Thursday, January 23, 2020

Pieces From the Past - Signature Block



The Signature block is one of the first Kansas City Start blocks that I ever made.  I had recently started quilting and pulled out the collection of patterns and fabric that had been Grandma Schleich's.  Among them I found 15 pieced blocks with embroidered signatures on them (shown below).  But there wasn't a block that featured my Grandma's name.  

There were several pre-cut pieces that were saved with the pattern (shown in the upper left corner of the picture to the left...






I considered my options and decided that I would make a block using her fabric, but what was I to do about a signature?  Thanks to my Mom's hard work at collecting family facts and documents, I have a notebook that had Grandma's Certificate of Naturalization with her signature!  















I traced the signature and then embroidered her name on it.  I should have used fewer strands of embroidery floss to stitch her name, but I didn't... and I haven't taken the time to fix it.











I began asking on around on a fb group if anyone knew of any others that had given blocks to Grandma.

The names include:

Mrs. Linnie Quast - Bob O'Brian - Miss Betty Masters - Katherine Schleich 

Miss Evelyn Schleich - Gene O'Brian (son of Bob & Mae O'Brian) - Mr. Quincy Masters - Mae O'Brian 

Carlys Quast - Rowena Masters - Minnie Quast - Mrs. Yergert 

Christine MacDougall - Mrs. Hester Masters - Miss Martha Yergert - John MacDougall 

You can find details on these
individuals over on the Piece From The Past That Started It All post...

Now, if you look closely at Grandma's naturalization paper you will notice that she became a US Citizen in June, 1943.  I can't help wondering why she waited so long (31 years) to become a citizen?  

She came to the US a a child in 1912 at 13.  I think I was told in high school that she had wanted to be able to speak and understand the English language well.  No one really knows what education Grandma had...  As I said she was age 13, turning 14 a week after arriving... Grandpa had only a 6th grade education and had attended school for two years prior to immigrating, making him 7 years old when he started school)... perhaps she had completed her schooling in Huck and never attended school in the US?  I think this could be a strong possibility.

**EDIT**  I have recently discovered that Katie did, in fact, attend school in Garfield, Kansas for one year.  The year that she arrived in the US.  I also discovered that according the census records, it was reported that she had attended school through 3rd grade.

I wonder... Did the facts that WWII was in full swing with Germany and Hitler and the Nazi Army coupled with the announcement of the opening of Camp Trinidad (and knowledge that the prisoners were going to be German) cause some concern for them?  Were they wanting to avoid any confusion or accusations of being affiliated with the Germans/Nazis?  

(My Mom confirms this fact.  Grandpa took the Citizenship class(es) six months before her in December 1942.  They did not take the class together because he wanted to let her know what it all entailed before hand.{{Isn't that sweet!  "I'll go first and then tell you what you need to know."}})  

I have so many questions that I wish I could have answers to!

But I am sure YOU are asking... where is the pattern for the signature block???

Here you go!  Head over to payhip and grab it now!  You will have to set up a user ID but it is quick and easy and the pattern is offered at no cost.  If you have any questions regarding the piecing of the block please let me know.  You can email me at
MelvaLovesScraps@NolanQualityCustoms.com.

I  will do my very best to answer any questions about this block and help you.

The phrase "the third time's the charm" was the case for me and making this block...

The printed newspaper patterns don't include seam allowances and even then, sometimes I wondered if it was really 3/8" or was it supposed to be 1/2".  **sigh**

I knew I wanted this block to be a 12-1/2" block for the sew along... my first block was too small and there was no 1/4" seam allowance on the outer edges which would have cut off the corner points of the center block... 

I had to make adjustments for a larger block...   and the second block wasn't right because the corner pieces were still too small.   


   


I finally got it right on the third block... **happy dance**
When I began to embroider this block I used only two strands of floss... versus the three strands that I used on the purple & yellow block I made for my Dad's quilt... you know, the one that I mentioned that I should fix...

I still did not like the look of the stitches and after having 90% of the embroider complete I decided to pick it all out.  It was just too heavy and made it difficult to read.  




















In the end I used one strand of floss and am much happier!



