Connecting Through Quilts and Genealogy

Recently I purchased a beautiful 1930’s era quilt off of ebay. It was listed as ‘Vintage Texas 1930s 14 Point Star Quilt’. As I began to read more of the description, I realized this quilt had a story. It was in the hands of her grandson, Charles  Merrill, who had lovingly inherited her from his mother. The quilt had been hand sewn which immediately perked my interest (as I only quilt/sew in that pioneer fashion of no machine). The lister went on to say he had no children to pass the quilt on to, which was one reason for selling along with wanting her to go to someone who would appreciate her. No one else had made an offer/bid – it seemed I was destined to caretake this beauty.

Hand pieced and quilted by Alice Hall 

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14 Points is pleasantly worn just as the listing had said, with some age spots and storage stains but nothing that can’t be overlooked.  She was loved – that’s what I know. There is a lovely flower border on two sides. She is not a true white, but rather an eggshell color that dominates her front and solid backing.

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Her stars are tired but her stitching is strong. Sadly she is not signed by Alice but the fact she was past down and kept in her family adds to her worth. Immediately I knew I wanted to know more about Alice Hall and her family ~ combining my love of quilting with genealogy.

14 Points was handcrafted by Marion Alice Hall nee Charles and this is her story.

Marion known as Alice was born March 1890 in White County, Tennessee. She was the daughter of John Green Charles b. Dec 1855 and Nancy Frances Wamack b. Sept 1861; both of Tennessee. John G. Charles’s roots run deep in the south, farmers, and Nancy France’s roots run deep into the history of our country. She descends from William Wamack/Womack, Sr, of Henrico Co. Virginia. There is a considerable amount of information on this family that can be found with a simple google search. The Wamack American roots started in about 1640 as immigrants from England.

I first found John Green Charles (4) living with his parents James Charles and Eliza Templeton in the 1860 census in White Co. TN.  John was one of four children, older sister Serina (6), Martha (3) and Solomon (1). A Lydia Harty (14) was also living with the family. James was a farmer and his personal property was valued at $400. Eliza tended the home and cared for the children. I am sure she saw her share of farm chores and I like to think of her piecing a quilt by candlelight in the early evenings when all was quiet at home. A son named Munrow joined the family in 1864.

Alice’s Parents

 John Green Charles and  Nancy Frances Wamack married on July 5, 1876.

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By 1880 Nancy Frances had given birth to two sons, James Luther (1878) and William (1879). John was hard at work as a farm laborer providing for his family.  1900 ~ is the next census the family was found in and they were still living in White Co., TN. Marion Alice (10) had joined the family by this time and was #6 of 9 children that had been born to John G. and Nancy Frances in those past 20 years. Marion Alice shared life along with siblings  Luther, William, Nancy, Eliza, Jo, Maudy, Charlie and John F. b. May 1900. Sons Luther and William were working on the farm by then. From the census, I learned that John G. was renting and not the owner of the land. I quickly discovered that whatever happiness the family was experiencing was shattered by the death of their mother, Nancy Frances, on the 25 Sept. 1900, White Co. Tenn. This left John G. a widower, 45, with 9 children, infant son John F. was 4 months and the oldest son Luther, 22.

The family made a move sometime before/by  1907 to northeast Texas to the small rural community of Dial, Fannin Co..  I had fun doing a little research on Dial.

You can read about Dial here:

https://www.honeygrovepreservation.org

I was able to find Alice’s sister Maud on the Dial School Class of 1907 ~1908 photo. *Also notice a Zollie Hall attending school as well . This is Alice’s future husband. I was also able to find her brothers Charlie and Frank in following school pictures on the site.

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The web site holds some wonderful old photos of this rural community. I just loved this one from the Honey Grove Preservation page.

Picnic“Several wonderful photographs exist of outings to Beaver Dam, which was apparently a popular picnic spot northwest of Honey Grove on Bois D’Arc creek.  Photos from the Collection of the Estate of John and Thelma Black.”

