Saturday, November 26, 2011

Night and Day Quilt Block

     This 12" Night and Day block took me most of a day to make.  I am so glad it's done!  I started out with paper piecing and did 1/4 of the block that way.  I  ended up using templates for the remaining 3/4.  I found the free pattern on-line here:
     According to, a Burletta is a musical drama containing rhymed lyrics and resembling comic opera or a comic play containing songs.  I believe the Bronco Bill show the kids wanted to go to is a cowboy movie, part of a very popular series of movies:

Wednesday, May 3, 1916 (written Thursday) -
"As it was 5 minutes before twelve when I got in last night, I decided to leave all unnecessary duties until morning.  Howell and I took in the Burletta that the Key West Glee Club gave.  It would have been more appreciated, I think, had it not been quite so long and drawn out.  We sat with Stub and Fern and had a good time except we became mighty tired.  It lasted until after 11:00 and grew rather monotonous.

"I sewed all morning, began making my crepe dress.  Then in the afternoon, Mother and I went to town.  I didn't have the slightest intention of buying a hat when I went, but Mother wanted me to look at some.  The first thing, she showed me one that was a perfect match for my suit - it was also a very stylish hat and looked well on me so without much delay, I brought it home.  I wore it with my suit to the play and am really quite crazy about them both.  I think I'll like the change from the conventional blue."

Thursday, May 4, 1916 -
"I'm so sleepy; Mrs. Hile said I nearly went to sleep coming up stairs.  I certainly don't envy the spectators at Bronco Bill's show tonight.  The kids wanted to go - in fact, talked of nothing else - so Orvel, out of the kindness of his heart, told Mother to let them go, and he would go with them.  He hadn't intended to go at all.  He told me he was saving his quarters to go hear Billy Sunday.   

"Papa left for Wallace again this morning.  It has been a beautiful day and promises to continue so. . .

"Although Papa was very kind and let me sleep this morning, I am ready for bed now!"

You might enjoy reading my previous blog post:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Alpine Cross Quilt Block

     I made this 10" Alpine Cross block because Hattie's Mamma is buried in the Alpine Cemetery.  The family visits her grave on May Day to leave her bouquets.  I think it's a beautiful pattern.  The directions can be found here:
     In this entry, George and Anna are 12-year-old twins - Hattie's younger siblings.  Mrs. Hile is a neighbor who helps with housework. 
Monday, May 1, 1916 -
"It cleared off lovely today and has been a beautiful May Day.  George called me this morning early and said, 'May basket!'  He and Anna had made some for all and filled them with flowers.

"Mrs. Hile came about 9:30 this A.M., so I have been sewing a good deal today.  I finished my cap and planned my crepe dress and partially altered my suit.  I am beginning to like it a great deal better.

"This evening Papa and Anna and I each took a pretty bouquet of flowers - lilacs, violets, and verbenas - and walked up to the cemetery and put them on Mamma's grave.  Papa always brought her a bouquet on May Day, and we children got in the habit, too, so we still like to remember our little custom.  I think she still appreciates it, and I know it does us no harm to still hold the memory of the things she liked dear.

"I have been writing a letter to Fern and am quite sleepy.  Just a little tired, too.  To keep up with Papa, it kept Anna and I on the run part of the time, and yet he would say, 'My knees hurt so, I can hardly walk!'"

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Streak of Lightning Quilt Block

     This Streak of Lightning quilt block is easy to make.  You can find the pattern online free at Quilterscache by clicking here.
     In this diary entry, Mother is Hattie's stepmother, Nelle Daniels Woodbury.  Ann is her 12-year-old sister.  "William Ashley 'Billy' Sunday was an American athlete who, after being a popular outfielder in baseball's National League during the 1880s, became the most celebrated and influential American evangelist during the first two decades of the 20th century.  Sunday was a strong supporter of Prohibition, and his preaching almost certainly played a significant role in the adoption of the 18th amendment in 1919." (Wikipedia)

Wednesday, April 26
"I haven't done much today but churn and crochet.  O yes, I mopped the kitchen at 7:30 this A.M.!  But the churning was terribly slow.  I didn't finish until afternoon.  I had a little nap, too.

