My Grandmother Bessie Armstrong McCorduck loved her family and their history. She told us the same stories over and over. My sister and I took it for granted. When Bessie dies in 1987 we realized we didn’t remember as much as we thought we did. We had to work very hard to discover the family names that would tie it all together. I have made it my mission to tell my family’s story in my quilts.
The first quilt I named “If these Threads Could Talk” made in 2009. I chose a crazy quilt block to construct a genealogy of my family the Lansing’s & McCorduck’s. The quilt is made of Dupioni Silk. My grandparents are embroidered on the top border, with great grandparents on the left & right border. The blocks include their 5 children, with their children below with all their birth & death dates. There is a beautiful peacock embroidered on the bottom right. The peacock represents resurrection, renewal and immortality within the spiritual teachings of Christianity.
I grew up on Henderson Street in New York Mills, NY where I lived with my grandparents the McCorducks. My sister went up the steps in textile Mill No. 3 behind our childhood home and took a picture of the steps looking down. That picture inspired my to make “In the Shadow of the Mill, footsteps in time” made in 2009. The quilt is an original design pieced by me. This quilt chronicles some of my family members who have worked at Mill No. 3 in the past 100 years, in the Village of New York Mills, NY.
In our search for family information we discovered our Great Grandmother Sadie Lansing and Great Grandfather Orville Armstrong Lived in Cleveland, NY on the North shore of Oneida Lake. On the town’s website is a lengthy historical story describing town citizens including our family going off to the Civil War. That prompted me to make “Yankees in Tara”! made in 2010.
My original design “Remember Me”, made in 2013 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.
I am currently working on what I call “The Cemetery Quilt”, I’ll let you know when it is finished.