Now that you have the pattern, you may be thinking "where is the letter that you talked about sharing???"  

Well, you see... I have only 19 letters, but needed 20 blocks... so the next block will feature a letter.  Don't give up on me yet!  Each block has been carefully selected to relate to each letter with regards to a topic included in the letter.  I'll be sharing some delicious recipes and a few memories from my older cousins that were fortunate enough to have her in their lives for some years.

Letter writing is a lost art. I recall writing and receiving letters to and from Dave in our short time apart during the summers when he returned home to Illinois during the summer breaks of college.  We would have the opportunity to talk on the phone as well, about once a week, but that was a little pricey as well.  With the evolution of technology and social media it should be easier to keep in touch, but the busy schedules of life can make keeping in touch a challenge.


How do you stay in touch with your family and friends?  Are you a letter writer? 

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear from you.

I admit that I am bad about writing letters to others, but whenever I receive a note card of thanks for a quilt that has been gifted from us I save it to place in a scrapbook along with a photo of the quilt.  It is a helpful way to keep track of all the quilts I have made... I mean it is impossible to keep ALL OF THEM!

Now, if you haven't already, go grab your pattern, make your block and then come back to link up for an opportunity to win a fat quarter!  If you don't have a way to link up, email me (address above) and I will happily link for you.  All blocks linked up before the next pattern release (on February 13th) will be eligible for the prize drawing for a fat quarter.  

When your block is complete share on instagram, tag me (@MelvaLovesScraps) and use hashtag #PiecesFromThePastSewAlong or post on my fb page - Melva Loves Scraps. Quilt Happy!

Melva


Linking with:

Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Creative Compulsions at Bijou Bead Boutique
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
Friday Foto Fun at Powered by Quilting

Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts


Monday, January 20, 2020

Scrap Dance Minuet Mystery Quilt S L O W Finish

Last yearI joined in on my first Mystery Quilt - Scrap Dance Minuet - hosted by Carole over at From My Carolina Home.

It was a scrap buster and easy to follow along.  The clues were offered at an easy pace and the steps were beginner friendly and came together quickly.




Once the blocks were pieced I was stalled... 

I had the idea to use sashing strips between the blocks.  

I like the way it looked on the design wall and when someone commented that the sashing strips would take away from secondary pattern that was formed when the blocks were joined together my initial response "my quilt, my choice".  



I moved forward ignoring their opinion...  But once it was sewn with the sashings and a border I snapped a picture... and immediately... I did NOT like it.  At. All...

I ripped it all apart (while binging on Heartland over on netflix) and started over with sewing the blocks together sans sashing strips.  Okay, so they were right.  

Once I got the first border on it I was stuck again...  I was busy too, with some pattern testing and camping excursions.

When I finally returned to it in about September or October I had settled on doing a checkerboard border and using a printed double wedding ring backing for the quilt.  I got it sandwiched but lacked any great ideas on how to quilt. so  it hung in the closet until I had inspiration for how to quilt it.

Carole helped out with that as she revealed what she was doing.  I was in love with it, but I was bogged down with commissioned quilts and quilting for customers.

A few weeks ago I prepared my year in review and plans for 2020 at the end of December, and I had determined that this mystery quilt would be my first finish of 2020.  I was determined!

As I had it laying on the floor to consider marking for the quilting when my husband passed through the room and took a look and commented that he really liked it.  I asked him what he liked about it... it reminded him of an older scrappy quilt.  My response was "I'm glad you like it but, it's not really one of my favorites."  

That was before quilting!  Once I got it quilted and the binding on it... with big stitches with variegated floss... 





... it has really grown on me!
























The timing of this finish is a little funny in that I am currently reading the last of the Patchwork Mystery books... I mentioned a few of them as I shared about the different steps of making this quilt.

There were many times that I related so strongly with statements made... such as in this conversation between Sarah, the main character and quilter with someone who was considering the purchase of a valuable antique quilt.   

Sarah::  "The artistry is in the color and pattern choices.  As well as the quilting pattern.  The maker of this quilt created a complex design in the spaces in between the calico pieces."

