.

"This A.M. we had a New Year's offering in the shape of a poor beggar girl who was giving 'hand-made' lace in exchange for food and clothing.  Papa joked us quite a bit for being so taken in.  But I know she was poor, and we got the lace in return for potatoes, milk, meat, an old quilt, and some clothing.

"This P.M. Mother wanted me to go to town and get the mail and take the cream.  The roads were surprisingly muddy and I didn’t reach town until almost five o’clock, and it turned cold and I nearly froze before I got home.  But after eating a hearty supper of baked beans, fresh bread and pie, I felt better."
You might enjoy reading my previous blog entry:                                                                                       

Prairie Queen Quilt Block

     For this 6" block, taken from The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird, I used wildflower fabric to go along with the idea of the Prairie Queen.  I think you end up seeing the columbines more than you see the actual quilt block pattern!  The pattern for a 12" block may be found free at The Quilter's Cache website here.
     This entry will be the last one from the story my grandmother wrote about her father.  In it, she describes her new step-mother, Louise Daniels Woodbury.  From now on, all excerpts will be from her 1916 Diary. 

from A Kansas Yankee by Harriet Woodbury George -

"With her good help, we moved into the new home quite gradually as we did not have to pack and unpack since we lived so near.  We could carry over a few items when it was convenient.  George and Anna were very dear to her, and they responded to her.  Since Mamma was so ill when they were babies, she was not able to mother them.  Mary had cared for them, helping the nurse we had the first year or more.  Of course, we all helped as they grew.  Mother Nelle (Daniels) had lost her little daughter with typhoid fever suddenly at age twelve or thirteen and a little son, also.  Her older son was grown and married but died before we knew her.  Her husband, J. F. Daniels, had died suddenly also several years before we knew her.  She had no other family or relatives in the U.S.A. but many friends when she came to us.

"She was not hesitant to know what to do in any situation, was a fast worker, careful housekeeper and a fine cook.  She was born in Germany, but her parents died when she was small and she had come to America to live with an aunt in Chicago.  She had never had much schooling (as she worded it) and spoke her native language mixed in with her English, but we never failed to understand her meaning.  She had a quick temper at times and had a few strict rules for us which was good - but also a jolly laugh more often." 

My cousin George reminded me of a story that my dad tells about Louise Daniels Woodbury, his grandmother, that illustrates what a careful housekeeper she was.  In his words: "I always stayed with my grandparents for the month of June from the time I was 4 until age 12, when I became old enough to work in the fields.  One time when I was staying at their home, I dropped a piece of lemon pie face down on the rug.  I got a broom and dustpan to clean it up when my grandmother said (in her heavy German accent), 'What are you doing?  You will not sweep that up.  You will eat that pie.  My floors are clean!'  I did what I was told and ate that pie."                  

You might enjoy reading my previous blog entry:                    

Steps to the Altar Quilt Block

     I found the pattern for this Steps to the Altar block in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt but enlarged the block to 9" finished. 
     An article appeared in the Topeka, Kansas paper prior to the marriage of Hattie's father to Mrs. Daniels:  "A thimble party will be given Monday afternoon at the home of Mrs. H. L. Shirer, in compliment to Mrs. Louise Daniels, whose marriage to Mr. Fred Woodbury, of Olivet, will take place soon.  The guests will be the members of the old Helping Hand society of the First Congregational church.  This society, some years ago, merged with the Woman's society, and recently a new Helping Hand society has been organized among the young women and girls." 
     In the continuing story by my grandmother, she describes her feelings about the marriage of her father to Mrs. Daniels. 

from A Kansas Yankee by Harriet Woodbury George -

"The house was not yet finished, but Dad had told us a little later that they would be married in Topeka in the home of her close friends, Mr. and Mrs. Shirer, on March 30 (1915). . . I was really quite fond of Mrs. Daniels, but I thought of her as a friend and not as a replacement for our Mother, which was too much for my imagination.  I was glad that Papa did not mean her to be a replacement, and we called her Mother, not Mamma.

