Friday, September 27, 2013

Choosing the Fabrics

These are the new fabrics purchased for the restoration of this quilt.
You might say, "those fabrics look really dark!"  Well actually they are very close to the original color found on the underside of the old appliqued fabric.  I chose one that was a little richer in color rather than lighter than the original.

The fabrics are exactly what I was looking for, they are slightly mottled, so they'll blend in with the age of the quilt when washed.  The green fabric is from the Troy Corp, Riverwoods Collection, Modern Textures by Marcia Derse of mddesigns.  The red is called Solids for moda.

When I get home with my bag of fabric I want to begin right away. BUT:::::::::::the fabrics need to be rinsed out first.  I always do this with every fabric I own.  I rinse the fabric in hot water in my sink.  If it bleeds, I continue to rinse until the color is gone. Then it goes in the dryer. This prewashing accomplishes many things:
  • Removes excess fiber and lint from the fabric
  • Rinses off extra finishing chemicals from the fabric
  • Removes excess dye so color doesn't run onto the background or neighboring fabrics
  • When dried in the dryer, fabric may shrink so that the seams will be more stable and cause less puckering.
Only after this has been done, does a fabric go into my "stash."  It only takes one disaster for you to say, "Oh, why didn't I take the time............."

I've made my templates, cut a few tulips out,  and I'm ready to begin the hand stitching that I've been waiting for so long.  I can hardly wait to sleep under this quilt.

Let the journey begin.

Ann Fahl

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Red and Green Renovation Begins

Original border block of the Red and Green Tulip quilt.
Why am I spending the time to do this?  Not only do I love the quilt, but the white background and the quilting are in good shape.  The base is solid, only the appliques are falling apart.  So my thoughts are to remove the really bad parts, and just applique over all of the design, so the quilt looks consistent across the top. I plan on using this on my bed!

Off I go to the Sew 'n Save in Racine, they have a lovely fabric store next to their sewing machine shop.  I've decided that I need 2 yards of green and 3 yards of red fabric.  When matching old fabrics, I find it helpful to have a swatch to find the right colors.  Because there are so many bad spots on the applique, there were small places that I could cut off to expose the original color underneath. So this is what I took with me:
These are the little snippets of the actual fabric I took with me to match colors.
It didn't take long before I found the right fabrics. I'll show them to you next time.

Ann Fahl

My Loughry Grave Project

Jeremiah Lochry 1700-1749

When I first discovered Jeremiah’s gravestone on findagrave I thought to myself, “This headstone needs to be replaced.” His grave and cemetery information can be found there.  The opening page shows his 6 x great grandson near a small rock, which is all that remains of his grave marker. Mr. Lochry was the second person to be buried at the Lower Marsh Creek Burial Grounds in what is now Gettysburg PA. It is a very old cemetery and the Presbyterian Church nearby seems to be taking good care of it.
 Jeremiah's grave today
In 2011, I called the Presbyterian Church and asked them for a photo of the headstone, then contacted their historian, who led me to Codori Memorials in Gettysburg PA.  All this time we’ve been waiting for research to tell us how Jeremiah’s last name should be spelled. The Historical Society in Adams Co. did the work and we’ve determined it should be LOCHRY.  It has been spelled: Lockry, Lochra, Lochery, Loughry, Loughery, Loughrey, Lawry, Lowry, Lowery, etc. so there is reason for some confusion.

Jeremiah Lochry is ancestor #1 in the book titled A Brief Genealogy of the Loughry Family of Pennsylvania by Julia A. Jewett. He came from Ireland to America before 1740 with some of his family. He and his wife had 8 children; at least 5 came with him to the New World. They settled in what is now called Pennsylvania. Several of his sons fought in the Revolutionary War. His descendants are now too many to count, have gone on to accomplish many things. My mother’s family came from PA, and that it how I descend from Jeremiah. He is my 6 x great grandfather, he deserves more than just a remnant of a gravestone to mark his resting place.

Mr. Jim Codori has designed a new stone, taking into consideration the requirements of the ancient cemetery, for Jeremiah.  It says: “ Here Lies Jeremiah Lochry, Died December 1749, Founder of the Loughry Family.”  My goal is to have it in place in the spring of 2014 at the latest.
Planned grave marker 22 x 10 inches, level with the ground.

My plan was to ask all Loughry Family members for donations, but discovered the paperwork and tax implications would make that a difficult project. When I went to the bank to set up a "benefit" account, I had the ladies is tears telling them why I was doing this.  I like to keep things simple, so I am going back to my original plan, and will pay for the stone.  There may be some changes in the above proposed stone.  I will show you a photo of the stone, when it lies above Jeremiah.  This is just something that needs to be done.

