Thursday, September 7, 2017

Grandma's Kitchen, block #11: Peppermint Swirls

We are nearing the halfway point in Pat Sloan's mystery quilt along, Grandma's Kitchen. This week I steered way off from the theme of candy. I'll explain how I got here in a minute.

Block 11 is called Peppermint Swirls and is inspired by the peppermint candy that filled her Na-Na's purse.

I love the community on Pat's Facebook page. My fellow quilters inspire me with their interpretations of Pat's weekly blocks. I especially like how Glenda White made her candy M&Ms instead of peppermint swirls.

My goal has always been to make this a memory quilt about my Gramma Ann. While Pat is focusing on the kitchen, my Gramma had a whole bit life outside that room, so my blocks reflect that. I try to have some connection to the theme, but sometimes I wander...

Wandering Whistling Duck
When I first started this quilt, I would talk to my mom about Gramma. Then, when we were on vacation with my Aunt, I added her to the conversation. Now I have my mom and all four aunties chiming in with their thoughts and memories. 

When I told them about this week's themes, we talked about Gramma liking lemon bars, ice cream with chocolate sauce, sticky hard Christmas candy (I'm picturing the ribbon kind), little boxes of raisins she shared with her great-grandchildren, and chocolate covered peanuts, which I quickly dismissed as looking like poo in this block layout!

Then my aunt Mary reminded me that she loved turtle candy.

That made me think of real turtles.

...which reminded me that one year for her birthday or Mother's day, Gramma's five daughters pooled their money to give Gramma the gift of a zoo sponsorship at the Minnesota Zoo. For one year in the 80s Gramma was the not-particularly-proud patron of the Wandering Whistling Duck.

Fun fact #1: The wandering whistling duck used to be called a tree duck, but the name was changed to reflect the whistling sound it makes when calling and flies.

Fun fact #2: I'm pretty sure my mom and aunts picked the wandering whistling duck because of its name. 

Fun fact #3: Apparently Gramma was not impressed that her daughters spent money on a duck, but it provided a lot of laughs over the years, mostly over her response. And, in my mom and aunt's defense, since she grew up the wife of a game warden, caring for wildlife as a gift wasn't that much of a stretch. I know there was a picture of her taken by her name plate, but it was before the cloud and it seems to be lost forever.

Now, as far as making my block, I stuck with the applique theme. I started with the image of the duck from earlier in the post, and removed the background using PowerPoint. I kept the shadow because I wasn't sure at that point if I would use it or not. (I didn't).

I printed the image on fabric stabilized with freezer paper.

I trimmed it down into a tight rectangle before applying Heat N Bond Lite.

Then I trimmed the duck and shadow.

I used my standard white print background and water print for the background.

I added a 80s era Minnesota Zoo logo sign and sun.

I used a teeny tiny zigzag for the applique.

I know some people remove a layer of fabric when they applique. I haven't figured out how to do that when I use Heat N Bond, so that lesson will wait for another day.

My quilt blocks so far. As much as I'm loving my cactus in the window, I'm thinking it may be too dark. More to ponder...

Previous blocks:

If you'd like to see what I'm currently working on, follow me on Instagram at de Jong Dream House.

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  1. Love this with the comments. At the time we got moms sponsorship she was doing a lot of traveling with her lady friends to Europe and Mexico so we always called her the whistling wandering red headed duck!

    1. Thanks, Mom! It will be fun to you and the seesters add your memories and comments!

  2. Hi Jen,
    I am loving your adaptation of the GK blocks to fit your grandmother. I didn't know either of my grandmothers, but I am just following along but it sure means a lot more to you this way. ~smile~ Roseanne

  3. The best block so far! I love knowing the story behind it - makes it truly special. Bravo !

  4. I love this block and how your made it. I have to try it some day. I'm glad I'm not the only rebel in a QAL. I'm participating in another one and am finding if I don't want to do a particular block I'm going to design one of my own. Still haven't worked out the feeling of guilt yet; it's either that or being resentful. I rather be happy when quilting is involved.

    1. Rebel with me! :-) I figure I'm the one who is going to live with the quilt, so I want it to be personal to me. Besides, who wants to be the same as everyone else!?

  5. What a great way to honour your Gramma! The duck makes for a great block, and a great story. You could always make another dark block or two to balance the one dark one you have now.

  6. I love that you are customizing your blocks. What a fun memory. Thanks for linking up with Oh Scrap!

  7. Hearing the story behind the duck block is so interesting - this will truly be a memory quilt!

  8. That is such a great story behind the duck - it's going to take you days to tell everyone all about this quilt! Thank you for sharing!

  9. I love both your story and the nature aspect of your blocks. New favorite blog to come to for inspirations!

  10. What a wonderful way to remember your grandma. Love the pic of her admiring the memory quilt. Including references to her faith is also very precious to you, I can tell. That strong bond will never be broken and you two will laugh together in heaven one day. God bless you.


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