Dear Daughter Block of the Month Blocks 5-8


It's only been a couple of weeks since we started this amazing quilt. To get us on a "1st of the month schedule" I'm posting the second set of blocks today. I've decided to leave the first four blocks available for free until May 1st so everyone who wants to join us has time to jump in and get started.

Do you remember my comments about all the donut blocks? I have been giving them a great deal of thought since I was bolted out of a sound sleep with one of those epiphanies that leave you sitting there shaking your head wondering why you didn't see something before that moment.

In my search for some wild and deep meaning for the donut blocks I overlooked the obvious symbolism of a simple circle. A circle has no beginning or end. It is endless, eternal, just the way love should be.  For anyone stitching a friendship block for a treasured friend or family member, the circle shape really says it all!

I'm now looking at these blocks with a new perspective and remember just how important symbolism was to quilters making quilts in the 1850s and how important it can still be today.  I haven't stitched a donut block yet, but today as I mourn the passing of a very special friend, I'll be picking out fabrics to make one in her honor. She saw the Dear Daughter quilt a couple of weeks ago when we started and exclaimed - I could do that, they're just circles. Always hopeful, enthusiastic for life and an amazingly talented quilter - I wasn't surprised when I heard that.  I hope you'll want to add your own little touches to the donut blocks reflecting things that have special meaning to you.

Block 5

Jonathan and Sarah Ann Dunham

Ill 1850

For the broderie perse on this block, leaf clusters were appliqued in the corners and a flower bud was appliqued on each side.

Block 6

Jane H Clawson

Search thy Scriptures

Marlborough NJ 1852

Sweet red diamonds were appliqued on the four sides of this block. I found it interesting that Marlborough was only established as a township in 1848, just two years before this block was made. It is now called Marlboro.

Block 7

Julia Ann Randolph


I'm in love with the smaller applique circles in the corners and fussy cut flowers appliqued on the sides of the block.

Block 8

Sarah M Randolph


More darling little applique circles and leaf clusters on the sides. Take note of this green fabric. It's used in several places in the quilt and even fussy cut at times. It looks one we should be able to find a reproduction to match. I'll be keeping my eyes open. I'm finding the same fabrics in blocks made in the two different parts of the country. It makes me wonder if someone handed out fabrics or they met and worked on the blocks together. Hmm............

That's our 4 blocks for the month of April. All you need to do is head over to the web site, add those blocks to your shopping cart and checkout. Their price is $0.00. When you get to the end of the checkout process there will be a link on the last page to download the patterns. You'll also receive a follow up email with a link to download them too. If you ever lose any of your pattern files, you can log in and download them again.


Dear Daughter Blocks 5-6-7-8 - CLICK HERE



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Dear Daughter Block of the Month – Starts Today!


I have to start by thanking everyone for their patience while I got all the pieces and parts of the Dear Daughter block of the month organized. I am absolutely blown away by your enthusiasm for this project and hope you'll have a wonderful time as we work together on the blocks.

 I have so much to tell you I'm not sure where to start. This is a long post with lots of pictures and information. If you haven't read the introduction post for this quilt you might want to take a few minutes to do that.  I believe the quilt was made for Sarah and Maxon Dunham by family and friends. 

I'm still working on getting us a full view picture of the entire quilt. I think hanging from the quilt stand in the garage might give the photographer enough room to capture the whole quilt in one shot. 

Oh my, the quilt looks so sad laying on the floor in the living room. This picture is of the upper left corner.  I've never done a block of the month where I presented the blocks in order. I've always jumped all over the place and given a layout to put the blocks together at the end. Because this quilt has a pieced sashing I thought you might like to work on that as we go along so you could assemble your blocks. 

When I drafted the first three blocks I got a little surprise? There are circles or donuts as I'm calling them, all over the quilt. Three of the first four blocks are donuts!

I looked around and realized how many there actually were. Some have applique around them. Most have broderie perse. At first I wasn't sure I liked them so I drafted a group of  blocks from antique quilts that could be used as substitutes. Before you decide, take a look at the cute broderie perse as we explore the first four blocks.

Block 1

Mary Ann Randolph


This donut block has a sweet spray of flowers in the corners and a cluster of leaves on the four sides. 

Block 2

Louisa C Randolph


Fussy cut teardrop flowers

Leaf clusters and an oval of flowers.

Block 3

Mary Ann Dunham

Piscataway NJ


I'm in love with this green fabric. You might not think it possible but you'll see it fussy cut later in the quilt.

Block 4

Prudence Ellis



Paisley leaves with an applique flower

Leaf and flower cluster 

More leaves and flowers from the same print.

Did anything jump out at you when looking at these first four blocks? The three donut blocks were all made in Illinois (the Midwest) and the red and green floral block was made on the east coast of the United States in New Jersey. So many questions! There were members of the both Randolph and Dunham families in Illinois, Wisconsin and  New Jersey.  Were Sarah and Maxom married? Perhaps, but as we continue on with the blocks you may begin to wonder about their relationship too. I haven't solved that mystery yet.


