I cherish the relationship that I have with my children. We can talk and I hope that lasts, but I do not take it for granted. I listen and I guide, as needed.
This week as I sorted through a pile of patchwork fabric, I mulled over a recent conversation. Had I expressed myself the way I wanted to my eldest daughter? Had I helped her to put her own feelings into words? Then I had one of those Eureka moments, as I folded a fat quarter (or piece of fabric for any non patchworker). I would write a letter, but in the spirit of the The Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt book. Not just one letter but a series of letters.
The farmer’s wife contest was run by a US magazine in 1922. The wives of farmers were invited to write a letter to their daughters based on the question “If you had a daughter,” they asked, “would you, in light of your own experiences, want her to marry a farmer?” Times were hard and the jobs of the farmer and his wife were not held in high regard. The response was phenomenal. Over 7000 letters poured in and 94% said that they would encourage their daughters. Undoubtedly a biased sample, but still interesting.
The book displays 55 of the 68 winning letters. The author includes the instructions for 111 patchwork squares. Perfect for making a quilt.
For anyone interested in social history, the letters are worth reading. Patchworker or not. I’m struck by how content the wives are with their lives. They outline their daily lives like modern day bloggers do now. A lot of the issues they cover could easily make blog posts today.
I have made a few of these squares before, but hit a technical problem last time. Not a mistake I will make again. This time, for each letter I write, I will choose a square to complete from the farmer’s wife sampler quilt. By the end, I will have a clutch of letters and a finished quilt to hand to my eldest daughter. My Dear Daughter quilt.
The first letter is written, the fabric is ready. Once it’s complete, I’ll share the square and the letter here on my blog.
This is going to be a journey. Want to come along too?
Squares and letters so far:
(Next four are in one letter)
Total so far: 28 squares completed.