December 2, 2015

Chart 20, Daffodil, Block #26 in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along

Whenever I see daffodils, I’m carried back to a special moment in my life and I relive the same great feeling.

Image © 2015 by Holly Lammons Craft
Used with permission (Thanks, Holly!)

In case you don’t know, we live in Atlanta, Georgia, a beautiful southern U.S. city with a very mild climate. However, the first 30 years of my life were spent with long cold winters. When my husband was considering a job change, we were living on the lake effect side of Cleveland, Ohio -- the East side, where the winter winds blew across Lake Erie before dumping ten times as much snow on our side of town as on the West side.

Richard was actually considering two jobs— one in Atlanta and one even further north than Cleveland with longer, colder winters than even my Iowa upbringing! I dutifully said, “Whichever job you think will make you happier, honey, is okay with me.” I even meant it! We were invited to visit the northern town at the end of May. The locals were very excited because the daffodils were blooming and it might get up to 72°F that day. I shivered in my jacket, unimpressed— well, impressed, but maybe not the way they expected!

Soon the decision was made and we moved to Atlanta in August, Atlanta’s hottest month. However, it was so much like Iowa’s hot humid August days I felt right at home! Fall came and it was long and beautiful. In December it got chilly. We occasionally get snow in Atlanta, but there was no snow during our first Atlanta winter. Before I knew it, February 14, Valentine's Day, appeared on the calendar, and guess what I saw? You guessed right if you guessed daffodils! I never see daffodils without feeling excited again that we ended up living in Atlanta and not the land of long, dark, icy cold winters!

So, of course I want a Daffodil block in my quilt, even if it isn’t template-friendly! I fused my flower and leaves onto a single 6-1/2 inch background square. The edges are finished with a machine blanket or buttonhole stitch. You can expect 4 or 5 more blocks featuring these methods.

My Daffodil Block

See the white areas on the back of my block? I was sure the package said "Tear-away Stabilizer" when I nonchalantly put a layer under my fused daffodil.  I spent too much time tearing, picking and saying bad things before deciding the remaining stabilizer doesn't show and won't rot, so it is staying!

Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link to download the Template Conversion Chart for Jewel:

In addition to our template conversion PDF download, you will want to read Gnome Angel's tutorials for these blocks.

Shades SoftFuse

I only use Shades SoftFuse, a paper-backed fusible web product, when I do fusible applique. It is easy to use and results in such a soft hand that you can even hand quilt through the pieces if you want. Shades SoftFuse Premium™ doesn’t add any stiffness to the fabric, and I always do an edge finish. Ask for Shades Premium SoftFuse at your local quilt shop or click to visit Shades SoftFuse online.

Stacy Michell of Shades Textiles demonstrates how to use SoftFuse in this 7-minute video:

Yes, we are proud to say, Stacy Michell is our daughter!

Use SoftFuse for a Great Binding Trick! 

In a December 2012 blog post, I explained how we use SoftFuse for what I call The Unbeatable Quilt Binding Trick. We bind all our quilts this way! Here's a link where you can read all about it:

Speaking of Daffodils…

In 1987, Jim Gibbs began planting daffodils; he has continued to plant thousands of them every year since. It's an easy day trip from Atlanta to walk the residential estate gardens of Gibbs Gardens, about 50 miles north of Atlanta in Ball Ground, GA. The almost 300-acre property includes ponds, waterfalls and bridge crossings in beautiful garden tableaux that change with the seasons.  

Daffodils at Gibbs Gardens, Ball Ground, GA
Image © 2015 by Holly Lammons Craft. Used with permission.



  1. I too love Daffodils, though they don't grow as well in Austin's alkaline, warm and drier climate than they did when I lived just North of Houston. I will enjoy this reminder that spring will come again! Hope you are coasting towards Christmas without too much effort!

    1. :) We are always busy here but we all have holiday plans in place and are enjoying the hubbub along the way. Merry Christmas to you!