Many of the blocks have sentiments inked on them for the Sarah and Maxon. Some have just the name and date like the today's blocks. I've been writing down inscriptions as I come across them.  If you'd like to use them on your quilt, you can download a copy of the first group  - Antique Quilt Inscriptions 1     I may print some of them on extra pieces of fabric and sneak them under the center of a blocks motif so they're sewn in place when I do the reverse applique in that area (like under the center of the donut in the picture above.

I'm excited to get started on this quilt. We have lots of pretty blocks coming and I can't wait to go through my stash (or go shopping) for the perfect fabrics to use in the donuts and the broderie perse surrounding them. 

As I said earlier, I did think about substituting another signature style block for some of the donuts and went on a search for quilts made during the same time period. I put together a group of alternate blocks, all from antique quilts. I may use some of these in my own quilt. If you'd like to have them in case you aren't a donut fan, you can purchase the the set of 14 blocks for $5 - HERE.


  • This first set of blocks (1-4) also includes the instructions for the sashing and 9 patch cornerstones. I've included a copy of the materials list so you can have all of that together in one file.
  • This set will be free until May 1st so everyone has a couple of extra weeks to gather supplies and get started. 
  • I'll post our second set of blocks on April 1st and we'll start our usual schedule of posting blocks on the 1st of the month and they'll be retired on 1st of the following month. To confuse things a little, April 1st is Easter Sunday so the blocks will be available early. 
  • If you forget to download one of the block sets while they're free, you can purchase it for $5. 


Dear Daughter Blocks 1-4 / Sashing and Cornerstones / Materials List - Click Here

The link is directing you to the $5 Block of the Month web site. All you need to do is add the block set to your shopping cart and go through the checkout process. It's price is $0.00. A screen will pop up with your receipt and the link to download the pattern file. You'll also receive an email from with a link to download the pattern a few minutes later too.


Are you feeling a little overwhelmed? Me too! There's  a lot to take in and think about when starting a project like this. I can't thank you enough for joining me on this journey. Please email me, leave a comment or post your questions in the Facebook group. 


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Dear Daughter Block of the Month


Welcome to my next block of the month quilt along. The quilt is called Dear Daughter.

It's no secret how much I adore antique quilts. It's also no secret I have a habit of adopting quilts that are very time worn and no longer able to be used or displayed. Sometimes it's the fault of the harsh fabric dyes used many years ago and sometimes it's because a quilt was loved to pieces. The damage to Dear Daughter is clearly evident in the red print fabric in the sashing so I'm blaming the fabric dye. 

This is one of the pictures I saw before the adoption. It looks pretty raggy and I can tell you, the colors do not reflect the actual fabrics. The double blue in the sashing is an amazing print. Not only because of it's design but because of the color. I'm going to look for something like it for my own quilt.

Here's a close up of the sashing fabric. The blue flowers in the red print are more of a teal blue while the blue print is a true double blue.

I wasn't able to read any of the names, dates or inscriptions inked on the blocks before buying it but did know the quilt was made in the 1850s. 

Each of the 42 blocks is signed in ink using elegant script. Most are dated with either 1850 or 1852 and many have beautiful sentiments written for the recipients. Based on those writings, the quilt was made for Maxon and Sarah Dunham. There are blocks from Illinois, Wisconsin and New Jersey. I don't have much time right now to research the familiar links to the makers of the blocks so I've tried to stay away from as I usually find myself down a rabbit hole for hours intrigued by what I uncover. I'll be posting as much information as I can with each set of blocks and you can go from there. 

Some of the blocks are of unusual and simple design but the makers used broderie perse in many areas. Keep this in mind when selecting your own fabrics. 

Single flower circles

Leaf clusters

Even a green leafy print was fussy cut - how cute!

I found it very interesting that the blocks made in New Jersey used mostly red and green prints while the blocks made in the midwest (Illinois and Wisconsin) used mostly blue and softer color fabrics, some pink and a more blue shade of red. It shows how your surroundings and the quilters within your circle of family and friends influence your style. 

You'll be getting patterns in a slightly different way this time. It's not difficult and I'll have easy to follow instructions to explain everything. There will always be a link from here to the patterns when they're posted each month.  I'm aiming for a start date during the first full week of March. Block sets will be posted on the first of the month starting in April. There are 42 blocks in the quilt so we'll finish up in December with the last two blocks. I'm going to post them in order beginning in the upper left corner of the quilt. The sashing instruction will be posted with the first set of blocks so you can sash them together as we go along if you want.


If you'd like to join the Dear Daughter Facebook Group to share your progress, get ideas and questions answered I encourage you to join. We have great fun working together in these groups. To join - CLICK HERE  to get to the group page and click on the "Join Group" button.

I think that's it for today. As always, email me if you have any questions. There's a link in the sidebar.


Dear Daughter Materials List


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