Sunday, December 20, 2009

a wedding... a funeral... and some much loved quilts.

Sunday, December 20, 2009
so i've been mia for a little while.
it's because i had a unexpected busy time here.
{thank you for the emails of support}

on saturday {the 12th} i got to watch two friends get married.
two people that couldn't be more perfect for each other.

then a flight back to philly...
to attend my mommom's funeral.
we all knew it was coming.
it has been for months.
but it really doesn't make it any easier.
12.2.20 - 12.9.09
Emily Fischer Kardux
my brother took this picture earlier this year.
the last time he got to see our mommom.
she loved orchids and asked him to take pictures of hers...

on 10/29/2006 i finished a quilt for my mommom
it was flannel...
purple..red..and white.
and i hoped she'd like it.
{if she didn't...she wasn't the type who would hold back}
luckily she did.
but little did i know that day.
that she actually loved that quilt.
loved it more than i think any quilt i've ever made has been loved.
it was on her bed each and every single day.
and when it needed to be washed... a fleece throw i made took its place for the day.
she made sure that all of her nurses... and anyone who walked into her room knew that i had made it. she was so proud of me... and always told me.
now the quilt is mine again.
and while i thought it would be strange.
and hard to look at... instead it brings me comfort.
and i'll treasure it knowing what comfort it brought to her.

all along the last few months i knew my silver lining was that my brother, his wife.. and this little one would fly in when it all happened... this little one is only a bit over 2 and was a ball of energy all week.

but there was another silver lining
one i never could have dreamed of.

i have learned some amazing family history in my absence from my blog this past week... i have often mentioned that my mom doesn't quilt... she is an amazing seamstress & embroiderer but unfortunately not a quilter... my mommom.. who was my mom's mother was also an amazing seamstress... but that was all i knew... as our family gathered to remember her... a quilt was taken out and shown to me... a quilt i had never seen before.. and didn't know existed.
{me examining it with my dad looking over}

it was only a few minutes before i found this.
AEK 1933

it is hand quilted... and i think pieced by machine

it is worn a bit in some places
but overall is in good shape...

the detail in the piecing is amazing
all the seams are perfect
and the pieces are tiny as can be.
edit {the pattern is a Burgoyne Surrounded..thanks PKM}

for the first time... here was my quilt i had made for my mommom
with one from her family... my family...
all kinds of emotions were flowing.

it wasn't long before i remembered that there was a double wedding ring quilt that had been passed down to me... i took it out and started searching the back... and found AEK 1939.


now i had the challenge of figuring out who was AEK... who made these quilts?..
they are both hand crafted beautiful pieces of art.... true heirlooms...
the "K" was easy.. Kardux... my mommom's maiden name.
but past that... i had no idea.
her mom was Joanna Boda.. and since Kardux was her married name it wasn't her mom... it had to be someone else...

my mom pulled out a bound book of my mommom's family history which goes back to my great...great...great grandparents. the table of contents was no help.... no AEK... so we went page by page... till we found it.

I discovered that my Great Great Grandmother's name was Alice Edith Souter... she was listed as Edie Souter in the table of contents... it had to be her. she was born in 1863 and died in 1952... that means she was 70 when the one quilt was finished and 76 when the other one was.

here is a scan from the family history book.
Alice Edith Souter married Joseph D. Kardux and became Alice Edith Kardux.. AEK
Edie's son George married Joanna Boda...
they had 4 children... including a set of twins.. Emily & George...
Emily {my mommom} married William Fischer...
they had 4 girls... one of which is my mom.

all this time...
i had thought i was the first quilter in my family.


I am very grateful to have in my possession these pieces of my own family history, at the same time I am sad that I did not discover that my mommom's grandmother was a quilter... I would love to have had the opportunity to have my mommom share her stories of her grandmother with me.


the family history book had a lot of information... this excerpt stuck out to me...

a perfectionist... i'm far from perfect...
but there have been times that i redo a seam until it is perfect
so i guess when that happens.. i'm having an Edie moment.

