March 4, 2013

So God Made a Farmer's Wife

Have you seen the Ram Truck commercial from the Super Bowl? If not, or even if you have seen it before, I suggest taking three minutes to watch it on YouTube. It's pretty powerful!

The commercial has received negative attention since it first aired. Some say it does not depict the lives of today's farmers and others say it does not represent well enough the physical diversity among people in the profession. Personally, I loved the commercial! I couldn't stop thinking about my own grandfather and how hard he worked on the family farm. Here he is at age 95 showing off the quilt I made for him.

I also couldn't help but think about the woman behind him - the equally as amazing and hard-working person, my grandmother. This grandmother is the original owner of the first sewing machine I inherited and is also the namesake for my current sewing machine, Jane. Every time I have watched this commercial I think about the creation of a farmer's wife: the demands that are placed on her, the physical labor required of the household, and the effort put into raising a family. 

If you have been lurking around quilt blogs for the past year you can probably imagine what is coming next....I am going to be starting my own Farmer's Wife!! The Farmer's Wife sampler quilt has been popular in the traditional and modern quilting communities since the book was published in 2009. 

In 1922, The Farmer's Wife magazine offered an essay contest to readers. Women were to write their response to the following question: "If you had a daughter of marriageable age, would you, in the light of your own experience, want her to marry a farmer?" The book I have, written by Laurie Aaron Hird, highlights passages from the 42 winning essays and provides two quilt blocks for each author. The sampler quilt has a total of 111 traditional blocks, however, I don't plan to construct all of them because I am not making a full sampler quilt. I hope to highlight each week the progress I have made on these blocks. I can't wait to share this journey with you! Expect to see my first quilt blocks this week. 

And, in conclusion, I must pay homage to the hard working women behind a farmer, the farmer's wife. Or, in this particular instance, one very special farmer's wife. This will only make sense if you watched the commercial above...

So God Made a Farmer's Wife

And on the ninth day, God looked down at his creation and said, “I need a caregiver.” So God made a farmer’s wife.

God said, “I need someone who can survive the passing of a husband, loss of eight pregnancies, and the death of a son. Who can acknowledge her sorrow, sigh a heavy breath, and then turn around to raise seven more children.” So God made a farmer’s wife.

God said, “I need somebody with a creative mind: who can cook, and mend, and iron, and clean, plant a garden, make bread, launder clothes, feed babies, change diapers, sew and knit, prepare meals, and drive around like a taxi, and all the while thanking the lord for the blessings in her life. I need somebody who can spend the day by the stove to have dinner prepared by noon and supper waiting on the table when her husband makes it back from the fields.” So God made a farmer’s wife.

God said, “I need somebody with a loving soul. Someone who can care for her father, a stepmother, a husband, 8 children, dogs, animals, grandchildren, and other family members, and keep herself healthy and strong.” So God made a farmer’s wife.

It had to be somebody who would add beauty to this world. Beauty in her grace and love, in the family she has reared, in the stitched clothes, and trees, and perfectly rolled piecrust. So God made a farmer’s wife.

Somebody who would look down from heaven with a smile, and tears in her eyes, while generation after generation of women look to their mothers and say, “I want to be just like grandma.” So God made a farmer’s wife. 


  1. What an undertaking! Good luck on this endeavor. I had not seen the commercial and between that and the words about the wife and the farming families that I know, it brought a tear to my eye!
    Linda F.

  2. That is the most beautiful tribute to your Grandma you could have ever written. She would love it!! You knew her so well, even though you only had her with you for 12 years. It's probably because you are so much like her. :)

  3. Chris Marcum EvansMarch 6, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    I think your grandmother is looking down and smiling a smile that you and your mom remember from her years of watching her family become the strong men and women they have become. I know your mom from High school,,along time ago,, and she was a strong and caring person then and she has passed on that trait to her daughter..I commend you and good luck. and God Bless,,, Because God did indeed make a farmer.

  4. I saw the Super Bowl commercial "God made a farmer" and instantly thought of your Grandpa (of course). I didn't know your Grandma (my loss) but this seems so perfect. Your Mom couldn't read this to me, and now I why. Thanks for helping us all smile and tear up at the same time - you are gifted writer.

  5. Sarah Pitstick AdkinsMarch 6, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Ahhh, very well said and oh so true! Where would a farmer be without a devoted farm wife. Your Grandma and Grandpa, my Aunt Jane and Uncle Art were very special people. I love the idea of a sampler quilt to commemorate your Grandma. As a fellow quilter, I know how much work goes into making a quilt and how much joy there is in completing it. What a special way to remember her. I am sure she will be smiling down on you as you sew! I will look forward to seeing pictures of it.
    And by the way, I love the commercial too!! It was my favorite Super Bowl commercial this year.

  6. Great story and I am looking forward to seeing how your quilt patches will be created and assembled to make modern quilts with the Farmer's Wife as their inspiration.

  7. Your post is very moving, Anna. You make all your family proud.

  8. This is lovely!

    Also, one of these days, I want to do the Farmers Wife quilt too!

  9. Thanks for the great project bag that came in the mail today! Hope all is going well.