Fannie was born in 1836, later becoming grandmother to Frances, my grandmother. Although the threat of Indian attacks in northern Kentucky was long gone, Fannie’ mother Susan had many tales from her younger years. This block is not exactly like the traditional one; i wanted a design that looked like an ax as much as a hatchet. Some scalping stories are too much for young children! So this block can tell several different stories. The ax was a valuable tool on any farm or homestead – wood was always being cut for fences, buildings, and for fires. Food was cooked over the fire, water for washing had to be heated over a fire – there was always a fire going in the house, and often in the door yard. Everyone had an ax, and if a new building was going up, neighbors might come with their axes to lend a hand.
I recently learned something new about Fannie’s homeplace where she raised her children with her husband William – it was the site of an ancient Indian village. Their farm was full of artifacts – arrowheads, stone ax heads, spear points, pottery sherds. One can only imagine the treasure trove of items found on their land. Eventually it became the first archaeological site in Kentucky.
It is a good thing that this Grandmother Story Quilt is taking some time to construct – it is harder than i thought it would be to assign stories to the blocks!