Over the New Year weekend I got my antique signature quilt out to get some photos. The Criswell quilt was made in Chester County Pennsylvania in 1852 by my g-g-grandmother Mary Criswell. The quilt was made for Mary's parents Andrew and Alice Criswell. Each of the 60 quilt blocks was made by a family member or friend; each block has a name and most have a location. The fabric is very worn as you can see in the photo, but the writing is still legible.
Jennie took a photo of each block and I'm putting them up on Flickr. My first research area is the people who made the quilt. My family tree is online at Ancestry.com and I'm putting together the jigsaw of the Criswell family. I've discovered that the Chester County Historical Society has a quilt collection so I hope they can help me research this one.
Next job is to research the patterns used in the album blocks. I got Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Applique for Christmas so that will come in handy.
One day I'd like to have a go at reproducing the quilt. I guess I'd have to learn to hand applique first, so I'm registered in Hawaiian Quilting 101 at Quilt University. The unit starts next week, I promise to blog my progress.