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.