Friday, August 23, 2013

A Family Treasure - An Heirloom Quilt

Family Heirloom

Today I am going to share with you an heirloom quilt that I am very proud of.  My grandmother (Memaw Peggy) was so sweet to ask me if I wanted to have this lovely quilt that her grandmother made.  She wanted to ensure it was passed down in the family and well taken care of.  (I do not normally keep the quilt on this bed, it is way too fragile to be in use)

She and a group of her friends each made a block and embroidered their name or initials on their block. She hand pieced and hand quilted it.  She was very proud of this quilt and never used it, but loved to show it to others.

This is her block and her name was Lou Daisy Barns and later Thompson after she was married. I love how she added the daisies to her initials.  She made this quilt around 1902 or 1903 and she was married in 1903.  She is in the center of this picture along with her sisters, Willie and Bawnie.  Later in life she was called Granny Thompson.

Each name is embroidered differently depending on each lady's preference.  I especially like these beautiful scrolling capital letters.  I wonder whose these belonged to.  If you look at the initials close enough you can still see pencil marks beneath the stitching.

I am sorry to say that this quilt has gone through a rough patch in its life.  My grandmother can remember when Granny Thompson would get this quilt out often and share it with her.  She was so proud of it.  Many years later after she passed away, my grandmother tried to find it, but couldn't.

Sadly the quilt ended up in one family member's possession who did not care for it and as you can see it received a lot of damage.  Many years later my grandmother found it again and took care of it.  She shared this story with me last year.  This year she asked me if I would continue to care for it.

I wish I could have seen how it looked in 1903.  When you look close you can tell that the olive green used to be more of an emerald green.  This picture of the quilt back does not do the hand quilting justice.  The stitches are so little and pretty.

There are so many generations touched by this quilt.  Not just in my family, but in the families of each lady that made a block.  It is fascinating to think how many people have a tie to this work of art.  There is so much history here and I am so honored to be the one to care for this quilt until it is time to pass it down to the next generation.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Candace

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23 comments:

  1. What a beautiful story for a quilt! You're lucky to have it in your hands!

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  2. Such a wonderful Treasure! I have one of those quilts and I just love having it to remind me the tradition or quilting I'm continuing.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this wonderful quilt. I do wish one of my quilts to be an heirloom in the future. This one surely is a beauty!
    Esther
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com

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  4. What a gift! I know you will treasure it dearly

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  5. That is an amazing quilt and lovely story. You are so lucky to have it in your possession now. I remember seeing a blog a long time ago of a lady who did a tutorial on mending damaged quilts. She did such an amazing job of them. Some of them had pieces damaged much worse than yours and by the time she was finished with them you could hardly tell where she had repaired it. Here is a link that might help you out. http://www.sewwequilt.com/2011/06/puppy-chew-toy-recovery.html Although you quilt is very old the backing fabric is plain so you may find something similar or you could try tea staining new fabric to get the required colour. Just a thought. It would be so nice to see it restored rather than left as it is.

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  6. What a treasure. Your whole family is lucky that you know about quilts and know how to take care of them. I hope this quilt will be around for many more generations to honor and enjoy.

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  7. How lucky that your grandmother had found someone to care for her quilt, what joy to have a family heirloom to pass on too!

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  8. What a wonderful keepsake. I sadly have no quilts from family members but have made and given almost every family member a quilt to start their own treasure.
    Peggy in NJ

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  9. Your grandmother entrusted you with such a beautiful piece of history. The quilt is beautiful. I can't imagine how it looked when she originally made it. Nothing more loving than a handmade quilt.

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  10. that is such a treasure, Candace! I know you feel special to have received it. I love all of the initials in the blocks!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

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  11. Thanks for sharing this. I used to be hopelessly addicted to genealogy.... Until I started quilting! Quilts like this one are a special combination of both. What a treasure!

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  12. Fantastic! There are amazing restore artists out there that could probably get it very close to its original appearance.

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  13. What a beautiful treasure!
    Thanks for sharing it :)

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  14. I love your treasure! Thank you for sharing it with us!
    xo jan

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  15. How wonderful to have a family quilt that is almost 120 years old. That is just amazing to me. Yes, do take good care of it.

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  16. beautiful story and what a treasure I'm glad you have it now

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  17. That is really unique quilt made so long time ago! I'm happy you have it and it stays in family! Thank you for sharing this specia, lovely story! x Teje

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  18. It looks like it belongs in that room, and on that bed. Love the story, thanks for sharing. :)

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  19. For an antique quilt the colors still sing! Beautiful family quilt and the interesting story behind the quilt. I have a autograph quilt that was made by my husband's grandmother. I only show it though it doesn't seem to fragile. I will have to lay it out on the bed and take some pictures. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  20. What a wonderful treasure. Wow!! Your Grandmother's Grandmother. It is a wonderful gift.

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  21. What a wonderful treasure. Wow!! Your Grandmother's Grandmother. It is a wonderful gift.

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  22. What a fabulous quilt Candace, I so enjoyed hearing all about it. It's strange to think that what we're making now might hold as many stories and memories as this quilt and be equally treasured by future generations. :)

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