Thursday, June 23, 2016

Growing Old Isn't So Bad After All

I recently had a birthday, one of those big ones. Fortunately the Queen has a birthday in June too and as she gets a public holiday I make the most of the long weekend.  We traveled to Ballarat along with grandchildren and their parents to celebrate the event (my birthday that is, not the Queen's).

I knew something secret was being organised.  No one had asked me, what do you want for your birthday, and when I did offer some suggestions I was told my input was not required.  What was being planned, and would I like it? I just had to wait and be patient.

All my guesses were wrong, this was my amazing birthday present.  A signature quilt from my family.

This is truly a labour of love, a quilt made by people that don't normally make quilts.  It was about five months in the planning and involved choosing fabrics in my favourite colours and sending them around the world.  The process involved grandchildren drawing pictures that could be translated to material; hidden blocks in a shared suitcase on an unexpected trip to the USA; missing seam allowances: a move to Switzerland and back with the materials chasing the signer; patchwork novices who thought, how hard can it be? and discovering the answer; whether some imaginative spelling should be fixed or left as a humility block (it was left); and contacting the Two Bits Patches webmaster to get a download of the central block from the Chester Criswell Quilt without mum finding out.

I am still overwhelmed, each time I look at it I think of the giver, truly an example of the sentiment:

Remember Me When This You See.



While the family was at Ballarat we took the opportunity to visit Sovereign Hill, a reconstructed gold mining town built on the original gold mines.  

Sovereign Hill, Ballarat

Quilters don't take the same photos as other people, do we?

A brick form to make wagon wheels

Door lock

Church detail, Ballarat

This week's CCCQ Revisited block is Block 31 John and Martha Dickey.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Twin Quaker Quilts Discovered

Late last year I posted about a signature quilt that I had purchased online.  I found that although it was from Texas the families involved were originally Quakers from Indiana.

Original post : A New Family Soap Opera

A few weeks ago there was a discussion in a Facebook group about quilt blocks with an 'H' shape.  Janette posted a picture of a quilt she owned.

I added a photo of my quilt and asked where Janette's quilt had come from.  She replied that it was a signature quilt made for a Maria A Jessup, age 70, and that one block said Rachel E Reeve, age 9, 1916.

Now it was getting a bit spooky.  One of my blocks was signed Grandmother Reeve, and one of my dates was 1916.   A flurry of posts followed and we found both quilts were signed by women named Reeve, Hadley, and Schlenker.

I spent an afternoon on and was richly rewarded. 

Dr. Maria A Jessup was a Quaker and an obstetrician practicing in Indiana.  Her biography is included in an article Pioneer Women Physicians in Indiana and I found her photograph.

Janette's quilt was made for 'Dr. Ria' for her 70th birthday in 1916.  Maria Jessup had no children of her own and the names on the quilt appear to be extended family and friends.

My quilt was made in Texas in 1938.  Grandmother Reeve was Adelaine Reeve and her mother-in-law was a Jessup.  My quilt names are a cheerful confusion of families with ten children, half brothers and sisters and cousins marrying cousins.  I don't know who the recipient was but I identified one row of the quilt by using the information from Janette's quilt. At least two of the matrons in my quilt were young women in Janette's quilt.

So, two quilts made in two states twenty-two years apart with the same families and the same block.  Both quilts ended up with the same online seller and two people each bought one quilt.  So where did the quilt end up?  

One in the county, one in the city, about three hours drive away from each other.

In Australia.

What are the chances of two family quilts ending up on the other side of the world and being connected because the new owners are in the same group on Facebook?  Social media can be a force for good.

This week's block for the Chester Criswell Quilt Revisited is Block 30 Elizabeth Crosby.