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.