"Buttons and patches and the cold wind blowing,
The days pass quickly when I am sewing"
~Author Unknown

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Down on the farm.....

Time to visit the farm again. Tonight the farmer's wives...meaning my quilt group...will gather round the table and share their choices for their first blocks. I am excited to see them all.

Each month, I translate a couple of the letters to Dutch from the book Farmer's Wife quilt sampler and test the blocks. Last month, they had 7 blocks to choose from and this month there are these eight blocks...

I am looking forward to thinking about deciding which fabric I will use for setting me blocks in this sampler. Once I have about half a year of blocks ready, I will be able to make some concrete decisions about what color to use for my sashing. The stack is growing in the meantime.

Holland is a small country but has much diversity in the 12 provinces that make it up. I have been including the various kinds of farm buildings in the monthly newsletters showing how different each area built their farms. A farm in Holland is unique in that the animals sleep in the 'deel' which is the barn section right in the house. There is only a door between the family and them. You can see some photos of Dutch farms on an entry I did last year from the open air museum in Arnhem. Just click here to read the entry.

Above is an oil painting by Jos Lussenburg entitled Farmer's wife darning socks. It shows a typical Dutch farm inside. Funny but we have lost so much of what was good in the world in the good old days. We throw away socks with a hole in them and a darning egg or mushroom is now considered a sewing antique. We are such a throw away society and just pitch the socks, run to the store and buy new ones. Am I crazy for thinking it would be fun to try darning a sock once? First I will have to get myself one of those antique darning eggs. *wink*

Speaking of eggs, here is a fun school blackboard saying from the 1920s farm life...

"Words spoken, like eggs broken, are hard to repair."

22 comments:

Willy said...

Prachtige blokken heb je gemaakt, mooie kleuren combinatie. Leuk verhaal bij je Farmerswife quilt.
Die oude boerderijen zijn prachtig om te zien. Het Markerhuisje is wel één van mijn favoriete huisjes.
Lieve groet

Christine said...

Lovely quilt blocks!
I wouldn't know where to start darning a sock!

Michele said...

Very interesting post! :)

Jenny said...

I love the Farmers Wife quilt sampler and the blocks you are making. It is always so much fun to see all the different blocks and how quickly they add up,whether I am the one sewing them or my friends. You are doing a great job as usual. I was really drawn to the painting as well and I agree with you all the way....we are such a throw away society, my Grandmother taught me to darn but like you if I was going to try this I would first have to find the egg....sounds like an Easter egg hunt...grins...I am happy dancing big time here in Ca. and will be sending an email with pics soon. Have a fun quilt group and hugs from CA.

Pondside said...

I'll still darn the odd sock, if it's from a favorite pair. The truth is, though, that much of what we buy is not well made at all, and hardly worth mending. I learned to darn as a Brownie - it's a great skill!

anneke said...

I remember my mother repeatedly darning socks... but I throw them out. The reason: I sometimes got the chore to repair a sock too! And how much we tried, the darned socks were not as nice as they were before. We can afford to throw them out, so we do. Or use it as a base for puppets...

Quilt Hollow said...

Beautiful blocks....and you are making me miss my time spent in The Netherlands!!

Jo said...

Gorgeous quilt blocks (turns green with quilt envy)... hope you have a lovely group quiting session :)

Susan in SC said...

Darning socks! I see a new hobby in your future!

mainely stitching said...

I have a darning egg!

As for the barns attached to the house, after this crazy winter, I would LOVE to have the barn separated by nothing more than a door!

The quilt blocks just knock me over, they are so lovely.

Jackie said...

Beautiful Farmers Wife blocks. The fabrics you picked out really work. How nice of you to translate so many block patterns each month.

You can rest assured that should any of my handknit socks get holes in them, that I will be darning them or picking up stitches and repairing them.

DebbieSFL said...

A good excuse to buy and "antique" sewing tool!!! LOL

DonnaTN said...

You had a really productive weekend. I love your wristies. Many years ago my Mom taught me to darn socks, but I have forgotten how to do it. Now I just sew the hole together because I hate to throw out perfectly good socks that just have a hole where my big toes stick up, which may be too much information! Can't wait to see this year's quilt club offerings.

Elizabethd said...

I still have three of my Grandma's darning 'mushrooms' as they were known. I cant say that I darn socks nowadays, but she did teach me how to do it properly.

Rian, said...

Hallo Heidi, Leuk dat je reageerde op mijn blog. Je deed dat in goed nederlands, dus ondanks dat je blog helemaal engels is ga ik maar niet moeilijk doen met "school" engels. Leuk dat je ook klost. en nog leuker dat je dat samen met een vriendin kunt doen. Ik heb helemaal geen "handwerk" kennissen, ook mijn dochters niet, dus ik zit altijd maar alleen te prutsen... Leve internet, want zo kun je toch op een bepaalde manier samen genieten. Vraagje: dat kantje op het Christmaskussen, heb je dat ook zelf geklost?
Ik kom nu regelmatig langs hoor, om naar je werk te kijken.
Groetjes,
Rian

Daniëlle said...

Love the fabrics you are using on those great little blocks! happy sewing, hugs, Daniëlle

Susan said...

Love the blocks Heidi.

Also interesting reading about the painting. Interestingly enough I did just that about 2 months ago - darning. But not socks. I had a lovely light weight pink jumper I bought in England over 20 years ago. I do still fit in it!!!

However, some silverfish attacked a small part on the sleeve just under my wrist. So I darned it and it worked out perfectly.

Regards,

Mel said...

What a beautiful painting!

Great quilt blocks, love the colors...

We share the same building with our horses, and chickens, only separated by a door and storage area.

Karen said...

I have the book but have not made one block yet. Nice to see your very well made blocks.

Siobhan said...

Okay, here's a 'oh my goodness, what a weirdo' factoid about me... I darn my socks, because I am very particular about what socks I wear. I don't like them super tight on my legs but don't like them to fall down, either--hard to do with sausage legs!

The blocks are beautiful!

Nancy said...

sorry, I already threw my socks away. I remember my Mom darning them. No, I will not start that. Socks are very cheap to buy and darned socks are not comfortable.
Love you, Mom
Love the quilt squares and the picture

Kara said...

I usually darn socks once, and then if they get a hole again, I toss them. I do not have a darning egg (I wish I did) I use an incandescent light bulb.