Monday, January 30, 2012

Midnight Star Quilt Block

     The pattern for this 12" Midnight Star quilt block can be found on-line at:
It was a cheerful block to make in the middle of winter!
     In this diary entry, 20-year-old Hattie has a date with Howell Lusk.  While on the date, she runs into her future husband, Frank George.  Anna is Hattie's 12-year-old sister.  Although she has "unusual hard luck" with her first attempt at baking a cake, she later becomes known for her delicious cakes.

Saturday, July 1, 1916 -
"It is almost midnight.  I had a date with Howell tonight, taking in the town.  Mrs. Cochran had a little birthday party, and Howell thought he was invited but found out differently in plenty of time.  There were just Mr. and Mrs. Cochran, Mrs. McCauley, Hester, Lenore, Grace, May, and I.  After we ate ice cream and cake, we enjoyed some music from the Victrola, then made our adieus hastily as it was whispered that there was to be a much delayed 'serenade' for our host and hostess.  So we went down to the old bank where the kids were serving ice cream and then on down town, rounding up the crowd.  Frank George was down on the street, and he explained to me that he just got my note yesterday morning.  He went with us up to Cochran's - it seemed like almost the whole town went.  The lights were all out, and we wondered if they had retired so soon, but the crowd began the noise, and they soon appeared.  They had heard of our plans and were not surprised.  After a few pieces on the Victrola, we departed.  I think the Cochran's are lovely people.  Mr. C. said they were going to give a nice, big party for the young people soon.

"Anna baked a cake this afternoon but had unusual hard luck and disappointment with her first attempt." 

Aunt Annie's Eggless, Milkless, Butterless Spice Cake
"Poor Man's Cake"
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups hot water
1/3 cup lard
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
2 cups raisins

1.  Boil all ingredients together for five minutes and let cool.
2.  Then add flour to make a stiff batter (about 2-1/2 cups) and 2 teaspoons soda dissolved in a little hot water.
3.  Bake in moderate oven in a large loaf pan.  
Note:  from The Best of the Farmer's Wife Cookbook:  Moderate (Medium) = 350 to 400 degrees F 
3 cups brown sugar
1 cup cream
Boil together until it forms soft ball.  Cool and beat.  Spread on cake.
          from The Woodbury Larder: A Legacy published by Phyllis Woodbury Bryant

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Harvest Star Quilt Block

     I found the pattern for this Harvest Star block free on-line at:
     In this diary entry, Hattie writes about the oat harvest.  George and Anna are her youngest siblings and 12-year-old twins.  Ruth and Mary are her older sisters who are living in Washington state. 

Friday, June 30, 1916 -
"Thank goodness we have the lights and water in running order again; we learn how to appreciate our conveniences when we have to go without.

"This has been another warm day.  I'm glad I can sleep out on the porch.  But Papa says it has been a fine harvest day.  Jesse Lovell has been here binding the oats, and even George and Anna helped (?) shock.  They asked me to, but I am 'above such shocking business.'

"I haven't felt half so lazy today, but I had a very serious attack of toothache right after dinner, which rendered me much pain most of the afternoon.  But I did some mending, crocheting, and helped with the supper.

"I was very fortunate in receiving three letters this morning.  One from Ruth saying that Mary is getting ready to come home with her next fall.  That's sure good news."

Aunt Mary's Oatmeal Bread
1-1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup dark Karo syrup
2 eggs, beaten
2 Fleishman yeast cakes
6 cups flour

1.  Mix water, oats, salt, and shortening.  Let stand until cool.
2.  Mix in sugars, syrup, eggs, yeast, and flour.  Knead until smooth. 
3.  Let rise one hour.
4.  Mold into two loaves.  Let rise.  Bake one hour at 350 degrees.
             from The Woodbury Larder: A Legacy published by Phyllis Woodbury Bryant

Note:  This recipe assumes knowledge of yeast bread baking.  The linked recipe is similar and has more specific directions.

