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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Terry, Bernice, and the Long Lost Quilt!

terry1
Every so often I receive an email with a link to a story that really warms my heart.

This one ties directly into the LABEL LABEL LABEL post that I wrote a couple of weeks ago.

Imagine….

You are a new quilter.

You are asked to participate in a round robin with more experienced quilters, and with trepidation ((And lots of encouraging skilled teachers at your side…))  You begin a journey that will increase your confidence and abilities while it binds friendships that last a life time.

Now imagine that lifetime ending all too soon….and for some reason your uncompleted top ends up outside of your circle of quilt friends, in a thrift shop….

Where does the story of this quilt go from here?

Terry sent me the following email along with her link:

Hi Bonnie,

Thanks for a wonderful mystery quilt with Celtic Solstice.  Mine is still a work-in-progress.  I had to get back to work quilting customer quilts.
I helped a quilty friend discover a home for a lost quilt top.  Its fun that we can use the internet to investigate and help others.


Thought you might enjoy the story: http://quiltcrazie.blogspot.com/2014/02/tuesday-tip-lost-quilt-found-home.html

Thank you for all you do for us.
Yours in quilting,
Terry Johnson
Princeton, IL
Please click Terry’s link above and find out what happens with this story.  It really touched my heart, and it certainly made me rethink what info I need to include on labels ---

After reading Terry’s story, won’t you come back here and leave me a comment on what you think about it?

I’d love to know your thoughts!

***NOTE***  There is MORE to this story!  Click HERE to read part 2!!

quiltcamtomorow1

This is also an “almost” 24 hour advance notice of Quilt-Cam tomorrow night!

I’ve got samples to stitch for my taping of The Quilt Show, and I’m running out of time so that’s what I’ll be working on tomorrow --- some string blocks and half square triangle units for Jamestown Landing. 

I hope you’ll join me at 9pm EST tomorrow night, Thurs Feb 6, 2014.

Have a great evening, Everyone!


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58 comments:

Julie Kennedy said...

What a great story. And a wonderful memory of a friend that quilter now has. This clearly illustrates the importance of labelling a quilt. Lucky the label was included with the parts for this particular quilt. See you on quilt cam :)

Susie Jensen said...

Just goes to reinforce the need to label ALL quilts! The story doesn't tell how the quilt ended up at the second hand shop though. Label, label, label. My labels are getting longer as I want to include lots of information for someone who finds my quilts in 100 years.

Anonymous said...

What a great story! The lonesome quilt has found a long awaited home. This is another lesson learned about label,label, label!

Anonymous said...

What a great story! The lonesome quilt has found a long awaited home. This is another lesson learned about label,label, label!

Linda C
deda@suddenlink.net

elively said...

Great story and a great lesson! Sometimes we are in a hurry but the quilt isn't finished until the label is sewn on!

Looking forward to quilt cam tomorrow.

Sewing Junkie said...

Things have changes so over the years and it is easier to locate people.The label gave the biggest clue. I'm guilty of not labeling, but maybe need to rethink this small effort in the over all work on the quilt. Thank you for sharing this.Chris

Alice Leishman said...

Wow..the timing of this is amazing. I have been all over the 'net looking for what to include on the label of my nearly finished CS! I have probably made nearly 100 quilts, but only really labelled the ones entered in competition - and with not as much info as I should be including. Things are gonna change.

wendy bradley said...

Thank you for sharing Bonnie. I haven't labeled all my quilts, but I am from now on. I read a story of a quilt that was made in WW2 and was returned from England to its original guild in Halton HIlls, which isn't far from me here in Ontario. Have a great evening! Yippy Quilt Cam tomorrow.

SharonD said...

I love a story with a happy ending! I am new to quilting and have taken a few classes at a great local quilt shop. One of those classes was on labeling and their importance.

Kathy said...

This is a wonderful story, but there must be more. I'm curious for the reason the quilt was abandoned. And I really expected the story to end with finding out the one person who was the new quilter is now an accomplished one who goes by a different name that we all should know . . . but I guess I'm a romantic :)

Carol A. said...

