Heritage (Part II)

“Knowledge is the power that gives us wings to soar.”

George W. Douglas, American economist, and member of the Federal Trade Commission

Baby Quilt

This first photo shows a baby quilt made by our Great Aunt Alice Hall (redwork style 1908,09, embroidered nursery graphics). Alice used a photograph of my cousin Karen’s mother (Gladys Hall Forslund), taken by Karen’s grandmother of Gladys sitting in a chair. Karen still has the photograph. Images of animals and flowers were added in this type of nursery quilt, presumably to help teach the child as they grew. The embroidery is very well done.

The quilt was restored by the Quilting Bees of Whiting Maine when Karen’s daughter Hilary was born. The underside of the quilt is shown revealing anchoring stitches (tacking) rather than quilting, an alternate means of attaching the three layers.

I mentioned in my blog of January 5, that I have been trying to determine how long the Quilting Bees Group has been in existence. From my Great Aunt Janie’s obituary of 1990, I learned she had been a member for 52 years. That information would mean the group existed in 1938, making it 86 years old.

My cousin Pat Hall has provided the names of 18 ladies who have been members over the years. There are currently 4 members faithfully quilting every week at the town hall. They are actively recruiting new members, so hopefully by spring/summer there will be more. The group still quilts by hand, and when given a quilt top to convert into a finished quilt, they give it to be raffled at the community suppers. (aka Firemen’s Suppers) The funds raised are given to those in need.

This quilt has come down through my family from my grandmother, Olive Wheeler Hall. It was created using handsome rich colors, particularly suitable for a man. The vertical rows of stitching are very fine, and the quilt was well cared for by my mother, Hazel Hall Welch.

I created this picture quilt for my mother when she retired after 34 years as a teacher (primarily 4th grade at Sherborne School, Portsmouth,NH). I’ll describe the images and their significance.

Top row left: Mom was very involved in her teaching sorority, Alpha Delta Kappa. Violets were their symbol, (which mom loved) and she lived by the quote. She also received the Red Apple Award for teaching excellence. She taught New Hampshire history to her students each year. It was a year-long process and resulted in New Hampshire history notebooks they created as they learned and gathered information about their home state.

Top row center: Portsmouth, NH is home to Strawbery Banke (this spelling is correct, old English, and was the first name given to the original settlement, 1630. One of the buildings is the Governor Goodwin Mansion where my mom was a docent during the summer season.

Top row right: A love note to my mother

Middle row left: The church symbolizes my mother’s devotion to her faith.

Middle row center top: This is the apartment building where mom, my brother Bob and I lived, 677 South St.

Middle row bottom: The fan represents a by-gone era. My Great Aunt Janie and friends put on musicals and plays. She loved to dress up in costumes. I inherited one of her fans, a treasure.

Middle row right: I apologize that I couldn’t devise a way to turn this image and have it work with the rest of the design. This is Sherburne School, where mom taught the majority of her career.

Bottom row left: This time-honored quote was another one of mom’s favorites. I chose to create this square using counted cross-stitch, an old time technique.

Bottom row center: New Hampshire is well-known for it’s beautiful fall foliage and it’s covered bridges.

Bottom right: Mom and I both love textures. This satin square with the interplay of velvet, satin, and embroidered ribbons in her favorite colors was my way of including them all, and completing the quilt.

She hung this in the entrance to her apartment in Bangor, Maine after her retirement.

I was able to connect with one of the quilters from the Quilting Bees. She mentioned that they have found some old papers that just might have more details about the group’s history.

Stay tuned for more reveals, as well as more quilt pictures.