Monday, September 23

What's on the line?

What a glorious day for hanging quilts on the line! On Sunday afternoon right around 4:00 p.m. I took this quilt and another one out to my clothesline in the trees for a couple of photos. According to the weatherman, Fall had arrived at about 3:44 p.m. and it was just a beautiful day. It was a wee bit windy but look at that sun and the grass behind my quilt is greening up a bit after being very brown and crispy because we hadn't had any rain. But we got rain and it didn't take much to make the grass turn green!
And sooooooooo..........what's the story of this quilt? Well this one is quite old, the quilt top that is. It dates to sometime in the 1920's and was made by Granny Blair. This is a bit complicated but here goes. My mother Mary Katherine was raised by her Aunt Bell Blair. Aunt Bell was the sister of my mother's mother Mary Ann (my maternal grandmother) who died when my mother was just 3 years old. Granny Blair lived with Aunt Bell in the 1920's before my mother came to live with Aunt Bell in the 1930's. Granny Blair made the top sometime during the 1920's and then sometime in the 1970's, the top was given to me. I used an old quilted bedspread for the batting and backed the quilt with a soft white sheet. The binding is made from scraps of gingham and polka dot cottons. I tied the quilt with bits of embroidery floss and it made for a really comfy quilt. This was one that my kids, Collette and Devlin, would use when a little extra warmth was needed on a cold night and also when they would not be feeling well. Some of the blocks show wear and I've mended here and there. It doesn't actually get used much anymore but sometimes I just like to lay it out and look at all the fabrics and wonder if they were dresses.....or shirts.....nightgowns? And for a long time, I wonder about Granny Blair. I wondered what her first name was but all my mother could remember hearing of her was that she was.......Granny Blair.  And then this past Labor Day weekend, I got the answer in a most unlikely way. One of my quilty friends on Facebook posted a link to the U.S. Census records and a comment that they were available free for the entire Labor Day weekend. I hopped right over to that link and started downloading Census Records for our family members. And there on the page for Daviess County, Gallatin, Missouri was the name of my Aunt Bell, her husband, John Blair and one other member of the household.........his mother, Elevetta Blair! Finally, I had the name of the woman who made this quilt top! I was so excited. And I loved the sound of her name. So pretty!  I need to get a label made for the back of the quilt and then this quilt will never again be without it's proper identification.
Now the other quilt that I took photos of .......... well, that one will show up next Monday on the line. And if the weather continues being so nice, I may finally get photos taken of those four scrappy quilts that I mentioned a while back. I love Fall because it gives me energy. Summer is warm and sunny but oh, the heat drains my energy. Planning to get out my Fall decorations and make the house look very festive with pumpkins and autumn leaves and a bit of Halloween, too. Here's wishing you a Happy First Day of Autumn! Make it a good one!
Oh! and Happy Birthday to my friends Judith and Lynn and anyone else out there who has birthday this fine day! And remembering especially, my Aunt Bell whose birthday was today. She was born in 1899, a very good year, I'm sure!


Anonymous said...

That is a grand story - finding the name of a relative using the old census and the modern internet!!!!

Unusual name but very pretty.

Pat said...

How wonderful to finally have a name to put on a label for that quilt. It's nice that it found a place to call "home" with you where it is well-loved (and had been used), also.

Margie said...

Remember well what it felt like when I found out the name of a person on my dads side that we had been trying to find. The quilt even looks warm and inviting.

Beth said...

What a great story! I love that you found her name and will now label that quilt.
I still love Monday when there is a quilt on the line. ;)

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Wow....that's so exciting to find out her name after all this time. This is a quilt with lots of memories.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Cool to find some family history, and know more about your quilt.

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