November Sugar Block & A Giveaway!

Can you believe it’s November already?  Where has this year gone?!  Seems like just yesterday that I announced my new Sugar Block sampler club, and now we’ve already stitched up 11 of this year’s 12 blocks.  I’m sad that we only have 1 more block to go, but also really excited that soon we’ll all be getting our blocks stitched together and quilting our colorful samplers…just in time to start some fresh new projects in 2014!

Here’s where we are so far…just one more block to go!

November Block Collage

This morning Sugar Blockers woke up to emailed patterns for this block, which I’m calling “First Frost.”  I just adore these cool, crisp colors…reminds me of waking up to all of our lovely late blooms covered in a shimmering Fall frost.  Magical.

First Frost

Truly, this is a really classic block, with very historic roots.  In fact, even though I designed this sampler over a year ago, I was giddy when one of my great aunts passed a family heirloom quilt to me this summer, with a strikingly similar design.

November Sugar Block 01

The construction is different, as these blocks are made with Y-seamed diamonds, but I still can’t help but see the close similarities.  And look at this unbelievable lattice hand quilting!!!  All of those teeny tiny perfect little stitches!  It absolutely makes the quilt!

November Sugar Block 04

November Sugar Block 03

The other thing I couldn’t help but notice was that every single one of the blocks is brown and navy, except for one.  This lone block has a pop of red, and it’s noticeably not symmetrical within the block.  So intriguing!  I wish I had more background on this quilt…all I know is that it comes from my mother’s side of the family, and belonged to my great grandparents…and I imagine handed down to them from a parent or grandparent.  To me it looks 1800s, and I know that most of my family was living in the US during this time.  Could it be war related?  A coded message?  Or they just ran out of brown?  If you have an inkling what this single red block could mean, let me know!

November Sugar Block 02

What else are we cooking up this month, other than deliciously historic quilt blocks?  Dessert of course!  This month’s recipe is perhaps the most deeply rooted of all the recipes I’ve shared so far.

Pumpkin chiffon has been a part of my family’s holiday tradition for generations.  My grandmother wrote in our family cookbook, that it was passed down to her in 1956, and that it was already legendary by that point.  She made it every year, my mother makes it every year, and now the torch has been passed to my sisters and I.  What a delight it was to spend the afternoon with my dear Mama this week, learning the carefully timed steps to making this fluffy, nutty twist on the classic pumpkin pie.  Best eaten on a brisk winter evening, sipping coffee, wrapped in a warm snuggly quilt, and watching your favorite football team (winning, of course), with glowy fire crackling at your feet. (!!!!!!)  I know!  Euphoria.

November Sugar Block 06

What else is up?  Well how about A GIVEAWAY!!!  Sounds like a fun way to ring in this gorgeous fall month, yes?

The lucky winner will receive a collection of brand new goodies from my sewing room, including a fat quarter bundle of Tim Holtz’ fabulous “Eclectic Elements” line for Coats & Clark, some hot-off-the-press FreeSpirit prints that I just brought back from Market, a darling new pillow pattern from Schlosser Designs, and a couple of beautiful greeting cards from Dianne Springer Designs.

November Sugar Block 05


  1. What a wonderful quilted heirloom, you must be so pleased to have been given it. How strange that just the one block is different ! Awesome giveaway, this BOM has been great and as a newbie quilter I’ve e really enjoyed it.

  2. I am new to your blog, thanks to Craftsy! So far, it’s love! Now if you teach us how to make that pumpkin chiffon! It sounds delightful!

  3. Karen McClung says:

    Love your blog!! Your children are adorable! This is an awesome giveaway!

  4. So nice to have the memories of this quilt and also some recipes to keep the family heritage alive! I have no clue about the strange block….they were so prudent with using every scrap so maybe she didn’t have a choice. You may never know…….

  5. Nicole St. John says:

    I love that quilt with its rich history. It’s a treasure for sure, even if you never learn the history behind the red block! What a wonderful heirloom to be able to pass down to your own children!

  6. Wow, what a treasure that quilt is. Love that it has that lone red-ish block to peek your interest.

  7. What a beauty of a quilt! Maybe the quilt has this patch of red because they ran out of brown, but it is a lovely intriguing touch. Love to join the give-away.

  8. It does amaze me at the tiny, even stitches in those older, cherished quilts. My great Aunt Etta made a baby quilt for my mother and I just marvel at the uniform stitches. How do we join the Giveaway?

  9. I have to wonder if some of the other blocks are red faded to brown? But this one was a more coloufast material? Thanks for sharing and congrats on your Craftsy blogger award.