"Papa came in from Larned this A.M. and left for Wallace at 5:20 this P.M.  He went by way of Kansas City and took my suit back.  He didn't decide to go until after 4:30, so we had time for nothing but to fly around and get him ready.  I took him to the station."

Friday, April 28, 1916 -
"Mother and Ann went to town this P.M. and brought home my suit that Papa had sent by express.  I'm not real sure that I like it - it is a sort of apple green, a color I have never worn much.  It fits pretty well, though, so I may keep it.

"My clock has stopped, so I couldn't tell how late it is but presume it's about 'straight up.'"

Sunday, April 30, 1916 -
"This has been a rainy, rainy day.  The sun hasn't shown a minute, and the drizzle has been incessant.  Of course, we didn't go to church.  In fact, I didn't do anything but eat and sleep and read. . .

"We got a telegram from Papa this morning, and he came in tonight - but he says he has to go back again for the cattle he bought.

"Billy Sunday opened his revival in Kansas City today.  I'm just wild to hear him.  Hope I can go down."

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog entry here:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Basket Weave Variation Quilt Block

     My first Basket Weave block, using the original pattern, looked like a swastika symbol, which is unacceptable to me.  After much input from others and after several attempts, this is the variation I chose.  I found the original pattern in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird but varied it by flipping some of the basic blocks around to form a different design in the center.    
     In these diary entries, Hattie's stepmother has been out of town, and she is thankful to have her home.  The housework is a lot without her help!  On Easter Sunday, Hattie goes to church with her Mother (stepmother Nelle Daniels Woodbury) and her younger brothers Ted (14) and George (12).  Sister Anna (12) is sick at home. 

Saturday, April 22, 1916 -
"Well, Mother finally got home, and I'm rejoicing.  It seems a long week.  I got my wish for a nice, bright, warm, still day, for today has been really hot!  This morning was entirely too lovely to be spent in the house baking and cleaning.  But such is life!

"I finished my work this afternoon and had my bath and got ready to go to town.  Papa and Mr. Peat and I, after a great deal of puttering, got the horse hitched up and I started.  I just had a few minutes to run up to the church to see how the Decorating Committee was progressing. (I was supposed to help.)  But it was about train time, so Alpha and I shot down to the station.  I greeted Mother and was just helping her get her baggage when Alpha hopped on the train, seeing some friends, and called back to me, 'Harriet, stop in and tell Mamma I'm going to Quenemo.'  And off she was without even a hat or coat and no money either!  That's just like Alpha.  Her folks were as astonished as I.

"Grace Mc. phoned this A.M. and informed me that I was to act as usher with Grace K, Mary, and May in the morning.  I told her I had no new hat to display, and she said neither had she.  Then May spoke up and said, "Neither have I."  But afterwards Mary phoned and said she had got one.  But I don't care!  Mother brought me a nice corsage bouquet of pink roses, sweet peas, hyacinths, and ferns so I can at least have flowers.  I had violets last year.  Mother brought me a pretty basket filled with nice things: an Easter souvenir pin cushion, two pretty handkerchiefs, a dainty collar, a bar of French soap, and crepe for a dress.  O yes, a box of Easter candy, too!"

Sunday, April 23, 1916 -
"This has been about the nicest Easter day (as far as the weather is concerned) that I have on record.  Just a nice warm, bright spring day.  Anna was sick but Mother, Ted, George, and I went to church.  Everybody (but I) was out in his or her new spring outfit.  They had a right nice program and beautiful flowers.  I filled my new basket with tulips, lilacs, cherry and apple blossoms, and everyone admired it very much." 

