Monday, September 5, 2011

More Blocks and Stitcheries!

The first part of this story is here. It's the story of the quilt that I'm making, with stitcheries to remind my mom-in-law of fun and funny times in her childhood (she'll be 89 in October).

I finished another block, and this one will probably need a little explanation! First of all, can any of you special peeps speak another language (other than English)? Can you "parlez vous" or can you "sprechen Sie Deutsch" or . . . can you speak Fish? Aha! I got you there!

Let's see if you can translate this old Southern nursery tune:

Down in de meddy in a itty bitty poo,
Fam fee itty fitty and a mama fitty, too.
"Fim," fed de mama fitty, "fim if oo tan,"
And dey fam and dey fam all over de dam.
Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem --- Chu!
Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem --- Chu!
Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem --- Chu!
And dey fam all over de dam.

Now before you go and tell all your friends that Snoodles has finally gone completely off her crumpet, let me translate for you!!

Here it is in everyday English:

Down in the meadow in a little bitty pool
Swam three little fishies and a mama fishy, too.
"Swim," said the mama fishy, "Swim if you can,"
And they swam and they swam all over the dam.

A popular big band leader, Kay Kyser, was introduced to this tune by a member of his band, Saxie Dowell, and some folks say it was an old nursery rhyme, while others say it was a tune made up by a college coed. Wherever it came from, it was a #1 hit for Kyser and his singer, Ish Kabibble (yes, they called him that!) in 1939, and others have covered it since.

Here's "The Smoothies" singing it for you. If you want to skip some of the instrumental part (but it's really good) you can skip over to about 35 seconds and just get the words!

Now, my mom-in-law remembers this as one of the songs that her daddy sang to her, and her four siblings. That is a fond memory for her, since her daddy passed away when she was about seven years old.

Years later, it was a song that she sang for her grandbabies, while bouncing them in her lap. They giggled and sang it with her, when they were old enough to learn the words!

Here are some blocks that I adapted from Tonya's May for Me pattern, and the stitchery is my own design:

Again, I'm using thirties repro prints from my stash, and adapting Tonya's piecework to make it just right for my mom-in-law.

Here's a peek at the "itty fittys" up close and personal:

I'll be making some more blocks and stitcheries with special meanings for her, in the coming days --- stop in and see how they turn out!

Hope you enjoy seeing the process behind the finished quilt!
Happy Labor Day weekend!!   :)



  1. That is such a cute idea - and so thoughtful. Your mother-in-law is going to love it. She is one lucky lady to have such a wonderful daughter-in-law.

  2. That is sooo sweet!!! I just loved the story behind this block. I can't wait to see/hear more!! You did such a beautiful job!!

  3. Yup, my family sang (the S-version of) that song, too. Sweet quilt!

  4. Love your adaptation of a wonderful time-old nursery song. Perfect quilt pattern for this - going to be so cute. Look forward to seeing each section and your stitchery.

  5. That is really cute! I love the fishies!

  6. i remember hearing this song as I was growing up. I can still remember the melody. This is going to be a wonderful quilt.

  7. My dad, Kay, was named after Kay Kyser. Just had to tell you that. You don't run into too many men named Kay...

  8. My Dad sang that song to us too! Your quilt is so cool! Your Mother-in-law will love it! What a nice gift!

  9. I remember hearing my mom sing that song when I was a little girl! Blessings, Marlene.

  10. That is adorable. I love hearing the stories behind this quilt! And it is just beautiful!


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