I'm working at home today. It's the fourth day of heat wave conditions and I'm pleased to be in the same room as the air conditioner. Two days ago lightening strikes started a fire in the state forest about 30 kilometres away but there is currently no threat to private property. The wind is blowing the smoke away from our house so this morning I washed blankets and hung them out to dry.
I been distracted from the 19th century events in Chester County, Pennsylvania by life in the 1930s at the opposite end of the USA. I've been working on reproducing the blocks from my 1937 sampler quilt made in Malaga, Chelan County, Washington. It's a signature quilt made by a group of women for one of their friends.
I bought this quilt on eBay last year. When I started making the Malaga blocks I wasn't going to research the quilt makers. Unlike the Chester Criswell Quilt it wasn't made my ancestors so I didn't think that the women's stories would be of interest.
I was wrong. I created a family tree on Ancestry.com so I could see the relationships between the 25 names on the quilt. There are now 158 people in the tree and I'm about halfway through the names. There is a mother and daughter pair and also a mother-in law and son-in law's sister's pair. I have found a woman who made friends with the local Indian tribes; a Scottish migrant who lived in Chicago during the Roaring 20s and a housewife whose son grew up to be a Senator.
The story of this quilt is on my blog Patchwork Bits and Pieces. You can also see a picture of it on page 58 of the latest Down Under Quilts. I was asked to contribute to an article on buying antique quilts online and the quilt's photos made its way into the magazine. Again.