Click on the quilt to view the blocks in a slide show presentation.
Thomas Winston Ballard's Quilt
My grandmother, Maudie Jane Ballard Norton, was the daughter of Thomas Winston Ballard and Florence Elmina Emerson.  She had many sayings my mother has borrowed from time to time.  One is this:  Patience is a virtue. The .jpg images of this quilt and the quilt blocks in the slide show are quite large and could take a minute or two to appear on your screen.  The large file size improves the resolution so that hopefully, you'll be able to see the work these young girls did so many years ago.
Thomas Winston Ballard and Florence Elmina Emerson with baby Carl.
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Click here or anywhere on the quilt below to begin the slide show.  Then use the Back and Next buttons to view all the quilt blocks.
Graphics by Shawna
The quilt below was made circa 1898 by a group of young ladies in Marion County, Alabama and was given to my great-grandfather, Thomas Winston Ballard when he left home to fight in the Spanish American War.  The war, fortunately, was short and decisive with Alabama's troops never making it into battle. 

Thomas came home and married one of the girls who worked on the quilt, my great grandmother, Florence Elmina Emerson.  They began to raise a family and had six children together, Carl, Coy, Fred, Ward, Maude (my grandmother), and a baby named Pearl who died in infancy. 

Sadly, Tom Ballard suffered with Bright's Disease, a chronic condition which leads to kidney failure, and he passed away in 1909, at the age of 36. Uncle Carl, the baby in the picture at left, was about nine years old.  He "made a crop" the year that his father died and his hard work is still a legend in my family.  
My grandmother, who was six when her father passed away, had few memories of him.  She had two tangible remembrances--this quilt, and a porcelain doll which was a gift from her father before he died.  The doll was dropped and broken while she was still a girl but Maude kept the doll's head until she died.  It is still in the family. 

In 1971, when my grandmother passed away, my aunt was given Thomas Winston Ballard's quilt.  Last year, she gave the quilt to my sister Carol who collects our family quilts.  Carol and her husband Larry spent hours photographing and e-mailing these images to me so that I could research the girls who made this special gift to send a young  man off to war.