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cats and Mice Quilt Block

     I love the color combination of this 12" Cats and Mice quilt block.  It was not difficult to put together.  I used the directions found here:
     In this diary entry, Elmo and Orv are hired men who live on the farm.  Mrs. Hile is a neighbor who helps with housework and lives with them most of the week.  Lyndon is the county seat of Osage County, Kansas.  
     Hattie plays One Old Cat with her twelve-year-old siblings, Anna and George.  I found out information on Wikipedia about this old game:  One Old Cat is a bat and ball game, with a giver (pitcher), a striker (batter), a catcher, and sometimes another fielder or two. The striker, upon hitting the ball thrown by the giver, attempts to run to a single base (often the giver's position) and back again. The fielders try to "sting" the striker-runner with a thrown ball while he/she is not touching the base. The striker is also out if the struck ball is caught in the air, or if he swings three times at the giver's deliveries and misses. Once the striker is out, players rotate positions.  One Old Cat is a game of individuals—one against all—and not a team sport. Each base touched before 'out' (or just home) scores a point, although the score is often not kept.

Friday, April 21, 1916 -
"It's almost eleven o'clock, but we had to look over the mail after Elmo brought it, of course.  I am a little 'tahred' as Florine used to say.  Mrs. Hile and I cleaned both this morning and a while this afternoon.  Papa went to Lyndon today and was gone almost all day.  He doesn't intend to go to Kansas City tomorrow, so I told him I would be willing to wait until next week if he'd let me go along.

"Today has been bright but rather cool and windy.  I nearly blew off of the upper north porch this A.M. while cleaning rugs.  Orv told me I needed an anchor. 

"Anna, George, and I had a very exciting game of 'one old cat' this evening.  The roosters are beginning to crow; I had better turn in."

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog entry:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Four Winds Quilt Block

     I enjoyed making this 12" Four Winds quilt block.  I found the pattern at The Quilter's Cache right here.  It is made up of squares and half square triangles so is an easy one to make. 
     In these diary entries, Mother is still in Topeka, so Hattie has more than her usual share of the housework to do.  Twelve-year-old twins George and Anna appear to be reliving the boxing match that took place earlier on March 25 between Jess Willard and Frank Moran.  Orvel is a hired man who works on the farm.  Hattie is continuing her correpondence work through the University of Kansas.    
Wednesday, April 19, 1916 -
"This has been the windiest day! - even worse than yesterday.  After doing up the housework, I did a little mending - nothing very exciting, but the wind made me so sleepy that just as soon as the dinner dishes were done, I came up here and had a little nap.  I slept so hard that I didn't wake until the storm aroused me.  It hailed a little, and Orvel said there was a cyclone cloud west of here.  But it didn't last long, was all clear and the wind blowing as usual by four o'clock.  It is quiet now but cloudy and raining some.

"Mother sent the kids some boxing gloves, and George and Anna had quite a 'sparring match' before supper out on the east porch.  Anna knocked George out in the second round, but George broke Anna's beads in the third!  Orvel was trying to start the engine on water, and so there was quite an attendance at the prize fight.

"Papa says he may go to Kansas City in the A.M. if it doesn't rain, so I expect we'll have to get up pretty early.  I wish he'd wait until Mother comes, so I can go with him to exchange my suit and get my hat, but I don't know when she is coming.  As I want my suit for Easter, I'll not ask him to wait."

Thursday, April 20, 1916 -
"It's awfully cold out tonight!  And it rained some more today.  I don't believe we are going to have any more spring.  But as long as I haven't got my spring clothes, I had ought to be satisfied.  Papa didn't go to Kansas City, and we had a letter from Mother tonight saying she wouldn't be home until Saturday, so it doesn't look as if I am going to get to go to the City.  

"We saw in the paper that Mother was going to bring Mrs. Rogers home with her, but in her letter tonight she said she was not.  So that is off my mind - I won't have to prepare for strange guests.  I got my lesson assignment off today, too, so that is off my mind."

