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December 13, 2021
1897 Wool Crazy Quilt from Ann Quilts


This family heirloom quilt has some unique embroideries and provides a glimpse into the quiltmaker's personality.  (And no, I did not leave my scissors on the quilt by mistake.  They are embroidered with a variegated wool thread, giving them a wonderful metallic appearance!)

Here's what the quilt owner told me about the quilt:
I believe it was made by my great-grandmother, Johanna Gerbracht (born: 1865).  She was married to Henry Gerbracht (born: 1863).  They lived in Chatsworth, IL.  The best record I have online says that she married Henry in 1888.  That would make the quilt (dated: 1897 ...

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September 28, 2021
Preserving Our Quilt Legacy - Virtual Workshop - Starting soon! from Ann Quilts


Hey, hey - I'm starting to get the hang of this video promotion situation! My second video is up and running. It's a little "tour" of a great crazy quilt that I've been repairing. 

And this video is by way, of course, of reminding you that the start date for my quilt care and repair workshop is coming closer and closer. You can register for the whole workshop, or for selected alá carte items. Full details and registration info can be found on my website.
 
Bringing a damaged quilt back to life is such a satisfying endeavor. It ...

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August 12, 2021
Quilt for an 1895 Wedding from Ann Quilts

I love a dated quilt.  I love a dated quilt with a family story (see full story below).  Combined together....well.... it's simply grand.

The fabrics have some preservation issues and staining throughout.  And at some point, a critter chewed a hole in the quilt and almost chewed a second.  The good part of that story is that the critter was polite enough to avoid chewing up any of the embroidered history.


#1


#2

I patched both places.  Here's one.

 

I patched the damaged black squares with an antique fabric (with white swirl print).  And I put on ...

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July 25, 2021
Family Quilts: A Quilt from Every Generation for 150+ Years from Ann Quilts

A customer sent me a quilt for repair, and included photos of her collection of family quilts.  She gave me permission to share them with you here.  What a treat to have this many quilts passed down for so many generations!  And only one, the Grandmother's Flower Garden, was in need of repair.

The owner says:  

I have a quilt from every generation down through ones that my mother made for me and for her 9 grandchildren. My family tree goes back to the Mayflower as a direct descendant of John Alden and Priscilla Mullin; it also includes James ...

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May 26, 2021
A Log Cabin Quilt with Mystery from Ann Quilts


I really fell in love with this "homey" log cabin.  It's such a cozy look - and feel, too, as the fabrics are well-loved and very soft.

Family history says it was made in Virginia for the owner's mother, at or shortly after her birth, so in 1920-22.  The fabrics support that oral history, and it's a lovely collection of fabrics from the 1920s.

The mystery is that the top row of blocks was cut off at some point, and then reattached.  You can see that the straight furrow design reverses at the top row.  The reattaching was ...

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A Sparkling Crazy Quilt - Part 2 from Ann Quilts


I've just received a wonderful story in my email.  It comes from a woman whose family quilt I've just repaired.  If anyone ever asks why history is important and fun and how quilts can be a part of history, here is the best answer!

Good morning.  Last evening my grand daughters, Desmin 7 and Cecilia 3 were over for dinner and we were sitting in the dining room. Desmin was facing the quilt and Cecilia with her back to the quilt. The girls are usually very observant and notice anything different in our house but had said nothing ...

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May 18, 2021
A Sparkling Crazy Quilt from Ann Quilts

 

This is a stand-out crazy quilt, isn't it?  

I generally think of Victorian crazies as having so many more blacks and maroons, browns and navies, with brighter fabrics and embroidery threads interspersed only now and then. 

So I looked back at photos of other crazies that have crossed my path, and well, was surprised to see how many are very colorful after all.  So what is it about this one that makes it feel so very different? 

This quilt is super joyful!  It is packed of a wide variety of embellishments, all heightened by beading and other creative and ...

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December 15, 2020
Quilt Repair Success! from Ann Quilts

Tooting my own horn here for a moment! 

Here's the lovely email I just received from a woman who bought my book.

My mother-in-law made the crazy quilt in the photos in the 1920's.  My daughter inherited it.  It had damage where it had been folded for all those years.  Otherwise, it was in pretty good condition.  I show the before and after pictures of a pink piece (photos 1 & 2), and the last photo is of the quilt.  I used your book to plan and make the repairs.  I would not have known where to start otherwise ...