  10. The antique quilt is gorgeous. I agree with you completely about the lattice quilting.

  11. Colette DeGroot says:

    Thanks again Amy for the wonderful block(s) and giving us this opportunity for a giveaway. You are truly a peach!

  12. Oooh, how intriguing about that quilt, I do hope that you get to the bottom of that, and share with us, your nosey followers :oD

  13. Love your blog. What a great quilt from your family!

  14. Hope you found the mining of the red block …very intriguing and a beautiful quilt to treasure ! Your pumpkin chiffon looks delicious guess I have to try it …Have a nice weekend !

  15. A quilt with a mystery… :) Cool!! I must admit the only quilt that’s in my family is the one my grand-father made at the end of his life as some sort of Cercle des Fermières project. Probably to meet some ladies (crafty my grand dad was :)) He also took up weaving on a loom. It reminds me that it’s never too late to try something new and that was a great gift he left us.
    Thanks for the giveway! (how do we participate? :))

  16. What a beautiful quilt. I have truly enjoyed your blog and sampler blocks. Look forward to them every month. Are you having one for 2014? Hope so.

  17. Jennifer Nunnery says:

    Wow!! I love that quilt and so many things have gone through my mind to explain the pop of red. But it looks as though the quilter was a few pieces shy on the brown and supplemented with the red. It almost looks like it is paper peiced. My father has a few quilts that he remembers playing under while they were being quilted by his grandmother and other family members. He has asked me to try and repair it, but I’m scared..would hate to mess up such a wonderful peice of history. Thanks for the give-a-way!!! Those would be wonderful additions to my new craft room. Speaking of…have to unpack all my crafty stuff so I can finish this sampler :) Thanks again for letting us be a part of your life.

  18. June Winters says:

    Your e-mails are a must read (and save) for me! Love your pictures of the kids, quilts, blocks and your adventures too. Every one is a give-a-way in fun and ideas!

  19. Here in Canada we are pretty much done the pumpkin pie for a while but it looks yummy! I wish some flowers were still alive in my garden but our first frost was weeks and weeks ago! Love the quilt history. I hope my daughter will pass down all my quilts one day!

  20. Your bee blocks are absolutely beautiful. I love the colors. It’s such a cheery group of blocks and will be a fabulous quilt. How lucky you are to have a family heirloom quilt. I love this quilt, the story and history behind it. It’s very interesting about the lone block being different and it is a beautiful block. Gorgeous hand quilting!

  21. I think the rogue block is really cool. I wish I had the nerve to do something like that in one of my quilts. I tend to be very “safe” in all my quilting decisions.
    Please share the pumpkin chiffon recipe with us. It looks heavenly.

  22. Such a beautiful quilt. I think the rogue block was the result of a shortage of fabric & was placed into the block as it was sewn. The hand quilting really makes this a treasure. I love treasured quilts & hopefully my children & grandchildren will feel the same about the quilts I pass on to them!

    Love your blog & the things you share in them. Would love to win your give-away.

  23. Amy, I’m guessing that she ran out of the (can’t tell on my computer the color for sure) tan or gold color and had to improvise and use the red. I have many things my grandma made and she did the same thing. she gave me some blocks of the Dresden plate, that she was going to make a quilt out of. There was only 1 row and a few extra. they were terrible dirty so I just washed them. they wasn’t any good like that. then I took the best of them and made a verticle wall hanging. some of the blades were even pieced. They didn’t waste 1 scrape back then. I just love my treasures from grandma.

  24. Biz Burgess says:

    Hi Amy –
    Love being part of the Sugar Block and November was sheer delight. Here on the Atlantic coast of Canada we have not had a killing frost yet but it is sure to come this month. My thought when I saw the red block was if the others were red at one time but from an organic dye source. There are some historic dyes that faded from red to brown. It was just the 1st thing I thought when I saw the quilt. It is a gorgeous piece of work and whether intentional or not I bet your ancestor would be thrilled that we are still talking about their handiwork today.
    All the Best
    Biz Burgess

  25. What a lovely piece .. I just love your blog and do the month block; well when I have the time .. LOL
    Thanks for all that you do for us in cyberland !

  26. farmquilter says:

    Love the quilt shrouded in mystery!! Aren’t they fun? I have about a dozen quilts from my great-grandmother that I cherish. Your recipe looks so fabulous…can you share the recipe and timing with us??

  27. The heirloom quilt that I will call the ‘Fall’ Quilt is absolutely Gorgeous! It is just so beautiful. You are so lucky and I am jealous. Also, i would be at all disappointed if you posted the recipe for the Pumpkin Chiffon.

