Monday, March 08, 2010

MY ANCESTOR QUILT BEGINS

I have begun making blocks for my ancestor quilt. (See this post to view the pattern) My grandmother, Mary, had eight brothers and one sister. My grandmother was the oldest child and Hilda, her sister, was the youngest. Mary was born in 1895 and Hilda was born in 1913. Their father, William Payne, was the first Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman assigned to Alberta, Canada. He settled in Mt. View in southern Alberta and there his family was raised. When I saw this quilt all made up the appearance of it took me right to the prairies of southern Alberta. The fabrics looked old and worn, just like I expect the quilts of the era looked when this family was growing up. I have heard all the stories of my great grandfather getting shot by a skunk and sleeping for weeks in the barn; and of the wolf that was stalking the chicken coop. I heard about Uncle Olof falling headfirst off the roof of a shed and into a bucket of bran mush and getting rescued by his brother. I heard about my great grandmother hiding under the bed during thunderstorms because they terrified her. And about my grandmother as a little girl fishing in a stream behind their cabin with nothing but a string and a safety-pin with a grasshopper attached, and catching their dinner without a problem. My grandmother was a storyteller, and for us she created a history and an attachment to a place we have rarely seen, but one for which we have great affection.    

 

Here are four of the blocks I have completed thus far. The last one, in blue, shows how they will be trimmed down. The dark brown will be the alternate blocks. Funny how the color changed in the different photos. The darker shade is actually more true to the color of the fabric.
 
 
Here is a picture of my grandmother, Mary Payne, as a very young woman, maybe around age 16.


 
This old photo shows Mary's brother Billy, who was a year younger than she was. It is very easy for me to get caught up in all this family history. I love it!

Along that same vein, I saw a TV show on Friday night that I loved. It is called Who Do You Think You Are? It is a new series, and last week it was about Sarah Jessica Parker. They did a genealogical search for her ancestors and followed her as she went from place to place following the clues to find her roots.
This Friday they will do Emmit Smith. Check it out! In fact, follow the link and you can watch the first episode with Sarah Jessica Parker.


16 comments:

Karen said...

I do like your blocks and your stories to go with them is very interesting. Reminds me of the stories Lynda Hall writes to go with each of her prim style patterns. She is from Canada originally and has some cute stories about her relatives.

Annette said...

What a wonderful idea for a quilt. And what a very special treasure it will be.

Janet said...

What great stories! I think this is going to be a very special and beautiful quilt. You need to write down her stories to go with the pictures and the quilt.

Janet said...

You are so lucky these stories have been passed down and what a good idea to do an ancestor quilt. I love that idea.

Polly said...

I don't even know most of these stories, you better write them down for us! I love the quilt it is going to be gorgeous, great colors and looks antique. By the way we are thinking about getting chickens, I bet they would get stalked by animals we don't want.

Sue said...

Oh that is so beautiful and such a great plan! I would love to do one of these one day! Good luck with the rest of it! Can't wait to see it finished:)

sewprimitive karen said...

What a good post, love your ancestors quilt very much and thank you for letting us know about that show, I definitely want to see them.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

How wonderful! I must get back to researching more of my family history...I know some of it is from Lethbridge, Alberta...maybe your ancestors knew mine!

Gypsy Quilter said...

Cool!

Quilts And Pieces said...

Why is it that Uncle Olaf's always are getting into funny situations?!!!!

Marla said...

Alberta Canada is a long way from Virginia Beach! You have a knack for storytelling and quilting. I live in Alberta and my grandmother was a great storyteller too. I have her treadle sewing machine and great memories of learning to sew on that machine and spending many hours with her listening.

Country Log Cabin Quilter said...

I watched the show last Friday and plan to watch all of them! It was so interesting! Your quilt will be wonderful! What a good idea. Might need to think about that as I am working on my genealogy on and off too. I hope to be more on soon!

Julie-Ann said...

I watched the TV show, too. It was so exciting for me and I don't even know any of Sarah Jessica Parker's family! My Aunt Virginia has great stories and is our family record keeper.

What pattern are you using for your album quilt? I would like to make one, too. but, not for a while!

Annemiek said...

Great idea and it all sounds só "little house on the prairie"! Love it!

pat said...

Great idea for a quilt, Marcie!! I hope you keep a record telling about all those names/people...so many stories in there. I love that new series; I just wish they didn't make it seem like you have to be on-site to do family history research! Yes, wouldn't it be lovely to be able to do that, but it's not possible. But--isn't it fun to see these people get excited about the family behind the names on the pieces of paper--to become connected? That's the real reason to do genealogy--to find family!! (But you know that!)

pat said...

PS--Love the "Spoolish Pleasures" names!