Another shot of the quilt by Alice Hall ~ can’t you just picture the family picnics that could have been held on her? Possibly at Beaver Dam?

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So by 1910 the family was at home in the community of Dial. John G. was still farming  and the census revealed he was working on his own account although he was renting. Living at home with him was Marion Alice (19) now using simply Alice, daughter Maud (16) son William (27) Charlie (13) and John F. (Frank) (11).

1912 brought another change and that was with the marriage of Alice to Zollie Hall.

On the 17th of March, 1912, Alice M. Charles married Zollie Hall (b. March 1892) in Fannin Co., Texas. Zollie was the son of Mathew Sanders Hall (b. 1842 Dyer, TN) and 2nd wife Henrietta (b. 1854 Hardeman, TN) Raynor/Rainer.

(I must stop and interject that March 17th was my marriage date ~ my husband’s name was Marion Phillip ~ perhaps there was more to my acquiring this quilt than meets the eye ~ if you think in terms like that ~ I do)

Hall Family Photo 

Hall Family - 1905Hall Family Photo from Ancestry from the Hall/Martin Tree 

I love the shy smile on Henriette’s face in this photo.

On Aug 17, 1913, their only child, a girl, Imogene Hall was born to Alice and Zollie Hall. Zollie and Alice lived with baby Imogene on Pean Gaf Rd. in 1920. 1930 brought a change in address and I found then living on Country Line and Church Rd. But by 1930 Alice’s father John G. was living with them. Zollie was still farming and at 73, John was still working as a farm hand.

Corresponding with Charles, Alice’s grandson, I got a small glimpse into the life Alice and her family led. One of the memories Charles shared with me was that his mother Imogene rode her horse to school. She would leave him tied up outside and then at lunchtime go out to feed and exercise him. This memory brings me back to the picture above of the young man on his horse. Could he be on his way to school? It’s easy to let my imagination run a bit wild. Charles also shared:

“Mom was very close to both of her parents and growing up in a religious family provided emotional support.  I went to church often at the small rural church that was built in the country where everyone farmed.”  

Dial Baptist Church

The photo is of the Church building at Pecan Gap

It was torn down, moved and rebuilt at Dial.

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The November meeting showed a report given on progress to obtain a building.  The minutes stated that “a church house at Pecan Gap bought and paid for $120.00.  Place selected to build the church on Brother Lee’s land also shingles bought to cover the house and on the ground.”  Brother J. W. Melton was selected as foreman of tearing down, moving and rebuilding the building.

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In March a date was set for the second Sunday in April to dedicate the new building.  A committee composed of W. G. Lee, J. B. Lilley, J. W. Melton, and Will Taylor was selected to purchase an organ for the church.  Other histories recorded that the building would seat 350, and was valued at $3,000.  The dismantled building was hauled from Pecan Gap by wagon to Dial and then rebuilt.

Again on the Honey Grove Preservation page under ‘Churches’ I found Zollie and Alice listed “Copies of associational letters from 1948-1953 are in the book….. Delegates to the Associational meeting were Mr. & Mrs. Rayford Stroud, Mr. & Mrs. Cleve Melton, Mr. & Mrs. Charllile Charles.  Alternate were Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Carter and Mr. & Mrs. Zolie Hall”

Charles went on to share with me “On Sundays, my grandmother (or mother) would have a lunch (which we called dinner) after church.  Usually, there were five of us including my father, W.M. and sometimes the minister and his wife would join us.  Friends of Alice and Zollie might also drop by for visits on Sunday afternoons.

A special time for me was to spend time at grandmother’s house during the summer for up to a week at a time.  Alice was an avid gardener and always had flowers blooming in summer.  I recall Iris’s and Zinnia’s and roses. 

Alice was a petite person and her height was about 5 ft. 2 inches.  She and my mother would cook together and did some quilting as well.  I recall that quilts were the go-to choice for bed covers and in Northeast Texas, the winters get quite cold.  I can recall having up to three quilts when I was staying with them during the winter” 

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It was during this time period that Alice pieced the quilt I now have the honor of caretaking. I learned something else from 14 Points grandson, Alice was quite artistic and not only did she quilt but later on in her life she enjoyed oil painting.

