Category Archives: Quilting My Family’s Story

The Threads that Unite Us!

I just got back from the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, Virginia.  It is not that I travelled a long distance, I only live about 30 minutes away.  I spent most of my time working in the Quilters Dream Batting Booth sharing information about the best batting made for quilters and selling quilts donated to Hopes & Dreams to raise money for ALS research.  We had a great weekend!

I wanted to give a shout out to local artist Meryl Ann Butler for winning a Blue Ribbon for “No Place Like Om”, congratulations!

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I am also excited to share that two of my original quilts will be included in the exhibit “Stitching it all Together – The Threads that Unite Us” at the Virginia Quilt Museum from May 6th till August 23rd 2014.
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Above is a picture of my original designed quilt “In the Shadow of the Mill”. I lived in New York Mills, NY where there were textiles mills from before the Civil war to 1956. Members of my family had worked there for over 100 years. My sister took a picture looking down the steps in September 2008. That picture spoke to me. I made it my goal to make a quilt out of it and enter it in my home town quilt guild show. It won Best in Show, Best Original Design and Best Quilting and Piecing. In 2011 it won the Grand Prize and First Place in Farmers Museum “New York State of Mind” Quilt Contest in Cooperstown, NY. It was on display in the Fenimore Art Museum, also in Cooperstown. The quilt was quilted by Susanne Secoskey of Virginia Beach, VA.
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Above my original design “Remember Me”, 76” by 86”: Consists of pieced Lemoyne star blocks and machine embroidered blocks. There are 22 machine embroidered obituaries from my family the McCorducks, Lansings, and Fischers, the oldest is from 1900 (114 years ago). This won First Place in the 2013 Mohawk Valley Quilt Club 2013 Show in Utica, NY.

Happy Quilting!

A Great Way to Start the Weekend

I just got some good news. I live at the beach but I’m from Utica, NY. I belong to the Mohawk Valley Quilt Club. This weekend is their quilt show. My sister Mary McCorduck is up there now. My hexagon quilt “A Walk in Frida’s Garden” has won 1st Place, Judges Choice & Best in Show.

The blocks are made from one piece of fabric based on artist Frida Kahlo (born July 6, 1907 – died July 13, 1954 in Coyoacan, Mexico), fabric by Alexander Henry. I used the original fabric on the left side only. Printed on the fabric are two quotes made by Frida Kahlo & printed on the fabric in spanish. I machine embroidered them on the borders in english. On the top border, embroidered is “Feet, what do I need them for when I have wings to fly”. She survived a terrible bus accident where she was impaled by a steel post, but was in pain most of her life. The second quote I embroidered along the bottom border: “I Desire to Live, I have already begun to paint”. I had left over blocks, so I reduced their size and appliqued them in several place on the quilt’s edge as if they were spinning off onto the border.

Ribbon Winners

“Remember Me” has won a 1st place ribbon! This quilt consists of Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star blocks and machine embroidered blocks. There are 22 machine embroidered obituaries from my family the McCorducks, Lansings, and Fischers, the oldest is from 1900 (113 years ago).

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Eeeeek! An Obituary Quilt?

Every time I mention I’m making an Obituary quilt people shiver. I love my family and my family’s history. Finding obituaries is finding a treasure trove of information. I get really excited when I find information that tells me what they and their lives were like. This is how I remember them, how my children and grandchildren will get to know them.

Remember Me! This was truly a labor of love and a learning experience! I have a tendency to jump into projects feet first and figure out the details along the way. My sister and I had collected so many wonderful obituaries that one day I said “I know, I will make them into a quilt”. I started entering the information into my lettering software and began embroidering them. Some took over 3 hours to embroider. Then I had to figure out how to connect them into a cohesive top. I’m not sure if I was successful or not. I just started playing with them on the design wall, measured the negative space and figured out how to join them. The star blocks are Rapid Fire Lemoyne Stars (my favorite). I know it looks a little weird, but I kind of like the randomness of the top. I had real trouble with the borders. The embroidery shrank up the fabric, so I had to rip out what I could and add fabric to try to square it up. I got one end of the top square but not the other. I couldn’t take off the whole border as part of the embroidery went into the seam. I did not want to start over so I just went with it.

These obituaries start in 1900. That’s amazing, 113 years ago!!!

Obituary Quilt Remember Me

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Telling Stories with Machine Embroidery

I made this quilt for my sister in 2010. While we were searching for family graves and information we found a story on the Town of Vienna, NY’s website. it was full of information about our ancestors. It contained great stories and Civil War information. It was a treasure trove of information, so of course I put it into a quilt called “Yankees in Tara”.

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Did You Say Obituary Quilt?

Why yes, I did! I started working on this idea 2 years ago but was overtaken by events. My goal this year is to finish the Obituary and Cemetery quilts. My grandmother Bessie was very into family history and geneology. Of course I and my sister took it for granted. When Bessie passed in 1987 all her family knowledge went with her. In the past 3 or 4 years my sister and myself have worked hard to find the secrets of our past. Our hard work has been rewarded. We have many great obituaries, some over 100 years old. So, that is how the idea began. I have typed the obituaries into my lettering software and machine embroidered them. I have 2 more to get done but I ran out of the fabric and black thread today.

In my head I envision the blocks randomly arranged on my design wall. When I get a pleasing design I will measure the negative space and make blocks to fill in and join the obituaries. I’m thinking I will choose one simple block and either enlarge it or reduce it to fit, and stick to a simple color scheme of blue and brown. I’ll keep you informed!

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Telling my Family’s Story

It all started with a picture my sister took looking down the stairwell in Mill #3 on Main Street of New York Mills, NY.

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This picture inspired me to make my quilt “In the Shadow of the Mill”.

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This quilt tells the story of my family that worked in the textile mills in New York Mills, NY for nearly 100 years.