The potential buyer responded with "I feel that the artistry is lacking."

Sarah countered... "I think that quilters find the structure and simplicity soothing.  The construction of the quilt is full of passion and creativity, but the result is meant to comfort and bring peace."

For over a year I have become familiar with the characters of this series and I will miss reading about the various stories that unfold as Sarah repairs old quilts, researches quilts to determine who the maker may be and makes her own quilts.

But the good news is that once I am done I am willing to pass on the entire set (27 books) for just the cost of shipping.   (Actual cost has not been determined because of the distance that they may travel via UPS {the closer the location, the lower the cost than shipping across country}, but could be calculated quickly.)  Are you interested?  Let me know...

Just like Dave and I have differing opinions of quilts, colors, layout and more, we can always agree that the quilts are meant to comfort and bring peace to those who use them.

Happy quilting!

Melva
Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Pieces From The Past Sew Along
that features vintage Kansas City Star quilt blocks!
Linking with:

Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Friday Foto Fun at Powered by Quilting

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Pieces From The Past - A Sew Along

Welcome to Melva Loves Scraps and the Pieces from the Past sew along!
I am beyond excited that you have chosen to join me in this journey to the past as I share the Kansas City Star quilt patterns that were collected and saved by my Grandma Schleich, as well as the letters that former German Officers that had been held at the Prisoner of War camp located near Trinidad, CO.

It is with a deep appreciation to C&T Publishing for granting permission for me to scan and share these patterns at no cost to you.  Details of the pattern and letter release dates can be found at the end of this post.  I recommend that you sign up to receive notifications via email by signing up in the right sidebar to guarantee that you don't miss a single post.  You can also follow along on bloglovin', facebook and instagram.  

Over the years, here on my blog, I have shared some brief details and snippets of info with you about my Grandparents.  But to lay a historical background I offer a brief synopsis of the lives of my Grandma and Grandpa and how and why they came to America...


Cue the song by Neil Diamond from The Jazz Singer - America!


My Paternal Grandparents (Phillip and Katherine {Bohl} Schleich) came to America as children with their families as German Immigrants - more specifically, Germans from Russia. If you are interested in the why they were considered German's from Russia you can read the next little bit.  If you want to skip the history lesson, feel free to scroll past it... I'll never even know. πŸ˜‰ 

"During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Germany had become the scene of bitter and prolonged religious conflicts.  The underlying causes were social and political injustices and religious abuses.

When Martin Luther broke with the Catholic Church, he touched off a series of devastating events.  With religious issues absorbing the energies of the people, social and political progress came to a standstill.  You can read more on this by looking up Martin Luther.


The Seven Year War took place from 1756 to 1763.  This war was considered the crucial one which helped the colonists decide to move to Russia.


In 1763 Catherine the Great offered the Germans villages of their own role and 120 acres to every son born along the Volga River.  The villages were formed by people who came from the same general neighborhood but Catherine wanted those of the same religious convictions to settle in the same villages.  Thus the Schleich and Bohl families moved to Huck, Russia.


Years later the Germans left Russia for the same reason they left Germany - Catherine didn't live up to all she had promised and  the settlers became unhappy.  It was in the late 1800s they started their emigration to the United States."


Short story... they were not Russia citizens, rather, they were still German citizens.  The route they made in order to make the journey had them leaving Huck, Russia by train to Bremen, Germany before they could emigrate to the US on the Hanover, arriving in Galveston, Texas.

The two families lived in the same village (Huck Russia) and Phillip and Katie knew each other as children.  


Phillip Schleich, (Dad's Dad) was born August 18, 1897 in Huck, Russia.  He traveled to the US in 1907 with his parents in 1907.  He was 9 years old when they made the journey.  The first birthday he celebrated in the US was his 10th.

Katherine Bohl, my Dad's Mom, was born August 23, 1899 in Huck, Russia came to the US with her parents in 1912.  She was 13.

While living in Russia, Katie was a young girl when she had a grandparent that was near death.  Her mother sent her to retrieve a bucket of water, an act on her mother's part so that she was not present when the grandparent took their last breath.  Phillip saw her and being an ornery little boy he threw a handful of mud in the bucket.  



