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.