Block 1, Row 1 - R. L. A. - I
believe this is Ruth Lena Ash (1870-1891), a sister of William James Ash.
"A" - is Ruth's sister Adelaide Imogene Ash Chellis
(see Block 2, Row 3 below) Hattie - This is Ruth's
sister Hattie (1868-1869) and "M" - is Ruth's sister
Mattie (1866-1866). All four sisters were daughters of Martha Elizabeth
North Ash and John Ash. This square must surely have been worked by
Martha - she was known throughout the family for her needlework.
Block 4, Row 1 - M. Weaver -
Who is this? A neighbor? Family friend?
Block 1, Row 2 - No names in this
block but the cross stitched words REST SWEET REST and TIRED / NATURE /
SWEET RESTORER / BALMY SLEEP. I wonder who stitched these words and
why they were chosen...
Block 3, Row 2 - Mrs. Holt - Who is
this?? A neighbor? Family friend?
Block 4, Row 2 - Fancy Initial "A"
done in red thread - for ASH. Lacey
- He was my grandfather's older brother born in 1889. W. J. Ash
(age 1) - Does this refer to my great-grandfather William James Ash born in 1859
with the "age 1" for his young son Lacey?
I wonder who worked this square of the quilt? I suspect it was
Martha Elizabeth North Ash (my great-great grandmother and John Ash's
wife). If so, she named her son (William James) and first born
grandson (Lacey). There's also a small
horseshoe tucked in the corner of this block embellished with flowers and the words "Good Luck".....perhaps
to wish the new father well?
Block 1, Row 3 - Mary - Who is
this? Hellen - Who is this? Pearl - Is this the
sister of my great-grandmother Effie B. Linda Seymour Ash, wife of William
J. Ash and daughter-in-law of Rebecca North's daughter Martha Elizabeth
North Ash? (Will and Effie married in 1885 so the timing makes it
realistically possible...) Grandmother - Who is this?? Could this be Belinda
Catherine Minckler Seymour Pierce, mother of Effie and Pearl Seymour?
(Belinda lived her later years with Effie and Will Ash and they're all
buried together in Montague, MI - she died in 1912 so again the date makes
Block 2, Row 3 - Alta & Mildred (photo below) &
Lura (photo above) are the daughters of Frank Bartlett Chellis
and Adeline Imogene Ash Chellis.
Mildred b 1888 on the left and Alta b
1885 on the right
Block 3, Row 3 - Mrs. Williard - Who is this?? A neighbor?
Block 4, Row 3 - Kate - It's a real stretch, but could this be Katherine
Quinn Snow, wife of Rebecca Snow North's nephew Forrest and the mother of
Prof. Wilbert Snow? Probably not. More likely that Kate
was a family friend or neighbor. Date of 1891 - that's
the year my grandfather was born. I wonder if there's any
significance? "Every cloud has a silver lining" - I wonder
what this referred to or if was just a popular sentiment of the times?
Block 1, Row 4 - Who is Earl?? A neighbor or friend?
Block 3, Row 4 - My suspicion is that this block was worked by
Rebecca J. Snow North. Ruth - I suspect this is stitched for the mother
of Rebecca Snow North, Ruth Hayden Snow 1770-1832? J. North -
I suspect this is stitched for the husband of Rebecca Snow North, Joseph
Block 4, Row 4 - Ida P. - Is this Ida Chellis with a
married surname initial? (sister of Frank Bartlett Chellis 1852-1912)
Who is S. A. Bigelow? Ella North (sister of Hattie and Mattie)
married Calvin Clark Bigelow...perhaps S.A. is related to Calvin. Who is Pheba?
NO idea. Or perhaps this square was worked by Bigelow relatives...no
one really knows for sure at this point.
There is a second family crazy quilt that is now in
the possession of my uncle - the surviving spouse of my mother's sister
Frances Audrey Ash (1922-1988). Here's the information we have for
double click to enlarge
This quilt was given to Fran by her father
(John Warren Ash) It was made by Fran's Great Grandmother
(Martha Elizabeth North) Ash, wife of John Ash. Martha North Ash was
about 5' tall and great at needle work
The quilt was 4 or 5 years in the making. It was
a family and neighborhood undertaking Legend has it that the quilt
was begun in Malden, Massachusetts before John and Martha moved to
Michigan in the late 1860's but this doesn't quite fit with the 4-5 year
time range and the date of 1905 on one block.
on the second quilt:
Warren's oldest brother
- a neighbor
FLEMMING - Hal Bush's grandparent
BEATIE - friend of Ash family - source of the name for Warren Ash
WILBUR - friend of the family - a daughter
Warren Ash's Dad's sister
Warren Ash's mother - Effie Linda Seymour Ash
DOWDALL - "Mother" neighbor
GRANDMOTHER ASH - Maker of quilt - Martha E. North Ash
NIG - the
Ash family cat
ABBOTT - a cousin of Warren Ash
CHELLAS - a cousin of Warren Ash and Alta's sister (Chellas was
an alternate spelling of Chellis for many years)
E. ASH - Youngest brother of Warren Ash - was age 9 when quilt
ADDIE - Warren Ash's dad's sister, mother of Alta and
Adelaide Imogene Ash Chellis
Warren Ash's father, William James Ash
(John Warren Ash) remembers watching work being done on the quilt by
family members an friends and neighbors. Dad and his brothers made their
own squares under the careful supervision of mother and grandmother,
having to take out all unsatisfactory work according to their standard of
perfection. The design was made for the boys by grandmother.
lived next door to Dad's grandparents. He was about Dad's age
often played together. Warren Beattie's parents were close friends
of Ash family - the kids grew up together, and he said he thought he was
named for W. Beatie who was a few years older than Dad.
name is for Lena Wilbur - her family were friends of Dad's grandparents."