Thursday, October 29, 2015

A New Family Soap Opera

A few weeks ago I spent some pleasant hours looking online at quilts for sale.  There were a few signature quilts to admire and these blocks got my attention.

Who was Grandmother Reeve? And who was Grandmother Schlenker?  These two ladies were side by side but their signatures suggested that they were two very different women.  Fortunately the price of the quilt didn't stretch the budget (very much) and I opened the parcel on Monday.

The quilt is in good condition, one block has some wear.  I assumed 1930s without looking too closely at the fabrics.  There were a number of Reeves on the quilt including Grandmother Reeve.  I jumped onto to make a start.  I had no location information so I searched for the most unusual name on the quilt.  Unfortunately I found a possible three different Fidelia Hollingsworths.

I tried a few other names without a lot of success but got a hit with this one.

Only one Allo Reeve.  I was then able to locate a few other names on the quilt.  It appears that a previous generation, Quakers in Indiana, relocated to Amarillo, Texas and kept up contacts with the folks back in Indiana.

I choose Esther Reeve O'Rear to get some details.  Esther adopted the common American practice of making her maiden name her middle name so I knew she was married and could search both her single and her married records. 

I found Esther's death certificate.  Hooray!  A death certificate gives plenty of information to fill in the gaps.  I was quite pleased until I found her cause of death.

Carbon monoxide intoxication (self inflicted) sitting in an automobile inside an enclosed garage with motor running.

I wasn't so excited now.  I felt like an intruder into someone's private life.  I finished with the computer and didn't search any more that day.

I took up the search the next day.  Esther's death was over fifty years ago and I was hoping to find out more about her and her family.  I went back to the quilt to transcribe all the names (which I should have done before I started on the computer).

I discovered dates!  There were two 1916s and a 1896.  There were ages too - 22 years, 27 years and 74 years.  1916 seemed to work with the ages of the writers so I looked again at the fabrics.

I spy shirting prints.  The quilt seems to be 20 years older than I first thought. I've never had a quilt from 1916, this purchase is looking promising.

(I just double checked Esther's age .... Esther was 7 years old in 1916 so the quilt can't be this old)

I am now pretty certain than Grandmother Reeve was Ethel Reeve nee Hadley, Esther Reeve O'Rear was one of her daughters and Allo Reeve was one of her daughters-in-law.

But who was Grandmother Schlenker?

to be continued ...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Going Once, Going Twice

This quilt is up for auction next week.  It is dated 1886 from Bradford County, Pennsylvania.

Hand stitched Album Quilt

No, I'm not going to bid.  By the time I add the buyer's premium, wire transfer fees, the dollar exchange rate and freight to Australia I would have a tough time justifying it to my spouse.

However I did buy one (or maybe two) other quilts online recently.

My first purchase arrived today.  From Texas, dates of 1931 and 1939, and lots of names to explore.  Can't wait to hit and see who I have.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Which do you prefer - the movie or the book?

I've made a promo video for my e-book, Round is the Ring That Does Not End: Stories from the 1852 Chester Criswell Quilt.

Do you like it?  The music is Hanover Hymn, played by the Sale (Victoria, Australia) City Band.  I'm playing the tympani.
The e-book has a rating on Amazon now, it's #490 in Quilts and Quilting Kindle e-books.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Rising Sun Rises

I purchased a sampler quilt last year which has a late 1800s / Ohio look about it.  My favourite block on it is this Rising Sun.

Rising Sun

The Rising Sun block can be pieced or appliqued.  Ruby McKim says the pieced block "is an intricate pattern, but not enough so to daunt the quilt maker who aspires to a design that is both lovely and unusual."  Fortunately mine is an applique block, all the white space is the background fabric.

I started to make my own Rising Sun last week.  I printed the pattern from EQ7 - BlockBase 3390.  I made plastic templates and traced the pieces, then used my light box to get the positions right.  Everything started quite well.

My original block has the yellow centre circle and the yellow triangles on top of the red segments so I did the same.  Not so good now.

The red peeks out between the two triangles.  I can see that I need to turn under the outside edge of the red segments before I add the triangles. And I need a lighter thread colour - which I have to buy online and the postage is more than the thread. I have put the whole block aside for the moment ...

My granddaughter spent a few days with us this week, a treat for all of us.  We made a quilt for Emma's teddy.  Emma choose some orphan blocks and matching half triangle blocks and arranged them.  She did the pinning and handed them to me to sew and press.  We are both pleased with the result.

If you look at the blogs listed on the left side of this post you will see some Chester Criswell quilt finishes.  Hoorah!  I know that not everyone got through to the finish; some people made The First Year blocks but would now like to make some more. Some folk have just recently bought the patterns and have missed out on the blog posts and photos each month.

I have been considering running another quilt-along for the Chester Criswell quilt.  I'm thinking one block every two weeks, starting with Block 1, then the first block of The Second Year, the first block of The Third Year, then back to Block 2 and so on.  There would be no commitment, just a chance to share your progress and see what others are making.

What do you think?  Love to see your comments here.