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Connecting the (Polka) Dots

It’s been so busy here. How about you? I had a cookie decorating party yesterday with Sherry (see her beautiful cookies in my May 3rd post) sharing all of her helpful hints and tips on making “designer” cookies.

A great time was had by all… with lots of icing bags  just waiting to add that magic touch to a stack of naked sugar cookies.

I had a difficult time with the fancy designs, but found that I really enjoyed making dots. They add a nice touch, are fairly easy to make, and are somewhat forgiving of my unskilled hands.

I wonder, are these simply dots, or are they “polka dots?” That piques my curiosity so I do a quick google search to find the following information, provided by David Wilton, Friday, April 13, 2007.

“Where did this name for round circles of dye on clothing originate? And what, if anything, does it have to do with the dance of the same name?

In the 1840s, the polka was sweeping Britain and America. It was the latest dance craze, like the Charleston of the 1920s. In an effort to cash in on the fad, manufacturers began naming all sorts of thing polka. Polka gauzepolka hatspolka curtain bands and many other products with the polka name hit the market in the 1840s. Although, the actual term polka dot is not attested to until 1857. Of these, only the polka dot survives today.

The term polka dot first appears in the magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book of May 1857:

Scarf of muslin, for light summer wear…surrounded by a scalloped edge, embroidered in rows of round polka dots.”

I love dots – especially all kinds of dotted fabrics. Perhaps this stems from my passion for these beautiful ladybugs. My dear friend Nelly sent me this wonderful photo. Isn’t it the best? It reminds me that taking the next (or first) step is all relative.

Photo by Nelly Schrager -

Who knows where these preferences come from? Perhaps spending eight years of my youth in plaid skirts has caused me to avoid working with any print resembling blue/grey plaid ;-).

On another subject, remember this beautiful jelly roll? I love these hot summer colors. It was hard to decide just what to make with them. C&T Publishing asked me to demonstrate easy steps for constructing quilt blocks with “points.” The Sawtooth Star is one of my favorites.

These are the blocks I have made so far. I will be spending the next few days sewing them together in an interesting arrangement.

Blocks for online demo.

Now … I’m ready for some tea and cookies and then I’m back in the sewing room.

Enjoy another week of creative sewing.

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