Sunday, November 10, 2013

Contrary Wife Quilt Block and Aunt Jane of Kentucky "Sally Ann's Experience"

In the Quilters' Book Club this month, we're reading Aunt Jane of Kentucky by Eliza Calvert Hall, written in 1898.  It comes highly recommended by author Sandra Dallas.  A community of volunteers converted the book to digital format.  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.  (I am reading it on my computer and my iPad with no Kindle app, and that is working fine for me.) 

This book consists of nine short stories.  The first story is called "Sally Ann's Experience" and is just 28 pages long.  It's the story of 'Lizabeth Taylor, who has no money of her own but is desperate to visit her daughter before she dies.  Her husband refuses to give her the money for the trip, so she comes up with her own solution to get the money.  This story takes place in an era in which women have no property rights or any other rights, for that matter!

If you'd like to make a quilt block to represent this story, here are two possibilities:
Contrary Wife Quilt Block
or if you agree with Sally Ann, you may prefer to make the:
Contrary Husband Quilt Block

What did you think of this story?  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.

*****And the winner of the October give-away is Nancy*****
Nancy, if you'll send your email address to, I'll arrange to have a $20 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop sent to your email.  Congratulations, Nancy!  And thank you to Fat Quarter Shop for this wonderful prize! 

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.


  1. Hi,
    Thanks for the book recommendation. The stories are lovely and have me giggling regularly. I can just see Aunt Jane sitting and telling about what happened and getting all upset again, after all that time.

  2. I am trying to read the stories on my laptop but it is the laptop that is contrary. Right now it allowed me to open things but for the last two days it was taking a break and I couldn't even see my email. There was some kind of a message that popped on to the screen when I restarted the computer but it was only on a few seconds and I doubt there is anyone who can read that fast.
    Congratulations to Nancy.

  3. That fabrics is sooooo cute!! Great block as well. I downloaded the book, now to find time to read it.......thanks!

  4. I am so enjoying Aunt Jane. Even though the circumstances for women have changed somewhat over the years, I am finding Aunt Jane's wisdom very relevant for today's world. 'Lizbeth had the borrowing and the solution to return it worked out in her mind. The timing was off and it ended up being God's timing. I loved that her friends were so supportive of her.

  5. I've enjoyed the book very much. The homey wisdom is something we don't see in today's literature.

  6. I really enjoyed Sally Ann's Experience. Sally was quite the outspoken lady for her time, standing up to defend her friends and boldly addressing the male members of the congregation. The story presented the plight of women at that time in an amusing way but left me wondering how on earth they managed! Aunt Jane's comments about her relationship with Abram were comforting; good to know that a relationship, even at that time could involve give and take. Aunt Jane does make the point that this success was due to her standing up for herself. Loved that the merino wool was in her bottom drawer!

  7. Thru most of Sally Ann's 'sermon' I kept thinking about those verses about how the husband is supposed to treat his wife. I'm glad she brought it up. God intended BOTH parts of that to make a balanced marriage. It just doesn't work, one half without the other half. I'm glad I married a man who fully believes in the 'balance' of marriage. Good story.

  8. I enjoyed Sally Ann's Experience; an apt reminder of how women's lives were not that long ago--we really HAVE come a long way, baby. (ok, that ages me!).


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