Sunday, November 17, 2013

Aunt Jane of Kentucky "Milly Baker's Boy" and Peace and Plenty Quilt Block

In the Quilters' Book Club this month, we're reading Aunt Jane of Kentucky by Eliza Calvert Hall, written in 1898.  If you have a Kindle or a Kindle app, you can get it from here.  If you want to read it directly from your computer, you can do so here, courtesy of Project Gutenberg.  It's a public domain book so is available free in either format. 

This book consists of nine short stories.  The fifth short story is called "Milly Baker's Boy" and is only 36 pages long.  At the end of the story, Aunt Jane says:

"There's lots of satisfactory things in this world, child," she said, beaming at me over her spectacles with the smile of the optimist who is born, not made. "There's a satisfaction in roundin' off the toe of a stockin', like I'm doin' now, and knowin' that your work's goin' to keep somebody's feet warm next winter. There's a satisfaction in bakin' a nice, light batch o' bread for the children to eat up. There's a satisfaction in settin' on the porch in the cool o' the evenin' and thinkin' o' the good day's work behind you, and another good day that's comin' to-morrow. This world ain't a vale o' tears unless you make it so on purpose. But of all the satisfactions I ever experienced, the most satisfyin' is to see people git their just desserts right here in this world. . . And whenever I feel like doubtin' the justice o' the Lord, I think o' Milly Baker's boy, and how he got everything that belonged to him, and he didn't have to die and go to heaven to git it either."

You'll have to read the story to find out how Milly Baker's boy got everything that belonged to him!  And if you'd like to make the Peace and Plenty quilt block to go along with this story, you can find the pattern here.  My block consists of only two fabrics, so be careful of fabric placement if you want your block to look like mine.

We learned the kinds of things that Aunt Jane finds satisfaction in.  What kinds of things are satisfying to you?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Please reply in the comments sections below for a chance to win a copy of Jennifer Chiaverini's just-released book, An Elm Creek Quilts Companion, courtesy of Plume Books.  If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others.  

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.


  1. Creating things gives me satisfaction. It might be a quilt, a knitting project or a meal. It's fun to make stuff. It's also fun to invest in the lives of people and see them grow and learn.

  2. I'm learning to enjoy simple things again-a smile, a pretty sky, the smell of rain, hand stitching, a good book, a moment to reflect in quiet. That is where I find my true spirit and joy.

  3. I get a great sense of satisfaction when I sit down at night and reflect on what I have achieved during the day.
    I love it when I have finished a project or made the deadline.
    It gives me great joy to see the response of friends when I give them a gift.

  4. I just recently found you and I'm looking forward to joining in on the book talks. Two of my favorite books involving brave women and quilts are Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles, and The Diary of Mattie Spenser by Sandra Dallas. I love Persian Pickle Club too, so maybe you'll do that one again sometime. Earlene Fowler is always fun.

  5. I think I get the most satisfaction from starting a new project and then completing it. In between the beginning and ending I enjoy the focus, sense of purpose and organization the project brings.

  6. A few years ago, I told my English class that all year long, I had been asking them questions to get them to talk, and since it was the last class, they could ask me any question and I would answer honestly. One hand went up, waving widely. Her question ... "What gives you the most satisfaction in life"? Wow! My answer, when I look at my children and the adults and parents they have become, I am completely satisfied. The whole class broke into applause.


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