I found the pattern for this 8" Kansas Troubles block in Kansas Spirit: 15 Historical Quilt Blocks & the Saga of the Sunflower State by Jeanne Poore. Directions are included for 6" and 12" blocks, so I adjusted to make mine 8". My cousin George R. Pasley's writing is included in the book as part of "Kansas Spirit: How the Project Was Born."
In these diary entries, Hattie has had all the responsibility of cooking and housework while Mother and 12-year-old Anna have been in Topeka. Ted is her 14-year-old brother, and Orvel and Elmo are hired men. (Hired men are part of the household who must be fed three times a day.) Frank George is Hattie's future husband.
Monday, June 5, 1916 -
"Just a hasty scratch as I'm blooming tired, and it's raining and a good night to sleep. It has rained almost all day, and a chill east wind is blowing - quite different from yesterday, and I hope different from tomorrow.
"Mother and Anna finally got home at 5:30. They were nearly drowned, it seemed. Mother is sick - still laid up with her knee. That doesn't sound very encouraging for my trip to Emporia. I don't mean to be selfish, but really it seems I don't get a thing done but cook and wash dishes. And I did want to go to Institute or Summer School, but I don't even have time to go to town it seems.
"I am hoping and praying that we may get some help soon."
Tuesday, June 6, 1916 -
"I have had several disappointments, (I can't think of any other word just now - but at least they were remorseful moments) but I am feeling better now. I presume I was keyed up to a rather sensitive note, anyhow, or I never would have had the outburst I did at noon. But after spending a whole morning trying to manage the best I could, with Mother in bed and the morning work and dinner on hand, I felt it a very personal insult when Ted, Orvel, and Elmo began to smile and nudge each other upon attempting to eat my first cherry pie. It really was a fine pie, Papa and Mother said so, but I thought they were making fun of it, so before touching mine, I hastily left the table and nearly cried my eyes out. I don't know yet what they were laughing at, if anything. I haven't had a chance to see them, but likely it was nothing at all.
"The other grievance occurred this P.M. Grace and Howell both phoned me about the feed tonight. So I finally told Howell he could come for me about 6:30. Of course, I was rushing around to have supper out of the way, and about 5:30 Frank George called up and wanted a date for it! Very regretfully, I had to tell him I had made other arrangements. Well, supper was over, and it was after 6:30 but no Howell, 7:00 but no Howell, 7:15 and I gave him up and was fairly biting nails that I had not let Frank come. I didn't want to go when he finally came at 7:30, but Mother made me and, after all, we got there in plenty of time. . . After we ate our strawberries, cream, and cake, we all went down to see the train come in, then marched in single file back up town. We played around a while, then some had to go practice and others went home, so we left shortly after 9 o'clock. It is a perfect moonlight night but is quite cold."
You might also enjoy reading my previous blog entry: