The focus is not so much on the embroidery and showing a diversity of stitching, but rather the emphasis is on the meaning behind each of the symbols on the quilt square. For this reason, I have chosen to use the backstitch since it is an easy stitch to do and the final image looks like a colored pencil drawing.
This month, the design is the most simple of any that have been done to date. The four key symbols are:
=> Blue ribbon - represents participating in the County Fair. Although Sophia, Olivia, and I didn't have the number of projects we have had in past years at the County Fair (because of the large number of 4-H projects the girls did for another County Fair in July), we nonetheless were happy because each of the projects we entered received a ribbon.
Of the ribbons received, the majority were blue, with a few red ribbons. The girls even earned grand champion and reserve champion ribbons on some of their projects which was exciting.
=> Trio of books - represents taking three days to put together the 2012-13 homeschool year this month. Last month, I spent quite a bit of time determining which curricula, books, and other resources we would be using. These three days were focused on the "detailed" plans (e.g., what we do each day/week for each subject).
The books also represent a relaxed introduction to grades 4th and 6th grades for the girls. Rather than fully immerse them with all the subjects in one week, for the last two weeks of August they have been gradually easing back into school. This seems to be working quite well.
I chose red, orange, and yellow for the books to represent the return of the heat of summer - both in terms of temperature and humidity. What has been missing is rain...we are in the middle of a drought.
=> Hummingbird - purple is one of my favorite colors (green is the other) and hummingbirds are one of my favorite birds. There have been several hummingbirds who have been visiting the feeder throughout the day. It seems like each time I am in the kitchen and look out the window, a hummingbird will appear at some point.
My favorite one is a tiny green one - the ruby-throated hummingbird. She (or he) is much smaller than some of the other hummingbirds that visit the feeder - maybe a juvenile bird? She will stay at the feeder a long time drinking the sugar-water mixture so I've had a chance to watch her for more than a few seconds.
There also is a hummingbird that visits by the bedroom window where I have a trio of window stars that I made. The hummingbird likes the pink window star the best.
=> Amish buggy - this represents the trip that Sophia, Olivia, my mom, and I took to Harmony (Minnesota) and Winona (Minnesota). My favorite part of the trip was going on a tour of different Amish farms one afternoon, and then going to an Amish farmers market the next morning.
We also were able to visit two towns where Laura Ingalls Wilder had a presence - Spring Grove (Minnesota) where she and Almanzo attended church for a couple of years; and Burr Oak (Iowa) where Pa managed the Masters Hotel. The hotel is still standing in the same location today - right by Silver Creek.
There are only four more months left of the challenge. I enjoy looking at the embroidered squares, and each one brings back good memories of things that happened during the month. I am looking forward to being able to sew the quilt together and see what it looks like when it is finished.