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
ETA: Giveaway now closed!
Thanks to Random.Org I will be emailing a pattern to some of you who left me a sweet comment. If you were comment #16, 7 or 12 I will be in touch soon 🙂
16 7 12
Timestamp: 2017-04-24 08:02:56 UTC
I would love to know more about my father family but there is no relatives to ask 😳
In a few months we will be moving my little girl to her own room so I am planning some pillows and quilts and miniquilts and hoops for her room.
Decorating a little girl’s room sounds like so much fun Teresa!
If you have a couple of names and dates you can easily begin to research your tree online – there a lots of free sites like FamilySearch.org that can help you get started.
Amelia D says
I think I might be related to those mystery people too 😉
I have a feeling you might be Miss D – xx
Little Quiltsong says
This quilt is gorgeous with these soft Tilda Circus fabrics!! Yes, ancestry can become very important – enjoy the search. I’m finally starting on some patterns I’ve wanted to make for a long time. I keep getting side tracked – and am so afraid I will use up fabric designated for these other patterns before I get them cut out and sewed :)!!
Oh, I know that feeling!!If I really want to make sure I don’t use fabric set aside for a certain pattern I put it in its own storage box with the actual pattern. But I try to remind myself that if I use something accidentally, there is always something else that could replace it 😉
I have several WIPs I’m trying to finish up before starting anything new. Love your new pattern!
Thank you Cindy! I remember you talking about your WIP system once, and I loved how you don’t let it spiral out of control. Looking forward to seeing more beautiful finishes from you 🙂
Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting says
Love your Gypsy Lane patter! Love the story behind it!!! We have a mysterious family branch in our family, too–it was hush-hush. But they were real people and we are here because of them. Thankfully! Like a quilt, someday we’ll see the whole thing.
Nancy, that is the exact thought I had when I stepped back from the quilt after it was finished! Our lives are a big patchwork of pieces and layers that all work together, and one day we will see the beauty from the distance.
What a pretty quilt! I’ve always thought it would be interesting to look into my family history. Thankfully I have a cousin who has done quite a bit of research, so I have learned much from him. I’m currently going to give EPP a try, so we’ll see how I like it.
I am waiting for the moment I fall in love with EPP – LOL! So far I have enjoyed small bursts of it, but certainly not for any length of time required to actually make more than a few flowers. It certainly makes for beautiful quilts though – I hope you enjoy it Wendy 🙂
Andrea H says
My big project I have planned for the next few months is a quilt for our bed using fabric of my hubby’s favorite Marvel superhero Captain America. I’ve been working on designs and should be starting the cutting in the next week or so.
Your Gypsy Lane quilt looks fantastic…and the family history story you’ve got to accompany it is quite fun.
Andrea, how fun! I really need to make my husband a quilt of his own too! Quilts for men are just that little bit harder for me, but I really should put my design thinking cap on!!
Mary D says
What an interesting story about your quilt! In the next few months I plan to make a quilt for an upcoming niece’s wedding as well as a small quilt for my granddaughter’s birthday.
How lovely Mary! Sounds like you are making some precious memories this season 🙂
I will be preparing to create a lion themed wedding quilt for my son and his bride ~ he proposed at the animal sanctuary just above the lions, their favorite place.
Wow Tina, that will be amazing! I have seen some lion quilts recently that were stunning 🙂
I love reading your stories behind the quilt. I hope you are able to find some information on your family. I am going to try and get some more quilt tops quilted in the next few months as my goal for the year is to have less tops at the end of the year than I started with. This quilt is so pretty. I am also hoping you a writing a pattern for the quilt you made your son because I love that one. I am also working on my Celebration Cake quilt and am loving it in Sugar Pie I will post pictures on Instagram soon. Have a great weekend.
Thank you Kim! You are my hero right now when it comes to getting through your WIP list!!
Yes, I really want to pattern that quilt before I completely forget what I did – LOL, but in the back of mind I know I need to redraft the flag paper piecing pattern so it’s a tiny bit bigger, and that has been putting me off. It is definitely on my to-do list though 🙂
Lisa schmitz says
I am finishing my cherry tree lane quilt and I am making each of my children a Christmas quilt for Christmas this year. I have 2 more to go and I am definitely adding this to my list. I love the story and I really want to find out about my family maybe this will get me going! Once again you did a marvelous job. I just love your designs!!!!
Family history can be as addicting as quilting Lisa – but it is so rewarding too! I love that you are making your kids quilts for Christmas – Christmas quilts will always have a special place in my heart!
I think the year my son gets back from South Africa might be a Christmas quilt kind of year 🙂
I would really really really like to finish my Farmers Wife Quilt. I adore that quilt and I think I only really need to make another 30 blocks max (which makes me 60 in). I think I even have 20 blocks cut out and ready to sew, so I guess that is where to find me the next couple of months :).
I love the story to this pattern and I also really like to pattern. Well done!
Thanks for the story and your lovely quilt! It really caught my eye. I will be working soon on another grand baby quilt, the fifth, in less than a years time! Yeah! we are blessed.
I just sold my house, so I will not have any projects in the works for the next few months. 😩 Once I get settled in my new home, I will get back to sewing. Gorgeous quilt! Love the design and the fabrics!
Karee Hicks says
I love this quilt story! ❤️❤️ I’m going to be working on a wedding quilt and getting some quilt tops I’ve been hoarding quilted finally!
Cathy ewbank says
While visiting Australia last march I purchased some gentle blue and yellow fabrics which I have yet to turn into a quilt. I love this pattern, and I think they would look perfect made into your new quilt pattern.
Lynda E Warncke says
Love gypsy lane!