Sunday, February 1, 2009

Zachary's Quilt

This is the quilt that Linda made for her grandson, Zachary. We at The Back Porch Quilters thought it would be nice to talk about someone else for a change. We have so many wonderful people that we have had the privilege to work with. Here is Linda's story and another wonderful recipe to share. Thanks Linda for sharing your life with us.

Linda Gaskins Spannagel wrote the following: I was born in Norfolk Virginia in 1948 with a twin brother, who we unfortunately lost after our 25th birthday. I have spent almost my entire life in this area with the exception of three years (1995-98) when Robert (my husband of 42 years) and I moved to Southern Spain while working for the government. We have one son, Brandon who is 38 yrs old, our daughter-in-law Kristen and one grandson, Zachary who is 6 yrs. old. The quilt that is pictured was made for Zachary on Christmas of 2008. It has photos of him and his family taken during his two years of playing T-Ball. We included pictures from all of his teams so that he could remember them in the future. It truly was a labor of love from his Granny.

My mother bought me a sewing machine while I was in high school after taking Home Economics, but I really never got interested in sewing at that time. I enjoyed looking at material in the material shops and have done some cross-stitching, knitting and making rag dolls for fun. I began quilting in 2004 when my husband bought me a new sewing machine for Christmas as well as signing me up for a beginners quilting class at one of the local schools. I have always had an interest in quilting, but did not know anyone who quilted. My mother, Hattie Riggs Gaskins who died in 2007 at the age of 93, passed down to me two quilts that her Great Grandmother and Grandmother had made for her, one in the late 1800’s and one in the early 1900’s. I guess it was in my blood to quilt and my grandmother Bertha Brinson Riggs was a wonderful seamstress and made clothes for her three daughters. I know they both would have been very proud to know how much I really enjoy my quilting and to see some of the quilts I have made. The first quilt I ever made was named “Patches Pete”. My husband gave me the class certificate for my Christmas present. He had attached a piece of material to it along with a letter. The letter said, “Hello, my name is Patches Pete and I am part of the Pete family. All my brother and sisters have already been included in other quilts. I guess I haven’t because I am so ugly. I promise you that if you include me in one of your quilts, I will keep you company and warm at nights.” Well, I made a Lone Star quilt using Quilt Smart which was new at the time, but it did make it an easy quilt to put together. In the middle of the Lone Star Quilt is the swatch of material called Patches Pete and I included a copy of the letter in a cloth envelope on the back of the quilt. Needless to say, it has been quite a conversation piece. The thing I like about quilting is how relaxing it is for me. My favorite quilt shop is “What’s Your Stitch ‘n Stuff “ in Virginia Beach, Va., but I also enjoy visiting all the quilt shops all over and chatting with the girls. My favorite quilt patterns at the moment is Buggy Barn and I love Henry Glass Pumpkin Spice fabrics and Garden Inspirations by Kansas Trouble Quilters for Moda Fabrics and 3 Sisters for Moda. I attend our annual “Quilt Shop Hop” in the area which consists of eight to ten local shops. They design a quilt and each shop you stop at gives you a pattern block to complete the theme for that quilt. Some of the shops offer kits. They give away baskets of goodies and have dessert socials at the end of the week. It is a fun day for my husband and me. I don’t live close to any particular quilt shop, so I do my quilting at home which I find very relaxing. I take some classes at the local quilt shops and enjoy visiting with the group during the class. My husband enjoys taking me to the quilt shops and helping me pick out materials for my quilts. He is my partner during the shop hops and quilt shows I attend. He enjoys it as much as I do and I enjoy his company. My husband’s mother’s family is from the Smokey Mountains and that is where we both enjoy vacationing, sometimes as many as two to three times a year. We visit all the quilt shops in the mountains and have made friends with the owners and it would not be the same without seeing them all on every visit. I buy a lot of my materials at these quilt shops and I am receiving Block of the Month patterns at this time. I hope everyone enjoys my grandson’s quilt, and I know he will treasure it as much as I treasure my quilts that were passed down to me from my family. I really enjoyed sewing it for him and looking at the pictures and thinking how proud I am of him already at such a young age. It is one of those gifts from the hearts that should last forever. Zachary is very special to us, and I wanted him to have something special from his Granny Linda to remind him of how much he is loved.

My mother gave me this dessert many years ago and I use it almost every Christmas and Thanksgiving. By the way, cooking used to be my favorite thing to do until quilting took over the #1 spot. Hope you enjoy this

A Jewel of a Dessert

This beautiful gelatin mold has the color and sparkle of garnets, the indescribably delightful flavor combination of Bing cherries and pineabble and cola, the crunchiness of slivered almonds. Add a garnish of dairy sour cream sweetened to taste and you have a handsome, unusual and delicious dessertthat will long be remembered.

Cherry Cola Dessert
1 can (1 lb) Bing cherries
1 can (1 lb) crushed pineapple
1 large package (6 oz) cherry or black cherry flavored gelatin
1 can or bottle (12 oz) cola beverage
1 cup canned or packages blanched slivered almonds

Drain cherries and pineapple; measure syrups; add water, if necessary, to make two cups. Heat syrups to boiling; pour over gelatin; stir untilgelatin is dissolved. Add cola beverage; chill until consistency of unbeaten egg white. Combine cherries, pineapple and almonds; fold in. Spoon into eight-cup mold. Chill until firm. Unmold. If desire, garnish with dairy sour cream sweetened to taste with either sugar or sugar substitute. Makes 8-10 servings.


  1. Yum . . . both to the beautiful and meaningful quilt and the dessert. :) Thanks for sharing both!

    Russ -- I finished TWO quilts this weekend. Ready to kill me yet?

  2. What a heart-warming profile on a lovely woman! I really enjoyed reading it and the dessert sounds tasty!