Landscape by Alice Hall

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This painting was graciously shared and permission given by her grandson Charles Merrill, holder of this beautiful landscape by Alice to share with you. I understand she was self-taught.

Searching newpaper.com I came across Zollie Hall mentioned in The Paris News (Paris, Texas) 06, Oct 1942, Tue

Headed ” Some Cotton Picker ” Zollie is quoted talking about the cotton and corn harvests along with the mention he thought he was a real cotton picker picking 500lbs of cotton a day…wow that’s a lot of cotton. Reading the history of Fannin Co. and the communities it held, cotton was one of the major agricultural crops for the area.

Meet Alice and Zollie Hall 

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It has been such an honor to share this quilt and life of quilter/painter Alice M. Hall with you. May her memory be a blessing to all those who knew her and to those of us who have just met her.

Zollie and Alice are laid to rest in the Oakwood Cemetery, Honey Grove, Fannin Co. Tx

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Thank you to Charles Merrill for sharing your amazing gifted and loved grandmother with me.

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Hand Quilt Along Update

Two new blocks completed for the ‘T’ block quilt.

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My original plan was to create two of each block for this quilt. However, having come up just short on material with some of the choices, that idea is out the window.

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With the block above, I flipped the color pattern for this one (see below) It’s so interesting to see the effect of color placement as well as the difference in color that lighting has on a block. Aside from vibrancy of the color of block 2, I like it better.

 

A big thank you to Nanette of  https://doitrightquilter.com  with a gentle nudge that a flying geese ruler from Eleanor Burns, Quilt in a Day, would help me, I have ordered one and am excited for the ruler to arrive. I know it is going to help with crafting these beauties.

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyLoriMargaretKerryEmmaTracyDebConnieSusan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrin, and Gretchen

Please take a moment and visit each of these wonderful quilters to see what they are working on and their beautiful creations.

Please Help Date Me

Please help me date this beautiful Dresden Plate quilt that I found at our local Goodwill. She is just lovely and in almost pristine condition. Aside for half dozen small size rusty looking spots, I can find nothing else wrong with her.

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The back is a solid white, heavy, coarse cotton, the same as used on the front.

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While material patterns are reproduced, I have enlarged two sections of material I am hoping will give you a clue.

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In the photo above you can see one of those tiny spots. When I first brought her home she was dirty, with numerous yellowish discolored areas. A good dry cleaning and she cleaned up beautifully.

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The quilt measures 61″ X 81″ and each plate block measures 15″ X 15″ What concerns me about her is the connecting stitching of the plate blocks which appears way to tight to be hand stitched and seems to me to be machine stitched (?) They most certainly could be.

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I would love to hear from you with any thoughts or opinions on the age and construction of this beauty.

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Hand Quilt Along ~ New Choice

For over a year I was working on the quilt I named Wishing You Goodwill for the HQAL. Once her quilting was completed, I still had/have her binding to work on but I put her aside to work on the baby quilt for my granddaughter. (which I highlighted in our last posting)

 

So here we are again and I had to decide what I wanted to work on; to continue with the binding on Goodwill or continue with the ‘T’ quilt I began some months back. I had joined a quilt along that was started by Isabella of Then And Again Quilts. We were 4 months in when Isabella had to bow out due to personal reasons. You may remember seeing her gorgeous quilt.

Red and White Double T Quilt

I decided I wanted to continue working on my T quilt. I had these 3 x2 completed

and have now added the following ~

Looking at this first one, I am feeling like the T with the flowered material seems to get lost to the bold blue of the center design. I may try it reversing the colors, the blue as the T and the flowers as the center.

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I have made 2 of this blue block below. I seem to gravitate to the cleaner more traditional looking blocks. The solid with a pattern or 2 solids as with the red and white, but with this started with multi-patterned blocks, I’ll soldier on……

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There are 4 slightly different patterns I am using. I plan on making 2 blocks each of my color choices. So far I have 9 blocks made,  Not sure how many or how large a quilt this will be, I’ll figure that out as I go.

