Wednesday night I finished setting together the blocks for my Farmer’s Wife quilt. Honestly, I just wasn’t prepared for the emotions I felt as I was sewing the final seams. My first Farmer’s Wife post (here) was June 8, 2011, so this quilt took nearly 16 months to get to this stage.
I loved making this quilt…more than I think I can express with simple words. It’s not perfect, but it is complete. And I learned. And I loved this journey. And I am going to use this quilt! I can’t wait!
My quilt actually looks a little different than this now. I had to take off the bottom row, separate the blocks, and add them all to the right side of the quilt so it will work for a king-sized bed (I did that Thursday afternoon after taking the photos). All I have left to do is pick out border and binding fabrics and try to find 10 yards of Fig Tree fabric on sale for the backing!
One of the reasons this quilt is so near and dear to my heart is that I actually do come from a long line of farmer’s wives. As a girl, I grew up hearing my Mom tell of the wonderful days of her youth spent in Iowa surrounded by grandparents and family and farms.
This is my maternal great-grandmother, Virginia Lee Fitzgarrald Bice (photo taken on her wedding day). She was a farmer’s wife; my great-grandfather raised Brown Swiss dairy cows. I remember visiting their home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa as a young girl. My great-grandmother was the first person to teach me how to do dishes. I still remember how grown-up I felt standing on a stool next to her in her kitchen as she told me how important it was to clean and rinse the dishes well. I have her sewing machine and one of her quilts in my home today and am reminded of her every time I walk into my family room.
And this is her mother, Emma Acelia Wakefield Fitzgarrald (all of my Mayflower ancestors come through her lineage). Emma, my great-great grandmother, was also a farmer’s wife. She made many, many quilts. Much of the fabric she used in her quilts was paid for with her “egg-money” and picked out by her husband from the Dry Goods store when he went to town each week. I happen to have several of her quilts in my home now that are on loan from my Grandmother. Emma made many of the same types of quilts that I appreciate and also left dozens of beautiful Dresden plate blocks that have since been made into lovely generational quilts.
And finally, this is my other maternal great-great grandmother (my grandmother’s father’s mother), Mary Gilchrist Bice. Mary was a farmer’s wife and was also a prolific quilter. Not only do we have her quilts in our family today, but we also have some of her journals which occasionally mention her quilts!
Thanks so much for coming along with me on my Farmer’s Wife journey! I so appreciate all of the encouragement and comments along the way! I’ll be sure to share again after this quilt is quilted and bound.
Thanks so much for stopping by today!