Saying Good Bye To an Old Quilt
In case you haven't realized, textiles is my love and passion. I love historical textiles. I love the color. I love the feel. I love the ways it can be manipulated to make window curtains or special occasion clothing. I love the sense of history across a century stitched together by someone no longer remembered.
Always on the lookout for something special I purchased the sun and shadow log cabin quilt at auction in the late 1980s. I used it as a decorative wall piece over the years. NEVER on a bed. Recently I washed in the 21st century washing machine on hand wash. Line dried it over two lines and left it there until last week.
It is 100% hand stitched using a sew and flip method attaching the top to the backing. This is the work of an advanced seamstress because the corners are met and the rows are straight along with very even stitches.
There is no fill. There are some pieces that are worn through and the edge binding is worn out. But... surprisingly in good shape. The backing / basecloth is without damage. No bug, no mice bites, no puppy rips.
This quilt was well taken care of by the previous owner and by your's truly.
The retirement house has a mouse problem (that may or may not be under control with the help of an exterminator), and shortage of wall space out of the sunlight to display this specimen of late 19th early 20th century bedding. I could not protect it from the mice who have been stowing acorns in the linen closet, closet shelves and chewing off the fuzz where ever they found it. There are often little fuzz balls all over the house from the mice searching for nesting material at the expense of my rugs and quilts.. This last month I've been organizing and fall cleaning and finding chewed acorns in spots as I've been moving things.
The quilt was put on a table at last week's yard sale with a $150 sign on it.
There it sat until half an hour before the end of the sale and an old geezer walked up to it and started asking questions. He was good at his trade and I had been woken up from a nap by my Y chromosome. The exchange had him treating the blanket as if it were something common. That was until I agreed to let him have it for $5. Yes... $5.
At that point he began treating the blanket as special as I thought it was. He gently wrapped it in his arms and quickly carried it to his car.
I had handed my beloved aged quilt over to a dealer. It was the work of a talented seamstress of another time. Who probably never saw a car. Never comprehended the internet. Probably would not have believed how dear it was to someone a century later..
It will be safe for a little while longer in the care of someone who understood he is not an owner, but guardian of something very special.
I went inside the house and cried.