I figured I wasn’t going to have time to make a quilt alongside all the prep I was doing for the exhibit and lecturing and traveling, but then an idea did just pop into my head…. you know how it goes.... and it wasn’t a terribly difficult idea…..
So I made a tiny 3-block version of the Melrose quilt, inscribed with the names on my own family tree. It was small, easy to piece, and tied, and I did indeed get it finished and submitted in time. I even managed to find a red on cream polka dot fabric for the back, just like on the original!
The center block has myself and my husband in the middle, our two children on the sides, and my father and mother at top and bottom.
The top block connects to my father's name. His brother is at the bottom, and their parents, my grandparents, are in the center. My great-grandparents are on the left and top. On the right my grandmother's siblings are memorialized, all but one of whom were killed, as were my grandparents, in the Holocaust.
Here are all the previous posts:
Part 1 describes the quilt and the initial research. Part 2 details how I narrowed down the dates, and relates some of the interesting family stories I began finding. Part 3 tells the story of the Phinney, Dyer, and Hersey families. Part 4 has general observations on life in the late 1890s. Part 5 sums up my research. Part 6 shares the first information from librarians and historians in Melrose. I wrote a little aside about the fun of being able to look at original records online. And, since the quilt did initially come to me for repair, and I did eventually stop reading census forms and do the repair work, and wrote up the techniques and choices involved. And then I went back to the research, and continued to find lots of great information. After the events, I described the homecoming experience and the exhibits. And a set of summaries of the data and stories that brought the quilt to life.