Monday, August 15, 2011

Snowball Quilt Block

     I loved making this little 6" Snowball Block, taken from The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird.  I didn't have to use the templates because it is all squares and half-square triangles.
     In these diary entries, Mother is Hattie's step-mother.  Her Mamma passed away three years earlier.   Orvel and Charley are hired men.  They eat with the family.  The children who didn't go to school are her younger siblings Ted (14 years) and the twins Anna and George (11 years).  Ted and Orvel have been working on the plant that provides their electricity.  In a previous diary entry, my grandmother writes about weighing herself on the barn scales.  She's now afraid she's eating so much that she'll soon weigh more than her usual 110 pounds!

Monday, January 10, 1916 -
"This hasn't been a blue Monday exactly, at least not speaking for myself, but it has been far from bright outdoors.  Mother and I sewed and talked and planned, building air castles most all A.M.  She wants me to try a little journalistic work.  I always have been very enthusiastic over it and think I shall really try something along that line.  Papa went to S. Schrader's sale so was not here for dinner.  Immediately after eating dinner, Charley brought the horse around, and Mother and I went to town.  We were gone most all afternoon as the roads are quite muddy.  We took in everything including the Crochet Club, Post Office, Barrett's, Wilson's, Phinney's, and Mc's.  I have been crocheting steadily all evening for amusement. 

Tuesday, January 11, 1916 -
"This was wash day, although a very gloomy one, and, of course, I was quite busy all A.M.  It has misted, then frozen so that it is very slippery.  I wish it would snow a good deep snow so the universe would at least look clean.

"It's nice and warm down here by the fire, so I'm writing down here.  My room has been like outdoors all day as the wind was in the northeast and Papa was not in to keep up a good fire.  I had a bad dream and awoke rather early, so I'm rather sleepy tonight.  I have been reading David Copperfield and made a little crocheting that I intend to put in a small gown for one of my future relations. 

"It didn't take me long to get rid of the plate of candy tonight.  Everyone helped themselves on leaving the table.  Orv promised to take a piece to Charley, but he explained afterwards, with great regret, that he didn't have any place to lay it when he put on his overshoes.  So he put it in his mouth, and it melted before he could get it out, and could he not have another piece for Charley?  Well, anyhow, he would tell Charley all about it."
Wednesday, January 12, 1916 -
"I am sitting in the bathroom enthroned upon the toilet with my pencil and paper in hand and my thoughts almost in dreamland.  (I didn't mean to rhyme), but I'll endeavor to stimulate them enough to let me get a few of them down in black and white.

"This has been a below zero day.  It snowed hard with a bitter cold northwest wind all morning.  The house has not been really warm all day - the wind seems to keep the heat from rising.  But it isn't so bad if we keep near the fireplace or registers.

"I have been sewing most all afternoon.  I almost made me a little gingham slip-on dress and another blue nightie.  I had the machine moved in my room near the register.  The children didn't go to school as it was so very blizzardy.  Ted and Orvel have had quite a time with the plant tonight - perhaps it is cold, too.

"I must hop in bed.  It seems as if I can't get enough sleep nor eats.  I have a most alarming appetite.  I'll soon surpass my hundred and ten, I fear."

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog entry:


  1. Susan, love your block and I don't understand how you do these without templates? Is it a math thing that I just don't get? This is a great diary entry from your grandmother! OH to get DOWN to 110 here. But I guess she didn't have McDonalds or delivery pizza, etc. : )

  2. I can't do all of the blocks without templates, but I can do many. For example, the snowball block is made up of 3 squares across and 3 down. If it's a 6" block, each of those squares then finishes at 2" or 2-1/2" with seam allowances. So I rotary cut 5 blue squares and 1 yellow square. The corner squares are half square triangles. If you want the squares to finish at 2" square, you must cut each of the two pieces of fabric 3" square. I give myself extra leeway and cut them 3-1/2" square and then trim them down to size when I'm finished. I don't think I have room here to explain more. I tell my elementary students that I use a lot of math when I quilt!

  3. Oh my! 110?! How tall was she?!

    I wish she'd given an estimate for the temperature in the house. I'd love to know if it was cold it was--to know if I can commiserate with her in my 63 during the day, 58 at night in the winter house or if she would have laughed at me for thinking that was cold while she suffered in a 45 degree house!

  4. Traci, if you read the blog post for August 19, my grandmother says she's 5'8-1/2" in high heels. I'm not really sure how tall she actually was. I always thought of her as around 5'4".


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