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September 12, 2020
Another Snowflake Quilt from Ann Quilts

Wonderful coincidences and quilt stories just keep on coming.  I love quilters!  Here's the newest one to arrive in my inbox:

I have inherited this quilt and saw you restored one just like it! Thank you for giving me some history of where this quilt came from. I didn’t know who made it but am a new quilter and really appreciated the work. So, that's pretty exciting!

Of course, I wrote back and asked if I could post the quilt and her story here.  She kindly agreed.  Here's what she has to tell:
My grandmother passed ...

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May 29, 2020
Why Restore and Conserve Old Quilts? from Ann Quilts


Why do I like repairing quilts?  My academic background is in anthropology, which taught me about how much meaning the objects we make and use every day can hold.  And all quilts have their story.

"Storytelling is the place where social and personal history meet."

This is a line from a lovely book I recently received, How to Write Your Personal or Family History, by Katie Funk Wiebe.  The book was written by the mother of a dear friend of mine.  She wrote many books, many of them about family and history.

One thing ...

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February 21, 2020
Pinwheel Quilt - The Fabrics and The Repair from Ann Quilts

This quilt measures a whopping 93" x 109" !  The blocks are about 11 1/4".  I think many of the fabrics date to the 1860s and 1870s. 

 before restoration

after restoration

The good news is that this quilt is a beloved family heirloom.  For amazing family story and photos of the four generations of women whose lives are intertwined with this quilt, read Pinwheel Quilt - The Family Story and Photos.

The sad news is that it is a victim of the caustic nature of early black and brown dye processes.  Many of the early dyes added metals like iron to ...

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Pinwheel Quilt - The Family Story and Photos from Ann Quilts

 
I did a major restoration job on this heirloom quilt.  For before and after photos, close-ups of the fabrics I used, etc. read, Pinwheel Quilt - The Fabrics and The Repair.

The quilt owner supplied the history and this great family photo.

Here's the who's who:
"The old couple on the left are my great grandparents Col. Mark and his wife Nancy Wayne Mark. Several of their children are in the photo. My grandmother, Millie Mark Fitzgerald is standing directly to the right of two of her brothers. My mother is the little girl on her brother’s shoulders ...

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January 10, 2020
A Tale of Two Quilts from Ann Quilts

 

Just about three years ago, I posted about a quilt I repaired.  The great-granddaughter who brought me the quilt for repair wrote the story of the quilt and its maker, and sent photos, all of which are included in my post.  The pattern is Pointed Tile, and both the great-grandma and the great-grandpa were quite handy with all sorts of needlework and crafts. 

Christina Waldman found that post and wrote to me about a Pointed Tile top made by her grandmother that she was quilting up.

Well, she's finished the quilting and written a most lovely story on her ...

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January 8, 2020
My Happy Holiday Sewing from Ann Quilts


We had just a few holiday plans, no travel, no guests, and so I decided that sewing on all sorts of back-burner projects of my own was The Thing To Do.  It was so fun!  Here are the results.

The farm.
Another (could it be the last?) quilt in my Something From Nothing series.  This one's been in the planning stage for nearly two years, taking tiny steps towards construction.  It entered full-out construction mode during a fiber retreat in October.  And now it's done!  (It's made with plastic produce bags.)


A flannel tunic.
Warm as they ...

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December 30, 2019
Charm Quilts from Ann Quilts

Well, I think this is a great topic for this put-a-new-calendar-on-the-wall and make-those-happy-wishes time of year.

Charm quilts, as the name indicates, are made with thoughts of good luck in mind.  I'd heard the folklore that the magic happens because each piece is a unique fabric....but if one and only one fabric has been used twice, the quilt has a special magic.  So that's what I did.  My charm quilts were made for my babies because, as a quilter, I of course had to make them each a very special quilt.

I am prompted to think about ...

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October 4, 2019
Family Heirloom Needlework from Ann Quilts


This is a spread made by my paternal grandmother.  I believe the needlework technique is called net darning.  If anyone knows differently, or can tell me more about the technique, I'd love to hear from you.

My grandmother's name was Martha Nathansohn Wassermann.  She was born in Stargard, Pomerania.  Pomerania is a region that is currently split between Poland and Germany, but the border has wobbled over the centuries.  She had five sisters and one brother.  She and my grandfather Karl Wassermann lived in Bamberg, Bavaria, Germany.  They had two sons, Heinz my dad (on the left), and ...

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  • family heirloom
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