"I hoped she would not be coming until we had moved into the new house, but it was not nearly ready.  Some rooms were still unfinished when they came home on a Saturday night by the train, which was late as it was quite frequently.  I was upstairs, ready for bed and I did not want to go down, but Papa came up and talked with me, so I did go down.  I had been praying that I could greet her graciously and not start to cry.  There were no tears, only loving greetings, and I was assured."

You might enjoy reading my previous blog post:

Economy Quilt Block

      I made this little 6" Economy block from scraps left over from my Joel Dewberry Aviary 2 quilt.  I love these fabrics and fussy cut them to make the block look best.  I got the pattern from The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird. 
     In the story excerpt below, my grandmother describes the 1915 hog butchering time that she remembers very distinctly because of what her father told her and her sister Ruth. 

from A Kansas Yankee by Harriet Woodbury George -

"One particular afternoon in late winter, I remember we were in our old kitchen, Dad, Ruth, and I, working on the annual butchering job - not that the butchering job was ours then.  We just did the final part - we took care of the lard rendering and sausage grinding and seasoning.  Dad had salted the hams and bacon and would see to the smoking of those parts when the salt period ended.  There was the smoke house in our backyard where he would burn green hickory wood for the curing process.  The men would usually kill and dress five or six large fattened hogs for our summer pork meat and lard.  Up on our kitchen stove we rendered some of our lard, if the weather was not suitable to use the big iron kettle over a fire outside.  I was helping to fill the crockery jars and had some lard left.  I mentioned there was some melted lard in one kettle which was enough to fry some doughnuts.  Papa said, 'I don't think that would make anyone mad.'  His voice was happy as we were all glad to have a reward at the end of our greasy job.  I proceeded to stir up the ingredients for doughnuts.  Then he said in a little different tone, 'Maybe you girls know I am thinking of getting married.  I have asked Mrs. Daniels if she would, and I think she will.'
"Ruth spoke right away, something like 'I'm sure it's all right with me,' but for some reason I could not say a word.  I thought she was a fine woman, as we had visited her in her home a few times, but she had never been in our home.  Knowing she was a city woman, I could not imagine her making lard and sausage, cooking for a table full of farm hands, and most of all, taking the place of our Mamma."

  Mamma's Doughnuts
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Flour to make a soft dough

1.  Blend together the sugar and butter.
2.  Add the salt, egg, baking powder, milk, and vanilla.
3.  Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough that can be rolled without sticking to board.
4.  Roll out 3/8" thick and cut with doughnut cutter.
5.  Fry in deep fat.  Should be hot enough to brown a cube of bread in 40 seconds. 
6.  Dust with sugar.  Makes about 3 dozen doughnuts.
My grandmother's notes:  "As in all old-fashioned recipes, the amount of flour is quite vague, probably due to the use of flour made from varieties of wheat that differed in texture.  A cook was supposed to know 'by the feel' it seems.  However, I prefer more exact measurements from modern cook books.  We always used lard for deep frying the doughnuts."
              from The Woodbury Larder: A Legacy published by Phyllis Woodbury Bryant

Autumn Tints Quilt Block

     I found this pattern in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird.  I chose to make this block 8" rather than 6" finished so that more of the tree design of the fabric would show.  I loved picking out fall fabric for the Autumn Tints block.
     In this excerpt from her story, my grandmother describes building the new family home, which was begun in August 1914.

from A Kansas Yankee by Harriet Woodbury George -

"Following our Mother's death, I could understand that Dad felt a greater responsibility for all of us, but especially the younger children.  Even though our Mother was not well, she was in charge of the children in the home when he was at work.  Dad was the one who managed the farm and business of the family.  Now he needed help with two teen-age boys and two ten-year-old twins.  And I trust the two grown daughters were more of a help than a problem!

