Fig Tree Day on the FQS Designer Mystery BOM

Hello Everyone!

DM Quilt 4


If this is your first visit here to the land of Figs.. welcome! I am Joanna and today is my turn [along with the lovely Anne, Lynne and The Sisters] on the Fat Quarter Shop's 2014 Designer Mystery Blog Tour. Wow, that's kind of mouthful!



Working with Kimberly and the gals [and let's not forget Kevin] over at the Fat Quarter Shop on their BOM's is always so much fun. The best part each time is seeing what all of the other designers come up with for the theme. Believe it or not, its as much a surprise to us as it is to you!

Several of the years they have done the BOM with Fig Tree fabrics…. Do you remember this one from last year? I just love how these are turning out! Even though my block was a basket…  I think I might love the house row the most!


Or what about this one from Strawberry Fields from 2011- they were all flower blocks set vertically on stems [this one was a personal favorite of mine]?


Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOM Strawberry Fields Block 5


Well this time around Kimberly has chosen stars as her theme and the gorgeously classic Snowbird fabric from Edyta at Laundry Basket Quilts. Love the stars and love the blues! Maybe someday I will grow up and work with beautiful classic colors like these :-)!



Not only that but each designer has named their block after a personal "star" in their life. You are going to love some of these stories so if you haven't already, go back to the previous posts and see what they have said about their "stars".

My personal favorites?  Polly & Laurie and Sandy. You gotta love those ladies!

As for my block and my star… I named it Dear Marysia. After my paternal grandmother who I loved beyond words, who was that "special someone" in my life when I was little and who I missed the most when we left Poland when I was 8. Her full name was Maria but Marysia is the Polish nickname for Maria and the name that everyone in the family always used for her. Except for the kids. To us she was always just Babcia.

I never really got over growing up without her after we left. We corresponded for years once I lived in the US and I will never forget being able to see her again when we went back to Poland after 7 long years without being issued a passport [Poland was communist at the time and they were "punishing" us for emmigrating by not allowing us to come back to visit our family]. I was 15 but I felt like I was 8 again the moment I saw her at the airport. She was my anchor.


… me and babcia.


Anyway…. my babcia [grandma in Polish] was a woman of grace and courage and strength. She was an amazing cook, sewer, knitter, gardner and general all around everything! She was a horticulturalist by trade and you would not believe her gardens! She tried to teach me how to knit… let's just say that it is good that I can quilt!

She raised my dad and his two sisters in the midst of WWII, literally in the midst of it, as multiple bombs fell on their home and my grandfather faught against the Nazis in the resistance and the Warsaw Uprising.

She managed to feed and keep the family together then and after. She was a matriarch in the best possible meaning of the word.  I could sit at her feet for hours and listen to the stories from the war until she was too tired to tell them anymore.

I was the first and thus the oldest of all the grandchildren and there was something about the bond between the two of us that all the rest of my cousins say they could always feel. I just knew she was my safe place. When I had my first son, we visited them when he was just a few months so they could meet him and participate in his baptism. He was the first great grandchild. Both she and my grandfather died within 4 months of meeting Benjamin. The family lore says that they were waiting to meet him. Perhaps they were. I always wish she had stayed with us a bit longer but I am grateful for every minute we had with her.

Kocham Cie Bardzo Babciu!



… babcia at 12 or so

Oh wait… I guess this is a post about the BOM. Got a little nostalgic over here and had to take a minute or two to pull myself together.



DM Quilt 2

I think Babcia would have loved this quilt. She loved blue. Don't forget to go on over to the Jolly Jabber and comment on today's post to win some fabulous goodies!

For more info on the quilt…


Thanks for following along!



As for us, we are a bit crazed this week sending out all the yummy MIRABELLE pre-order kits, some precuts and tons of accompanying patterns. Take a look to see what we have if you haven't gotten a chance to get your hands on some Springtime goodness….  CLICK HERE.



Here are all the oher posts on the FQS Mystery BOM Tour….

