Thursday, March 7, 2024

Pieces of My Life ~ Bow

This sew along, like the Pieces in the Garden, is loosely based on the  tradition and story of "The Bride's Quilt".

In olden days, it was traditional for young girls to make a “Baker’s Dozen” (13) quilts by their wedding day.  The patterns, often handed down from generation to generation, were usually planned when the girl was very young; and, as soon as she could hold a needle, she would start sewing her first quilt.  The last (or 13th) quilt was the fanciest of all.  After a girl became engaged, she would invite her friends to a party to quilt the top of this “Bride’s Quilt” … and in this way she would announce her engagement.

The patterns in this “Bride’s Quilt have been chosen to tell the following story…

“Bride’s Quilt”

Once upon a time, there was a little girl, who wore a bow in her hair.  When she grew up, she began a friendship with a young bachelor.  As the hours and days passed, they began to look at each other with stars in their eyes, and as their love grew, they thought about taking steps to the altar.  So, the young girl got out her spools of thread and made clothes to get ready for their wedding ring day.

After they are married, some of their times together will be bright as noon and others will be dark as night.  But they will try to share their happiness, their miseries and their chores – she grabbing a wrench to help with household repairs and he grabbing a towel to help with the dishes.  Sometimes they will have broken dishes, but they will try to remember that “things” can be replaced, whereas harsh words, possibly spoken about the broken dishes, could chip away love.  They will try to follow the Golden Rule as they are learning to communicate openly with each other.

They will also try to keep in mind the symbolism of Jacob’s ladder – “steps of communication” between themselves on earth and God in heaven.

As I consider the stories and memories of my life, I am choosing to keep the details private since many of the answers could be answers to security questions and such... I would guess that much of it could probably be found easily by those not-so-nice people that like to steal, use and sell such data, but I don't need to serve it to them on a silver platter.

I was named after my Dad, Melvin.  I had an older brother, Kelvin, also named after him.

As a young girl, I had long hair and wore barrettes nearly every day. I had box with an assortment of ribbons and bows that I could choose from as well.

Here's a photo of me at age 5, with a bow peeping over the top of my hair.

I recall my Mom fixing my hair each day.  I always got my choice of style... one ponytail, pigtails, half-pony... but never braids...did I want a barrette or bow?  I'm not sure what the reason for not being allowed to have braids.  Hmmm... 

As I got older, my hair was much longer.  I hated riding in the back of the truck because of my long hair.  It was always in my face and it was a terrible experience trying to get the tangles out... and it would tangle horribly!  I still don't like the wind in my hair.  Don't bother giving me an invitation to ride in a convertible.

As you assemble this block make note that the half-square triangles (HSTs) you will want to pay close attention to the direction that you press the seams.

The units should be pressed 1/2 one direction, and 1/2 the opposite direction.  Pay close attention to your layout so that the seams will nest together, reducing bulk in the seams. Once the block is assembled, you can press the final seams open.

Time for you to grab the pattern!  Head over to my Payhip store to download it.

The newsletter, via e-mail, will have three pages of questions to accompany this block.  I am still trying to figure out the details of the newsletter mailings, so please, be patient.  We will be on our camping trip when the second pattern is scheduled to be released (March 28th).  Unless I get the process of scheduling the newsletter, it will not be emailed until the beginning of April, after our return.

When you have your block complete be sure to come back to share in the block parade.  If you don't have a blog or don't use social media but would like to share your block send me an email.  I'll be sure to link you up.

I don't have any prizes to entice bribe you with this time, but I do hope that won't stop you from sharing. :)

Keep Piecing,


Linking with:



  1. I hope I can follow along with you. This is such a wonderful project.

  2. You always come up with the best ideas for quilts with a history. Looking forward to hopefully working on this sooner than later.

  3. Aaah such sweet photos of you as a youngster and how interesting to learn who you was named after. I was a "bow /barrette" gal too. I remember the long bows like you were wearing. We wanted them in every colors. I am so excited about the new SAL. Thank you so much for sharing your story and the block with us. I am looking forward to working on this piece. Have a great weekend. Hugs.

  4. That is a cute picture of you as a child. Reminds me of one of me. When I was born, my mother thought I would be another boy and so they were unprepared with a name for a girl. My mom was out of it when the hospital asked what my name would be. He said the only name he could think of was Susan.

    I had long hair as a kid until I started kindergarten and my mom had it cut short (and permed) so it was easier and less time consuming on school days. That has been the only time in my life that my hair has been permed. I hated it. My mom would have our hair cut every year before school started. In Jr. High school I rebelled seeing as how I was taking care of it myself. I let it grow out long enough that I could pull it back into a pony tail. Then I started letting it grow longer and longer, getting a trim about twice a year. I often had offers to buy or people telling me I could sell my hair. I refused. In 1996 I began donating it--first to Locks of Love, but then to Wigs for Kids when Locks of Love started charging the families for the wigs. My last donation was 21 inches and I am on track to meet that again later this summer.

    I always enjoy the stories that go along with your blocks. I probably won't be able to actually get started on this right away due to other commitments, but I will be collecting the blocks and following along on the journey.

    Susan (14 the money at duck dot com).

  5. I'm looking forward to your latest series of blocks. I know I'll have fun reading and sewing with you.

  6. Hi Melva, I love your story. Your photo brings back memories of similar looks and head tilts! I have made the first block and am working on the post. Thank you for the pattern and the material for the SAL!

  7. Thank you for this! I did start a folder on the computer, a project file in EQ8 and have a group of fabrics left from a friends quilt that may be just the ticket!

  8. That is a fun block - and fun memories

  9. Fun to read about little Melva and her tangly hair! My HSTs are made and just need trimming. Back soon to link up the first block!

  10. Hi Melva. Thank you doing this. I found you through Linda. I have two blocks to finish in other QALs but yours will be after that. Enjoy your trip.

  11. Awe, you were adorable. Love your blocks, cant wait to see the finished quilt. Thank you for linking up to Put your foot down.