Feeling A Wee Bit White Rabbit-ish

Lately, I find that I’m often running behind myself, but this is my big chance to play a little catch up.  Here are blocks thirty-four through thirty seven in the Grandmother’s Choice quilt project, in clockwise order: Coffee Cup, Granny’s Choice, (Not A) Sunbonnet Baby, and Nameless Star.


I wasn’t crazy-happy with two of the suggested blocks in the last four weeks – first up, there was the Coffee Cup block, which was a pieced cup and saucer with an appliqued cup handle.  It seemed more mug than cup, so I opted to draft my own applique block instead – a fairly easy fix.

Then there was the Sunbonnet Baby (groan).  My godmother’s mother was either a close friend or perhaps simply a pen pal of Bertha Corbett, creator of the Sunbonnet Baby.  For whatever reason, the two women corresponded, and several of Corbett’s letters were carefully preserved, framed, and proudly displayed on the ‘wall of shame’ in their family room.  Here’s an example of what the letters looked like, the only difference being the content.

Owing to my early, and unavoidable exposure, I managed to develop an overwhelming sense of twee with all things connected with a Sunbonnet Baby (seriously, there was no way to get around seeing the Corbett letters, when all I really wanted to do was watch the Wallace and Ladmo Show on television).  Imagine my dismay when I saw that block thirty-six was an homage to those very same little darlings.  I simply could not go along with that plan.  In the words of Frank Morgan who played the palace guard in The Wizard of Oz, “Not no way!  Not no how!”  Blasphemous as it may seem, I have fairly strong feelings on this subject, as you may have guessed.

The theme of week thirty-six was Testament of Youth, and instead of a Sunbonnet Baby (shudder), I opted for a block designed by Aileen Bullard and published in the Kansas City Star in 1932.  The original block called for yarn ringlets (probably à la Shirley Temple), but yeah, I had to fix that, too.  The block is very cute any way you look at it, but it’s a cuteness that I can live with.

Granny’s Choice was a breeze, and I think that it made up into a really interesting finished block.  I enjoy looking at blocks that suggest a whirly-twirly kind of movement, and the blades in this block certainly do that – I can easily imagine using the Granny’s Choice pattern for an entire quilt.

Nameless Star was a fun block to plan and piece as well.  But… there I was, face-to-face yet again with a large, plain center patch – and so help me, I cannot resist tweaking those large expanses of fabric.  A pinwheel center seemed the proper way to go.

Backtracking for a minute

So who, exactly, were Wallace and Ladmo?  Oh my, what you missed not growing up with that wacky duo.  It was kid TV at it’s best, a program that ran for 35 years (April 1, 1954 to December 29, 1989) on KPHO-TV Channel 5, in Phoenix, Arizona.

The name morphed over the years, beginning with It’s Wallace?, updated later to Wallace & Company, and finally finishing up as The Wallace and Ladmo Show.  No matter which title ran in the opening credits, it became one of the longest running, locally produced children’s television shows earning nine Emmy awards in the process.

I think, perhaps, that I’ll save the full story of Bill Thompson (Wallace) and Ladimir Kwiatkowski (Ladmo) for another day.

Wallace and Ladmo

7 thoughts on “Feeling A Wee Bit White Rabbit-ish

  1. candy

    I love your grey and yellow. I’m sooo impressed that you’ve madeit this far in the project. I gave up the ship a long time ago!

    Can’t wait til you post about Wallace and Ladmo. Not from the Phoenix area and never heard of it but one of my best friends in junior high was a Kwiatkowski. Small world…..


    1. Jo Post author

      I’m liking the gray and yellow scheme much more than I did three months ago. That was about the same time I made the decision to scrap the orange fabric completely. Much as I love orange, I really needed to pare down the colors. This is going to sound completely insane to you, but I’ve been busily remaking every block that had a speck of orange in it (Y-seams, applique, and everything in between). Oh yeah, I’ve gone totally off my rocker!

      It is a small world – Kwiatkowski is a very unusual name, and Ladmo is the only one I’ve ever run across.


      1. candy

        You HAVE gone off the deep end! Making some of those blocks one time was bad enough! But, you’ll probably be very glad you did it when it’s all over!


  2. Katell, Quilteuse Forever

    Because you do not have big prints you do not like big center squares… and you always find a wonderful option!! Your star is vibrant.
    Sunbonnets are not in French culture and I’m not fond of them either. But I did not dare to change the block, being unable to draft myself.. Your version looks so lively!

    I learn funny idioms with your post, love it!


    1. Jo Post author

      No, it’s true, I don’t have the larger prints to use as a focal point, not for Barbara’s quilt at any rate.

      It seems to me that the Breton women once wore… coiffes? Is that the correct word? And some of the examples that I’ve seen could easily have been the model used for the pared down, utilitarian sunbonnet that women wore here in the US.

      Oh, I am so full of idioms and slang and Texas-isms – although I usually try to keep them under control in my blog. Sometimes though, I just can’t help myself!


  3. Newbie Quilter

    I, too, love your use of the language and really appreciate your humor. Wish I had your gift…but I’m glad for the gift of appreciation for a bon mot.
    Your choice of a replacement for the Sunbonnet Sue (yay), a chaming substitute, sent me down the internet rabbit hole of 1900-1930 vintage blocks and I’ve discovered so much about quilt history in the last few. Again…thanks.


    1. Jo Post author

      Thanks Newbie Quilter, for stopping in, for taking the time to comment, and for the pretty compliments.

      1900-1930 was such an exciting boom time for quilters. New block designs and the new colors in cotton fabrics being produced by US mills (ramped up mill operations were due in part to WWI and the loss of German manufactured dyes), combined to tempt women everywhere to pick up a needle and thread. The quilts created during this period that have survived the decades possess such a distinctive and pleasing visual quality… they not only warm the body, but the soul as well.


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