Saturday, August 6, 2011

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

You might enjoy reading my previous blog entry:


  1. I'm reading a book that took place during this time period. It mentions the young girl taking a roast up on the roof to cook in the sun. I had never heard of this and now I've heard of it twice in the same week.

    I guess now if we lose electricity or gas, we'll know how to cook....grin.

  2. your blocks are all lovely, but i am puzzled about how you plan to put them together as they seem to be random sizes. Do you have a plan?

  3. My current plan is that I will have each block eventually end up to 12" finished. Some blocks are already that size. For smaller blocks, I will put borders around them in some way to bring them up to 12" or put them on point, filling in the corners with other fabric. I may change my mind as the quilt progresses, but this is my plan for now.

  4. This brings a smile to my face, especially as I think about Francie and I gathering apricots for grandma's wonderful apricot nectar. (probably 1973) Francie and I decided to count them. 500 (or so) apricots from her 2 trees in the yard. I love your posts and can't wait to see the finished quilt. I may have to make a trip to CO to see it in person.
    Eva Baseley

  5. It's probably about time for a cousins reunion.

  6. Front Range? So are you in Fort Collins then? We were just there over Labor Day (my mom and sister live there)- I love it there. I live in Wyoming. Oh, and I love your blog. I haven't had time to read all of it but it's definitely on my to-do list. I just had baby #5 in July, and now we're into the homeschool year, so I'm doing good just to get the necessities done at this point, but I can't wait to go back and read through your entire blog. I love the idea of posting from a diary!

  7. Hola desde Buenos Aires Argentina,
    me encantó la historia de su abuela y cómo la va a plasmar.

    En Argentina no está difundido el Quilt, pero me lo que leí en este blog me inspirá en hacer algo en memoria de mis abuelas.
    Muchas Gracias por esto.
    Hello from Buenos Aires Argentina,
    I loved the story of her Grandma and how you will capture.

    In Argentina, the Quilt is not widespread, but what I read on this blog inspires me to do something in memory of my grandmothers.
    Thank you very much for this.


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