Dear Daughter

AJ with hen

The thought

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.

patchwork preparations

The Book

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.

patchwork cutting mat

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.

more patchwork blocks

The Quilt

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.

sample blocks

This is going to be a journey. Want to come along too?

Squares and letters so far:

weathervane finished squareWeathervane square and “About Makeup” letter

Homeward Bound squareHomeward Bound and “About Homework” letter

finished peace and plentyPeace and Plenty and “About Being Happy” letter

Calico puzzleCalico Puzzle and “About being you” letter

night and day blockNight and Day and “About not giving up” letter

Dear Daughter quilt block basketBasket and “About being tidy” letter

wrench quilt block among other blocksWrench and “About the Sunday Blues” letter

(Next four are in one letter)

Prairie Queen quilt block

Prairie Queen,

Attic Window quilt block

Attic Window,

Practical Orchard quilt block

Practical Orchard 

Economy quilt blockand Economy and “About helping” letter

tumbling leaves Dear Daughter quilt projectWindblown Square and “About being perfect” letter

Bowtie quilt block Farmer's wifeBowtie and “About the Shrug” letter

basket weave Farmer's wife quilt block angleBasket Weave and “About opportunity” letter

Periwinkle from The Farmers wife lettersPeriwinkle and “About Options” letter

Peaceful Hours no 65 Farmers wife letters Dear DaughterPeaceful Hours and “About Maths” letter

No 75 Rosebud Farmer's Wife sampler QuiltRosebud and “About being Positive” letter

dear daughter Flock patchwork quilt block Farmers Wife letters no 34Flock and “About Socks” letter

buzzard roost Farmers wife quilt dear daughterBuzzard’s roost and “About tech” letter

Friendship no 39 The Farmer's Wife quilt“Friendship” and “About the 10 second rule” letter

waterwheel no 98 Farmers wife quilt blue“Waterwheel” and “About on-line impressions” letter

kitchen woodbox no 54 The Farmers Wife sampler quilt Dear daughter“Kitchen Woodbox” and “About Democracy” letter

butterfly-at-the-crossroadsButterfly at the Crossroads” and ” About Hair Straighteners” letter

broken-sugar-bowl-quilt-block-diagonal“Broken Sugar Bowl” and “About Patterns and Science” letter

duck-and-duckling-quilt-block“Duck and Ducklings” and ” About girl and boy friends” letter

“Contrary Wife ” and “About running the wrong race” letter

“Farmer’s Daughter” and ” About life’s gold dust” letter

       ” Noon and Light” and “About sounding like your mother”

Total so far: 28 squares completed.

2 thoughts on “Dear Daughter

  • Friday 16 October, 2015 at 8:28 am

    I really like your suggestion here for communicating with daughter. I am quilter, knitter and mother as well and my baby girl was 22 in May this year and I still keep my mother/daughter radar on even though she thinks she is all grown up. This is because she is in a new learning phase and I wont abandon her to trial and error, I still keep myself available to her. And today while waiting for the vet to arrive to see her horse, we had the “about being perfect” chat again … yes again because she is now at university in the 3rd year and can be a bit of hard taskmaster on herself. I love the rest of your website as well, I live rural with hubby, two dogs, five cats and have a 20 minute drive to town … so I have the best of both worlds – work in town four days a week and enjoy living between two farms three days a week. Would have been sewing all day today but had to go to the equestrian centre to await the vets arrival … and like human doctors, he was running late … should have taken some hexies with me to do in the car.

    • Friday 16 October, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      Ha! Yes, taking a few hexies with you is a good idea. I like the idea that I will continue to have these conversations with my daughter, as well as the other two children. I hope her quilt and letters will go with her when she does leave home, as a reminder. You sound like your life is a modern day version of the original Farmer’s Wife letters. How lovely to be able to enjoy town as well as countrylife. I hope you continue to enjoy your quilting and mother/daughter time. Thank you for taking the time to comment.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow by Email