This blog has been updated with new information here.

Ann Fahl

Friday, September 13, 2013

Saving an Old Quilt

So here is the quilt, it's a big one, 85 x 102 inches.  The blocks, set on point are 14 inches square. The applique is by hand, and has been done and repaired by several hands.
Red and Green Tulips, a family quilt, no date or maker
As you can see, the red fabric is in much better shape than the green. The green can literally be just pulled off and it's in your hand.  More of it is gone, than present! The condition of the quilt is POOR. Because it is from the cottage, it is very special to me and worth spending the time to rescue.

What is the story of this quilt? No one living in my family knows anything about it.  But here is the story I have put together, based on a few facts. 

My great grandfather was one of the founders of a building and loan in Marion IN, he went to the same Presbyterian Church as Marie Webster. He was a good businessman and seemed to know lots about real estate ownership and management. Then the great Depression hit Marion and the USA.  He then became an owner of too many houses, and they all needed to be repaired and perhaps rented to keep the building and loan afloat. These years were difficult for everyone.

Grandpa must have taken some items in trade instead of rent, when the tenants couldn't pay. I think that is where this quilt came from.  This beautiful appliqued piece was something that had been treasured and had some value to the original owner, so it was given in lieu of rent. It had been well cared for and it was probably old at the time of the Depression. This is why I think it came from a family in Marion IN, but who knows where it was originally made.

Another theory is that when people left these homes, some of their belongings were left in the buildings. But I cannot see a woman leaving a precious quilt in a home she was leaving.  This still may have happened. I'll never know these details!

Grandpa bought the cottage in 1927 and owned it until about 1940.  Over the years all kinds of things turned up at the cottage, it had a big porch and living room and 4 bedrooms that needed to be furnished. This quilt was one of the things that was in the big trunk upstairs, and I've kind of grown up with it.

Now it is time to begin the time consuming task of repair. I'm looking forward to this part.

Ann Fahl

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Change of Pace.... a new project

For awhile now I've felt like I needed to return to my quilting roots, to work on a hand project.  This sounds a little strange for a 'dyed in the wool' machine person like myself. But I'm tired of the rush and the push to finish projects fast. I want to be a slow quilter; savoring each stitch and enjoying the feel of the soft cotton fabric in my hands.

Before I ever took a quilting class, there was a beautiful red and green tulip quilt that used to be on the brass bed in the master bedroom at the cottage.  By the time I took that all-important first quilting class, I pulled it out of the closet and admired it, for the color choices and the good quilting stitches.

Sadly I realized that time had taken a toll on that quilt.  The green fabric was falling apart, and the red wasn't too far behind.  Someone folded up the quilt and stored it in the old trunk upstairs so it hasn't been seen or slept under for a long time.

Last time I was at the cottage, I dug it out of the trunk and asked if I could have it.  In its current condition nobody would ever want to use it!  So I brought it home.  I've purchased 5 yards of fabric to re-applique the blocks, by hand.
Red and green tulip quilt block to be restored by Ann Fahl
So I have begun what may be a lifetime project. Will it take a year or ten?  Who knows.  I've spent a little time each evening adding a new piece or two. This feels right. Why has it taken me so long to work with my hands again?  Next time I'll show you the quilt and tell you its story.

Ann Fahl

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Put "Art Quilt of the Day" on your page

Thanks to a quilter named Wendy, you can install a quilt gadget on your ighome page.  I have used as my home page for years now. It will be discontinued on November 1 of this year.  The replacement is ighome.

Wendy emailed me the other day, distressed because she would miss the Art Quilt of the Day gadget on her new page.  So I got together with my webmaster and he said it wouldn't be difficult to put it on ighome.  Last night, it was uploaded, thank you so much Andy.
Ann's new gadget is shown in the center.

Now you can have Ann Fahl's Art Quilt of the Day on your ighome page.  Just search for "Ann Fahl" in the ighome search bar and you will find it.  It can also be found in either "new" or "lifestyle" choices. Each day the quilt changes, so you won't get tired of looking at the same old one. If you'd like to learn more about the quilt, you can click on it, read the story, or see larger and closeup images.

Even though they are all my quilts, I enjoy seeing what pops up each morning.  Some of them have been sold, so I haven't seen them in awhile. Quilts make the day more enjoyable. Another bonus is that you will be the first to see one of my new quilts the morning after they are uploaded to my website.

There are lots of other gadgets you can add to make your personal page more fun or informative. Give it a try by going to

Ann Fahl