Saturday, February 17, 2018

A House Block from France ... or Japan

I made another house block yesterday.  It has a bit of a back story which I'd like to share with you.

The last time I was in France I bought a quilt magazine.

Actually, it was the only time I have been to France.  My one and only trip to Europe was in 2011 and I chose to spend two days in Dijon.  Dijon is a beautiful city with cathedrals and ancient buildings, free museums and centuries of history.  My high school French was border-line adequate to buy some souvenirs and order meals.  I spent the first day walking the heritage tour called the Owl's Trail.  The English guide book says it takes about 1.5 hour; it took me eight hours and 120 photos.


As I was traveling on my own I decided to stay in my seedy hotel room after dark.  The only English language television channel was CNN and the evening's program was 'This Week in Uzbekistan.'  I got settled with some Farmer's Wife blocks to hand piece and opened the quilt magazine.

I had purchased a copy of Quiltmania, the wonderful European magazine.  I assumed that although the text was in French, the pictures would assist in any projects that might appeal.  And I found a lovely quilt project called 'Ryokan'.  Beautiful traditional house blocks, with a patchwork block as one of the house walls.  Ryokan appeared to be some sort of Japanese buildings ... or maybe vegetables. (les peties auberges japonaises = little Japanese eggplants?)

Never mind, plenty of diagrams for each different block, should be easy to make when I returned home. Well, lots of diagrams but not quite enough diagrams.  Eventually I got it sorted.

2eme Partie = Part 2

All I had was the second part of a Japanese pattern. Written in French.

A year later in Melbourne I was enjoying a quilt study day at Quilts in the Barn.  I had been invited by Linda Collins and Bev Bannard to bring my Chester Criswell Quilt to Linda’s home in Wonga Park to share the quilt and speak about my blog and block of the month project.  I had just begun telling the story of my great-great-grandmother’s signature quilt and it was pretty exciting to speak to a group of fellow enthusiasts who all wanted to know, What Comes Next?

During the course of the afternoon I told my sad story of my French Part 2 pattern.  Linda disappeared for a moment and then returned to present me with a copy of Quiltmania issue No.85 - which has Part 1, written in English!  Bonus in this issue was a feature on Australian quilters - which included Linda Collins’ own home and magnificent quilt collection.

Six years later and I still haven’t made the Ryokan quilt.  I have made one block, so at this rate I should be finished about 2090.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Lure of the West 1910

In my last post I mentioned the migration of the Reeve family from Indian to Texas.  In my search for clues I came across the Ada Weekly News, September 1st 1910.  This particular edition was a public relations promotion for Ada and Pontotoc County, Oklahoma.  After reading this newspaper I am surprised that the whole Eastern seaboard didn't all move to Oklahoma.

I will let the newspaper speak for itself in the following extracts.  The photos are from other bloggers and Wiki Media Commons, you can click on each photo to get to the original page.

Oklahoma City, 1910

Ada, Oklahoma

A City Situated in the Midst of Unlimited Resources
A Brief Sketch of Most of the Leading Tradesmen 
Who Have Their Hand on the Pulse of Business-
Together With a History of Her Growth, 
In a Commercial Way Which is Scarce Surpassed 
By the Industrial Annals of the Country

U.S, Department of the Interior ad 1910-1911

Pontotoc County

Encircled By the Brightest and Fairest Skies
In which crop failures are unknown, 
and underneath whose soil lies untold wealth.
Orchards and cultivated meadows.
There are regions of the world with brighter skies, 
there is an island whose fields are greener,
and summer lands with fairer flowers,
 but taken all in all there is no place more desirable
for habitation than Pontotoc County, Oklahoma.
( not quite the picture of the American south-west in 1939)


Western Electric advertisement 1917

Singer Sewing Machine Company maintain 
important branch sales office in Ada
Mr. W. C. Williams manager

About five months ago Mr Williams was transferred from Lawton, Oklahoma to Ada to take the management of the Pontotoc county branch of this mammoth industry, which is the largest of its kind in the world, and their machines are known all over the world for their superiority over other makes of machines.
Mr. Williams is a salesman of more than ordinary ability and during the short time he has had charge of this territory he has broken all previous sales records, having without any assistance sold more than one hundred and twenty-five machines.  Mr. Williams is a man who is strictly reliable and has always made it a point in dealing with the public to use only honorable and legitimate methods in the conduct of his business.
We wish to impress upon the minds of the public that when they deal with Mr. Williams they are not only assured of getting the best and most durable machines procurable, but are also assured of getting a square deal.


One room school in Blanchard 1910

                                                       Rural schools in Pontotoc County

At statehood the only school houses in the rural districts were miserable makeshifts.
During the past six years, however, there has been a revolution.  Over $80,000 has been spent on good, substantial buildings and the children are housed as comfortably as anywhere else.  The schools are also well supported and most of the rural districts have terms of not less than eight or nine months.  Under the influence of the East Central Normal at Ada and stringent state laws requiring a high grade of proficiency of teachers, the school system is rapidly developing in thoroughness and efficiency.

Subway ad 1910

Ada Coca Cola Bottling Company

Coca-Cola has been acknowledged the world over as being the most popular beverage yet discovered and is confessed by scientists everywhere to be simply incomparable and approached by no other soft drink on the market in deliciousness of taste and sparkling freshness.  It is delightful to the taste, satisfying, bracing and full of health-giving properties.
The Ada Coca Cola Bottling Co., located at 300 East Main Street, occupy a fine brick  structure with an excellent equipment of modern machinery and appliances.  The purity of the products turned out by this plant has made them famous and wherever they have been introduced they meet with great favor and are called for in preference to products of other bottling works.

Send a copy of the Special Edition back to you old home. 
It is a beautiful souvenir of Ada and Pontotoc County
 and will be appreciated for the many advantages it points out.