I have never heard the outcome of the story or Katie's reaction to the mud in the bucket.  No doubt she had to get a fresh bucket of drinking water... but can you imagine the devastation of learning upon her return that her grandparent had died... and the potential for her blaming herself for taking too long to get the fresh water???  If you follow the link in the previous paragraph {the highlighted word Russia} you will see some pictures of some underground springs in Huck... I cannot help but wonder if this is where Grandma was sent to get water as a child.  




I suspect that Grandpa did regret his action... just the fact that the story stuck with him for years and stood out as one of the stories from his childhood that he felt  worthy to share when my Mom asked him about his life in Russia as a kid in 1980.

Phillip attended school for two years in Russia, and for one winter in Kansas after their move to America.  When the Schleich's left Kansas (where their sponsor lived) they moved to Swink, CO.  Phillip went to school through 6th grade, completing both 2nd and 3rd grade in one year. 

Phillip and Katie were married at ages 19 and 18 on January 24, 1918.

They had 5 children...

Clara, Edward William (Bill), Leroy, Melvin (my dad) and Howard.  Howard passed away at just 4 days old of bronchial pneumonia and influenza.

Phillip and Katie lived  first in the lower Arkansas Valley area (La Junta, Swink, Rocky Ford).  It was in the late 30s that a gentleman by the name of Mr. O'Brian hired them to farm land located East of Trinidad, near a tiny little community called Model.  It was while they were farming near Model in the early 1940's that the WWII Prisoners held at Camp Trinidad were "hired" to assist with the sugar beet harvest.  You can learn more details and see pictures of the camp  at "Westword." 

Now that you know just enough detail of my family history I will move onto the details of this sew along.

I will publish one pattern and letter every three weeks, beginning January 23, 2020. 

(You may be wondering, "why every three weeks?"  Well, I have 20 letters and patterns that coordinate with each other and if it were a monthly release it would take nearly 2 full years to complete and I didn't want stretch it out that long.  And I thought that 3 weeks gives ample time to complete the blocks.  I know that life can be busy and I don't want anyone to feel too pressured by publishing weekly or even bi-weekly.)

The blocks will vary in size from 9" finished to 16" finished.  There will be a variety of techniques  - pieced, foundation and English paper pieced, as well as varying skill levels from easy to more challenging.  However, to avoid any frustrations with the most difficult blocks I am offering some "alternative" blocks that are much easier.  Something for everyone!

January 23 - Signature Block
February 13 - Lost Goslin' Block
March 5 - Mayflower Block
March 26 - Russian Sunflower - Optional star Block
April 16 - Our Country Block
May 7 - Harvest Basket Block
May 28 - Modern Broken Dishes Block
June 18 - Friendship Block
July 9 - Dragon Fly Block
July 30 -  Flower Garden Block
August 20 - Lost Paradise Block
September 10 - Pine Bur Block
October 1 - Rolling Stone Block
October 22 - Owl Quilt Block
November 12 - Maple Leaf Block
December 3 - Corner Star Block
December 24 - Double Cross Block
January 14, 2021 - Double T Block
February 4 - The Blockade Block
February 25 - Pride of Ohio Block

Fabric requirements:

The quilt will finish at approximately 66 inches by 81 inches.  
I have used a variety of fabrics - prints and solids from assorted fat quarters -  approximately 20 total. 

An additional 4 yards of muslin or background fabric will be needed for the background of the 20 blocks, sashing strips and one border.  

A second border will require 1/2 yard and the final border requires 1 yard.  Binding will require 3/4 yard and backing 5 yards of standard width fabric.  



When your block is complete share on instagram, tag me (@MelvaLovesScraps) and use hashtag #PiecesFromThePastSewAlong or post on my fb page - Melva Loves Scraps.  Each completed block photo shared before the next published block will be entered in a random drawing for a chance to win a fat quarter.

Those that complete all 20 blocks are not only eligible for the tri-weekly drawings but  will also be entered into a random drawing for one of five C&T Publications Kansas City Star Quilts Sampler pattern book.

