Introducing Father & Farmer
My latest design for Fons & Porter’s Quick + Easy Quilts was inspired by two things.
The first was a vintage quilt I saw on the auction site eBay. Tiny red triangles sparkled against dusty old tones, and I was smitten.
The second inspiration was my father.
His name was John Volk and he was a farmer here in Nebraska. He loved agriculture and he loved us. I could write a book about him, but for now let me tell you about his everyday attire.
My dad wore denim overalls and a blue chambray shirt. And he carried a bandana-patterned handkerchief in either bright red or navy blue. For all or our lives, day in and day out, we could count on this one thing. (Unless it was Sunday, but that’s another post.)
He died in 2011 at age 91, but I still have a pair of his overalls. I’d like to make something from them, but in the meantime, there is this quilt:
Father & Farmer
All of the blues and creams are from my stash, and they echo the colors I associate with Dad. And sewing from what I already have? That’s significant too, because my father was a child of the Depression. Born in 1920, he lived through some very lean times in the ’30s.
There’s a story about one of my brothers chiding him for saving what seemed like an excess of scrap wood behind a small building on the farm. And Dad went on a little rant about that, declaring that until we had lived through a time when you could not get the things you needed, we’d better zip it.
So I like to think that he’d approve of me pulling fabrics from my stash to make a quilt in his honor.
I made the quilt for a king-size bed, which is why it has a wider border at the bottom. Another row of blocks would have made it too large; this border brought it to just the size I wanted.
This issue is on newsstands now so I hope you’ll pick it up when you see it. I love the cover quilt by Nancy Mahoney called Weaving Stars. There’s an easy veteran-appropriate Quilt of Valor pattern, a nice baby quilt, a fabulous modern design called Tweens by Dodi Poulsen and much more.
If you prefer a digital issue (save the trees!) you can order it from Quilting Daily for $7.99. I’m always amazed by what a great value a magazine is. When a pattern costs at least $10 or $12, less than eight for a dozen projects is a steal.
Thank you for letting me think happy thoughts about my father today. He was a keeper.
Tags: easy quilts, fathers, fons and porter, original quilt designs, quilt design, scrap quilts, vintage quilts
I love hearing family stories and yours was very touching. I will go out and buy the magazine soon. Looking forward to seeing you in McCook Nebraska this year!!!
loved your words about your Dad, and our quilt seems most appropriate, as well as attractive
Your quilt inspired me! I love blue, I love patriotic and my father was a farmer here in Ohio. Thank you for your pattern and your story.
I love this. I made a memory quilt for a friend’s grandchildren from coveralls and chambray shirts. Great grandpa also had one bold plaid shirt – still blues – that made a great accent. I used the pockets of the shirts and tucked those red and blue bandanas in them. I managed to make two “pillows from the very tops of two shirts and the tops of the coveralls over them. I’m sure they couldn’t lay on them with all the buckles, but they hugged them a lot. Thanks for the good memories, both yours and mine.
Love the quilt. I just bought the digital magazine. Hugs
My Dad wore the same !! Like the quilt.
Our fathers were born the same year, but yours reminds me of my grandfather. Always had striped overalls (two pairs, one always smelled like the barn).
I asked my parents one time what it was they did have during the Depression and what they didn’t have. Both growing up on a farm, they said there always was enough to eat, it was just ‘stuff’ that they didn’t have. New clothes, new shoes, probably new equipment or tools, gas or tires for a vehicle if you were lucky enough to have one, those were all hard to come by.
I was reading another blog today and she was showing a feed sack quilt that she was repairing, hand pieced with a very heavy ‘string’. Someone wrote in and told her, the ‘string’ was the thread what was used to stitch up a feed sack. She had a golf ball compared to a huge ball of ‘string’. Waste not, want not. Every paper bag, piece of string, rubber band…. never knew what you would need or find in the junk drawer.
My grandfather dressed the same way…every day. He was born 1895 in rural Eastern Iowa. I also own and treasure a pair of his overalls.
Pat in WNY
My grandfather was born in Poland in 1895, immigrated to the US as a teenager, served in France during WW1, then farmed in WNY for the rest of his life. He was nearly always dressed in overalls like your dad’s, your story reminded me so much of him. A wonderful tribute quilt, I hope to make one similar when I finish a couple others currently occupying the design wall.
Loved your story. My Uncle Jake always wore overalls. For everyday wear, he wore ticking overalls. He saved his blue denim overalls for more formal occasions.