I will treasure these quilts and the history i have just learned of them... and make sure that their history is passed down to future generations and kept alive.


{photo credit for all but one photo goes to my brother, brad herman... thank you for continuing to inspire and push me... and for being just as creative as i am... i couldn't ask for a better brother.}

60 comments:

Tracey said...

She is such a beautiful woman. And those are really beautiful quilts. I hope your family brings you comfort... Thank you for sharing your story; it made my eyes water up.

I recently made a quilt for my Grandma after her 5-way bypass (you can read about it here http://tigers4trace.blogspot.com/2009/12/quilt-that-almost-was-and-quilt-that.html) ... and was looking for red hat fabric, but didn't find any, so Aster Manor it was. I think quilts are just so special, because you feel loved with each and every little piece.

Brad Herman said...

Thanks for the shout out. I love you little sis.

kaiolohiakids said...

What an amazing story! Thank you so much for sharing. Condolences to you and all your family

Merryl said...

WOW, what a story. And Boda rhymes with Moda!
Thanks for sharing - that was truly amazing - just like you!
Love, Mer

amylouwho said...

Teary.
It's so hard to lose grandparents. I hope you all are comforted by each other and the loving memories your have of your mommom.

LOVE the history of the quilts. That's awesome!

angela said...

What a wonderful story. So sorry you lost your Mommom - she had a beautiful smile. As our priest said once, no matter when it is - it's always too soon to lose your mom.

That's cool all the stuff you were able to find about your family from so long ago, all through the quilts. Those are two wonderful pieces of inspriation for your future quilting!

Mary Lou said...

Julie,
Thanks for sharing this great family story. Although we all have the family history book, unless there is a connection, it just seems collects dust. I am so glad that your quilting brought out the book. And the quilting gene lives on...

I know first hand how much Mom-mom Emmy loved the quilt you made for her. It is filled with love from you and now love from her back to you!

Keep up the good work! I love you!
Aunt Mary Lou

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

What an absolutely beautiful post. You have an amazing family history. So sorry about your Mommom's passing. She was a beautiful lady.

Linda said...

What a sweet, sweet story. You mom-mom was a beautiful woman. You were so lucky to have had such a special relationship with her. She'll be with you forever. Thanks for sharing this with your blogging friends.

Danielle said...

Thanks for sharing this beautiful family story. What a precious gift that you're able to hold on to - in so many ways.

Alyson said...

So sorry for your loss this week. What a beautiful story, and what beautiful quilts! I am happy for your silver linings! Thanks for sharing.

Sandy said...

Thanks for sharing your journey! How exciting that your mommom left you such a legacy! See, Quilting is in our genes! I hope these quilts and the history you have discovered will help you heal! The loss of a loved one is always difficult! You are in my thoughts and prayers!

Auntie Em said...

I'm very sorry for your loss, but so happy for you that you found that quilting connection.
I am the "first quilter" in my family that I know of. I can imagine how much you will treasure your newly found quilts.

Blue Is Bleu said...

Glad you found some comfort during this time of sadness. And glad you found got to find out some family history too.

kate spain said...

Julie, what a poignant and touching series of events for you and your family. I'm so sorry for your loss. The quilts that you now have tell a story of the person who made them...it must be a treasure to look carefully at all those stitches made so long ago. A little of your great,great grandmother and her hands that touched the fabric and sewed those seams with great care, is alive in them...and now in you. How beautiful. I hope you find some solace in the days ahead.

Trisha said...

What a wonderful experience out of such a heartbreaking experience. Thank you for sharing. May you find peace with your much loved quilts.

Annette said...

Such a beautiful story. I loved reading about it. What a special treasure your quilts are. Thanks for sharing.

Jessica said...

What a beautiful post...it had me chuckling, grinning, and tearing up...my condolences to you and your family...is there any greater feeling than knowing someone you love absolutely loves and cherishes something you make for them??

Barb said...

I had to stop reading your post...you brought tears to my hormonal eyes....what a lovely lovely story and enjoyed the quilts. I am sorry for your loss but you have some wonderful memories.