I think that covers all of the necessary details... but tell me...

Have you researched your family?  
What is your heritage?  

Interested in documenting stories of your parents or grandparents?  I have a .pdf file that you can access in my payhip "store".... Priceless Conversations.  This will be the same place that you will find the patterns in the coming months.
  
Happy Quilting!

Melva


Join me for a fun sew along that will feature vintage Kansas City Star quilt blocks and letters from former  WWII German POWs that worked on my Grandparent's farm.

Friday, January 10, 2020

A Time For All Seasons - January



The final blocks of the "A Time For All Seasons" BOM offered by Amy Warner at Sew Incredibly Crazy and Friends captured January perfectly!

The pine trees were fun and reminded me of our ponderosa pines that we have in our yard.  




We have nurtured and cared for these trees for more years than I can remember and they (most) are finally about 6 feet tall.

One block is scrappy style and the other is a little more matchy-matchy...






Since I opted out of the applique this year, I made a few improv snowmen.  They look a little funky but were a welcome break from the pattern writing I have been doing lately for the upcoming sew along - Pieces From The Past - that kicks off with the first pattern release on January 23.

These snowmen actually remind me of a giant storm that happened in our part of the state 14 years ago.  Five feet... FIVE! FEET! of snow in about three days... It was crazy.  

It was while we were all home on Christmas/winter break.  Our girls were 19 and 16... while it was snowing Dave spent a great amount of time outside with the snowblower trying to keep ahead of the snow so that, should an emergency come up, we could get out.  He even had the snowblower on the roof because he was concerned about the weight of the snow.

We stayed inside drinking hot chocolate, tea and the marathon of marathons watching Grey's Anatomy... I means seasons!  The girls had received the dvd's for Christmas and we binged... 

I had finally convinced them to make a change and turn off the tv to play a game when Dave came in and wanted to join us.   **sigh**  Seriously???  (If you are a grey's fan, you will get that πŸ˜‰)  So, we sat down and watched some more...

Once it finally quit snowing and the plows got out to clear the road the plow driver saw Dave out in the driveway with it completely cleared and very kindly turned the blade of the plow so it wouldn't block the drive that he had worked so hard at clearing.  NICE!  

We all bundled up and headed out... we had a blast!



And you know that "in case of emergency" statement?  Yep we had one... my Grandma who was in assisted living ended up being taken by ambulance to the hospital on January 1.  Dave put the chains on the truck and we headed out to pick up my parents to get them so that they could meet up at the hospital...  we couldn't make it up their driveway so Dave had to walk up and escort them across the highway... 

Oh, and Heather, our oldest daughter, dressed up the best she could to make it to a wedding that had been postponed from December 31 because of the storm.  The poor bride, Brittany... their wedding cake wasn't going to be ready because the baker couldn't get to the bakery to make it... so on New Year's Eve she was at home baking cakes from scratch and decorating them so that they had a cake to cut.  Her skills learned in 4-H baking paid off!





I still needed a few more blocks so I made a pieced Christmas present and a sunflower star (since I had only made one sunflower in September) that includes some of the hand-dyed fabric from my Eco-printing experience.










Now that all of my blocks are complete I need to figure out a layout... sashing strips or not???  Seasonal fabrics?  Just a neutral fabric?  Checkerboard?  I will need to ponder this for a bit...



I hope that you have enjoyed the journey with me throughout the year and the seasons.  I have enjoyed the blocks and the memories and thoughts they evoked in my mind.

I think I have mentioned in previous posts about a memory book that my father-in-law filled out for our girls... ahem... me.  It is filled with a variety of questions about different topics such as family holidays, favorite family recipes, school memories, and many more.  

Recently I shared one of his memories with the larger portion of the Nolan family...

"Tell me about the biggest winter storm you experienced."

"It was the year the Parish Priest was our guest. We had a tremendous ice storm, and lost our power early in the day. Thank God we had a gas stove. We existed with candles and blankets."

"Did you ever go sledding or ice skating?"


"Yes. In grade school we sledded in the street with friends. We also went to ???(can't read his hand writing) Ryan Woods and sledded down a huge hill. I built snowmen and snow forts many times."

