June 9, 2021

Family Names on a Signature Quilt - Part 3

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
...in which researching names on a 1910 quilt traced the relationship between those people and my ancestors.

Family Names on a Signature Quilt - Part 2
...in 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 comes about because a second person came across these posts of mine while researching his own Flexner family history and wrote to me.  It didn't take much conversation to determine that we are indeed, also, related.  Our great-great-grandfathers (Moritz and Jacob) were brothers, so our common ancestors are our three-times-great-grandparents (Michael and Rebecca).  Isn't it marvelous to know the tree for that many generations?

A major question I had at the end of Part 2 was how the branch of the family on the Iowa quilt - descended from John Flexner - and my branch of the family - descended from Moritz Flexner - are connected.  The research of one of these new cousins of mine pretty well confirms that John was another brother of Moritz and Jacob.  They all emigrated and all headed branches of the Flexner family in this country.

My new-found cousin had traveled to the Czech Republic in 2019 as part of his research, and was able to locate and photograph the birthplace of my great-great-grandfather Moritz Flexner (b.1820) in Vseruby, Bohemia!  What a wonder!  He also found the birthplace of John and Jacob, in a different city, as the family had moved. 

May 26, 2021

A Log Cabin Quilt with Mystery

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 done by simply overlapping the two raw edges and stitching several rows of machine stitching with no attempt to neaten up the rough cut.

A Sparkling Crazy Quilt - Part 2

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 about the quilt. Suddenly Cecilia said I love this and went over to touch the bottom of the quilt. Desmin who is quite the artist at her young age and since very small done lots of art projects with her grandpa and daddy and on her own, still said nothing. I said Desmin what do you think. She said, I just keep looking at the quilt and how beautiful it it is. Then she gets up and go to the quilt and very gently feels some of the patches and is especially interested in the beaded ones (sparkle ones). Then they wanted to know how old great great grandma would be. Desmin wanted to know how old she was when she made it, how long it took her and how she did it. The quilt lives on.

I recently posted about the subject of this story, a sparkling crazy quilt.  On that post, you will find lots more photos of the creative and fun embellishments and fabrics on this quilt, and why there is a ribbon on the quilt bearing the name "Nordd. Lloyd / D. Havel".

May 13, 2021

A Sparkling Crazy Quilt


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 fancy bits - it is simply dancing.  The brightness has been heightened a bit by patching done in the 1970s that add in that era's colors, too.  But clearly the quilt was a riot of color right from the start!

April 22, 2021

Antique Photo from Melrose, MA

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 that I collected.  

But wait - now there's more!

April 12, 2021

Good-bye, Amazon....

I've decided to make a change to my business plan.  I am going to stop selling my book on Amazon.  The sales page will be set to "out of stock".  

The book will now be available only on my website, which links to my sales page at Square for the financial paperwork.  I hope that folks who come looking to buy on Amazon will now come looking for me as an independent seller.

*****  https://www.annquilts.com/book.html  *****

Read on if you want to know why I'm making this change.  I am much crabbier about this than I sound, believe me, and have decided to put this in the most positive way I can. 

1: Selling through Square costs significantly less for nearly the same list of services.
2: Square provides a smoother and more flexible seller interface.
3: I feel much more in charge of my business decisions by selling this way.
4: My sense of morality is not nearly so threatened. 

One change to my seller rhythm is that I needed to design my own receipt since Square doesn't provide a pre-formatted one.  This was not a hardship.  The only thing I've really lost is Amazon's huge marketing reach.  And I'm quite happy to trade that in for peace of mind and making my own decisions.

It's definitely the way to go for my small business and for my world view.

I am happy to say that I’ve been getting more and more orders at my website this calendar year, and am very, very grateful to those of you who are already shopping from small businesses and independent producers and artists.  

March 17, 2021

A Beauty of a Quilt

 Here's a gorgeous quilt.  It's as simple as that.

This quilt came to me for repair.  The quilt dates to c1850.  As old as it is, it is in nearly pristine condition, save for a place in the center where it got wet somehow with something.

Here's how fabric looks in an undamaged block.

You can see that whatever spilled on the quilt ate away at the brown fabric, and also carried some of the dye into the white background.  It's interesting (though sad, of course) to witness how the liquid ran along the fibers of the fabric. 

The dye also shadowed on to another block, and bled all the way through to the back.

The owner and I agreed that patching with another fabric was not an option, given the age of the quilt and skill of the quiltmaker.  

I put crepeline over the 4 damaged diamonds to help protect the damaged fabric.  Crepeline is a super fine silk.  (A previous post about crepeline.)  Here is one of the damaged diamonds - as is on the left - with brown crepeline lying on top the right.  You can (just barely) tell the crepeline is there because the batting in the holes is just slightly darker, and you can see the edge lying against the pink diamond on the right.

Here is the finished block with crepeline:

And now - here are many photos for you to enjoy!

So many gorgeous fabrics:

The quilting is gorgeous - a unique alternate block design:

(Photo courtesy of quilt owner)

Quadruple diagonal lines in the tulip border!

The overall views are spectacular!  I couldn't stop myself from adding a few more.