Ariane said...

Such beautiful quilts. You truly have wonderful heirlooms. I am so glad that you were able to find out this information about your family history. It is so important and you will be able to cherish those quilts even more now that you know more about them. You will be able to share these stories with your young family and they will be able to share it with theirs when they are older. Such great things to pass on. I am very sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It is very touching.

Thimbleanna said...

Sorry about your grandmother Julie. What a lovely story though -- and how fortunate you are to have those beautiful family treasures!

Mary Anne Drury said...

Julie I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother. She sounds like she was a wonderful woman.

....and how great for you to have those quilts AND the history behind them !

Rose said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, even when you're waiting for it, it definitely does not make it easier. Your post brought tears to my eyes, and I sniffled my way through most of the post. You captured the very reason I quilt. My quilts are far from perfect, I still consider myself a beginner, but I like to think that one day, something I've made will bring comfort to someone I loved. My grandmother was a quilter, and I have two of her quilts, and I will pass them down to my two kids. Thank you for sharing your history with us, what a beautiful story, and those quilts are definitely items worth treasuring!

PamKittyMorning said...

So sorry for your loss.

Your Burgoyne Surrounded quilt is lovely. Two color quilts are so wonderful. Love that its done in purple.

why not sew? said...

I'm sorry to hear about your mommom's passing. It is never easy. What a treasure to find such great family heirlooms. Then to have the family history right there to be able to see who made them. That's so awesome. The quilts are beautiful. What a blessing. The quilt you made your grandmother is wonderful too. I am sure she treasured it. Take care.

Anne at Film and Thread said...

What an amazing story and so sorry about your mommom passing away. In such a hard time, it is nice that there are still moments of joy that can be found. It is especially nice that your family has some recorded history to look back to.

Stacey said...

aww how sweet, and those quilts are gorgeous!! it's pretty amazing. I gave my grammy a quilt recently, well, the other day I called to say hi, and she started crying, she did not notice till after i left the handwritten note on her label. she told me that she uses it every single day, and that she will cherish my quilt for every day of the rest of her life. it made me really happy. I hope to someday receive it back, all worn and tattered. She is 72, and such a beautiful person!! Enjoy those beautiful quilts!!

Kelly O. said...

Incredible! sorry for your loss.

rachel griffith said...

Beth said...

It seems you got the best Christmas present of all -- a lovely family legacy! Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Julia,
Wonderful tribute to 'mommom' and a heartwarming story. I too have inherited many handmade quilts which I cherish. May your "antiques" wrap you in continuing love. When you appreciate the time, effort,and love that goes into making a quilt, you cherish and keep that circle of love flowing. My sincere sympathy to your whole family.
Love, Judy

Dianne said...

I have tears in my eyes! Thank you so much for sharing the lovely story of the ladies in your family.

Eleanor said...

I am so sorry for your loss, but thank you so much for sharing this amazing story. What a joy to discover beautiful quilting runs in the family!

PunkiePie said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss but I loved the story. What a great piece of family history you've uncovered.

Juliejaz said...

Sincere sympathy and condolences to you and your family. I loved the beautiful story of your great great grandma's quilt, it brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing that story. ((hugs))

Melanie said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your family's loss. We lost my grandmother on December 13th in 2007. It's always hard to lose a loved one, but this time of year seems to make it even harder.

Thank you for sharing the story of the quilts. They are lovely and it's so special to have such wonderful family heirlooms!

whitey said...

What a beautiful woman! I am sorry for your loss. My husbands grandmother was a quilter she worked very hard to make sure everyone one got one of her quilts. At the time of her death my sister in law wrote this song and sang it at her funeral and put into words what we all felt, and to know that her quilts will be around for many generations. What a treasure you have now.
This link will take you to the song.

http://whitey-skunkhollow.blogspot.com/2009/07/old-quilts.html

call me crazy said...

What a wonderful story and what precious family heirlooms you now have! I'm sorry it took your grandmother's passing to learn so much about your family. What remarkable women in your history! My sincere condolences to you & your family.

