Genealogy and Quilting are 1st cousins 3x removed

Two of my passions are Genealogy and Hand Quilting. I have never really thought about the similarities until today. I have been blogging my families history for a couple of years now, although, I have been doing family researching for over 15 plus years. I have been hand quilting for over 40 years.

Hand quilting is an art form of the past, carried forward and kept alive by those of us who continue this form of quilting. (sewing machine not allowed)

Genealogy is the art of digging into a families past and bringing it forward, keeping the memory of those who came before us alive.

Both hand quilting and genealogy cross the barriers of time and connect the generations.

I am generation connector.

A quilter might ask, where did this quilt block pattern originate from? Just as the family researcher might ask, where did the family originate from?

Quilts reflect social history, what the times were like? Census records record and reflect the times and history of the our ancestors. Both reveal a history rich in cultural attitude and bring the past to life.

When I am deep in genealogy research it is easy to be transported to the time of my ancestors. Like this famous painting done Anna Mary Robertson Moses (September 7, 1860 – December 13, 1961)

The Quilting Bee  ~  Grandma Moses 1940 – 1950 


it is easy to see how the two are truly one…the art of hand quilting and genealogy go hand in hand (no pun intended.) Who were Grandma Moses’s parents? Did she have siblings? Are they depicted as children in this painting? Are those aunts and uncles, cousins, all gathered together? Had she watched her mother and aunties quilting round the frame? The questions are endless as is genealogy and quilt patterns and styles…

They all tell ‘our’ story.




5 thoughts on “Genealogy and Quilting are 1st cousins 3x removed

  1. Luanne January 20, 2018 / 10:21 pm

    How many blogs do you have?! My goodness. I hadn’t even heard of making quilts entirely by hand as a contemporary hobby/activity. What a lot of work! And I love this painting. My grandmother had the BEST Victorian crazy quilt ever, and my parents let it sit in the sun for decades (hanging on the wall) and it’s now so faded it makes me sick to look at it.


    • nwpaintedlady January 20, 2018 / 10:38 pm

      I can’t even believe you found the blog, that’s crazy! I actually just started this one Luanne. I have been following a blog of a hand quilter and she belongs to this ‘group’ of quilters that post monthly their progress on whatever their working on. I wanted to join the group since I have just started quilting this huge king size hand pieced quilt I bought at the Goodwill for $3.99. I needed a blog and felt the genealogy blogs were a little bit of a stretch to use…so blog #3. I am happy you found me and I will be posting the project very soon. Thanks for following along Luanne 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Luanne January 21, 2018 / 2:07 am

        Very cool! I can’ wait to see it! I understand about not wanting to put the quilting on the genealogy blogs, although I think your audience might be similar!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. dezertsuz January 22, 2018 / 11:26 pm

    I cannot disagree with anything you said, except the no sewing machine part. My grandmother was born in 1886, and she used a sewing machine from the first moment she could, on everything! =) I like both hand and machine work, piecing, embroidery, quilting. Different things for different times. Mamo and my mother both tied a lot of beautiful quilts with DMC floss, too.

    I like the comparison of quilting and genealogy. It’s a natural fit, and I do both, as well. I think I commented not too long ago on your genealogy blog when I ran across it.


    • nwpaintedlady January 23, 2018 / 3:26 am

      Hi – thank you for stopping by on this new blog. In our grandmothers day after the end of hard days work I am sure it left them exhausted with little time to devote to hand quilting. I would be welcoming a machine too. I imagine her quilts were amazing. I have never used a machine so I am partial to hand work 🙂


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