Saturday, July 9, 2016

Westering Women #6: Hill and Hollow; Mail Call

Finished my June block for the Westering Women BOM.  Barbara named this block Hill and Hollow, and her historical references for the block cited the change of topography when one reaches the Nebraska panhandle. Having traveled across Nebraska many times over the years, I can imagine by the time many wagon trains reached that area it was mid-to-late summer, hot and dusty, and those hills and hollows, not to mention ruts in the trail were dusty and brown - much like the trail across each quadrant of my block. Dark distant hills, and flowers along the trail dry and their colors muted by the layer of fine dirt covering everything along the way, kicked up by thousands of pack animals and wagon wheels passing by.

While stitching this block I had lamented my choice of medium values for the hills and hollows, but now I'm rather liking the effect.

I wonder how many of us today would be sturdy enough to endure that long, long journey without any of the comforts of home and family, neighbors and their sisterhood of quilters.

We are now half way through this BOM celebrating the women who took part in this westward migration.  I am in awe of their courage and steadfastness in the face of incredible hardship and danger.

Over the past few days the mailbox has once again been filled with sweet surprises. A copy of Julie Sefton's new book Build-A-Barn, No Pattern Construction arrived via a blog giveaway from Cathy who blogs at Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting whose unique barn was featured in this post.  Cathy is a charter member of Julie's Secret Society of Barn Builders who tested the process notes for Julie's book and are featuring their barn creations at an ongoing blog hop.  You can visit Julie and learn more about this fun new book and the blog hop at Julie's blog here and her new book's very own blog here. I've been collecting photos of barns during our travels, and with fall being my favorite season, and New York being a big apple-growing state, I think I just found the perfect fabric to accessorize my first barn-building attempt.  The question remains, will I find any maple sugaring fabric for a springtime barn?

Last, but certainly not least, yesterday's mail brought this bundle of mini-charm packs from Sue Brain who blogs at suebee's World.   My first thought was a doll quilt for these cute little prints, but a set of special placemats for the grandkids' visits might also be in order.

Many thanks to both Julie and Sue for these very special giveaways!  Seems like a lot of new fun projects are on the to-do list.

We've had a little much-needed rain last night and earlier today, but a few rainy days would be more than welcome in these parts. Still, we have much to be thankful for, as we have not experienced the intense storms and flooding many are enduring.


  1. your Westering Women blocks look great.
    cute fabric bundles -
    we finally had rain too - hooray!

  2. After reading your description and thinking about dust and dirt filling the wagon ruts and pot holes along the trail, I think your fabric choices are spot on.

  3. I like the way your hill and hollow block turned out. It does look like what the real trail might have felt a bit like. You've had a great mail week. Now the real fun begins!

  4. Your fabric selections for the WW block illustrate the block nicely. Having participated in a few handcart trek reenactments, I know that I am more suited to modern life. : )
    You've had some fun mail. Cute little charm packs.

  5. I was watching a documentary the other day about a woman who left the east coast in a wagon while she was pregnant with her 7th child. As they crossed the Oregon border, she gave birth on the trail and kept on going to where they built a house, tamed the land and made a home. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I could not be that woman!!! If Indians or starvation - not to mention giving birth in a wagon after months of travel - didn't kill me, living in that wagon with a man and six kids for those same months would have LOL!!!

  6. You are SO welcome and I'm glad BUILD A BARN is already inspiring you to sift through your photos and fabrics. Can't wait to see what you create. As far as the little charms - I vote for placemats. TOO fun!

  7. I like your hill and hollow block. I think your color choices are just fine. That's an interesting quilt. I love quilts that teach us about history. One of these days I'm going to get back to my Pony Express quilt, on the back burner for quite a while now.

  8. I love your blocks - I haven't made the last one yet as my sewing time is very limited. We talked about wagon trains recently, since our trip from Florida to Oregon took 7 long days of driving and although the scenery was wonderful, it was tiring to travel. Can't imagine the trip in a wagon. I've read a lot of books about the trip in wagons and find it fascinating, but don't think I would want to do it. Hee Hee! You received some lovely items in the mail. The barn book looks interesting. I love barns too, but that is another quilt I have never made - not even one block. Maybe one day! BTW, our weather has been amazing this past week - cool and sunny with some rain sprinkled in. I hope it continues. My DIL has been amazed and Abby is thrilled to see deer just about every day right in our neighborhood!

  9. Oh my goodness Pat, I love how you imagined the story of the Westering Women going through Kansas and how you reflected that feeling in your Hill and Hollow block. You could write a historical novel, the way you have a gift for painting a picture with words. I love how your block turned out.
    You've been a lucky duck with the giveaways. I love Julie's book!


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