Thursday, February 25, 2021

Pieces From The Past - The Pride of Ohio

This letter from 1949 was written 3 years after the closure of Camp Trinidad.  Three years!  It is the last of the letters that Phillip and Katie received from the men that worked in their sugar beet fields. 

Riesa, Jan 30, 1949

Very honored Mr. Schleich!

Please forgive if I allow myself to approach you with a very large request.  It is well known to you that we do not lie on a bed of roses here, and in this way to tell you how pleased we would be and how much good it would be to our bellies, if you could have sent to our address a care package with urgently needed foodstuffs, mainly cooking fat.  Our dear God blesses you richly for your good heart.

Our son-in-law Gotthart Hauswold worked for you as a POW and he always praised how well he liked working for you and how you treated him like your own son.  Unfortunately he has been very ill for a long time and urgently needs better and more food.    I most politely implore you, grant this motherly request.  God Almighty has inspired me to approach you and will richly reward you for your good work, if you have some food sent to us.

Heartfelt thanks in advance, very honored Mr. Schleich, for the good deed that you hopefully do for us in our need,  

Most sincerely yours,

Mrs. Marie Lomtscher 

One last heartbreaking letter...  Honestly, I'm not sure I could take much more heartbreak.  😭

Post Master, Mase Hauswold, wrote on his son's behalf in January, 1947 (Block #14 - The Owl Quilt).  Gotthart Hauswold, himself, wrote to Phillip and Katie later that same year, in November (Block #16 - The Corner Star Block).  And this final, desperate plea from his Mother-in law, Margarete, two years after the first request for help was made.  

Phillip and Katie had worked hard raising sugar beets for Mr. Bob O'Brian and after several years they had managed to save enough money for them to purchase a 63-acre farm of their own between Model and Trinidad.  Their mailing address was simply Route 1, Trinidad, Colorado - as noted on the envelope to the left.

Under the current postal regulations this letter to Phillip and Katie would have never arrived in their mail box since forwarding orders for mail are in place for only 6 months.  Is it possible that more letters never arrived simply because they moved?  Were there letters that were "returned to sender"?  We will never know...

How difficult it must have been for Gotthart and his loved ones to be so desperate to set aside their pride and basically beg for assistance.  Asking for help is one of the most difficult things to do.  Yet when we make the decision to do so, the reward is often two-fold, the one needing help has needs met and the one fulfilling the request is rewarded with a feeling of satisfaction and even joy.  Remember, it is in the giving that we receive.

As I read that Gotthart had told his family how much he liked working for Phillip and how he had even been treated like a son, my personal feeling of pride rose up.  Knowing that, though Phillip and Katie had, at times, barely enough to feed their own three growing sons, yet they shared what little they had generously with the men from the POW Camp.  They left a lasting impression on lives that were lived on the other side of the world and it makes me proud.

It makes me not only proud, but it inspires me to try to be a better person and carry on such a legacy. For this reason the block named Pride of Ohio was selected as the final block of this sew along.

When your block is completed, you can assemble row #3.  You will need three 2-1/2" x 12-1/2" sashing strips to be sewn into place between the blocks.  You should have a sashing strip at the bottom of the row 2, as well as the top of row 4, so you are ready to add row 3.  In case you missed the cutting instructions for the sashing strips...

Additional cutting directions for sashing strips...

Row 1 - cut three 2-1/2" x 12-1/2" strips 
Row 2 - cut four 2-3/4" x 9-1/2" strips
Row 3 - cut three 2-1/2" x 12-1/2" strips
Row 4 - cut two 3-1/2" x 16-1/2" strips 
Row 5 - cut three 2-1/2" x 12-1/2" strips

Horizontal sashing - 4 strips 2-1/2" x 54" long.  Unless you are using extra wide muslin, you will need to have a seam in the sashing between rows.

Don't forget to come back and link up for the opportunity to win a free fat quarter.  Be sure to use the hashtag #PiecesFromThePastSewAlong and tag me on IG - @MelvaLovesScraps or on fb at Melva Loves Scraps.  I love seeing all of your blocks!

