Sunday, January 31, 2021

Jacob's Ladder


Do you ever have those days when you're so excited and so much is going on that you feel like a kid in a penny candy store with ten cents??? OK - so perhaps I'm dating myself by saying that, but seriously - so much stuff is going on, and it's not even huge stuff. Yep - the little things in life just make me so happy. 

I see that Rose has read the six books in the Rockton series I mentioned yesterday by Kelley Armstrong. I didn't have a chance to listen to the audiobook yesterday, although it did niggle in the back of my mind and today is the Virtual Retreat all day, so no books either. I think that means the book is going back, and I'll have to get it again. It's kind of creepy, and I had no idea that there was more than one book! Good to know - loads of books to read!

I was a voracious reader when I was a kid. Oh yes - I wanted to read EVERY book in the world. Yep - a sheltered life! Then I didn't read for a long time, and years ago, I got back into it, but I mostly read mainstream stuff - the big-name authors that write a lot of cookie-cutter stuff. 

Then I started venturing out and finding new authors, and WOW - that has really opened my eyes. SO many amazing authors, and some debut novels are awesome. So if you're stuck on reading the same type of thing over and over, try a new author. I'm glad I did. 

Here's my erratum for today - my jeans? They are NOT fleece lined - they are flannel lined. It's like the flannel is laminated to the denim, and well - for cold days walking outside, they are the best!!! It's much warmer today, but still, minus 7 - I don't think I need them for that temperature. 

I had FOUR Zoom sessions yesterday. Yes - I'm back in the saddle and loving every minute of it! One of my calls had close to 100 people - the maximum that I can handle with my subscription. What great fun we had! Can you tell I love to teach? 

And we had LOADS of fun at the Virtual Retreat last night. Seriously - we talk about everything and anything. I can't tell you what we talked about - you have to join to find out. We had a couple of new people or people that we haven't seen in a while, including Jill, who caught COVID and is in for the long haul on her recovery. It's been months, and she's still on oxygen. That's the first person I know who has a serious round of COVID. Speedy recovery!!!

Oh my -- I've been looking for something for a while, and guess what? I found it yesterday. Yes - I really need to make a list of everything that is missing to really celebrate when I find it. The list will also help me know if I'm making progress!! What did I find this time? Well, a while back (way before COVID), I bought a small book to store passwords. Yep - they say don't write them down, but seriously - who is in my house to steal the book? 

My new password book

When I searched through a basket of stuff on the table to find something else (which I did find), I found the little book. It's now with the crappy book where I currently store my passwords. I'll transfer them over at some point. But at least I know where it is now. 

Now here's something else that's missing. I was looking for a ruler to do a specific job the other day. I found the ruler, but NO instructions. I thought there was a book that went with the ruler. Oh - I found the book, but it was for an entirely different ruler. So how does one use this ruler???  No idea. It's a Pineapple Ruler by Nancy Smith and Lynda Milligan. Remember them from way back? They were at the forefront of quilting when I started. I might find instructions in one of their books? OR - I might find it in one of the boxes of crap in this office. In the meantime, it went back on the shelf - I found something else that'll work instead. 

Pineapple Ruler

So I got a question from a student about the Jacob's Ladder block. One of the projects I'm currently teaching is Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell. HEY -- heads up - it's been so popular that I think we're going to do another Jen Kingwell class. Let me know which one you want to do - I've got TWO in mind and well - let's do it. We buy these darn books, and then we never make them. So a sew-along is perfect. Wait for details on that, but let me know which Jen Kingwell book you want to do. I've been checking out the homework that the class has posted on our private Facebook group, and well - they are having way too much fun!!!!!

So here's the block from the book that is called Jacob's Ladder. The idea is that you made nine of these and sew them together to get a larger block. This one block is small, by the way - it finishes at 4" in the quilt. 

Jacob's Ladder, according to Jen Kingwell

Nine Jacob's Ladder blocks

So I decided to check in my NEW Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns to see what Barbara Brackman says about Jacob's Ladder blocks. If you want your version of the book, ask your local quilt shop to order it in. The Canadian distributors now have the book in stock, and your shop can order it from them. 

This is the line drawing from the original book. There are no colored pictures in this book, and to me - this is Jacob's ladder. You can see how the above block resembles it, but it's not the same. There are NO Quilt Police governing the naming of quilt blocks or the names of quilts. You want to call it Jacob's Ladder? You call it Jacob's Ladder. 

An outline drawing of Jacob's Ladder quilt block

By comparison, this is what you get in the new version. You get a colored picture (thanks to the beauty of Electric Quilt 8), and there is a line drawing, also done in EQ8. It looks so much nicer done on the computer!

Jacob's Ladder 

And guess what? Jacob's Ladder, or at least the block above, is known by other names as well. Go figure - that's why we can never figure this stuff out. Hence, the book is invaluable for research in the quilt world. If I didn't like the research part, I'm not sure I'd need or want the book. But I get intrigued by small things, and I once had to find a very obscure quilt pattern for someone. Here are two instances when I needed my book. TWO  - in the twenty years, I've had it! But's that OK. Here's the second one. 

Other names for the block pictured above

To find a block in the book, you must use the index in the back, and here's the list of Jacob's Ladder blocks from the index in the new book. 

Other versions of Jacob's Ladder from the index

Wow - that's a lot of blocks, so I checked them out and found a couple of blocks that were way off the mark for me for Jacob's Ladder. But Barbara scoured thousands of sources of quilts, patterns, and other reference material and put down every reference she could find. It must have been a HUGE undertaking. The latest book wouldn't be quite so bad. 

Here's one more style of Jacob's Ladder!!! Not even close. But you have to remember that a LOT of blocks were named locally for various reasons. It makes sense that there were be many different blocks under the same name. 

Another version of Jacob's Ladder

I got the binding on the customer quilt last night. Perhaps I shouldn't say that because now she will want to pick it up, and well, I'm not doing pickups today! 

I started on the homework sewing for February and made pretty good progress. Here's my stack of stuff that's prepped and ready to sew. It's going to be a sewing marathon all week!!!

Ready for a sewing marathon with MANY prepped projects

Well, on that note, it's off to get ready for the Virtual Retreat. If you get a chance to join us - then come on in and say hi!! We'd love to meet you. And then you get to hear what we're talking about!!

Sunday, January 31   FROM 10 AM - 8 PM

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 872 4663 5892 Passcode: 440473

Have a super day!!!!



  1. Nancy Smith and Lynda Milligan owned Great American Quilt Factory in Denver, Colorado USA. Those ladies, and their big, bright, beautiful store, got me hooked on quilting in 2003. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    1. Oh -- that would have been amazing to visit their store. I love their book and quilts - so bright and cheery. I guess in the quilting world, you just fade away. I'm not sure if they are still doing anything. Have a great day!!!