I'm so glad that quilt went to one of the ladies whose name was on the label. As for me and all my quilts and fabric and the many, many cross stitch patterns that are not stitched and other patterns that are, I have a lot of thinking to do about them. Since I'm the only female in a small family--I have one brother, my husband, and two adult unmarried sons--I have no idea what would happen to my cross stitching, all my quilt fabric and my sewing machine and my many, many sewing and quilting notions. I believe my stitching will end up in the trash, which makes me sad, but I can work on deciding what to do with the rest. It is time to do a will so that I can control what goes where--SO, that is a GOAL for 2014. Thank you, Bonnie for this story and for opening my eyes to what I have to do.

Joey Ritenour said...

What a heartwarming story. I went to an auction in 2009 and in the process of looking through the quilts and other textiles, an acquaintance came across a quilt and said, "Look at this label!" Imagine my surprise when I realized that my great, great grandmother made the quilt. Of course I purchased it! Through the resulting conversation, my new friend and I realized that we are shirttail cousins and that both love old quilts. Now we get together a few times a year and share our newest vintage and antique textile acquisitions. What a great way to find a friend.

Judy Brennan said...

Thanks for sharing this story with us. GREAT lesson for all of us. I do label the quilts I give away, but will think again about what I put on them. I know I need to add my city/state to the label. WOW! It is finally home.

Pattie D said...

What a great reminder of the importance of labels...thankfully it was included! I think Bernice and Terry are awesome, to put so much effort into locating one of the original quilters...I guess I would have thought maybe it was a UFO that someone had offed and didn't want to finish. Thanks for sharing the story, see you tomorrow!

Mary said...

I am so glad I have the signatures of the ladies that helped make my round robin. I am trying to include all the info on the label that I can. Especially My name, the date, town and pattern name. Those ladies were so nice to try and get it back to someone listed on the label. I'm sure it will be loved as it should be by that novice quilter. We all want to know the "rest of the story".

Lilac Joan said...

You know it is a problem when you give a quilt and the person looks for a label and there is not one. Happens to me. Even My cousin Joe asked where I had signed it. I am now making a label for that quilt and sill take it the next time I visit!!

Mina said...

This is a great story. I am guilty of not labeling my quilts. A few years ago, my home was burglarized and many quilts were stolen and only a few were labeled. I am hoping someday that they come home, but I know its wishful thinking. When I pass, I instructed my mother to sell everything on ebay - the stash, WIP, notions. I told her there is bound to be someone who will buy the stuff.

Betty said...

Bernice is an excellent example of a caring quilter. A lot of people would have just thought "Lucky ME" and kept the treasure to themselves.
I personally know the feeling of handwork ending up at a thrift shop. One Christmas I made quilted pillows for DH and my grandmothers, three total for the ones still living. A few years after, we had lost all of the precious ladies. My mother had returned to me the pillows I had given my grandmothers, but I had no way of knowing what happened to the other one. One day I saw it in a thrift store, tattered and dirty. I had not labeled it, maybe if I had someone would have returned it to me. I left it there, not wanting a constant reminder of the neglect and will never know the route it took in getting there.
I now label all my finished quilts, but had not thought to put the label with the top. Lessons learned!

Janet said...

Bonnie,
Thank you for sharing that feel good story. I am not as diligent as I should be about my labels. Your imploring and this tale of homecoming will get me writing a passport for each quilt. Thanks!

Claudia E said...

What a wonderful story. Thanks for the reminder about always putting a label on our quilts.

Heidi LIndsey said...

Oh, what a great story! Thanks for sharing it with us, Bonnie. We do need to remember the importance of labeling our quilts!

Anonymous said...

Great story, and thanks for sharing it with the rest of us. I am good about putting labels on my quilts with name of recipient, date, and my name but it never occurred to me to put a location on them! I will from now on!

Linda V said...

I would love to have heard how the quilt ended up in a thrift store. Perhaps the lady who died had possession and her family gave it away. Loved that it found its home again! Label, label, label!

Kathy said...

What a heartwarming story. There is nothing like the camaraderie between quilters, whether they know each other or not. Have you ever noticed that when you find out someone you have never met before is a quilter, that you are no longer strangers? And, of course, don't forget to label!!!
Kathy
fm Oregon
katydidmax@frontier.com

Sue SA said...

