Saturday, October 13, 2012

Week 7 - Alice's Flag

The block this week is not a traditional one, but was created especially for the Grandmother's Choice Block of the week.  It honors Alice Paul and her Ratification Banner, onto which she sewed a star as each state ratified the 19th Amendment.

I used some contemporary prints with an old-fashioned flavor for the pieced background, and a very cute dark green printed with tiny quarter-moons that suggested the sky to me. The green fabric was a gift from my friend Sherrye, especially for use in this quilt.  I hand-appliqued the star, which I do very very rarely, only because my more sophisticated sewing machine that makes quick work of machine applique is away getting its annual tuneup. 

Dana's quilt can have its own connection to the new Alice's flag block. I have noted before that she  majored in American History at William and Mary. That interest  makes me want to go back a few generations for Alice connections. Dana's Great Aunt Alice was the most recent family historian. She is pictured below with my Grandmother and Grandfather, Faye and Fielding. Alice was born in December 1914, so this picture must be from 1915, belonging to the era of the focus of the quilt. In January that year, the House of Representatives rejected a proposal to amend the Constitution to provide for women's suffrage.

Aunt Alice was named for her paternal grandmother, Alice Bruner. Aunt Alice told Alice Bruner's story in her book, They Came to Spencer Township, which I assume Dana has seen.  I'll post this one photo of the beautiful Alice Bruner because it includes her parents, Henry Convear Bruner and Jane Whitcomb Bruner, as well as her siblings.

Alice Bruner is seated, far left, with her parents, Henry and Jane just to her right in the center of the photo.
  Perhaps not so remarkably, Alice Bruner was also a family historian.  Below is a page from her "Scribblins" book, which tells the story of her ancestors, as well as that  of her Civil War veteran husband's family.  Rereading some of it to prepare this post, I was struck by how sympathetically she attempted to relate what happened to the native Americans when these Europeans came to live here.  But, to keep close to the family history, the page I have reproduced below includes some details about one of our Revolutionary War ancestors. 

Alice was clearly proud of her family heritage and became a D.A.R., as did her daughter-in-law, Faye. You may have noticed the small birds (I'm guessing they are eagles) that illustrate her manuscript. Alice was also a talented artist. The Scribblins book is sprinkled with small drawings like those.

The following page comes from the back cover of a children's book about bears, written by Fielding's sister Florence. This delightful book is fully illustrated by Alice Bruner.

Since I am now continuing this family tradition of documenting our history, making Alice's Flag and selecting Alice-related illustrations was a great exercise, reminding me how much work I have to yet to accomplish.


Sherrye said...

I know this quilt if more of a project than just sewing and quilting. It will be such a rare and special gift when you are done.

Dorry said...

What a wonderful write-up you have provided this week.It will be a real treasure that you are passing along.

Anna Banana said...

So much thought has gone into this relatively simple block. How very interesting that you have these photos and journals about your family history. It makes this quilt a special experience for you as you create a very unique heirloom.