Be sure that you join me one last time on March 18th for the final wrap-up of the Pieces From The Past Sew Along series.  I will share some details of the dismantling of the POW Camp, a reunion that was held in 1964, and the final cutting instructions for the final borders and binding of the quilt.  At that time I will have a final link up opportunity for you to share your finished quilt tops.  Those who link up their finished tops will have a chance to win a copy of the Kansas City Star Quilt Sampler book from C&T Publishing... actually, there are FIVE copies available!  And good news!  The chance to win a pattern book will not be limited to US addresses only.  

As you go about your life, I encourage you, challenge you even, to make a difference in the world by being kind to those around you.  Your actions, your smile, and your kindness can be something that someone else may hang onto for years to come!  

Before you leave though... Leave a comment about a small way YOU make a difference to those around you.

Me?  I always return my cart to the store or a cart corral and at times I will let others check out before me... especially if there is a parent with a restless little one, I will allow them to go first.  I remember like it was yesterday how challenging it could be to take small ones shopping. :)

Keep Piecing!


Linking with:

Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
BOMs Away at What A Hoot Quilts
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
Friday Foto Fun at Powered by Quilting
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts
UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland


  1. Wow, finally at the end. I will miss these posts and I thank you for all your hard work in putting this together. I never did get a chance to sew up the last block. I had all the cutting done, but haven't gone back to the sewing room because it's been so cold and the sewing room is the coldest in the house. The weather is a bit warmer now, so I will do both blocks at the same time.

  2. Quite an incredible journey following this series of have brought me back to understanding a different era and realizing how fortunate I am today despite the strange time we live in. Thank you for this sew along...a very generous kindness on your part!

  3. We too return carts to the corral or store and let someone with only a few items check out in front of us. What an awesome ending to this series. What a blessing Phillip and Katie were to those young men. Thank you for sharing all of these letters with us, Melva.

  4. Grocery stores now ask if you want to round up your purchase to the nearest dollar, with the amount going to a charity. I do this, as well as give generous tips on my take out orders from local restaurants. Every little bit helps someone.

  5. Melva, this has been such a fun sew-along to watch-along, even though I've not been participating!

  6. Saya selalu mengumpulkan kain bekas menjahit. Dan hasilnya bisa untuk selimut, penutup meja, dan kreatifitas lain.

  7. Thank you so much for giving us such an insight into a major historical event through the eyes and pens of ordinary people.
    At the moment my main courtesy is to step off pavements to keep the prescribed social distance between myself and people walking in the opposite direction. I try and do this with a smile but there are times when people pass by oblivious to me and my muddy shoes so I don't always do it with good grace!

  8. When I am out shopping and come upon an upset toddler/baby in a cart I make faces, smile, and try to get them to laugh, wave at them. It often works, the blues goes away because at last SOMEONE is paying attention to them. No more upset child, and the store is in harmony once again.

  9. Oh wow - first - really cool block!, second - the heartbreak. I often wonder what their political opinions were - Did they are first support the leadership and then learn how bad things really were, mostly the historical part of their feelings...nice things? hmmm I fed my Husband hahahaha! Just kidding!!!

  10. Thank you for this special QAL - I have enjoyed reading all your posts, and must say how special it has all been - thank you. I am currently undergoing Chemo, but do my best to look after my 87 year old Mum (with her help during this time), the fatigue is the worst. But I have also been able to help someone in line to pay for groceries - she found herself short of funds, and said she would go and check the car - without hesitation, I just made up the difference. She was so thankful - but it wasn't anything really. Funny thing, the cashier said I made her day as well. We all have to help each other. Life is too short. Take care, and thanks again for sharing.

  11. Thank you Melva for the QAL, and those letters back from 1930"s. Now we have COVID-19, I have made many face masks for school students and friends. One little boy who has Autism wouldn't keep his mask longer than 15 minutes, I made a reindeer face mask with soft flannel and he could keep it on for half day when he stay at school! I am so happy that I could help somebody using my sewing skill.