Friday, July 27, 2012

1893 Album Quilt

All week I've been side tracked by the Indians Women's Missionary Society Album Quilt that is in the collection of the Bloomington MN Historical Society.  I seem drawn back to the computer like a magnet to search just one more name out.  Then you should hear me Whoop Whoop when I find someone.

Yesterday I made a replica of the title quilt block.  It's too large, and I'll have to make another one starting with smaller blocks, but it turned out well.  The edges are nearly all bias, and I used a trick from garment sewing called 'stay stitching'.  I carefully straight stitched around the edges to keep them from stretching.  I may need to use fabric starch on the muslin squares if I decide to make a reproduction for the Historical Society fundraiser.  I think this single block would be nice for a throw pillow.

Most of the signatures are those of Native American women from Wahehe, S.D. many of whom were married to Canadian Frenchmen.  Names also include Presbyterian Missionary J.P.Williamson and his wife, the Native American pastor and his wife, and missionary women who were school teachers in the Mission School.  One document I found mentioned how this Women's Missionary Society supported the work of the Mission 'with their needles' and brought in half the yearly income for the mission. 

The quilt was donated to the Historical Society by the Pond family, one of the earliest families in Bloomington.  Edward and Mary Frances Pond were missionaries with Rev. Williamson in South Dakota at one time.  The signature of their daughter, Agnes Pond, is on the quilt.  The 1900 census has Mr. & Mrs. Pond back in Bloomington, MN but Agnes and her sister were still at the mission in South Dakota.  I wonder if this quilt was a going away gift to Mrs. Pond when she and her husband returned to Minnesota.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Exciting new project!

Log cabin variation: Blmgtn Historical Society

Yesterday I stopped by the Bloomington Historical Society to drop off a few things and on a whim asked about quilts in their collection.  What a find! 

The first quilt I saw was a delightful log cabin variation.  There is a half block at the end of every other row, so the blocks do not line up across.   I love the reds and pinks that flow throughout the quilt.

But the quilt that totally caught my interest was a lovely Album Quilt dated 1893.  The center block has the name Agnes Pond, who was from an early Bloomington family, and went to serve in South Dakota as a missionary.  The quilt was made by the women in her mission and given to her as a gift.

Agnes Pond Album Quilt: Blmgtn Historical Society

Another block is penned with the words:
Indian Women's Missionary Society
Presbyterian Church
1893 Yankton, S.D.

Each block has a name written in the center.  What lovely penmanship!

Who were these women?  Why was the quilt made?  I took quite a few photos, and we wrote down the names as best we could decipher them.  Off I went on a mission!  Could I find the women on the internet using a geneology web site? 

I couldn't stop looking, and one exciting find led to another!  The women are all from South Dakota, and most were Native American.  I found many in the 1900 census, and more in the land ownership records.   According to the 1900 census, most of the women could not read , write, or even speak English.  But here are their names, recorded for us to find over 100 years later.  There are also two men listed who were missionaries. 

I hate to set it aside for the weekend, but next week I'll be hot on the trail again.  What interesting discoveries lie ahead?

Indian Women's Miss. Society block

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Indigo Blue times two

The borders went on the two Indigo Blue and White small quilts this week.  I've been able to get some really good time in on the sewing machine.  Hubby has headed down to his home office after dinner to put in another hour or two, and I've been using that time to sew! 
Hard to believe these two quilts started out the same.  In fact, the only thing different is the outer border - one is white and the other is navy.  The pattern is in Kathleen Tracy's book "American Doll Quilts."   I think I will donate one to the Lake Association picnic for a door prize.  Which do you like best?

Linking up to share at .  Thanks for stopping in.  Leave a note, I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Silver Anniversary Quilt: Baby Bunting

Our wonderful children have been such an important part of our marriage, and so our quilt will have blocks to mark the births of each of them.  There are traditional quilt blocks which have names associated with them like Johnny Round the Corner, or Sarah's Choice.  But, the Baby Bunting Block from Quilters Cache' is just the right size, and works for any baby's name.

I tried a couple versions.  For my first Baby Bunting Block I used yellow gingham, the color of our nursery, and a teddy bear print because our first child had a devoted attachment to her Teddy. 

It looked nice, but the contrast between the yellow gingham and the white background was pretty low.  In fact, it shows up better in this photo than in person.  I had another Teddy Bear print and tried a second version, which turned out pretty well.  It might be nice to write or embroider baby's name in one of the two center blocks, and birth date in the other. 

Click HERE or on the link above for a free pattern for this block.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Finale: Civil War Stars

Civil War Stars from Kathleen Tracy's book "The Civil War Sewing Circle" was her May small quilt challenge. and my version is finished!  I love the patriotic look and it was the perfect way to finish up celebrating Fourth of July week this year.

Design Wall: Indigo Blue & White

On the wall this week is the beginning of my July Small Quilt project.  Kathleen Tracy's adorable Indigo Blue And White Quilt was my favorite quilt in her book "American Doll Quilts", and she chose it for this month's project. The first time I paged through her book I thought, "I hope she picks this one!"

Of course I can never seem to do anything according to the pattern, and this is no exception. Before we headed North for the Fourth of July I pulled out blues and whites from my scrap basket.  Her original pattern started with 3 1/4 inch blocks, but that's an odd size for me.  So I pulled from my 4 inch strip bag and decided to use that size rather than re-cut everything smaller.  I had enough to make exactly two center sections.  With a narrow 1 inch border and a wider 4 inch border they are set to finish at 21x26 inches.
At first I thought I'd join them and make one quilt, and that would finish 26 x 31.  But, I've been thinking lately that I should be making some small quilts to give away as gifts.  So, making two might be just the thing.

I'm linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times to see what's on some other design walls this week.  See you there!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Red White & Blue sampler

Happy 4th of July!

Haven't had time to quilt this week.  Things have been too busy around here, and the record heat - it was 99 degrees yesterday in the Twin Cities - has slowed everyone down.  I certainly don't have the motivation to sit at a machine with a warm quilt folded on my lap as I continue quilting up the borders on MQ6!

Every July I replace the bed quilt at the Cabin with this red white and blue sampler that I made in the late 1990's. 

The blocks are from Fast Patch by Anita Hallock, published in 1989.  Anita has a very interesting way of piecing strips, then cutting them apart and re-sewing into checkerboards.  Then cutting THOSE apart and re-sewing into half-square triangles.  Well, the college Math major in me just had to try it.  And it works! 

Have a safe and happy holiday.  Summer is here!