3/7/14: Laundry Basket Quilts, Pieces from My Heart, Sweetwater and Bonnie & Camille
3/14/14: Minick & Simpson, V & Co., and Kate Spain
3/21/14: Kansas Troubles Quilters, Bunny Hill Designs, and Me & My Sister Designs, and Fig Tree Quilts

About The Author



  1. Karen | 21st Mar 14

    a sweet story on your grandmother – so glad you were able to go back to Poland to visit her

  2. Sandy | 21st Mar 14

    I loved your story about your grandmother and the bond that you had with her. I hope some of my grandchildren have that feeling with me, it would be wonderful..thanks

  3. Sigi G | 21st Mar 14

    I loved your story and so glad you were able to go back to visit more than once. I’ve only seen a glimpse in pictures of friends that went back to visit of the place my parents (& parents-in-law) grew up in. I wish my dad would have still been alive to revisit, in pictures, his home place – Poland!

  4. Miss Jean | 21st Mar 14

    What a truly beautiful and touching story, Joanna! It is amazing to me that what happened during the war was not that long ago and that there were so many courageous people who fought for the freedom of themselves and others. Your babacia was lucky to have been loved by so many! You have made me remember my grandmother. I have a sweet story to tell that I’ll have to post soon. Hugs!

  5. wendy | 21st Mar 14

    What a lovely story. I’m guessing as your Grandfather was in the Uprising that they and you lived in Warsaw? I was lucky enough to live there for 2 years in my 20s. I love the city, the country and the wonderful people I met there. Poland has a special place in my heart. Ale nie mowie bardzo dobre po polsku!

  6. Jeanie | 21st Mar 14

    I would love to hear more of your stories! This one is pretty special indeed:) XO

  7. Lori R. | 21st Mar 14

    Good Morning! What a nice tribute to your grandmother. You were able to put into words how I also felt about my grandma. I am, also, the first and oldest grandchild, and felt the exact same, special bond. I also had the first, and only grandchild and great grandchild. My grandma lived for the first 2 yrs. of her life and enjoyed every minute of it. I was at a loss whe she passed away, she lived nearby and I was lucky enough to see her several times a week. I still miss her terribly. P.S. My daughter is now 28, and still remembers her with her own special memories. Our daughter is still the only grandchild.

  8. Joanna | 21st Mar 14

    Oh you should most definitely go to Poland. It is a beautiful and magical place and we go as often as we possibly can. My kids have all been several times and every 2 years ago I just cant stand it any more and we go back again.

    Hope you get to go one day!

  9. Jodi Connors | 21st Mar 14

    What a powerful story. I love to hear about family’s that struggled and held it together during uprisings and war. I am so glad that you got to go back and bring your son, what a special time. What a strong woman! Thanks so much for sharing with us!


  10. Linda | 21st Mar 14

    HI,loved your post today!
    Thanks for sharing!

  11. Sandy D | 21st Mar 14

    What a great story. All these stories will come back to me when I am making this quilt.I love what I can see of it and the colors are beautiful.

  12. Carol Sc | 21st Mar 14

    I, too, have enjoyed reading all these stories — they all are so meaningful. You are fortunate to have had the relationship with your Babcia.

  13. Carmen | 21st Mar 14

    What a beautiful story!!! I am crying!!! That is the kind of love I hope every person gets to feel. Thanks for sharing

  14. Mary Jane Link | 21st Mar 14

    You brought me to tears with your story, how blessed you are to have these memories.

  15. Helen Lebrett | 21st Mar 14

    I loved reading about your Babcia!! So lucky you were to have had her near for the first 7 years of your life, and then to be able to go see her again twice. And I’m so glad they got to see your oldest! It is sad when your kids don’t know their grandparents. My oldest was 4 when my mother and Paul’s father died, and my youngest was born just about a month after they passed away. You wish you could give them their grandparents!! I’m so glad too, that you and your family were able to emigrate to the US! I have always loved to hear of people who were able to leave the Soviet countries and come here, and what an asset you have been to our country!! Thanks for sharing your story of your grandmother with us! Hugs, H in Healdsburg

  16. Pati Elliott | 21st Mar 14

    I’m really happy that you got to visit your grandmother and show off your first child to her. My Gram was my anchor in much the same way as yours. She died when I was 21, just before my wedding.