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog entry:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pig Pen Quilt Block

     I found the pattern for this 9" Pig Pen block in Golden's Journal: 20 Sampler Blocks Honoring Prairie Farm Life by DeArmond, Lang, and Spitzli.  I used their templates and followed their good directions and was pleasantly surprised to discover that this block, with its curved seams, was not as difficult as I expected.
     In these diary entries, Luke, Rag, and Duke are horses.  Charlie is a hired man.  Mr. Frank J. George is Hattie's future husband (but they are only just starting to date).  Howard (18) and George (12) are Hattie's younger brothers.  My grandmother Hattie is 20 years old as she writes this.  The porch she refers to is a sleeping porch, wonderful for sleeping during hot Kansas summers. 

Monday, June 26, 1916 -
"I did the very 'unique' stunt of going to town in the hog wagon tonight.  I wanted to go to town, and as they were shipping and using Luke and Rag to drive the cattle and Charlie had to interfere just as Papa was about to say I could ride Duke, I decided I was 'game' to go with the other hogs. . . On our way home we stopped at May's, and I wrote a hasty note to Mr. Frank J. George, and she will mail it in the morning. 

"As this was wash day and is now almost eleven, I will run to the porch until a gentle voice disturbs me."

Wednesday, June 28, 1916 -
"Howard tried in vain to get the engine started again tonight, so I am using my candle.  I sure want to get to bed.  I have felt so disenergetic all day as it has been quite warm, and we were finishing the ironing this morning.  Of course, that tired me.

"Papa and Mother went to Mr. and Mrs. Griggs' Golden Wedding Anniversary this afternoon.  I didn't do very much of anything.  I had a brief nap and read and wrote quite a while, then dressed and got supper.  I hope I feel more lively tomorrow.

"Papa and George just now drove in.  I wonder if I got a letter?  Hope so!"

Howard's grandson and Hattie's nephew, Howard H. Woodbury, later writes in 1985: "Great-Granddad had a great love for his cow herd.  He had Shorthorn cattle until about 1895.  Then he began raising registered Herefords. . . However, cattle weren't the only livestock on the farm.  He ran an equal number of hogs behind his cattle.  He also had chickens and several milk cows.  Saddle horses and eight teams of mules also resided at the Woodbury Farm."
     from "Woodbury Farms: 104 years of continuous ranching in the East Central Kansas Flint Hills" by Howard H. Woodbury, 1985

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post:

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Midsummer Night Quilt Block

     I found the pattern for this 7" Midsummer Night block free on-line here: 
     In these diary entries, Minerva is Hattie's oldest sister, already married with children.  Howard is her 18-year-old brother. 

Saturday, June 24, 1916 - Midsummer Day
"Although this is supposed to be the Romantic Day, nothing very romantic has happened here.  It has been a nice day, filled with the usual Saturday duties. 

"This was the most beautiful morning.  I was permitted to sleep until breakfast was ready, and the sun was making a glorious light and everything was so dewy and green.  But if I want to sleep later tomorrow morning, I think I'll have to close the curtain a little if the sun shines." 

Sunday, June 25, 1916 -
"The sun didn't bother me any this morning as it was cloudy but cleared off in time for us to go to Sunday School and has been quite warm all day.  Mrs. Mc (Grace) and Minerva both asked me to stay for dinner, but as I left Mother in bed, I came home and helped with dinner.  Howard took us out in the car all afternoon.  We went to Lusk's and Petty's but didn't find anyone at home.  Then we came back and stopped at Minerva's, ate fried chicken and cake, and came home about six o'clock.

"Just as supper was ready, I had the misfortune to scald my foot with the tea kettle of hot water.  It hurts some, but I 'doped' it up and went to church with Howard."

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wandering Star Quilt Block

     I found the pattern for this Wandering Star block on-line and reduced it from 9" down to 6" finished.
     In these diary entries, Anna and George are Hattie's 12-year-old twin siblings, and Grace is a hired girl.  Bing is a friend from her days at Emporia High School.  A dray is a low, strong cart without fixed sides, for carrying heavy loads.
Thursday, June 22, 1916 -
"Mother and I picked some currants, and she made some lovely jelly, so clear and red.  We also did a basket of mending this morning.  Anna and George went to town this P.M.  They were running quite a dray, bringing my new mattress and Grace's trunk.  Grace went on a horseback ride this afternoon.  I remodeled a last summer's dress and did other odd jobs, crocheting, etc.  Also got a letter from Bing.  It has been quite a warm day and as the clock has just chimed ten and my new bed is very inviting, I'll hie me hither."