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog entry:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Homemaker Quilt Block

     I worried about making this little 6" Homemaker quilt block with its Y seams.  However, I took my time, cut carefully, and followed the directions in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book and had no problems.  The little green check is brushed cotton and has some give to it, which helped when I was pressing.  
     In these diary entries, Orvel is a hired man and Mrs. Hile is a neighbor who helps with housework.  Mother is gone, so Hattie and Mrs. Hile have all of the housework to do.  Hattie refers to the house where the hired men live as the "Country Club."  She reads in the Kansas City Star newspaper that Pancho Villa's body may have been found.  I created a link if you want to read further. 

Monday, April 17, 1916 -
"Busy with a housewife's duties, I have been occupied in mind, at least, all day.  Mrs. Hile was washing, so I had to wash the breakfast dishes, pack lunches, make beds, dust, bake two pies, plan dinner, sweep the porches, and churn all before dinner.  It rained this A.M. after it had been clear at sunrise.  But the sun came out again at noon, so Mrs. Hile starched and hung out the clothes, while I washed the dishes after dinner.  I called at the Country Club then rested and crocheted a while before starting supper.  I have been perusing the Sunday Star since the evening work was finished.  News is out that Villa's body has been found.  This is the third rumor of his death - hope it's true this time.

"It's a beautiful moonlit night tonight."

Tuesday, April 18, 1916 -
"Another busy day.  Mrs. Hile was ironing, so I did practically all the other work except dish washing and am a little weary.  I'm not so very sleepy now but probably shall be in the morning.  It has been so windy today, but the clouds have cleared away and the full moon shining with all force.  

"I gave Orvel a big bunch of tulips to take to his sister-in-law.  She is quite ill with the measles.  The tulips are blooming just lovely and the violets - it seems they never were so blue!

"There were some men here wanting to lease land for oil today, but Papa is going a little slow about giving them a lease."

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post:

End of Day Quilt Block

     This little 6" End of Day quilt block was fun and easy to make.  I found the pattern in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird.
     In these diary entries, Hattie is on a date with Howell Lusk.  Ted is Hattie's 14-year-old brother, and Orv is one of the hired men.  Ruth is Hattie's 23-year-old sister, and Anna is her 12-year-old sister.  Mrs. Hile is a neighbor who lives with them and helps with the housework.
     I have included Aunt Cleo's recipe for White Bread.  Aunt Cleo later married Hattie's brother George, who is 12 (Anna's twin) at the time of this diary.   

Friday, April 14, 1916 -
"Just a little scratch as it is 11:30, and I'm tired.  Howell and I have been to a musicale at the church.  Miss Mildred Christie and a male quartet furnished the number.  During the program the lights went out for a little, of course.  It is quite muddy, but there were quite a few out - a good many dates, and Alpha came pattering in alone about nine o'clock.

"I had to bribe Ted with some candy to get him to hurry in so we could have supper early.  Howell came in so beastly early last time I was afraid he might arrive while we were eating.  Howell called up while we were at dinner so, of course, everyone heard me accept the date, and Orv kept grinning all during supper - trying to get me fussed, I presume.  But we had supper soon after Papa got back, and everything went off very smoothly."

Saturday, April 15, 1916 -
"This is Ruth's birthday.  I would sure like to see her tonight, and I wonder if she got my letter today.

"Mother left for Topeka this A.M., so I have been pretty busy with the baking today.  I made 7 loaves of bread, 4 pies, and baked beans this A.M., and Mrs. Hile and I made a cake this afternoon.  I haven't done much cooking lately, but I still know how.  We got the house cleaned pretty early and then Hester came to give Anna her lesson.  Her friend, Miss Meeker, came with her.

"I am so terribly sleepy I thought I'd go to bed early.  It's raining again, and a good night to sleep.  But I was mending and reading and crocheting and couldn't work up enough energy to come up stairs."   

