Monday, May 25, 2009

Decoration Day

My Father, Cpl Leroy Dykstra, US Army, service 1952-1954.

My Father-in-law, Edward Davis, US Navy, service 1955-1961

My Grandfather, Pvt Jerry Dykstra, US Army, service 1918.

Cynthia Meerdink, my grandmother, far left, with other members of the girls society at First Reformed Church in Hull, Iowa, sewing a service banner for our church, during the Great War. It and the one for the Second World War were still hanging in the church when I was a young girl in the 1960s.

I urge you to spend some time reading stories at my sister's site Wartime Remembrances.

past work

I made this Jacob's Ladder quilt in 1997. Seth was a newborn and I bought the wonderful background print on one of our first outings. I hired a neighbor girl to watch him for a hour a day so I could get back to quilting. It has one of my few attempts at applique.

Eve was given this Blackford's Beauty with a mulberry print for her 7th birthday the next year. I love the backing for it.
Both were hand quilted by my parents' neighbor Augusta Bolks.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I like how it turned out--sweet and not too saccharine.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

letter box in progress

McCall's June issue has a quilt made with 6 by 12 inch finished letter box blocks. I am adapting it a bit and using my wonderful light plaids and stripes.
It is interesting how it needs some of the more intense/darker/greyed fabrics to make it work. I have about 1/3rd of the blocks made.

Center cut 2" by 4 1/2", first round 1 1/2 by 4 1/2", 2 1/2 by 4 1/2", final round 1 1/2 by 8 1/2", 2 1/2 by 6 1/2".

Monday, May 18, 2009

added border

Yes, this quilt needed the border.
(It is the pattern I lifted from Tazzie's site)
I added nine-patches of plaids around the center and am much happier--sometimes a quilt just needs to be bigger to push it into becoming a better quilt.
I am getting some quilts back from my longarm quilter and will post them as I bind them.

This one, Common, has been claimed by Seth who loves this quilt.
I am almost finished getting the plaids under control--and that leads to me working with them, which yields its own chaos. I am working with lighter/pastel plaids right now--fitting for these beautiful spring days we have been enjoying in Chicago.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

happy birthday, Janna

We celebrate my sister Janna's birthday today. I've always admired her work as a teacher and librarian and organist, her flexibility being a career army wife, and her raising three great nephews for me, but I am most grateful for her bravery, demonstrated when we were children, scaring the chickens out of their roosting boxes so I could gather the eggs.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


It is Mothers Day and our mother had flowers to wear to church! They were beautiful and delivered on time to the correct Henrietta, and with no threatening phone calls between any parties involved! A Mothers Day miracle!
The photograph is of my mother sewing my wedding gown 25 years ago this past March.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

scrappy blocks idea of Tazzie

Tazzie showed a quilt she made based on a friend's. I loved the look and did it with, of course, plaids. Again, using up all my red and having to get more!
I made mine with three units all finishing 6 inches (6 1/2" unfinished), a square, a rail fence, and a 9-patch.
Cut sizes of pieces: a 6 1/2 inch plaid square; a nine-patch made from 2 1/2 inch squares, all plaid except for a red square in the center; a rail fence with a 2 1/2 by 6 1/2 inch red center, three 2 1/2 cut plaid squares on each side.
Like Tazzie, I am also contemplating adding making a border with 9 patches of plaids.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

much better

Yes, another 18 blocks makes me happier with this quilt.
This red has shown up in so many quilts here--I chose it at first because I had a length of it, more than any other solid. But, not quite enough, so I bought more to finish and used it in about 3 others. Now I am making another and ran out again, so I will be buying some more. I rarely used solids before this last year when I seem to be drawn more to them again.
The red is a Kona Cotton. The dye lots change a bit, but that is ok with the style of quilts I've been making.