Monday, July 14, 2008

Family Heirlooms

I had a great day Saturday! I went up to visit with my Great Aunt Doodle. Her name is really Annie Lou, but we have always called her Aunt Doodle. She lives just 10 miles from me. You may remember her from one of my previous post. She is the one who makes the porcelain dolls in my great grandfathers old home. Her daughter, Peggy, had told me that Aunt Doodle had an old family Bible and I really wanted to take a look at it. So I asked Aunt Doodle if I could see it and take pictures. She was happy to oblige. She is the sweetest person. Below is a picture of the front of the Bible.
I could not find a date as to when it was printed, but I know it had to have belonged to my great great great grandparents as the first entries written in it are their names and birth dates and their children's names and birth dates. The pages were very brittle and so we did not look at all the pages only the ones with writing on them. I took lots of pictures of them. Below is one of the pictures. On the left side of the page you will see the information that I am sure my great great great grandmother wrote. They had such lovely handwriting back then and you can tell it is written with a quill pen and ink. On the right side of the page is births that my great great grandmother must have written as they are the names and dates of her children, plus one that we believe was a niece or nephew.
Below is a picture of my great grandparents, Lily and George Dumas. This was a picture hanging on the wall in one of Aunt Doodle's bedrooms and I took a picture of the picture. It is the best picture I have seen of the two of them! Notice his white hair. My Aunt Doodle has snow white hair just like his and so does one of my uncles. My great grandmother had died in 1958 before I was even born. But my great grandfather lived until 1972. I can only remember meeting him one time and that was when I was 7 years old. My brother had died and he came to my Aunts house where we were staying. I can remember my daddy taking me over to where he was sitting on the couch and introducing me and the one thing that I was amazed at was how white his hair was and how thick! I don't remember ever seeing him again, but that one memory has stuck with me all these years. People tell me my dad talks a lot like him. My dad tends to mumble when he talks and it is hard to understand him at times and they said Big Daddy talked the same way. We all called my great grandfather Big Daddy. I think my dad and his siblings called him that as they lived for a while with my great grandparents and maybe this was how they distinguished between their daddy and grandfather.
This was another photo that was in the same bedroom in Aunt Doodle's house. It is of her brother, James Franklin Dumas. He died at the age of 23 shortly after coming home from WWII. He was in the Navy and the ship he was on sank. Everyone tells me that he was in some really cold water for a long time and developed lung problems that he never completely healed of. I have never been able to find out what the name of the ship was that he was on. I am still trying. My Aunt Doodle was very young at the time as was my father and his siblings and therefore probably never knew the ships name. I think he was a very handsome young man.
Next Aunt Doodle showed me some beautiful things that were made by her and her mother. Below is a coverlet that my great grandmother made. It is made out of fertilizer sacks. There are four of them sewn together. The material is sort of a cross between muslin and canvas. It is a nice fabric. She drew the peacocks on the squares and embroidered them! I think it is awesome!
Here is a close up of one of the peacocks!
This is a basket quilt made by my great grandmother. Some of the baskets are hand pieced and some are machine pieced. The whole thing is hand quilted. It is lumpy in places as the old cotton batting they used tended to wad up some when washed. My Aunt Doodle said she remembered her mama having dresses made out of some of the materials.
Below are closeups of two of the baskets. I think they are beautiful!

This is a quilt that Aunt Doodle made. It is a queen size with 20 blocks. She hand appliqued the ducks and embroidered the cat tails and water. She also hand quilted it. Her quilting stitches are so small and precise! It is a beautiful quilt!
Notice the quilting on the border. She drew ducks, cat tails, waves, and clouds! It is truly amazing!
Here is a close up of one of the ducks and cat tails she quilted.
I think this was my favorite duck, although it is hard to choose! The photo turned sideways when I uploaded it, but maybe you can tell what it looks like anyway.
This is another quilt Aunt Doodle made. It is a dogwood quilt. I just fell in love with it and had to have the pattern! She lent me the pattern for it and the duck quilt to copy. I am not sure how many squares are in this quilt. There has to be at least 40. I didn't think to count and was unable to get the whole quilt in the picture. I am gonna have to call Aunt Doodle and ask her.
Here is a closeup of one of the dogwood blocks. Once again she did beautiful hand quilting.
This was one of two very old jars on a dresser in the bedroom where the dogwood quilt was.
This is what was inside the jar. It is a lock of Aunt Doodle's hair from when she was 2 years old! She said she had gotten bitten by a red bug on her head and had scratched at it so that it caused a bad sore that got badly infected on her head. So they had to cut off her hair. She had blonde curly hair and she said when it grew back it was straight and then got darker.
For the ones who don't know what red bugs are they are tiny tiny insects that you can't really see. You can get them a lot of times if you are out in the woods. And of course back when Aunt Doodle was young there were lots of woods where she lived. I got some once when I was out picking plums and did not even know it until that night when I started itching. I was still thinking it was mosquito bites until I showed them to my dad and he said it was red bugs and told me to put alcohol on them. They make you feel really sick.

Well, that is all I was able to take pictures of as my battery in my camera went dead. But I continued to look at some of the things in Aunt Doodle's house and told her I would have to take more pictures next time. She has a beautiful cathedral window quilt she had made. She has a beautiful crewel embroidery piece hanging on one wall of two Japanese ladies. Plus there are lots and lots of more beautiful things throughout her house she has made. I told her I knew where I got my love of handwork from! She is like me and likes to do a wide variety of handwork. I hope you have enjoyed my visit with Aunt Doodle. I really need to get up there to see her more. I usually always find out a little more family history while I am there.


Colorfuldayz said...

Aaahhhh, red bugs ... yikes!!! Flashbacks to my childhood of playing in the woods! I am starting to itch ...

Lily Boot said...

what a lovely post diane - I adore visiting with my grandparents. It's wonderful to share family stories and treasures. Your Aunt Doodle surely has some wonderful treasures!

futuregirl said...

First of all, how awesome is it to have an Aunt named Aunt Doodle?! Second of all, that feed sack peacock embroidery is *amazing* and beautiful. How awesome to have such a crafty family!