Friday, September 13, 2013

Saving an Old Quilt

So here is the quilt, it's a big one, 85 x 102 inches.  The blocks, set on point are 14 inches square. The applique is by hand, and has been done and repaired by several hands.
Red and Green Tulips, a family quilt, no date or maker
As you can see, the red fabric is in much better shape than the green. The green can literally be just pulled off and it's in your hand.  More of it is gone, than present! The condition of the quilt is POOR. Because it is from the cottage, it is very special to me and worth spending the time to rescue.

What is the story of this quilt? No one living in my family knows anything about it.  But here is the story I have put together, based on a few facts. 

My great grandfather was one of the founders of a building and loan in Marion IN, he went to the same Presbyterian Church as Marie Webster. He was a good businessman and seemed to know lots about real estate ownership and management. Then the great Depression hit Marion and the USA.  He then became an owner of too many houses, and they all needed to be repaired and perhaps rented to keep the building and loan afloat. These years were difficult for everyone.

Grandpa must have taken some items in trade instead of rent, when the tenants couldn't pay. I think that is where this quilt came from.  This beautiful appliqued piece was something that had been treasured and had some value to the original owner, so it was given in lieu of rent. It had been well cared for and it was probably old at the time of the Depression. This is why I think it came from a family in Marion IN, but who knows where it was originally made.

Another theory is that when people left these homes, some of their belongings were left in the buildings. But I cannot see a woman leaving a precious quilt in a home she was leaving.  This still may have happened. I'll never know these details!

Grandpa bought the cottage in 1927 and owned it until about 1940.  Over the years all kinds of things turned up at the cottage, it had a big porch and living room and 4 bedrooms that needed to be furnished. This quilt was one of the things that was in the big trunk upstairs, and I've kind of grown up with it.

Now it is time to begin the time consuming task of repair. I'm looking forward to this part.

Ann Fahl


JoyceT said...

Actually, I would have guessed that was a Marie Webster design.

Sally said...

I'm not a quilt historian by any means, but it does look like a something Marie Webster would have designed. It's lovely and I'm glad you're undertaking the task of restoring/repairing it. It will be fun to watch your progress.

annieQ said...

Since it probably came from Marion, it could be a Marie Webster!

I'm making a tiny bit of progress each day.