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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16 Responses to “Dear Daughter Block of the Month – Starts Today!”

  1. Chris in Canada March 8, 2018 at 8:56 am #

    Thank you Gay ! ! ! Looking forward to the journey.

  2. Nyla Dominguez March 8, 2018 at 11:36 am #

    Hi Gay, just downloading the patterns. Will probably get the extra blocks later. Wondering if a dresden plate would be appropriate to replace some donuts or were they not a pattern from that time period. Also, what about yo-yos. Appreciate your help!

  3. Gay March 8, 2018 at 11:50 am #

    The Dresden plate block was first presented in the 1920s so it would be from a different time period but it’s your quilt and you certainly can use any block you like. If you want to use Dresdens and yoyos in your Dear Daughter quilt I’d say “go for it”!

  4. Carla March 8, 2018 at 2:28 pm #

    Gay, I’m wondering if the ‘donut’ was to represent a ‘circle’. Like the unending love of a wedding band. Did you do any research on the ‘donut’? It would make sense if it was wedding quilt made/given by family members to newly weds. Most of the other blocks are similar to a circle, or a circular form – carrying that same ideology.


  5. Jacqueline March 8, 2018 at 3:52 pm #

    Thank you for doing this BOM! It’s going to be fun!

  6. Donna J Pisani March 8, 2018 at 4:09 pm #

    I think the dimension on the cornerstone blocks is in error. Shouldn’t it be 5 1/4 square (5 3/4 unfinished size?

  7. Joanne e Gledhill March 8, 2018 at 5:19 pm #

    Gay, thanks for another great quilt. I ordered and downloaded the alternate blocks and I love them. I had planned on changing some blocks and these are perfect!!!! Thanks for offering these for sale.

  8. Marilyn March 8, 2018 at 5:32 pm #

    They were married. They shared the same gr-gr-grandfather, Rev Jonathan Dunham. Sarah died 11 Feb 1873 and Max married Mrs Rebecca Van Dyke Huff 17 March 1873.

  9. Gay March 8, 2018 at 6:42 pm #

    You’re right! I made a mistake on the very first set of patterns. I’m so sorry. You can get a copy of the corrected page HERE

  10. Gay March 8, 2018 at 6:44 pm #

    What a wonderful thought! I’ll try to find some information on that.

  11. Phyllis Hall March 9, 2018 at 8:00 am #

    I was able to download sashing instruction but can not get the blocks. ANy suggestions on what I am doing wrong?

  12. Monica March 9, 2018 at 10:00 am #

    I just love the colors found in this quilt. I look forward to the blocks and sayings.

  13. Sue H March 9, 2018 at 3:15 pm #

    Wow! My fathers family was from Piscataway NJ! Imagine my surprise with block #4!

  14. Gay March 9, 2018 at 3:33 pm #

    Oh Sue – that’s so cool! There are lots of blocks from that city. I hope this will be an extra fun adventure for you with a family connection to the area.

  15. Patricia Rhodes April 2, 2018 at 6:36 pm #

    have been trying to get patterns 5-8 and some thing is wrong it keeps bouncing between if you are a return login and new person login . what can I do to login and receive the free pattern

  16. Gay April 19, 2018 at 9:48 am #

    It looks like you’ve been able to get your blocks but I had the computer system send an email out to you again with a link. Let me know if there’s still a problem.

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