 

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyLoriMargaretKerryEmmaTracyDebConnieSusan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrin, and Gretchen

HQAL March Update 1 Day late

I am back from my long weekend trip to the baby shower for my granddaughter Heather. My daughter Fawn, living in Fairbanks, Alaska, flew in to me (Washington) and together we made the trip down to Oregon. Fawn was a shower surprise! And a wonderful surprise it was. From her sister Marion to Heather and to grandson Joe ~ shock, surprise, happiness all overflowed and made the weekend extra special.

I know I said I’d pass on this posting but I think one day late is just fine.

The finished baby quilt 

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A weekend celebrating Heather and Trent as we await the arrival of baby Wyatt James

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This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyLoriMargaretKerryEmmaTracyDebConnieSusan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrin, and Gretchen

HQAL: 3 Week Check In

It’s amazing how quickly 3 weeks can fly by. Those 21 days really marks progress or not and this week I must report no progress at all was made once I finished quilting ‘Wishing You Good Will’

I am simply not sure how I want to do her border. I did watch a few youtube videos to gets some ideas and to learn more about cutting on the bias (thanks to many of your suggestions)

What I did do was work on my project with a deadline which was the baby quilt for my granddaughter, expecting her first child, a boy in May. The shower is on March 23rd and  I needed to get going on this.

So I have switched project gears with this posting and focused my attention on this new hand quilting project for this hand quilt along check in.

Back in January, I posted my fabric choices and ideas. Last week I finished up all the blocks and pieced the blanket together.

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A slight fabric change was needed. I had originally planned to do all the sashing in a solid light gray but realized I did not have enough material. A quick trip to the fabric store, only to discover they were all out of what I needed soon led to finding the complementary material to the original block choice with the little princely bears…. I couldn’t be more pleased.

With 1 block left to quilt, I’ll be moving on to the border today

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I used a light gray thread to quilt with but after I was into it I began thinking perhaps a light turquoise might actually have worked better.  No turning back and no second-guessing myself, I continued on.  The border will be a wide medium gray blanket binding with a dark gray pom pom ric rac.

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The shower is being held in Oregon City, Oregon the home of my granddaughter, and I will be traveling from my home state of Washington. I will be gone  22 – 24th which looks like falls on our next 3-week posting. If I miss the update, I know you will forgive me 🙂

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Please take some time and visit some of the other amazing projects of the other participants in this quilt along.

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyLoriMargaretKerryEmmaTracyDebConnieSusan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrin, and Gretchen


Hand Quilt Along: Wishing You Good Will

The quilting process of ‘Wishing You Good Will’ has been completed. 1 year and 1 month ago I began this beauty. She was a Goodwill find that needed some love and tenderness to restore. She sat for quite a few years until I hooked up with this Quilt Along. With the encouragement of all of you, I began this journey with her.

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Next step is to do her borders. No thoughts yet on what I will use or do. Idea’s appreciated!

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A sea of blue. The color is not true – it’s a much deeper midnight blue. I just could not get the lighting right 😦

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And mentioning lighting, If you haven’t read KerryCan’s post on using lighting for photo taking (which was excellent) all I can say is – I tried my best Kerry!  Winter time in a room with little to no natural lighting was not the best for this show and tell. You can read her post by clicking on the link below.

https://lovethosehandsathome.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/of-making-hay-and-glamour-shots/

One last look

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Hand Quilt Along Links
This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyLoriMargaretKerryEmmaTracyDebConnieSusan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrin, and Gretchen

Velmas Quilt Completed

Velma’s quilt could not have been completed on a more appropriate day. A very light snow was falling, in fact, our first snow fall of the year.

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The perfect day to present Velma (84) with the lap quilt I made using the log cabin blocks her mother had sewn many years ago. Using only the material that she had given to me, I assembled the blocks, sashed them and actually added a thin additional batting of a lightweight throw blanket to bring some dimension to the sashed areas. I did a general quilting around each block. Nothing fancy.

