Mary Ann's Gift
by Betsy Chutchian for Moda Fabrics
Mary Ann's Gift 1850-1880 is inspired by the pioneer life of Mary Ann Yeager Mathews. Born in 1826 in Oldham County Kentucky and married to Benjamin Mathews in 1846. By 1848, Mary Ann, Ben, and their young daughter had left their Kentucky home to settle in North Central Texas. They built their home on 640 acres in what is now Plano, Texas, and would eventually have eight children. Imagine the hard life on the very sparsely settled prairie and all the horse of daily life to feed the family, to make all their clothes, and weave blankets and make quilts to keep the family warm.
In 1852, Betsy's great great grandmother, Lizzie, and her husband, Robert Carpenter, left Kentucky to join Mary Ann and Ben, to make their home and raise their family. Excited to have family near by, Ben helped Robert build their cabin and Mary Ann helped Lizzie with all the necessities to make a home. Each woman, well schooled in sewing and quilting, shared their talents to help each other as their family grew. As noted in Lizzie's journal writings, Mary Ann knew the secrets for dyeing cotton and wool and for working a loom. Both would spin thread for sewing and weaving, but Lizzie's dye never set as well as Mary Ann's. While both gardened, Mary Ann grew beautiful flowers which she would often bring to Lizzie.
"I gathered Mary Ann's history from Lizzie's journal entries, matching the time period with prints found in my collection of antique quilts and fabrics to create a beautiful line, Mary Ann's Gift." - Betsy
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