I always label my quilts and large wall hangings (but not table runners or mini quilts) and I guess that I assumed my family would do the right thing with them if I did die. However now I am going to be really really sure and leave a letter in with our wills - just so the kids do know what I want done with the quilts I have made, WIP and my stash!

Terri said...

Wow, what a great story. I've labeled some quilts but not all of them. This story, along with the opportunity to volunteer with the Arizona Quilt Documentation Project has made me rethink the info I will put into my quilt labels going forward. I'm in the process of labeling the finished quilts I currently have and will start placing the labels with my tops that are finished but not quilted yet.

Kathi Kraftyzales said...

I loved that success story. So heart warming. I found some quilts in a thrift store and rescued them. They were laps quilt and all had labels. I took photos of them and sent them to the quilt guild that made them. No response. I left messages on 3 different members voice mails. No response. 3 years later and I have a couple left. I have been giving them out to friends or neighbors who are undergoing dialysis.
As far as labels, a fellow quilter made fun of me for listing all the quilt shows and museums where my quilt hung, as I am ready to add my latest award on the label. Ha! I am making a bigger label.

Outback Crafter - Debra said...

That is wonderful.

I've only been a quilter for 12 years but I am a young, sentimental soul.

I have always thought of the Label as being the 'card' for the gift of a quilt.

I usually include who it is for, why I made it. My thoughts during the process. My name, (current) town of residence & the date completed. If it has been a long term ufo, I also include the date (year) I started it

I made a quilt as a gift and then borrowed it back for a quilt show. I added a second label after the show as it had been awarded a prize & I thought that was relevant to the quilt's story.

Carole said...

What a nice story. I have a few quilts that I do not have a label on, but I am going to do that now.
Thanks for all you do.
See you in Tucson next week.
Carole in Arizona

Anonymous said...

I think I'll go back to putting labels on my quilts!
It was a great story…I enjoyed reading that.

Wanda said...

Thank you for sharing the link to this wonderful story. I need to make sure I put labels on all my quilts and that I include more information. I have many quilts that I have made for home or my boys that I never labeled. I think I need to go back and add some labels.

Julie Vernon said...

Talk about a wonderful story !!! It does reinforce the need to put LABELS on our quilts.

Even if my quilts are not lost, maybe many years from now a descendant will have one of mine. Wouldn't it be great to SEE AND TOUCH your Great Grandmother handwriting?! WOW

The tale does beg an answer :) How did it come to be in a thrift shop? How on earth did the extra fabric and label stay with this quilt top? But most of all, I would like to thank both women who put themselves out in an effort to find the quilts real home :) You both are SUPER.

Smiles, JulieinTN

Merrie Manson said...

An amazing story!
If you surround yourself with people who care they share. Isnt that true sharing is caring, thank you ladies, you should be proud.

Ruth Hoogendijk said...

What a wonderful story. I hope when my quilts get lost, there are such kind women around.

GabiP said...

Thx for sharing that story! I am rethinking my labeling. As a new quilter, I have never labeled something I made for my home - only the gifts I send out. I see the importance now.

Sue C. Atkinson said...

This is one of the most heartwarming stories I've heard in a long time. I, too, don't bother with labels when using at home or giving to family. Think I'll change my ways.


Sue C. Atkinson

Patricia McGrath said...

What a fantastic story. After your post on the importance of labeling our quilts, I began labeling everything. Thanks for everything you do and the great tips you give us

just me said...

I have been making baby quilts for friends for years and never labeled any :( My first mystery quilt the Celtic Solstice, will be labeled for sure... a good lesson .. glad the quilt found its way home..

Anonymous said...

It really makes you think twice about putting a label on all the hard work and love you put into your quilts.

Ness said...

I'm learning to make better labels! I just love 30's and 40's quilts...just recently I was able to work on a real one...for a 84 year old lady who found the quilt top when moving south closer to her son and his wife who happen to be my neighbors. They new I quilted and asked if I'd take a look...for over 60 years this quilt made of flour sacks and pink and white fabric was all lovingly hand made by the 84 year old's grandmother!!! Wow...it just had never been quilted but was completely finished. I used one of the new vintage copies for the backing and binding and hand stitched them a label. Was incredicle to work on and give it back to them and then see it on her bed was just amazing.
I just loved the story and glad the quilt made it back to someone who worked on it. I wonder still how it ended up where it did.
I guess ya never know...I need to make better labels. :)

Ness said...