"He had begun to plan the new home while we were in Emporia and had an architect in Topeka working on it.  Dad brought home the plans, and Ruth and I would give our approval or suggestions of change.  It was in August of 1914 when the workmen came from Topeka to begin on the basement and foundation.  The stone for the foundation was blue limestone, quarried in our north pasture.  A few weeks later, the old farm house was raised from its foundation and moved a short distance to the east to make room for digging the basement and constructing the new farm house.  Mr. Easter of Topeka was the architect.  Mr. Hunter, I believe, was the name of the stonecutter.  He was a black man, whose wife accompanied him.  They lived in the three-room tenant house, which was south of the barn lots and scales.  They boarded the workmen for the house.

"It was interesting for us to live so near the house that we could see the progress.  I remember what a beautiful autumn that was!  There were six weeks of ideal mild fall, crispy weather - very little if any rain - so they got off to a good start."

Fred H. Woodbury Home
Built 1914-1915 near Olivet, Kansas
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School Girl's Puzzle Quilt Block

     The pattern for this 12" School Girl's Puzzle block can be found at:
     In this continuing story, my grandmother explains that she is able to go back to Emporia to finish high school in the fall after her mother's death that summer. 

from A Kansas Yankee by Harriet Woodbury George -

"The rest of the summer is almost a blank, but we were busy at home and also getting reacquainted with Olivet people.  I did go back to Emporia to complete my fourth year in high school.  Ruth had gone one year to the Presbyterian College of Emporia, but that was her only college year.  She headed the household on the farm.  Dad sold the house in Emporia to Mr. and Mrs. McEvoy from Anderson County. . .  I lived with them and was allowed to use my same room. 

"I could go home occasionally on the early morning "Plug" Santa Fe train on Saturday and return Sunday evening by 9:00 P.M. - which were not very convenient hours, as the Santa Fe station was a mile or more distant from our house - a long walk or call a cab.  Usually I went home on holidays only.

"I liked school and was quite busy my senior year but was a little lonely for our family frequently.  I have always been grateful that I could finish my high school graduation.  The disappointment came when I did not get to go onto college as had been planned ever since I was a child.  I was to have been a schoolteacher."

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Mother's Dream Quilt Block

     I found this pattern in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird.  I wanted a complete dogwood blossom in the center so enlarged the block to 11" finished to be able to do that.  This block includes Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow line, which I love.  A 12" block pattern is also available online at:
     As my grandmother continues her story, she describes this very difficult time when the family has just moved back to the farm and her mother dies unexpectedly.  My grandmother is only 17 years old.

from A Kansas Yankee by Harriet Woodbury George -
"Papa and the men on the farm were to ship hogs to Kansas City to market on Monday.  The freight car was ordered and on the tracks.  It was usually the custom to drive the hogs across the pastures to Olivet, taking along a team and wagon to haul any of the hogs if they became tired and needed to be put into the wagon.  In warm weather it was necessary to go in the early, cool hours.  Thus, Dad was up well before daybreak to see that everything was ready to go before sunup.  He said Mamma sat up on the side of the bed and got his socks for him out of the dresser drawer, but he didn't talk but a little to her as it was too early for her to get up and awake.

"I presume Ruth and I were up making breakfast for the men and boys - something we were not accustomed to do so early, but we learned very quickly that summer.  At the usual time I prepared a little breakfast tray for Mamma, but she was not awake so I took it later, but she would not take but a sip of her tea and then wanted to lie down.  This kept on until nine or ten o'clock.  Papa called back from Olivet as soon as the hogs were in the pens there.  He thought it best to let Mamma sleep.  Sometimes she would move a little and moan but said no words that I could understand.  Papa had suggested I call Dr. Mills in Lebo to come.  The train had not come yet to pick up the hogs.  The afternoon wore on, and still the train had not come and the hogs were heating - nor did the doctor come to us.  I fanned Mamma all afternoon and bathed her face with a cool, damp cloth as I had done many times before.  Dr. Mills arrived about 5:00 P.M.  He felt her hands and her feet, said her flesh was cold, and asked for us to heat irons, wrap them in paper and cloths, and put them next to her.  I presume we had no hot water bottle there.  If we did, he wanted more heat.  He said I'd better call my father which I did, and he was home soon.  Mamma was unable to say but a faint word or two but opened her eyes a little, and I'm sure she knew her Fred was there, but she was gone by six o'clock.  I had seen her that ill, I thought, so many times that I had not realized today that she would not soon be awake and speaking to us.  I was just seventeen years old but had never seen death before, until my dear Mother!"