Paul's memory spurred some conversation and we enjoyed hearing from Paul's siblings about their memory of the storm... AND we learned that their Mom, Mary (Chisholm) Nolan played the piano.  Dave never recalled this, though he did remember that they did have a piano...

From his Aunt Maureen... "I remember that storm it was a bad one! We had hurricane lamps for light! Rest of block in most cases were dark except for candles. We had 2 parish priests over Fr Garren and Fr Marcincus! Don’t know how they got to our house as roads were very icy and the church, St Christina’s was a good Six blocks away. We did have a gas stove and mom was a very good cook. The priests came over quite a lot. Dad was active as an usher and was a Knight of Columbus! When they came over mom would play the piano and we would all sing. We did this on that ice storm day too. They probably walked people were more adventurous back then. I must have been about 10 and Paul would have been 12."


What sort of memories do you have from a big winter storm?

Leave a comment... I always enjoy hearing from my readers.

Quilt Happy!

Melva
Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Pieces From The Past Sew Along
that features vintage Kansas City Star quilt blocks!


Linking with:

BOMs Away at What A Hoot Quilts
Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
Creative Compulsions at Bijou Bead Boutique
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts
A Time For All Seasons at Sew Incredibly Crazy
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The Piece From The Past That Started It All

When I look at names on signature quilts time stops in its tracks and I love to think of the lives - the men, the women, the children and all they were to each other and how the way they treated each other has reached out into our time with these same ripples, or fingerprints. 



Make sure the fingerprints you leave are happy, loving ones. ~ Bonnie Hunter


*******************





When my Aunt Clara passed away in 1996 I was given a collection of "stuff" that she had saved from her Mom, Katherine "Katie" Schleich.  I received crochet patterns, fabric, quilt patterns and embroidery "stuff".  

<<  I love that my Dad and his older brother used this pattern book to practice writing their names!

Dad may have been about six years old (guessing that because of the number 6 included in the practice), making his brother Leroy about 10 years old... practicing his cursive penmanship. 

In that collection of "stuff" were 15 quilt blocks that had embroidered signatures from various people (and varying sizes)...  Some of the names were familiar... some were family and some I had never heard of.

In 2009, because of health reasons (a whacked out thyroid that was aggravated with stress from my job) I resigned my position as a part-time administrative assistant (filling a full-time job) and began my quilting adventure in full force.

Things were tight financially so I began my quest to use fabrics that I had on hand left over from clothing for myself or our girls... thus my love for scrappy quilts!  And thus the development of my love for finishing others abandoned projects... and those signature blocks was my first project that was started by someone else.

Those signature blocks didn't really mean much to me because there was not one that had my Grandma's name on it.  I remedied that by making one of the blocks, using some of the original 1930s fabric from her and tracing her signature from her citizenship paper from 1943.  I knew that my Dad would be able to put faces with the names and so it became a gift for him. Oh how I wish he were here to tell me about them!

The Kansas City Star pattern was published August 12, 1938.  It happens to be that was about that same time that my Grandparents moved from the Arkansas Valley to the Trinidad area.  It may have been the beginning of a memory quilt for them.

The names include:

Mrs. Linnie Quast - Bob O'Brian - Miss Betty Masters - Katherine Schleich 

Miss Evelyn Schleich - Gene O'Brian (son of Bob & Mae O'Brian) - Mr. Quincy Masters - Mae O'Brian 

Carlys Quast - Rowena Masters - Minnie Quast - Mrs. Yergert 

Christine MacDougall - Mrs. Hester Masters - Miss Martha Yergert - John MacDougall 


A Quast family member contacted me and offered this bit of info...

Linnie Quast, my grandma, was born in 1901 and came to Colorado via train with her best friend when she was 18 to become a Harvey Girl.  She married my grandpa, George, in 1922.  They homesteaded on County Road 25, just east of Swink where farming was the income.  They lived there for over fifty years.  My grandma was a crafter.  She did canning, embroidery, and crocheting.  She made many things and entered them in the fair every year.  I still have a lot of her handiwork.  After my grandpa died we moved her to Denver to be closer to us.  She passed away in 1997, just shy of her 96th birthday.  She was very active in her church, United Methodist Church in Rocky Ford.