  17. Cecilia | 21st Mar 14

    I loved your story. I’m glad your grandmother was able to meet your first child. Thank you for sharing. This will be a beautiful quilt.

  18. Anita | 22nd Mar 14

    Love your story, I had to compose myself after reading it I got so teary eyed! You need to write a book about her, sounds like you could certainly fill it up with her stories.

  19. Martha Cook | 22nd Mar 14

    Thank you for sharing. Watched you in Utube at a convention and here you are for this. Love the story about your grandmother. I hope my grand kids will have good stories to share too.

  20. Monique | 22nd Mar 14

    Very touching story! I’m glad you have such great memories and that you did get to go back and visit a few times. Our family also left Europe and most of our family ( including grandparents) to move to Canada. I was able to go back once and see both sets of grandparents and one set was able to come to Canada to our wedding. That was very special. I’m glad my parents made the decision to move but it was hard to miss those grandparents!

  21. Marcia | 22nd Mar 14

    You look alot like your Grandma. I posted but it was not about the quilt. It is pretty also.

  22. Mary | 22nd Mar 14

    What a beautiful story! Thanks so much for sharing. I can only hope my own granddaughters will have wonderful grandma memories as well.

  23. kitty | 22nd Mar 14

    Loved your story! So touching!! How wonderful your grandmother has been able to see your first born son!
    Your Mirabelle is absolutely beautiful!! In that respect I must say that I would wish you’d never “grow up”!! Your palette is unique and I think it’s a good thing you have not succumbed to the dark blue trend some designers have given in to, in my opinion not always to their advantage.

  24. Robin | 22nd Mar 14

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful story. It makes we want to be that kind of grandmother someday and pass on the rich heritage that you were blessed with! I love that quilting has so much heart behind the creations!

  25. Leslie | 22nd Mar 14

    Hi! Your life and relationship with yor grandmother is very similar to mine! I believe she is with me everyday, she gave me my talents for handwork and cooking traditional foods!
    Take care, Leslie

  26. Jacqueline Miller | 22nd Mar 14

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful homage to your grandmother, Joanna. Clearly, she had a profound and loving influence on you as you are very much as you describe her. I have read your blog for some time now and always look forward to your generous and honest creativity.Your story is a comfort for all of us long distance grandmothers that time and distance cannot erase a bond such as that between a grandparent and grandchild. I travelled to Australia for the birth of my first grandson and although I miss him terribly, I know that we are in each other’s hearts and shall always be. Thanks again. x

  27. janie krig | 22nd Mar 14

    Thank you, Joanna, family, the most important thing on earth. We get all caught up in “things.” It is our dear families that bind us together.

  28. Lyssa Jane | 22nd Mar 14

    Thank you for sharing your tender story of live and courage in adversity. What a testament to your grandmother is your abiding love for her.

  29. kimberlee | 22nd Mar 14

    Wow, that is so beautiful! I love reading about families’ histories.
    I too was the first grandchild (and also gave the first great grandchild) and my granny took care of me when my parents worked. She was my favorite. And she is the inspiration to why I quilt. I sleep with the quilt she made me every night.
    I am looking for the hexies tutorial. I started mine the other night and am stuck, help! 🙂 I can’t wait to finish it, it is just the cutest. Mine will be very small, I am using a charm pack.

  30. Ellen | 22nd Mar 14

    Joanna, you have your Babcia’s eyes! I loved your story and hope that you will share more of them with us when you can.

  31. Mary Kay Hargrave | 22nd Mar 14

    What a wonderful story! My mother died from pancreatic cancer last September but lived long enough to meet her great granddaughter who was named after her. Special family memories

  32. Lenore | 23rd Mar 14

    Wow, you look just like your grandmother, beautiful!