Friday, June 23, 1916 -
"The clock just now struck 10:30.  I thought I should be in bed long before this, for my bed on the porch is quite an inducement.  I even like to sleep there during the day, but I have been doing other things this evening and the time passed quickly.  Right after I finished wiping the supper dishes, I went out on the front porch and strolled on down to the front gate.  It was a nice evening, and I was in a mood for walking so kept on and on.  I went clear to Edmonds and chatted a little with Mrs. E. and Hattie Reeser and the children.  It was almost dark when I reached the porch where the family was gathered under the light (and bugs) reading the papers.  

"I am getting poor!  Measure just 24 inches around the waist.  I was 25 or 26."

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunlight and Shadows Quilt Block

     I found the pattern for this 8" Sunlight and Shadows block free on-line:  I reduced the 12" pattern down to 8" finished.
     In these diary entries, Hattie is in Emporia, Kansas visiting high school friends.  She graduated from Emporia HIgh School in 1914. 

Tuesday, June 13, 1916 -
"When we awoke about seven o'clock, it was cloudy and thundering.  At breakfast it began to rain, so Fern said since I had to be back so soon, she believed they had better take me before the rain raised the creek again.  We armed ourselves with raincoats, caps, and two rubber lap robes, and when the heavy shower abated a little, we started out.  For the first half-mile it wasn't so bad, but suddenly a strong east wind came up, and I never saw it rain any harder.  As we turned east, the rain came in a blinding sheet right into the buggy, and our waterproof protection seemed to be of no avail.  I was soaked below my knees, for I was sitting on Fern's lap.  About the time we reached town, the storm ceased, and the sun was shining by the time we reached Haynes'.  I think it was terrible that we couldn't foresee for about a half hour.  Then we would have been saved all that ride in the storm.  I bade Fern and Lucien goodbye and changed my entire wardrobe as soon as I got up to Hen's room.  Then we dressed and went out to college for Class Day.  We were too late to see all of the Seniors' stunt, but it was very interesting and clever.  The Sophomores had their eats in the dorm basement, and everything tasted so good

"After this was over, we assembled in the gym for the underclassmen and alumnae stunts.  The Sophs were especially clever with their 'movie' enacting college life.  The Freshmen minstrels were good, too." 

Wednesday, June 14, 1916 -
"Well, it seems good to get home again, for I am just a little tired from so much going.  But I was surprised to hear that there had been a very bad flood during my absence.  The water was all over the road and barn lot, garden, and corrals Sunday.  Although it has gone down now, there is still the evil effects."

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog entry:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Friendship Quilt Block

     I found the pattern for this 6" Friendship quilt block in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird. 
     In these diary entries, Hattie is in Emporia, Kansas, visiting friends from her high school days there.  "The Turkish" referred to in the June 11 entry is the Turkish Candy Company, a popular hangout. 

Saturday, June 10, 1916 -
"It is after 12:30.  Hen is putting her hair up in curlers, and it's raining!  They haven't anything on me about this raining deal.  It was lovely this morning when I awoke at 5:30 but began to sprinkle about the time Papa and I started for the train.  By 9:40 it was pouring but, very opportunely, Ray Carlson appeared and helped me to the train under his umbrella.  Dorothy met me at the Depot here and before long, Hen and Bing came from school. . . Hen and I laid around and talked until about five o'clock.  Then we went downtown and made a few purchases.  I got a pair of pumps, a middy, and some ribbon for a girdle."
Sunday, June 11, 1916 (written later) -
"It certainly seemed good to be in a real church once more, to hear real music and a real sermon.  The anthem and Miss Husband's solo were splendid, and Dr. Culbertson preached the Baccalaureate Sermon as usual in his inspiring way, and it was not too long either. 

"It was quite warm this afternoon.  We put on light dresses. . . As we were invited to Lesta's for supper, Hen and I went up about six.  Alvords have a new Studebaker, so we wanted to go for a ride.  Mr. Leonard was calmly reposing when we drove up somewhat after eight, but Charley and Bing had not appeared.  We sure tore around when they did come.  We shot a cap pistol and fainted and had the others catch us, and we played on the piano, three of us at a time.  Then we went out on the porch, and I had them all excited about the conundrum 'That man's father, etc.'  We laughed until we were positively out of breath over Charlie.  He pretended he knew a joke that Hen and Lesta knew concerning hot chocolate at the Turkish.  He giggled and acted so foolish, and Bing entered in with him, that I came the nearest to dying of laughter that I ever hope to."

