My Tribe at Last

Oh happy day – it’s official—I am a proud new member of the Catherine Schuyler chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Yippee! A 40-year goal finally completed!

As I’ve mentioned before, my fascination with this group began when I was in high school. I loved history then (and now) and I remember asking my parents if we had any “patriots” in our family tree. Since my mother’s family emigrated from Bavaria after the American Civil War, I hit a non-productive branch of the family tree early on. But my father’s family has been in America since the 1600s; however he claimed to know nothing about the family history. Finding records back before the internet seemed like an impossible task.

Then technology caught up with my dreams and I found a lead on in 2017. Using that website I found a likely patriot almost immediately. Then the real work began. I met with the local DAR chapter membership representative and she helped explain the process of how to document the connection. It took me a full two years to track everything down, create the application form and then gain approval from the organization, but we did it! I love the integrity that the organization imposes on the process. It makes the inclusion even more special.

Although my “patriot” was, in fact, a solider, anyone who can document that their ancestor supported the revolution can be part of the organization – maybe someone related to you sold horses to the militia or let them camp on their land, or even worked as a spy – as long as there is documentary evidence of the support and then you can trace back to that evidence in your family tree, you can join too.

There is even more fun to be had by crawling through more genealogy sites: it is common and a point of pride in the organization to uncover more than one patriot in one’s family tree. I think I’ve found another likely candidate in my lineage and when I get a chance to conduct some more research, I do believe I’ll chase the dream for a second time!

Cindy and all of my sisters can also join the DAR by simply linking themselves to me and joining my local chapter or one near where they live. My son can expect a membership to the Sons of the American Revolution (brother organization to the DAR) for high school graduation.

Now that I’m older, I understand the mission of the DAR and applaud their civic-minded, non-partisan approach to promoting patriotism, education and historical preservation.

This week I found out that my local chapter is having a quilt raffle to raise funds. Isn’t this quilt the cutest?

baby quilt
Hand stitched and quilted baby quilt by Darlene Wells

Quilting and history and a society of patriots – I think I’ve found my tribe.

Baby Frolic Quilt — free Pattern

The weather today is delightful and I found myself nearly levitating off the chair at my pays-the-bills job. I was also levitating because I had the chance to package up my jungle-heavy, monkeying around baby quilt to the grandmother of my friend’s new baby. I love to deliver unexpected surprises!

Before the hand-off, though, I took a few pictures.



I found the monkey rattle a few months ago when I stopped in a shop that was going out of business (score!). It was perfect for my featured fabric and made it simple to package up my quilt for gifting.


As I mentioned previously, Baby Frolic was developed because I had some fabric that I couldn’t bear to cut apart. I wanted to create a pattern that let the featured fabric shine. After I paired up the featured fabric with a complementary fabric and then an accent fabric, I was ready to start on patches. I filled in those blocks with fabrics from my stash.

I think this pattern would work with many fabrics, but I found the new Jungle Fever line from Rebecca Jones at Clothworks. I think Rebecca’s adorable elephants and sloths would make a delightful Baby Frolic quilt!

Baby Frolic Pattern.

We’ll also post this pattern to Favequilts!

Cindy and I want to share an evening view of the fox kits frolicking near their woodchuck hole den on the farm.

Speaking of frolicking, where’s your favorite frolic space?

Just Monkeying Around

A quick spring update:

  1. It snowed again here today. I’m not talking flakes, I’m talking snowglobe snow. Sigh.
  2. I’m so excited to meet up with Cindy in Chicago at the International Quilt Festival this weekend!  I can hardly sleep with so many things to think about, like what to pack, what to budget for fabric purchases, where to find a good adult beverage near the convention center — you know, all of the essentials of travelling.
  3. A friend of mine from work is having a baby. Brave soul: she has a son graduating from high school this year and she has a new baby due in May. I have to say I’m a little jealous! She is beyond happy at this development and I am so happy for her. So of course I’m making a quilt for her from fabric that I’ve been hoarding for some time. It’s called Coconut Grove from South Seas Imports.


I love this print so much, that I just couldn’t cut it apart, so I worked on a pattern that allows for the adorable playful art to shine through. Along with the original print, I also purchased a companion fabric. Seriously, I couldn’t resist.

I added some layer-cake friendly blocks to chunky fabric strips and made a funky monkey baby quilt for the newest member of our zoo. I can’t wait to surprise the “other Sandy” with one more shower gift after Cindy and I get back from Chicago.