Carly Quast, born Kathyn Carlys Quast, was born in 1924.  She was an only child.  She also did embroidery work.  She attended Swink Schools graduating valdictorian of her senior class in 1942 or 43 I believe.  I'm not sure of the year but do have the information stored in a box.  Anyway she married my dad in 1947 and moved to Denver.  She had severe Rheumatoid Arthritis so was unable to do any handiwork shortly after she married.  Since her signature block was done in her maiden name, it would have been before she married.  

Minnie Quast was my grandpa's sister and lived on County Road 25 as well, just down the road from my grandpa.  She was born in 1888 and died in 1971.  I never knew her well.  About all I can tell you is that she had Parkinson's and grew beautiful flowers.  She never married.

She goes on to say "How these ladies are all connected is something I don't know.  Maybe through the church."

Some other memories shared with me included:

Miss Evelyn Schleich married Charlie Holderman. They lived at 306 Trail Rd. (Hwy 194). I live on part of the property once owned by them at 310 Trail Road. I know they had 2 children for sure, Charlie Jr & Patricia Holderman. Charlie Jr built the home I currently live in. Charlie was also known as "Pops" Holderman and had a roofing business in La Junta for many years. I know he also owned and operated a hamburger stand on 4th street between Colorado & Raton (in LaJunta, CO).

Betty Masters married my Dad's (Albert Will) brother Eddie Will.  I think they lived in Rocky Ford. At some time they moved to Calif. They had a son, Kenneth and a daughter, Donna.  All are deceased now I think except for Donna.

Rowena Masters is Betty's sister and are the daughters of Mrs. Hester Masters and Mr. Quincy Masters. 

 "Susan Yergert was my Grandmother and Miss Martha Yergert my Aunt, her son is Galen living in Arizona. Susan Yergert had two sons Paul and Herman (my father)and three daughters Martha,Elsie and Betty." 

Mrs. Yergert is a little vague, but it could have been Catherine Yergert, the mother of Katie's sister-in-law, Christina.  Among all "the stuff" there was one envelope that had Christina's name written on it containing pre-cut pieces for a signature block... perhaps it was never passed on.  

All the individuals listed above lived in the Lower Arkansas Valley, including Rocky Ford, Swink and La Junta...  As I state before, the signature block pattern was published in 1938 - about the time that Phillip and Katie made the move from La Junta to the Trinidad area - Hoehne & Model.  

Mr. Bob O'Brian and Mae O'Brian owned the farmland that my Grandparents farmed, raising sugar beets.  (Their son was Gene O'Brian)  Mr. & Mrs. O'Brian also owned Trinidad Oil Company from 1927 until the late 30s/early 40s.  

Dad used to tell of how Mr. O'Brian would show up at the farm and he and his brothers would gather around waiting excitedly for him to tell them to go look in the glove compartment of his truck... they would find it filled with candy.  I'm sure Mr. O'Brian was involved in some manner in making arrangements for the men held at Camp Trinidad to work at the farm.

John MacDougall and Christine MacDougall lived in Trinidad and John, according to the 1940 census was a general electrician for CF&I.  I am a bit puzzled about the connection with these two...  I'm sure if I keep digging I will eventually find something...


Speaking of finding...  I have found a treasure trove of information over on Family Search... a FREE family research site.  It is a rabbit trail really... one could easily be captivated for HOURS with the information available at your fingertips! Draft records, census records... even a few pictures.

Funny thing about this picture... After Grandma passed away and it came time for Grandpa to purchase a gravestone he spelled her name phonetically... With his German accent and all... "Katarina"... Now all of the legal documents such as the boat records, their marriage certificate, her US Citizenship certificate and death certificate have her name as Katherine.  Oh the things that happen when grieving...

None the less, these individuals made up their circle of friends...  


Who would you collect signature blocks from?  

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear from you!

Quilt happy!

Melva
Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Pieces From The Past Sew Along
that features vintage Kansas City Star quilt blocks!