  33. Joanna | 23rd Mar 14


    Thanks so much for your comment. I am actually in the process of writing a book with her stories, recipes and photos of Poland! It is a long term project for me. One day I will be done!


  34. Joanna | 23rd Mar 14

    Thanks so much for your sweet comments on the story about my grandmother. It was both hard and a pleasure to write!

  35. Joanna | 23rd Mar 14


    Its so hard when you leave an entire generation behind! Thanks for following along,


  36. Joanna | 23rd Mar 14

    I am sure that your grandchildren will treasure their memories of their time with you. Grandmas are so special!

  37. Joanna | 23rd Mar 14

    I am sure that your grandchildren will treasure their memories of their time with you- regardless of how much or how little. Grandmas are so special!

    Thanks for following along,

  38. Joanna | 23rd Mar 14

    Grandmas are one of lifes greatest gifts! The Hexies Tutorial is coming soon I promise but probably wont be ready for another week or so due to some other deadlines that hit us recently.

  39. Joanna | 23rd Mar 14

    I love the idea of having her eyes!!! Thank you

  40. Joanna | 23rd Mar 14

    Those are those special moments that live on in the family history. Thanks for sharing!

  41. Joanna | 23rd Mar 14

    You were so very, very lucky to get so much wonderful time with your grandmother. I am so glad that you had that!

    Thanks so much for following along,

  42. Joanna | 23rd Mar 14

    Thank you for your kind words about my style. You are right… I dont think that I will ever grow up. My colors are me!

    Happy sewing,

  43. Joanna | 23rd Mar 14

    Thank you so much for following along! I cant even begin to imagine what she and others like her went through during the war, or any war for that matter. People are so much more resilient than I think we are.

  44. Joanna | 23rd Mar 14

    Thank you so much for following along! I cant even begin to imagine what she and others like her went through during the war, or any war for that matter. People are so much more resilient than I think we are.

  45. Joanna | 23rd Mar 14

    Thank you for your comment. Made me smile

  46. Joanna | 23rd Mar 14

    Thank you!

  47. Joanna | 23rd Mar 14

    Thanks so much for your sweet comment about my Babcia and your own story. It was wonderful to think about her and write about her. I had never shared anything that personal before and usually choose to keep the blog pretty professional but it was nice to share a part of who I am. She is such a big part of who who I am today.

    thanks so much for following along! Joanna

  48. Kathy MacKie | 25th Mar 14

    What a heartwarming story, thanks for sharing.

  49. Anne | 25th Mar 14

    Loved the story you shared about your grandmother. I only knew one grandparent, and she died when I was 8. She was quite a character!! Blue is my favorite color and this is a wonderful fabric collection.

  50. ColleenM | 26th Mar 14

    I know this post is old but I’m just getting to it. What a wonderful woman and role model your grandma was for you. I have to go pull myself together now…

  51. Joanna | 26th Mar 14

    The post is not that old :-)! Thanks for reading and for commenting. Grandparents are just the best!

  52. Mary-Jane Pocrnick | 31st Mar 14

    Just read your story and like so many others, got a bit teary. I’m a ‘Marysia’ too (Maria Joanna actually.) My Mom was expecting me when she, my Dad and my older siblings Andrew and Anna emigrated to Canada in 1962. I never met my paternal Babcia as she died in 1939 leaving three small children orphaned in war torn Poland, but my Dad’s older sister Ciocia Janka shared stories about their childhood with me.
    Thanks for sharing and for designing such gorgeous fabrics and patterns. One of my dearest friends gave me a Jelly Roll of Butterscotch & Rose for my birthday 2 years ago and I’ve been HOOKED on Fig Tree & Co., ever since!! I’ve completed projects with the original JR and with my stash of Avalon yardage and am obsessively stocking up on all your collections as I find them for many projects to come! Reading about your Polish background was just the icing on the Quilty Cake! Do zobaczenia – maybe someday, somewhere? Cześć!! ‘Marysia’

Leave A Comment