You might also enjoy reading my previous post:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hay's Corner Quilt Block

     I found the pattern for this 9" Hay's Corner quilt block in 5500 Quilt Block Designs by Maggie Malone.  I had to draft the pattern, but it was not difficult to do. 
     In these diary entries, Hattie goes on a hayrack ride with friends.  The family has been without household help so is relieved when Papa hires Grace Jones.  Once again, Hattie mentions her future husband, Frank George. 

Wednesday, June 7, 1916 -
"Alpha phoned just as we were eating supper and said they were getting up a bunch to go on a hayrack ride.  So I tore around and got the dishes done and went up with George as he went to meet Papa, who was coming in from Kansas City.  We finally got our bunch together and chased up enough boys and after going up to get Gladys and them out to Mary's, who had gone to bed and wouldn't go, Jack turned his team back, and they came out here.  We intended to go on up and serenade Stub and Fern, but it was getting too late.  They brought me clear home, for which I was truly thankful.  I offered to walk in from the bridge, but we met some old man in a wagon up here inside our gate, and I'm glad I wasn't alone.

"We sang everything any of us ever knew, and there was quite a bunch of us.  We gave three cheers for everyone whose house we passed.

"Lydia Pierce came this A.M., and I helped her with the washing, and Mother and Anna canned cherries, and I ironed some, and together we did some of everything today.  I had thought that I would go to bed early, but what's the use?"

Thursday, June 8, 1916 -
"Things are beginning to take on a brighter aspect with our domestic affairs.  Papa saw Mr. Billy Jones in town this morning, and he said Grace was home now and wanted another place.  So Papa 'snapped her up,' and I went over and got her this P.M.  I think I shall go to Emporia for a few days now.  I have written to Hen and Fern to that effect.

"Our new furniture, the clock, sofa, porch beds, and kitchen table were brought out this A.M."

Friday, June 9, 1916 -
"I can't write much because it is late and, as I'm going to Emporia in the morning, I'll have to get up early and dust around.  Mother ordered me to bed some time ago.  I almost wish I was not going tomorrow.  Frank George called up this evening and wanted me to go to Lebo to a special movie tomorrow night.  If I turn him down many more times, I'm afraid I'll never get another offer.  Sad!"
1914 - He loves me - he loves me not

 You might also enjoy reading my previous blog entry:

Friday, January 6, 2012

Kansas Troubles Quilt Block

     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: 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gentleman's Fancy Quilt Block

     I found the pattern for this 6" Gentleman's Fancy block in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird.   
     This is an important diary entry because Hattie writes about the first date she has with her future husband and my grandfather, Frank George.  Frank takes his sister Fannie and another young teacher to Institute (teacher training) in a nearby town and invites Hattie to go with them.

Sunday, June 4, 1916 -
"It seems just a little queer that I should have a date with Frank George!  I don't like to call it that for it really wasn't.  Anyhow, I had a lovely time.  It all happened like this.  He and his mother were at church this morning, and after church he asked me if I didn't want to go for a ride this P.M.  He said he had to take Fannie over to Institute at Burlingame and would stop for me if I would go.  Of course I consented, and we went.  It was a warm afternoon, but we didn't notice the heat while riding.  We had an experience just this side of Osage which was really funny.  I haven't recovered from laughing yet.  There were at least six men riding standing in a shallow wagon.  They were in front of us but paid no attention to Frank's honk and went on up to the culvert.  Frank slowed down, but the next thing I knew he was calling, 'Watch out!' but the men paid no attention, and in an instant the bumper hit the wagon.  It was very funny to see the fellows sprawling in every direction.  Oh, they were mad!  Their horses did not run, and one of the men, who afterward said he was Frank Hunsicker, came looking mad enough to fight and immediately took the number.  Frank explained to him that his brake would not work, and after a good deal of said explanation, Mr. Hunsicker calmed a little.  I was tickled though.  Frank introduced me to him and afterwards said, 'I knew he was a friend of your father's and thought that might help out.'   

