When I am not quilting I enjoy researching my family tree, and trying to discover all I can about the people who have paved the way before me. I am fascinated by who these people were, and the idea that I may have inherited many of their qualities through both my DNA and the family values that are passed down through generations.
For some time now I have been trying to conquer a family history road block, and lately it has been weighing on my mind…
One particular branch of my family tree is quite the mystery! Since I started my research I have not been able to find out very much about my Walker line. My father remembers being told by his mother that they were traveling gypsies and that’s why there is no documentation for any of them until 1892, when my 2nd great-grandfather Francis Walker marries Mary Ann Morrey, at the then late age of 32, in Lancashire, England.
I now refer to that particular branch of my tree as Gypsy Lane – in my mind it is a mysterious place that undoubtedly exists and yet I can’t say exactly where ;)!
Of course, mysterious or not, there is absolutely no evidence that any of my ancestors were gypsies, but growing up I imagined these people traveling the countryside and entertaining those around them as they went – they most certainly weren’t lost, they were right where they wanted to be! And that simple thought makes me happy!
Something you may not realise if you have never done any research into your own family tree is how strongly connected you become to these people who have lived before you. The more research you do, the more real these characters are as you begin to get a sense of how they lived, their family and their place in the world.
When you come upon an inevitable stumbling block or research hurdle, it can be both disheartening and frustrating. Not being able to give your ancestor a last name, or a home, or a family, becomes sad – because they had these things, and I can’t imagine them not being important to them!
And so I continue to research, and hope that one day the elusive piece of information I need to be able to connect these people to another generation will become available, and they will no longer be ‘lost’, and I can tell their story!
I am sure by now you are wondering what any of this has to do with a quilt…
I designed Gypsy Lane to show how we are all part of something larger than ourselves, and our own social circles. We are connected to many generations throughout each of our family branches. I used the concept of a family pedigree chart when I began to sketch my idea, and eventually this design is what came to life. While it takes a little bit of patience and forethought to piece the rows together (much like family history research) the quilt itself is deceptively simple and will come together in no time at all (very unlike family history research – lol 😉 )
I had so much fun piecing together this quilt and pondering on how every life touches another.
A special thank you to Tilda Australia who provided the fabric for this quilt.
The quilt is made from a Fat Quarter bundle of Tilda Circus that is available in stores now.
The collection has 20 gorgeous classic prints in variations of turquoise, rhubarb red, green and periwinkle blue. I used all, but one, in this pattern. The one that I didn’t use is actually one of my favourites (5th from the top in the bundle shown above), but as it was quite light I used it as a feature print on the back of my quilt.
If you would like to make your own Gypsy Lane quilt you can purchase the PDF pattern here.
As this season is slowly transitioning from Autumn into Winter, I am taking a little break from designing anything new for a while!
Thank you to all of you who have supported my little business this year with a pattern purchase.
Over the next few months I am hoping to write some patterns for a couple of older projects that I have previously designed and made (fingers crossed I can still decipher my notes), and to work on a couple of smaller projects.
Lots of fun stuff still happening in the studio, including working on a secret project that meets one of the goals I set for myself this year – can’t wait to be able to share more about that with you in the future 🙂
PS. Would you like a free PDF pattern of Gypsy Lane? Leave me a comment and tell me what project you have planned for the next few months and I will choose three random winners on Monday 🙂
Thanks for visiting – xxx