Maria said...

What a beautiful face. It's amazing that in the midst of such a sad time, there is so much joy to be found. There is no bigger blessing than family.

Kim D. said...

What a lovely post about your mommom, it brought tears to my eyes. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.. I'm happy you found those treasures and learned more about your family. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Tamera said...

Thank you SO much for sharing that with us all. It is such a reminder to us all how important family is and those family stories.

Sandy said...

Juls
Thank you for such a beautiful tribute to MomMom..You are my sunshine and I am so proud that you will carry on her legacy. She loved you (and that quilt) so very much! Thank you to all of your friends in "jaybird" world who have offered their blessings and comfort!
I love you!
Mom

Sherri said...

Julie...I'm so sorry for your loss...but so happy for the wonderful family history you've gained...I completely understand your emotions as I experienced them this summer while going through quilts made by my great-great grandmothers! What a beautiful tribute and legacy you have!

Amy - Park City Girl said...

Julie - you've brought tears to my eyes! So sorry for your loss, what an amazing history lesson you've had this week. Big hugs to you!

Patty said...

julie, sorry for your loss. I'm sure your Mommom was a wonderful woman. It never ceases to amaze me how much comfort one can get from a quilt. The one you made for your Mommom and the one you got from your Mommom. What a wonderful piece of heritage you have.
God Bless.

Trisha said...

Very cool that you discovered a quilter in your family history. How wonderful to have those beautiful quilts in your possession. So sorry about your mommom's passing.

Laurie said...

I'm sorry about your angel's passing - it is always difficult when the time actually comes. Now she can join her loved ones and reminisce about all the forgotten joys of life. And you now have beautiful heirlooms that I know you will treasure forever. Sending hugs your way :)

Quilt Mom said...

Awesome tale Julie, how blessed you are to have had you Mommom and for the quilts and history of your family. You are doubly blessed for caring so much!
I am truly sorry that you dear grandmother gone to heaven!

Anonymous said...

You have brought me to tears with your heartwarming post. You have awakened in me some treasured family memories. God bless you and your family as you continue to make memories to be cherished by future generations.
Kristy in Ohio

Michelle said...

I am sorry for your loss. I thought you were busy quilting and was sad to ear otherwise. The quilting history is so fascinating.

susan said...

Julie,
The loss of your grandmother, and then finding out about the quilts... the one you made for her and her love of it, and the ones made by your great, great grandmother...is a very meaningful connection for you and your ancestors. It brought tears to my eyes as it did many others.
Susan

CitricSugar said...

Incredible bits of family history! My sympathies for the loss of your grandmother.

Micki said...

It's an amazing story and I love the quilt that you made. My condolences to you on the loss of your grandmother.
Micki

Vicki said...

so sorry about your grandmother. My grandmas died in 1992 and 2003 and I still miss them both so much. the quilts are beautiful.

amandajean said...

i'm so sorry for your loss, Julie. hugs to you.

eamylove said...

Wow --- what an amazing discovery about AEK and who she was! My sympathies go to you and your family. I'm glad quilts can bring all people so much comfort in so many ways.

sheri bignell said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mommom... she is loved, she is remembered, she is missed... hugs to you Julie!

roseylittlethings said...

Such a lovely tribute to your grandma. And how special to have both of these family heirlooms!!!

Christine Ciccone said...

The quilts are beautiful. Your story is beautiful. You are a surprise and a wonder every time I'm in your company or have occasion to learn more about you.
God bless you, Julie.
Christine Ciccone

jessica o said...

I am so moved by this story. I just started my first quilt and have been fretting over the care of an Amish quilt I inherited from my grandmother who lived in PA many years ago. She passed away a few years ago, and yesterday I visited my ailing grandfather and fed him dinner. This morning, with quilting thoughts flooding my mind, I visited the UpperRoom website for a daily devotional. Today's was entitled "Grandma's Quilts," and it discussed how we are meant to use gifts, not store them away. Your story seems to confirm a little hello from my grandmother today. :)