"We stopped at the garage in Osage, then went on to Burlingame.  We stayed there with the girls until 5:25 and then came home without any more adventures, arriving at 6:30."  

In 1982 (sixty-six years later), my grandmother again writes about meeting my grandfather:

Harriet and Frank: The Beginning by Harriet George
"I had known of the two George families who lived in this area, which was about five or six miles south of our farm home, in Coffey County, on the south border of my Dad's section pasture in Osage County.  He often visited with them when he was at the pasture. 

"But I did not meet Frank until after we were again living at the farm.  When I was in my last year of high school in Emporia, I came home at Thanksgiving.  Ruth, Howard, and I went to a box supper at Olivet school that Thanksgiving night.  Frank George bid on Ruth's box, made out of a large oatmeal box - and she was elated!  Years afterward he told me he thought it was mine.

"But I really became acquainted when in the next summer, 1915, a woman in Olivet was sponsoring a play to be given at the Olivet Picnic for the evening entertainment.  They asked Ruth, Howard, and me to be in it.  Also, Frank and his two sisters, Betty and Fannie were in the play.  He played the part of an old man.  I was not the 'leading lady' - had a young sister's part.

"It was the next spring when he asked me if I would go with him as he took Fannie and another young teacher to Burlingame for the teacher's training session.  He had a car by that time, and I was surprised and happy to go on that Sunday p.m.  He bumped into the wagon, in which three men were standing, trying to break a colt, which was ahead of us on the road.  No one hurt, but it was funny!  That was the beginning!"

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog entry:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Honey's Choice Quilt Block

     For this 7-1/2" Honey's Choice block, I had some fun honeycomb fabric on hand that I decided to use.  I found the pattern in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt  but adjusted the size from 6" to 7-1/2" finished.  
    In these diary entries, Mother and 12-year-old sister Anna travel to Topeka for a few days' trip.  That leaves Hattie in charge of the home, and George, Anna's twin, as her assistant.  Hen is a friend of hers from Emporia, Kansas, where Hattie graduated from high school in 1914.    

Thursday, June 1, 1916 -
"Well, June is sure starting in like summer.  I think it is just naturally hot.  There is scarcely a breath of air tonight. 

"Mother and Anna went this morning so, of course, I have been quite busy.  George is my assistant.  He wipes the dishes, picks strawberries, helps set the table, etc. 

"I had a little nap this afternoon but am terribly sleepy now, too.

"There were a great number of bees in the play room and on my sleeping porch today.  I was afraid at first that they were swarming, but we opened up the screens, and I think they have almost all gone.

"Dave Hawkins was here for supper, but Papa has decided not to have him plaster the garage now, so he went back to town."

Friday, June 2, 1916 -
"Here, I thought I'd go to bed really early, and it is after ten now.  Oh, I wish we could get someone to help us.  I'm getting tired and nothing accomplished either.  I got another letter from Hen today telling me what clothes to bring if I come up for commencement.  I need about a week or more solid to overhaul my wardrobe.  I want at least one more new dress, and my old white one cleaned and fixed, and my panama trimmed, and a new middy, and everything pressed, and I don't see when I'll get it done.  But I am trusting and trying to work.

"Today has been so lovely and cool - so much nicer than yesterday.  The men have been putting hay in the barn, and everything smells so sweet.  The honeysuckle at the gate is all in bloom."

Saturday, June 3, 1916 -
"For some reason or other, Mother and Anna didn't come home.  Papa went to meet the 5:20 and when they didn't come, he waited for the 8:15.  The McGregors asked him there for supper, so he didn't have to make an extra trip.  They must have missed their train in Emporia for Papa had a letter from Anna, and she said nothing about changing their plans.

"I am tired tonight.  This has been a full day.  I have had one little job after another and was kept on the hop but think I got about everything done that I planned to do.  But I am glad tomorrow is the Day of Rest.  I hope it doesn't rain.  It has been lovely today, but a northeast breeze has just now blown up.

"I have been reading Mary Roberts Rineheart's serial K in the (Kansas City) Star.  It is very interesting, but I became sleepy so am going to take a bath and board the bed for slumber."

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post: