Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Letter Writing in Alice's Tulips by Sandra Dallas

Envelope Motif Quilt Block
One of the big reoccurring events in the book Alice's Tulips by Sandra Dallas is the letter writing that Alice does.  She writes letters to her sister Lizzie back home in Illinois and to her husband Charlie, fighting in the Civil War.  If you'd like to create a quilt block to represent letter writing, consider these quilt blocks.  Clicking on the title will lead you to the pattern.

Easy Envelope Quilt (This Alex Anderson video is worth checking out even if you don't make the block.)

Envelope Motif Quilt Block

Postage Stamp Quilt Block

Stamp Basket Quilt Block

Postage Stamp Quilt Block -
 I cut each little square 2" so it was 1-1/2" finished, making a 9" block.
Another Envelope Motif Quilt Block
Since the letters are from Alice, we see only her side of the story.  Do you think Alice correctly assesses Mother Bullock's feelings for her?  Would you like to have read some letters written by Mother Bullock?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Please reply in the comment section below.  (If you are reading via email, click the blog title to be able to comment and read the comments of others.
By commenting, you are also entering your name in a giveaway for Jennifer Chiaverini's latest book, Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker.  Winner will be announced June 1.
For June, the Quilter's Book Club will be reading and discussing a mystery set in New York - The Lover's Knot by Clare O'Donohue.  It's the first in the Someday Quilts Mystery Series.  Remember that you can always check the Schedule section at the top part of my blog to see upcoming book selections.  I always have them listed several months in advance.   
You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.


  1. Sometimes it is interesting to read what others think of you. I recently discovered a letter written to my mother by my grandmother while the family was away on summer vacation. Since I had a summer job, I was not able to go and spent some quality time stopping at my grandparents before going home. Of all my siblings, I was the only one who regularly spent time there. I knew my Granddad to be my advocate but it was so nice to read the kind praise from my grandmother.

  2. I would have loved to see some other letters in the book although I was surprised at how easily you could tell what she was responding to. A testament to the writer. I would love to read family letters and I sort of do. My 93 year old mother is now in a nursing home. Before that she was a sorority house mother and she kept journals. I got her journals and periodically go through them to read. In between all the comments about her day are comments about when we would come down to see her (or not come down).

  3. I would like to have read Mother Bullock's letter. It must have been a bit difficult to have had a new daughter-in-law left there suddenly, and be responsible for her (even plucky Alice would not have thought of it that way.

    But then again, be careful what you wish for - you don't know what you'll find out.

  4. It would be neat if the author wrote another book with letters that Mother Bullock wrote.

    About that Alex Anderson video..that is a neat idea! I hope you saw video 2 also where it shows a neat idea for kids. Hint hint grandma and all that grandma sewing your doing. LOL!

    1. Lisa, I watched all three of the videos (they're short) and loved the wonderful possibilities of the Envelope Quilt. I'm already thinking of how I can make a quilt for my grandson!

  5. I just got the book today, but think I read much earlier. It is always best to hear both sides of the story. Loved Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker--another side of Mary Lincoln.
    Need to see Alex Anderson video. I'm not much to watch video's but they do help with a problem

  6. I've wondered how "collected letters" get collected. That is, letter-writers SEND letters to many recipients. One person disperses to many. Did letter-writers keep copies? Otherwise, wouldn't descendants/historians/archivists have to contact all the recipients to get the letters to put in the collections? (And how would they know who the letter-writers wrote to?)

    As a teen I had many penpals. (http://withstringsattached.blogspot.com/2013/02/my-perspective-world-in-mailbox-redux.html) I saved many of the letters I received and when we cleaned out our parents' house in 2002 I found them in the attic. I mailed a box of about 350 letters to one -- she and I had long ago dropped writing. I found her by calling her parents and her dad obligingly (trustingly!) gave me her address. She did write back to let me know the box arrived, but I have no idea if she ever reread them all.

  7. I did enjoy the unusual format of this book. I would also have loved to hear what Mother Bullock & her sister were saying. I look forward to reading more by Sandra Dallas, I had not heard if her until I joined this group.

  8. I was impressed by the author's verbiage of the era. I usually like to hear both sides of the story because sometimes writing is difficult to interpret. I have a box of letters that my grandpa (never really knew him) wrote to my grandma before they were married. They were written in the early 20s - 90 years ago! It's given me a little insight about my grandpa and his relationship with my grandma. I only knew this grandma - happy memories. She raised 6 kids through the Depression and lived to the age of 95!

  9. I may miss out on the June book. I was supposed to be sent that book a few months ago, but, I still haven't seen it arrive yet. Oh well. If I go out and buy it, then the book will arrive.


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