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December 6, 2021
A New Chapter from Humble Quilts

Blue and white quilts always remind me of the snowy mountains in Central Oregon!
I put them on display when the Christmas quilts come down. 

Totality 2017

Now for really big news!

WE SOLD OUR BUSINESS! Papers were signed on Saturday!

We will continue to run the Machine Shop. The work load for paperwork and stress will be so much less! It all happened a little earlier than we anticipated, but the opportunity could not be passed up. 

This is why I mentioned a few posts ago that I will be having more time to sew and create!

I'd ...

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November 1, 2021
Travelog, part 4: family history in the Northeast Kingdom from With Strings Attached

 Wikipedia explains:   The Northeast Kingdom is the northeast corner Vermont comprising Essex, Orleans, and Caldedonia Counties. The population is about 65,000. . The term "Northeast Kingdom" is attributed to George D. Aiken, governor and senator.  He first used the term in a 1949 speech. The area is often referred to by Vermonters simply as "The Kingdom." 

 The Stevens and Woods families settled in and around St. Johnsbury, Vermont, in the early 19th century.   The Hilyard children spent every summer in their mother's hometown in the late 1940's and early 1950's.   We hadn't been there since 1998 ...

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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.



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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June 9, 2021
Family Names on a Signature Quilt - Part 3 from Ann Quilts

Well, well, well.  The story continues.  The backstory for this post can be found in two previous posts:

Flexner Family Names on a Signature Quilt which researching names on a 1910 quilt traced the relationship between those people and my ancestors.

Family Names on a Signature Quilt - Part 2 which I was contacted by relatives of the people whose names are on the quilt, and they confirmed that whole new (to me) branch of my family.  The discussion left many more unanswered questions of the exact ties between the two branches.


And now for Part 3.  This chapter ...

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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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April 23, 2021
Antique Photo from Melrose, MA from Ann Quilts

A few years ago, I did a lot of research on a quilt with many names inscribed.  It seems to be fund-raising quilt, and was made in Melrose, MA, in 1897 or 8.  The information and connections made via this quilt just keep on coming...

You can read about the quilt, the research process, and the results - there are 14 blog posts - starting here, if you want to read through the whole process step by step.  There also is a summary of the process, a description of my adventures taking the quilt "home" to Melrose, and downloadable sets of data ...

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April 11, 2021
Siblings Day from With Strings Attached

 April 10 is Siblings Day.  (Here is the Wikipedia link.)  

Nancy and Lori, 1955
(I couldn't pronounced Valerie. When she was six she said she was Valerie. When I was 16 I said I wanted to be Nann.)

Valerie and Nann, 1968 




David and Carolyn Blaine, 1924

Carolyn and David, 1936

Marion and Bob Carothers, Dec., 1926.   Marion's first birthday, Bob's second.

Charlie and Marion, 1952.

Marion and Bob, January, 2002.  Bob came when Dave (Dad) died.
Marion died that April and Bob died that July. It was quite a year. 

The Hilyard siblings ...

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December 23, 2020
More Snowflake Quilts for the Winter Solstice from Ann Quilts

Yes, I'm a day late for the Solstice, but better late than never, I figure.  Let's slow down for a while and appreciate the cycles of time and the amazing Earth we all share.  Wishing everyone health and kindness. 

And so, let's talk about the quilts.  I've showcased two Snowflake quilts here on my blog made from a Paragon kit.  And now, here come numbers 3 and 4!!!  

The first quilt I wrote about was a repair job.  The quilt was made in the late 1930s.  There are two posts.  One tells about the quilt and ...

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October 19, 2020
Dad's Quilt of Valor and More from The Modern Diary

I am really enjoying the Once Upon a Book Club boxes!  I read this one in a few days.  Normally I think Picoult is a bit to fluffy but this book had lots of info on Egypt, death dualas, etc.  I actually really enjoyed it and was not sure which couple to root for!
I am also really getting into solo gaming!  I have been playing Tiny Epic Zombies almost everyday.  I need to teach it to Kathy so we can play competitive or cooperatively, but so far I got my ten bucks out of this used game (which arrived ...

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September 30, 2020
Musing on Family History and Our Current National Disasters from Ann Quilts

I posted a few days ago about how about a quilt made in Iowa 1910 is connected to my ancestors and family members.  At one point in my writing, it occurred to me how many people whose names are on that quilt soon were to experience the 1918 pandemic.  In fact Etta Flexner, whose is one of the people I was researching, died in 1919.  I haven’t been able to find a death certificate for her (yet), but who knows - the timing is right for her to have been a flu victim.  She was 40 years old at her ...

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September 22, 2020
Flexner Family Names on a Signature Quilt - Part 2 from Ann Quilts


You'll find the full backstory to this post on a post from April, 2018.  Here's a short summary.

Back in the 1980s, I'd found three people with my mother's maiden name, Flexner, on a 1910 fundraiser quilt at the museum in Kalona, Iowa.  They were not included in the genealogy that my mom knew, so we went exploring.  And after a circuitous and long route, I finally unearthed the answer:

My great-great-grandmother and the mother of the man named on the quilt were cousins.  They both had married men from the Flexner family.  So this quilt ...

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September 1, 2020
Social Justice Sewing Academy - Remembrance Block Project from Ann Quilts

Hi, everyone.  My recent three weeks of sewing have been deep and meaningful.

As some of you know, I have been doing some sewing for the Social Justice Sewing Academy for a while now.  This is a brilliant organization, lovingly and thoughtfully created and organized. The mission statement includes using and teaching sewing and art skills as a way to voice social justice topics and to give voice to parts of the population who are underserved or not served by the art world.

I can best describe the Remembrance Block Project by quoting from the website:

...a quilt block community ...

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August 20, 2020
That's a LOT of blocks from Crazy Quilter on a Bike!

I was off to the gym yesterday! And it was so much fun to be back! Masks are required inside, of course, but once you get to the cycling studio, you can take the mask off. Joseph is the BEST spin teacher I've ever come across. He's tough, but he's good. Even though he doesn't check, he motivates you to slog through the hard cycling. I cranked out 32 KM on the bike without a thought. OH, that's a lie - I thought about lowering the tension on the bike, but I didn't. I feel ...

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July 31, 2020
Quilted and Bound and a Loss from The Modern Diary

 Keeping up with my reading this week.  Finished this one and now reading Barbara Kingsolver's "Lacuna."
 I picked up FOUR quilts from the longarmer down the street.  She quilted my sister's Midnight Flight Christmas Quilt and now it is bound and waiting for a label.
 She also quilted my daughter Hannah and son in law Jeremy's wedding signature quilt.  Also bound and waiting for a label.  I used to label ALL my quilts, then somewhere along the line I got lazy and stopped.  I need to get back to it!

 The grandbaby's quilt with sloth in ...

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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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  • family history
  • Page 1 of 2 ( 25 posts )