  28. Amy what a great quilt. I have a granny square afghan my grandmother crocheted.

  29. What a beautiful quilt! How fortunate for you to love and enjoy. The maker was feeling a little spunky when she finished the last block and decided to sew outside the box! It adds such surprise!!

  30. QuiltDude says:

    Hi Amy!
    Here is my take on the one little block that is just a bit different – ever hear of a “Fear of God”? The Amish, I believe, would purposely make one block not match by turning it, making it wonky, and/or using a different fabric. The theory was that since God is the only perfect entity, an attempt to make a perfect quilt would be seen as Pride – a sin – and therefore they would make a mistake in the quilt to avoid the possible wrath that could be brought upon them by attempting to achieve perfection. Or something along those lines. Seriously. Look it up! :-) :-) :-)

    P.S. Love your blog!

    • Okay, after doing an online search myself, I could find nothing on the Fear of God, relating to quilting. So I look like the Crazy Cat Man now, but I promise, I read an article about this a long time ago, and that was the explanation I understood from it regarding that one mismatched block on a quilt.

  31. FABRIC! it gets exciting now!

  32. If this quilt was around during Civil War, it may have hung on a laundry line outside the house with the red block and “arrow” pointing the way to the next safe house for slaves running to freedom in the North.

  33. Interesting theory of Barbaras re the quilt, I am sure there must be something of significance. It is truly beautiful and you are very lucky to be the custodian of it for your family.

    k x

  34. Janet Green says:

    I’ve tried to post my blocks but I don’t blog (yet). So I can’t seem to link them. If you would like to see them you would have to see them on flickr. But I love the course I hope you do some more you seem to really have an eye for am zing patterns. Thank you for the quilts both the BOM 2012 (I have made 2 so far) and this one is gonna be just for me!!!

  35. What a great story. You are so lucky and thanks for sharing. The Quilt is gorgeous. Love your blog.

  36. Gosh, that quilt is beautiful. What a treasure!

  37. Janet DeLacey says:

    I agree with what Quilt Dude wrote. I have read a lot of books about quilting and in the past it was felt that “only God can make things perfect.” Quilters took this to heart and would intentially make one block on their quilt “imperfect.” It is a beautiful quilt Amy and a real treasure for you to enjoy.

  38. Debbie Weishaar says:

    I’m really enjoying learning to make the new blocks each month. I’m currently out of town so not able to take a photo of all my completed blocks (Jan – Oct) but I was able to upload the last one I posted on Flickr which was the Sept block.

  39. What a gorgeous heirloom! You are fortunate indeed to receive such a surprise.
    I have only completed one block so far, and I hope I uploaded it correctly. This is so new to me.
    I have all my fabric ready to go to complete the Sugar Block Sampler, just need to find the time!
    But look who I’m talking to about time management!

  40. Kathy Fair says:

    It is exciting to get near the end of all the blocks and I have learned so much. Thanks Amy.

  41. I just got via the post a pack of 10″ squares of Barcelona! my head is spinning! I was going to make my version of shine through but now I a overwhelmed with the color and print texture!

  42. Hope everyone is ok!! I thought I missed your Friday post somehow, but now realize you didn’t make one!!

  43. Beverly Cotton says:

    I bet Kaye England could give you insight or Rosemary Youngs, if it has Civil War significance. In looking at this months issue (Nov/Dec) of “For the Love of Quilting” (Fons &Porter), there are 2 quilts that resemble your vintage quilt. On page 26, “North Carolina Lily” by Liz Porter and on page 49, a Quilt of Valor called “Patriotic Stars” by Nancy Mahoney. They both have that arrow shaped patch with a different spin on it. I wonder if yours is War oriented designating a particular loss. Thank you for including this block in our SBC quilt. Makes me keep wondering about your vintage quilt. I believe it has War significance!

  44. Diane Comstock says:

    Hi Amy, I have not yet started on any of your 2013 blocks because I am working on machine quilting your 2012 Block of the Month quilt (my 1st quilt). Looking forward to creating my next quilt out of the 2013 blocks. Question: I was given a large packet of batik fat quarters. Would these work if I tried to match your colour scheme? Should I use a solid colour for the backgrounds? Or would you recommend I use solid colours for all?

  45. Linda Grienke says:

    Amy, look at the picture with the quilt over the chair. It is an eagle I believe.

    • Linda, I just looked at it, and I think you are right! Didn’t notice that before. Looks like a Southwestern version.


  1. […] still hadn’t pieced together my November Sugar Block, so I decided I wanted to get that one done real quick, and I love it!  There is only one more […]

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