Another project that has been on the back burner:  a sampler quilt with blocks memorializing my many grandmothers.  Begun in 1999 during a period of geneaology/family research, this project has been put aside long enough.  Below is the cover of the Belle Meade Plantation Education Program pamphlet, created when i was the education director in 1993.  Each picture/block was to represent one of the programs at the site.

1993 Program Cover
1993 Program Cover

I love to do family history, but find that the black and white of documents, names and dates is rather dry.  How do those people come alive?  This is how the idea for the story quilt came about:  there is a children’s book called The Josephina Story Quilt, and in it a family makes a long journey westward in a covered wagon that has very little space, especially for their hen, Josephina.  Along the trail, the little girl makes quilt blocks that represent different aspects of the trip, including adventures that the hen has.

A list of my grandmothers and what occured in their lives has been started.   It is tough to find the women’s stories because most records are about the men-fathers and husbands.  For some of the women i will have to tell a generic story that relates to the time, place, and generalities of her life.  At the moment, i will stay in the period of 1800-1900.  A block in a quilt is a unit that often has a descriptive name, and i hope to use the name and image to relate to a grandmother’s story.   My hope is to make a quilt that can travel with me to classrooms and events, and be displayed while i tell the stories.

I am trying to create a block (10″ square) for my story quilt every day…until i get at least 21.  One block will be seperate so that i can letpeople touch it instead of my quilt.  More photos are coming!


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