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Kitchen Woodbox Quilt Block

     This is a little 6" block.  I fussycut the center square and enjoyed making the block.  It was quick and easy to make.
     In this continuing story by my grandmother, she writes about the move from Emporia back to the farm near Olivet, Kansas, in the summer of 1913.  Howard and Ted are Harriet's younger brothers.  Ruth is her older sister, and Anna is her younger sister.  Minerva is her older, married sister.
from A Kansas Yankee by Harriet Woodbury George -

"In the spring of 1913 the Marshall family, who were on the farm with Dad had the opportunity of buying a farm, so again we had to make new arrangements as they were anxious to get away and take over on their new place.  Dad had made some progress in plans for the new home on the farm so wanted us to come back for the summer.  Howard and Ted were old enough for farm work and wanted to go, so it was decided we could get the Emporia home rented, or sell it, and build the one on the farm.  Perhaps the house was listed for sale - I do not remember - but some men with teams brought wagons from the farm to Emporia, and things we needed for the summer were loaded and taken to the farm.  Ruth and the boys went also as soon as school was closed about June 3.  Anna, Mamma, and I remained to put things in order and close the house, giving the others an opportunity to get the farm house ready for Mamma and the rest of us.

"The moving had been a strain on Mamma, although she had not been active physically, but we were ready to go on the train to Olivet by Friday or Saturday morning.  I remember Sunday was a hot, humid day as some early June days may be.  The rooms of the old house were small, and we had only a wood burning range to cook upon, which added to the summer heat.  Mamma rested in bed much of the day and seemed to be relaxing, as we were all together.  I think Minerva and some of her family were there on Sunday also."

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Wedding Ring Quilt Block

     I got this pattern from The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird but changed the size to 10" finished.  I first had the orange fabric switched with the flower print, but after putting part of it together, I realized that the bright orange made the focus on the outer edge of the block rather than the center.  I like this color arrangement better.  
     In her continuing story, my grandmother describes a trip to Washington that she and her mother made in the fall of 1912 to help with the wedding of her older sister Mary.  

from A Kansas Yankee by Harriet Woodbury George -

"1910 - The new decade included many changes for our family. . . In 1911 our sisters Mary and Eva had both gone to Aunt Annie's in Washington State and liked it there enough to decide to take an apartment in Palouse, where they lived together.  They were near enough to our Uncle Will and Aunt Annie Wiley to help them, as they had a large wheat farm and active family.  In 1912, Mary was to be married in October to a fine young man, Lester Johnson, and Eva was engaged to George Wiley - a cousin of our cousins - Uncle Will's nephew.  It was planned that Mamma and I would go to Washington for Mary's wedding, which took place in the Wiley farm home on October 9, 1912.  Both of these young men, Lester and George, were farmers in the productive Palouse Valley.  We enjoyed being there in their harvest time of September-October.  There was much fruit at that time also - cherries, plums, peaches and apples - also garden vegetables and beautiful flowers, with which I enjoyed helping to decorate the house and tables for serving the wedding dinner.  We came home soon after the wedding as I had missed about six weeks of school.  Eva came home with us and spent the winter with Mamma and the family, preparing for her wedding which occurred February 19, 1913."

Aunt Mary's Fresh Apple Cake
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup melted shortening or oil
2 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 Tablespoon grated orange rind
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 cups finely chopped apple

1.  Mix together the sugar and oil.  Add the beaten eggs.
2.  Sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda and add to sugar mixture.
3.  Add the orange rind, nuts, and apple.
4.  Pour into a greased 13 x 9" pan and bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  (This step was omitted in the original recipe.  I looked up a similar apple cake on-line for this information.) 