Aunt Cleo's White Bread
2 cups milk
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon lard (shortening)
1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
6 - 6-1/2 cups flour

1.  Scald milk.  Stir in sugar, salt, and lard.  Cool to lukewarm. 
2.  Sprinkle yeast on warm water; stir to dissolve.  Add yeast and 3 cups flour to milk mixture.  Beat with spoon until batter is smooth and sheets off spoon (or beat 2 minutes with mixer.)
3.  Add enough flour, a little at a time, first by spoon and then with hands, to make a dough that leaves the side of the bowl.  Turn onto a lightly floured board; cover and let rest 10 minutes.
4.  Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Round up into a ball and put into a lightly greased bowl.  Turn dough over to grease top; cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours. 
5.  Punch down, cover and let rise again until almost doubled, about 45 minutes. 
6.  Turn onto board; shape into ball and divide in half.  Shape into 2 loaves and place in greased 9" x 5" x 3" loaf pans.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. 
7.  Bake in 400 degree oven for 35 minutes or until deep golden brown.  Place on wire rack and let cool away from draft.  Dip waxed paper into shortening or butter and brush over the top of the loaves.
        from The Woodbury Larder: A Legacy published by Phyllis Woodbury Bryant

You might enjoy reading my previous blog post:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Peace and Plenty Quilt Block

     This 8" Peace and Plenty block was fun and easy to make - just half square triangles.  I adapted the original 6" pattern found in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird. 
     In these diary entries, Papa visits Chester Redding, a Woodbury relative from New Hampshire who now lives outside of Chicago.  Mrs. Hile is a neighbor who stays with Hattie's family and helps with the housework. 

Wednesday, April 12, 1916 -
"Papa arrived home tonight safe and sound.  He got $9.55 for his cattle and seems very well pleased as we all are.  He went out to see Chester Redding and his family who live in Berwyn, a suburb of Chicago.  Papa brought me a new suit from Kansas City.  I am not sure that it 'suits.'  I want to try it on in daylight first.  It is a real dark blue serge trimmed in a little taffeta, gabardine, and steel buttons."

Thursday, April 13, 1916 -
"I finally got my crocheted yoke started successfully after beginning it five times and am getting along so well I hate to lay it down.  But I have done other things today, too.  I helped Mrs. Hile finish the ironing this A.M. and swept and helped clean the third floor and studied some besides the other regular duties.  It has been a rainy, rainy day and, of course, is damp and cold.

"Mother and I had planned on going to Kansas City tomorrow to take my suit back and do some other shopping, but Papa changed his mind, said people would think we were trying to spend money as fast as he could make it.  Ha!  Besides, he said he had to go down on business next week, and I could go along and exchange the suit then.  I hope the weather is nicer for I hate to go anywhere in the rain, and I'm so tired of cold weather. 

"My tulips are coming out lovely in these showers, but the sun would greatly aid them."

You might enjoy reading my previous blog entry:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cups and Saucers Quilt Block

     This is a little 6" Cups and Saucers quilt block.  I found the pattern in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird.  I also found the pattern at Quilterscache here.  I fussycut the center to feature the roses.
     In this diary entry, Papa is shipping cattle to Chicago.  My dad writes:  "When a cattleman shipped cattle on the railroad, the cattle owner could ride in the caboose free to wherever the cattle were going (Kansas City or Chicago) and free coming back." 

     Hattie is studying for her correspondence courses that she's taking through Kansas University.  She later writes that she found these classes "rather unsatisfactory without the classroom environment."  

Friday, April 7, 1916 -
"I was sure surprised to see everything covered with snow this morning, and it kept up snowing almost all A.M., but it didn't stay long enough for sleighing.

"Papa started for Chicago with the cattle this evening, so, of course, it has been a day of some little excitement.  Mother baked and fussed about all day getting his lunch fixed and his bag packed, and we all had to fly around getting him off.  The cattle certainly looked fine as they drove them to town.  We all lunched on fried chicken, brown bread, nut sandwiches, cake, pie, coffee, pickles, etc. about the time he left. 

