How I would have loved to have had a family heirloom signature quilt! Can you imagine having a quilt that has your great grandmothers name on it and stitched by her and her descendants. On my mothers side of the family no one has really been a stitcher but not so on my fathers side. My fathers parents were a slight mixed bag as my Nana was of Italian descent and my Grandpa was born and raised in Hampshire and his father and his fathers father and beyond were farmers, they worked the land.
If you go back five generations on my Grandpas side you get George and here is a little bit of my family history.
Louisa Giles Bulkley, was born 10 December 1854 in Upper Wield, Hampshire, England. She was only six years old when her mother died. When she was thirteen years old her father married again and the family left England for the United States. heir ultimate destination was to join the Latter-day Saints in Utah. Louisa grew up and had children one of which was Emma and she was very very accomplished lady. She could cook and quilt and everyone in her family thought her a wonderful woman.
This dear readers is my only connection to quilting, embroidery and applique..... no one else in my family has enjoyed it at all! Now I have emails from her descendants and this is how I know of the history of Emma in the detail that I do. Before she died one of her sons got her to tell him all about her life and he wrote it all down for further generations.
I have a love quilts and I would be thrilled to have a family one in my procession. I am however enthralled by these quilts. Quaker's made a lot of these particular quilts especially when someone married and was moving away. Some communities would all make a square and there would be names and wishes on them and all stitched together. Other quilt were just made by one person say the mother of the bride and had all her family names and wishes stitched on them. Quaker's were prodigious record keepers and friendship quilts served both to acknowledge major life events and to record networks of relationships and friendships within the community.
One example of such a quilt was made in 1847 For a Ann Coppock. She was only 18 when she married. The names of thirty two men and fifty four women appear on Ann's quilt.
Can you imagine such a wonderful gift to receive on your wedding day. This served as a wonderful reminder of all friends and family if you moved away or indeed just a wonderful and useful gift from a community of family and friends of this special day. On Ann's quilt there were names of her husband to be's family as well.
Look at this example of a signature quilt. The date on this quilt is 1832 and was made by a Rebecca Kohler. It is in the State Museum of Pennsylvania.
I hope you have enjoyed part one on some history of friendship and signature quilts and some family history. I have purchased some books on the subject and will be able to read a little about it and share with you. Also I will do a book review on some so you will be able to buy for yourself if you would like more in depth information.....
I am thinking on my quilt I wish to make of putting some signatures on it and stitching them.... It is never to late to stitch an heirloom!
Have a great day and Happy Stitching!