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What was interesting for me was each block had been sewn individually with batting and backing already. Removing the batting and backing meant dismantling the entire block and starting over with cut strips. So Ileft it alone and worked the quilt using the blocks as is. The pre-quilted squares added quite a bit of puckering but I actually kind of like the effect.

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My goal was to get a lap quilt finished in the least amount of time so that Velma could enjoy it.

 

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©2019,copyright,Sharon Haimowitz-Civitano.All rights reserved.

Cutter Quilt Ninny

More often than not, especially today, I feel like I am back in the stone age when it comes to quilting. It’s not just because I consider myself a quilt purist, (only hand quilting) I never owned a rotary cutter (bought my first 3 months ago) or pre-cut templates or quilting rulers; 60-degree triangle rulers, triangle square up ruler, strip wonky ruler, strip tube ruler, the types are endless, I was lost to the world of quilt lingo up until joining my first quilt along a year ago.

The quilt vocabulary I knew were backing, batting, and sashing. But more recently, in fact in this last week, I learned a new term; cutter quilt.

Who knew that the beautifully framed quilt square I did as a gift for Velma and one for myself came from using a cutter quilt, I didn’t. From a quilt not able to be saved I cut out two of the squares and repurposed them….I created this art piece from a cutter quilt.

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It certainly makes perfect sense now. It did not make sense when trolling ebay for vintage quilts and I came across a number of these for sale. They were smaller sections of quilts and in the heading for the quilt for sale, the term cutter quilt was used. That seemed odd to me, my mind jumped instantly to a ‘cutter’ as in a boat. That didn’t make sense but I trolled on.

I eventually wrote to the poster of these beauties and asked her why these quilts were such an odd size and here was her reply.

New message from:   bayberrycottage  Top Rated Seller(631Purple Star)

Good morning! These are quilt “pieces” for crafting, sewing and such. The sizes are the “cut” sizes, as they are cut from what are called “cutter” quilts. Thanks for your interest. Enjoy your weekend!

Now you may be thinking what a ninny, everyone knows this. In fact, I do feel like a ninny with a capital N.

Of course, it makes perfect sense. But in my defense and returning to the word cutter and boat here is the definition of a cutter:

Wikipedia says:

A cutter is typically a small, but in some cases a medium-sized, watercraft designed for speed rather than for capacity. Traditionally a cutter is a smaller sailing ship with a single mast 

hmmm ~ smaller sailing ship ~ smaller quilt piece, do you see where I am going with this? or is it simply what it sounds like ‘cutter quilt’; cutting away pieces from a larger piece.

And then there’s good old handy google – I could have just googled ‘cutter quilt’ and brought up all kinds of information on this but I didn’t.

So just in case, there may be another ninny out there …….

 

Quilt for Baby Wyatt

A new project has begun, my favorite kind, Baby Quilts! This one is for my granddaughter Heather and her husband Trent; expecting their first baby ~ a boy.

Shhhhhh….it’s a surprise and good thing she doesn’t follow along on my blog so I can share the excitement of this new project.

I decided to use the very basic pinwheel pattern and will make it light weight with no batting.

First I choose this sweet fleece backing and then added the my material choice. The sashing will be in light gray.

I’ll use wide satan blanket binding finished with a very thin trim in gray (pom pom’s) I wanted to add a border but since baby is a boy I did not want anything to frilly. I found this Simplicity trim which was perfect.

 

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I actually made a crutial error in picking my material with the patterned baby bear. Not enough bears to cut out and the pattern was lost in the pinwheel. I could have gotten more material but I decided to add a 4 patch which I will also do with the turquoise material.

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Before beginning and testing my pattern pieces I worked these two sweet wheels. I just love the rainbow material, I have so much of it, soooooo another baby blanket is in the future. This one for a baby girl, extra frilly with a wonderful wide lace border.

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Speaking baby blankets ~ this one is going home as a gift ~ baby shower tomorrow night for the nephew of my husband and his wife!