"I studied awhile until supper was ready when the folks made me come down and go through the motions, although I wasn't hungry.  We have just been sitting around talking this evening, and Mother says for me to go to bed early!  But I'm going to take a bath first."

1917 Recipe for Hickory-Nut Sandwiches
1 cup finely chopped hickory nuts
2 cups finely chopped apples
Celery or celery seed
Bread, sliced thinly and with crusts trimmed

1.  Mix together hickory nuts and apples with as much mayonnaise as needed to bind.
2.  Add finely chopped celery or celery seed if desired.
3.  Use mixture as filling in sandwiches.   
                                  from the July 1917 edition of Needlework Magazine

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Attic Windows Quilt Block

     This 9" Attic Windows quilt block was a quick one to make.  I used this free on-line pattern:  I won the center fabric in a drawing at my Modern Quilt Guild monthly meeting, as part of a basket of goodies. 
     In this diary entry, Mrs. Hile is a neighbor who helps with housework. 
     Below the diary entry, I have included a more complete description of the third floor, later written by Hattie's niece, Ann Woodbury Lusk.  (Ann's father, Howard, is Hattie's younger brother.)  Ann grew up in this same home, so she is well acquainted with all its nooks and crannies.   

Thursday, April 6, 1916 -
"Papa is planning on shipping his cattle to Chicago tomorrow.  He received a message today saying he got $9.15 for the five steers he shipped last night and $9.60 for the hogs.  I hope he does as well with the remainder - those were the poorest he sent last night.  I told him he could bring me a new suit from Chicago. 

"Mrs. Hile cleaned the third floor today, but tonight has turned so cold, it doesn't look much like housecleaning weather." 

     "The third floor was two long north/south rooms - and a tiny north room - exactly like an oven in the summer. . .
     "Mostly the third floor was the west room for storage and the east room for parties.  The closet doors here were only child high, which made them delightful playhouses, and sometimes such intriguing things were discovered in far corner boxes.  Also, here was where Mother cured her homemade lye soap.  Bars and bars laid out on wooden slats - couldn't lay it right on the floor or the lye would eat it up.  That soap certainly made things white.  When my daughter was learning to crawl, I used to send her petticoats to Mother to wash in the homemade soap."  by Ann Woodbury Lusk 

Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site
Receipt for Lye Soap
5 cups water
1 (13 ounce) can lye
6 pounds lard

CAUTION:  Lye is highly caustic and should be washed off immediately with cold water!  Wear rubber globes.  Turn face away from lye when pouring into water to avoid inhaling the fumes.  Always pour the lye into the water rather than the water into the lye!  NEVER mix lye in an aluminum container, as the lye will react with it.

1.  Prepare the lye solution first, so it can cool to between 95 and 98 degrees.  Pour cold water into an enamelware pot, and then add the lye slowly while stirring the solution steadily with a wooden spoon.  The reaction between lye and water will generate temperatures over 200 degrees F.  Place the enamel pot in a basin of cold water to hasten cooling.  Once cooled, pour it carefully into a 2-quart glass container.
2.  Melt the lard and bring to a temperature of between 95 and 98 degrees F.  To ensure thorough mixing, stir the lard before the lye is added.  Pour in the lye solution in a steady stream while continuing to stir with an even circular motion.  The mixture will turn opaque and brownish, then lighten.
3.  Soap is ready when its surface can support a drop of mixture for a moment; the consistency should be like sour cream.
4.  You may add colorants, scents, or other special ingredients.
5.  Pour liquid into molds lined with brown paper or coated with Vaseline and place in a warm location.  Cover molds with cardboard or blankets.  After 24-48 hours, cut into bars and separate the bars so that they can completely air-dry or cure.  Wait at least 3 weeks before using the soap. 

You might enjoy reading my previous blog post: