Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Search is Over

The monument has been found.  This has been a very exciting search!  So many of you helped in some way,  my posting on FaceBook brought many ideas and results. This may seem like a small thing to you, but to a family history buff, this is like winning the lottery. This experience has been wonderful.
Full view of the front of monument honoring the 5 men from Kyllburg Germany
The monument is located in the churchyard of St. Maximin Catholic Church in Kyllburg.  It honors the five men from Kyllburg that fought under Napoleon's flag.  At the top it states "For Napoleon's Warriors." Each young man was recognized by an engraving on the front or side panel, briefly telling their story. They are:
  • Jacob Lano
  • Johann Wallersheim
  • Moritz Clemens
  • Johann Wedman
  • Theodor Freywald
As young men they left their town, for maybe adventure or perhaps for the pay offered by Napoleon's Army. Each served in the 7th Regiment of his Dragoons from 1805-1814.  I've tried to translate the text on the stone, but on the photos some is not readable.  Jacob Lano 1785-1816, was in the Grenadier Guard.  Johann Wallersheim was a Dragoon and died December 22 1847.  Moritz Clemens 1789-18?7, in the Dragoons. Johann Wedman's description was undecipherable. Theodor Freywald who is my husband's ancestor, 1783-1847,  was actually in the 16th Regiment of the Dragoons, although it states he was in the 7th Reg.  How great it is to learn that your ancestors have been honored in such a way.

There are photos of all the inscriptions. I'm sharing just a few of them with you.
Shows detail of artwork, silhouette of Napoleon, photos courtesy of Mayor, Wolfgang Kramer, Kyllburg.
It was really exciting to get all of this information.  I want to thank all of you that helped, by doing some translating of websites and finding the mayor of Kyllburg and the secretary at St. Maximin's the church where this monument is located.

These are some of the people that helped:  Andrea Stracke, Pia Ulrich, Marge Barlow Martin, Susan Inge, Jacquie Scuitto and Diana Feit.

Thank you to everyone that wrote or emailed me with suggestions.

Ann Fahl

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A New Old Quilt for Valentine's Day

It was last week when I completed the last stitch in the new binding around this restored 1880s quilt.  I've been celebrating by sleeping under it each night. Because of its wool batting, it's nice and warm.
Here's the finished quilt on the bed.  I made pillow cases out of muslin with a matching 2 inch red stripe to match.  I think I'll make another set using the green fabric.
When I first started working on this quilt many of the blocks looked like this, but this one was the worst.

So the next generation of the family knows what has happened to this quilt I printed a rather lengthy history on fabric and sewed it onto the back.  If you want to read what I said, it follows below:

Harvey Family
Red and Green Tulip Basket Quilt
85 x 102 inches
There are no family stories or oral history about this quilt, but there has been some discussion of who might be the original maker.  As a young girl I remember that this quilt was displayed on the brass bed in the bedroom on the main floor of the Harvey Cottage at Winona Lake, IN.  In the late 1960’s it was a beautiful quilt but in great need of repair.

In September of 2013 I began the task of repairing it. On January 2, 2015 I placed my last stitches in the binding. This was a labor of love.

The original white background fabric had beautiful hand stitching worth preserving, but the red and green fabrics were in terrible condition. The green had so many holes in it, I could just pinch and pull it off the quilt. I re-appliqued brand new matching red and green fabrics over each block and the outer border. 

There were numerous little holes in the white areas, both on the front and the back. I appliqued new muslin patches over these areas to give the quilt more stability. As I worked I marked the areas that needed to be re-quilted, and that was all stitched by hand. A new binding was sewn right over the original binding to protect the fragile edges. 

This quilt has now been transformed into a beautiful piece, the layout of the blocks, the hand quilting and the contrast of the fabrics is stunning. I’m glad that I was able to preserve it for future family members.

A quilt historian told me that this tulip quilt was probably made in the 1880s. I’d like to think that my Great Grandmother Nancy C. Harvey (1870-1959) sat around a quilt frame with her four sisters: Belle, Alice, Lida and Madge Culbertson, to finish it for her wedding in 1891. There were many hands that stitched on this quilt, some were the original stitchers and some probably sat on the porch to make repairs in more recent years.

Inside the quilt is wool batting and I know that they had sheep on the Culbertson Farm in southern Indiana. The wool fibers had to be carefully placed on the underside of the top to give it loft and warmth.
Ann Harvey Fahl,
Quilt artist and family historian

Happy Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

From Quilting to Family History: Searching for German Monument

A Monument for Theodore Freywald!

Most of you know me because I have been active in the quilting community for more than 30 years. After retiring from teaching in the field my new mission is to write a book about the ancestry of each of my grandparents.  I've finished one and started another. In the meantime my husband has become ill, and I'm working on his family history while he can still answer my questions. Most of his family has been here only 3 or 4 generations coming from France, Germany and Poland.  I have found some fascinating people in the process.

Dragoons may have dressed like this.
So I'm asking for your help in locating a monument in Kyllburg Germany. I am told it is in Nord-Rhein-Westfalen area. It was erected in 1871 to honor the 5 soldiers from this community that fought for Napoleon. Our ancestor was Theodore Freywald (1783-1847) of the 16th Regiment of Dragoons during the years 1805-1815. Dragoons are soldiers or guards mounted on horseback.

About the monument: It is described as a shaft on a square base with a cross on the top. A profile of Napoleon is on the front. Enscription "For the Wars of Napoleon." The names of the soldiers are inscribed on it. Do you know where this is located?

For each ancestor's biography, I try to find something to use as a symbol. Long ago there were no cameras and selfies! It would be wonderful if I would be able to connect with someone that can send a digital photo of this monument and the names of the soldiers it honors; for my book. Theodore was a brave man, some of his children immigrated to America. See photo of Magdalena below.

Please repost this request to anyone you know that might live in this area of Europe.  Thank you so much.
Magdalena Freywald 1825-1907

My next post will be about the old tulip quilt that I am reparing.  It is done.

Ann Fahl

Friday, April 4, 2014

Feeling Nostalgic

Today, I've decided that I would hang up some of my trillium quilts in the house.  Each month, I hang new quilts in my living room; it gives my largest room a different look; I cycle through my quilts to limit their exposure to light and dust.  I have to say that I am enjoying living with my work so much more than in the past; I guess because I'm not producing as much work at this point in my life.
Sewn Together, original quilt by Ann Fahl  33 x 26 inches.
I happened to unroll a pile of smaller quilts, and out comes my quilt titled Sewn Together. This piece features a featherweight machine that was used by 3 generations of Harvey women.  The first was my Aunt Nelda Vibrans who first purchased the machine.  She grew up in Indiana and spent quite a bit of her life in Chicago. Nelda was the only fiber artist in my family; painting, knitting, sewing and making quilt tops.  Color was what she loved; the two of us used many of the same colors: blue, rose, red, turquoise and purple.
Nelda with her husband Frank Vibrans Sr. in about 1949. She was still sewing with the Featherweight.
Some time later, Nelda gave the machine to her niece Mary Edith Jones.  Mary Edith was a young mother that also liked to sew. Years later, when I was 12 years old, I visited her for a whole month, in Forsyth Georgia; my first time away from my family.  Mary Edith let me sew on this machine, the first time I had ever sat down at one in my life.  I have no idea what I stitched, but it started me down a path of a lifetime of sewing.
Mary Edith with Jasmine the dog in 2005 at age 84.
She exposed me to sewing, and I loved it.  My mother was a pianist who didn't like sewing.  I owe so much to these two women in my family.  They gave me the gift of sewing. This has given me so much creativity and the sense of accomplishment and purpose in my life. One never knows what little idea or craft might spark a child to the extent of changing their life. It certainly was a skill of a lifetime for me!

Teach someone to quilt.

Ann Fahl

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Another Book Finished!

My great grandmother Nannie Harvey, 1950s, standing in the garden which is still beautiful today.

There isn't any quilting in my life at the moment.  I've finished writing The History of the Harvey Cottage. It has 85 pages and over 100 photographs and maps.This particular adventure began in 2005, and the completed manuscript is now in the hands of a friend who will proofread it for me.  Soon it will go to the printer and become a real book for the members of my family to read.

The cottage property was purchased by my great grandparents in 1927 and has been in the family ever since. It is a place that has much influence on who I have become; and inspired many quilts along the way.

In my research, I found this photo of my great grandmother standing in the garden that adjoined the cottage. Her name was Nancy Jane Culbertson 1870-1959.  She was very gentle with her great grandchildren, but she never smiled!  I will always treasure this picture of her. Oh yes, she possibly is the maker of the red and green tulip quilt which I am still restoring.