Wednesday, April 01, 2009
My Family Quilting Connection
As you can probably tell, I've been having a wonderful time going through old pictures and scanning them. This is me on my first birthday with my only relative who quilted, my great grandmother Warner. Unfortunately, she passed away not long after this picture was taken, but I do have a great scrap double wedding ring quilt that she made. It is my first quilt memory because it was used on my bed when I was growing up. I remember looking at all the different fabrics and wondering what they had been bought for originally. (Remember in those days, no one went out and bought fabric to make a quilt.) There were lots of feed sack goods in that quilt and they haven't stood the test of time very well, but you can still see her wonderful tiny stitches.
My grandmother Warner was born Hattie Thomas in Marshall County, Indiana and she was raised a Dunkard. Dunkards were plain people, and this small sect is now part of the Church of the Brethren. I've done quite a bit of family history research on this branch and discovered that the name was not actually Thomas, but Thomen. Back before the Revolutionary War, great grandmother's family had left Germany because of religious persecution, moved to Alsace-Lorraine, and then emigrated to America. The Dunkards tended to stay or move together (safety in numbers, I guess!). They settled in Pennsylvania first, then moved to Ohio, then finally to Indiana. Dunkards, like other German Anabaptists, tended to take on more of their English neighbors' ways, and this included using printed fabrics for quilts rather than just solids like the stricter Amish.
I wish I'd gotten to know her. I'm certain it would have pleased her to know that I love quilting just as she did.