Lemon Sauce
1.  Mix 1 cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon cornstarch.
2.  Add the juice and some rind of 1 lemon, 1 Tablespoon butter, and 1 cup boiling water. 
3.  Cook until thick and clear.  When cool, serve over cake with whipped cream or ice cream.
                from The Woodbury Larder: A Legacy published by Phyllis Woodbury Bryant

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Practical Orchard Quilt Block

     I am in the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild and am participating in a challenge to use Habitat fabric by Jay McCarroll.  I thought these fabrics looked like fruit so were perfect for the Practical Orchard quilt block.  The pattern comes from The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird, but I enlarged it to make this block 9" square finished. 
     In this continuing story about her father, my grandmother describes their move to Emporia, Kansas in 1906 and their preparation for it.

from A Kansas Yankee by Harriet Woodbury George -

"Mother was suggesting and anxious for us to have a good education.  Dad was considering and planning how they could manage.  Mamma was not strong enough to do the work of a farm wife - so Papa bought a big house in Emporia rather than build one on the farm, and we moved to Emporia in September 1906.  Minerva remained on the farm to keep house there for Dad.  Later he hired a man and his wife who shared the responsibility of running the farm.  Mary and Eva entered high school in Emporia.  Ruth was in the seventh grade at Garfield.  Howard and I were in Century Grade School.  Philip (Ted) was ready for Grade 1-C Class, a Beginner.

"The migration to Emporia was made principally in September 1906.  There was necessarily much preparation to complete the summer and early fall work of caring for the fruit of the orchard.  A friend and her daughters came from Olivet to help us.  I recall how Ruth, Howard and I helped with drying of apples, which our elders peeled and quartered and cut in slices.  We helped to spread them up on the roofs of some of the porches and small outbuildings which were not too high nor steep, so the sunshine could reach them.  The apples were spread on sheets, and we used rocks or bricks to keep the sheets from blowing.  Then mosquito netting was placed over them to discourage the ever-present flies.  The warm sun and air did the drying.  Possibly we turned the slices later, I have forgotten.  The winter apples were not yet ripened but would be harvested later, and cider made.  Some early apples would be used as cider for apple butter.  All of our goods from the farm were hauled in by teams and wagons from home - no moving trucks then."  

Before leaving the farm for Emporia in 1906
Howard        Ruth        Hattie
                                           George          Anna       Teddy              

Sunday School Class, First Methodist Church, Emporia, Kansas 1907
Back: Lesta Alvord, Goldie Gunzelman, Lee Grubb, Florine Richards, Lillian Bishop
Front: Gladys Tibbals, Mrs. Robert Vickers, Hazel Bishop, Paul Spofford, Hattie Woodbury, Paul Hatcher

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Sister Star Quilt Block

     In my quilt, I wanted to include a block about sisters, since my grandmother was the fifth daughter out of six in a family of nine children.  I found this 10" rotary-pieced block at
     My grandmother describes her birth family this way: 

from A Kansas Yankee by Harriet Woodbury George -
"Our family consisted of nine children in this order: five daughters, two sons, and finally the twins – a girl and a boy!  Namely:

Minerva Augusta                  August 23, 1886
Mary Leona                         January 24, 1889
Eva Alberta                         January 25, 1891
Ruth                                   April 15, 1893
Harriet Edith                       October 2, 1895
Howard Kingsbury                September 2, 1897
Philip Redding (Ted)             August 13, 1901
Anna Louise                        March 22, 1904
George Marshall                  March 22, 1904

A postcard with slightly altered wording!

Mary had a little Sister,
Hattie was her name,
Every time she had a caller
Hattie also came.
 "We attended Alpine School until the Fall of 1905.  Our Father had been County Treasurer from 1900-'05 and drove a team and buggy to his office there.  Minerva went to Lyndon (Kansas) to take a business course, which enabled her to work in the Treasurer's office.  When the twins were born in March 1904, our Mother was very ill for a long time, and Mary had stayed home to care for her and the twins until we had a Practical Nurse to come.  Then the older girls were finishing the District school so our parents thought it best to go to Olivet School, which had a graded school with two rooms and teachers.  We now used the top buggy and a gentle team of horses to go to Olivet to school.  Eva or Mary drove.  I was in fourth grade, promoted to fifth, and Howard in second and third."   
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