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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Where Poppies Grow in November

I see I have been remiss in not always remembering to tell you the name of each of these blocks. Sorry about that. For November the block we were given is titled Mothers Dream.
 As you can see from the photos I have had a big problem in photographing my block this month. Additionally, I set myself up for a big challenge with my fabric choices.

Moving right along. In the back story for the block this month, Denniele again talks about the death of Almo (the focal character for this project who was also her great grandfather).

As you might remember, I am making my quilt to honor the service of my grandfather, James Patrick Coughlan. He was a survivor of the Great War and came home again much to the relief of his mother Caroline.
 Here I am showing you that a few short years after the war, this photograph was sent, with a hand written inscription "with love from Richard and Jimmie to Grandma C". (Jimmie and Richard are James Patrick's sons.)
Up close, the taller/older boy is my Dad, James William Coughlan with his younger brother Richard.

This project has now given us 11 blocks with just one more to come before we must set our blocks together and turn this project into a finished quilt. While I am looking forward to the last block I will be sorry for the project to come to an end as I have enjoyed very much the challenge of sewing some lesser known blocks that require a good amount of skill.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Where Poppies Grow in October

This was not a block for the fainthearted! I made it twice. And wondered about making it a third time until I had a stern discussion with myself.
When done well this is a good looking block. But the way to make it involves the use of templates which takes some of us back more than a couple of decades when everything was made that way.

I made my first version while away on a retreat with my quilt guild. In packing my things to go I had carefully printed the downloaded pattern from Pickledish and, to be sure I had everything, I also went to Blockbase and printed out their templates. It took me several hours to make the block and then I packed it away. Alas, once I got home and laid my 9 1/2" ruler on top my block was not up to size and I had to make the decision to start over.

Denniele, the designer, had also perhaps had some experience with this because she had redrafted the templates and, oh happy day, using those required straight line piecing and not the set in seams using the blockbase templates. So for version two I used Denniele's templates. Result? A correctly sized block.
For a fun photo I decided to play a little with the name of the block. The sun was strong and casting good shadows so I laid my block down and accessorized it with a red and a blue "dove".

Looking at Grandpop's service record for the month of October I find that he was appointed to the rank of Temporary Corporal on October 28, 1916. On October 2, 1917 he was attached to the base at Etaples and later in that month he was posted to the 3rd and then the 1st Battalion, Otago Regiment.

Sadly, in the writeup for the October block in the Remembering Almo project we discover that Almo O'Kell, in whose memory this project was created, died of peritonitis on January 12, 1919 while still in Europe and thus was never reunited with his family.

With only two more blocks for this project I wonder what else we will find out about Almo's service.