To clarify...the quilt was hand made by the 84 year olds grandmother in the 40's and the top had been stored away for over 60 years just in a box and tosseled here and there. :)

nadinevining@yahoo.com said...

I've never labeled, never felt my offerings were important enough, I guess. So I am needing a tutorial on what to include and how to make them, what they should look like, where and how to attach them.

Anonymous said...

I live in UK and love your website. What a lovely story, I too would like to know if the quilt was finished and where it has ended up. What about a photo, that would be good to see. I muxt admit I have labelled quilts but not eall hangings - I will do in future. Bev

Bev Hughes said...

Bev Hughes

Robin said...

If walls could talk Well what about Quilts. They can IF they have that label.For whom? By whom? When, Where Why and I Love You. Great Story
Robin in Leavenworth WA

Marilyn said...

What a great story. I have a couple of quilts that got to family without labels and have been wanting to do that so now I will. Thanks for the reminder to also mark WIP as well. mrlyn @ shaw . ca.

karen said...

Black sheep here. I don't label my quilts, and I'm not going to start. On rare occasions, I initial the back of one. I quilt for the joy of playing with fabric, not for posterity. I make quilts to be used, not put safely away to be kept nice. Once I send a quilt out in the world, it is no longer mine. I am content to be the unknown quilter whose work is keeping a stranger warm.

Candace said...

Thanks for the great story Bonnie. My daughter has often joked that instead of inheriting quilts my children will get kits or UFOs! I now have a renewed sense of what needs to get done sooner rather than later :)

Debby said...

Thanks for posting this, Bonnie. That is a great story with a happy ending.
Most of the quilts I have made have been given away and most have labels but not with full info.
I really wish my antique quilts had labels or clues to their makers...and a couple of them were obviously "saved for good" and worthy of a label!

Nancy said...

I am a firm believer in quilts being labeled. After all, no matter how experienced the quilter, the quilts are a work of art, and artists sign their work!

It upsets me that many Quilts of Valor have part of their history eradicated by the VA. If the label has a last name of the quilter or longarmer on it, the last names are blacked out - for security purposes. It angers me that this is allowed to happen. In my opinion, the quilter knows "the risk" and accepts it if the last name is provided on the label. The quilting community should do something to change this practice and to preserve the history of these gifts to honor the soldiers.

SubeeSews said...

I also label my quilts. I go the extra mile to add them to the backing so that they get quilted in.
You are so great!
XOXOXO Subee

Yahoo.com said...

I found and purchased a machine foundation pieced scrappy log cabin quilt top with 1/2" logs in a barn raising layout (circa 1880-1890) from a cooperative store. It's larger than a queen size, in mint condition and is primarily blues, reds and whites without looking patriotic at all. It's unique in that all of the block centers are a red & white four patch. I suspect that multiple quilters participated in making this quilt because the blocks are sewn onto many different fabric foundations and with different colors of thread. When I showed this quilt top to a quilt appraiser friend, her jaw dropped. I knew it was something special. The seller had no history of the quilt. Clearly, the prior owner had no clue of the value of this quilt top and maybe it held no sentimental value to them. However, I would love to know the history of this quilt. Sadly, so far, I have found no identifying information on the quilt top. Wouldn't it be sad if the loved ones of the quilter, or quilters, would want to have it?

NancyinSTL said...

I found and purchased a machine foundation pieced scrappy log cabin quilt top with 1/2" logs in a barn raising layout (circa 1880-1890) from a cooperative store. It's larger than a queen size, in mint condition and is primarily blues, reds and whites without looking patriotic at all. It's unique in that all of the block centers are a red & white four patch. I suspect that multiple quilters participated in making this quilt because the blocks are sewn onto many different fabric foundations and with different colors of thread. When I showed this quilt top to a quilt appraiser friend, her jaw dropped. I knew it was something special. The seller had no history of the quilt. Clearly, the prior owner had no clue of the value of this quilt top and maybe it held no sentimental value to them. However, I would love to know the history of this quilt. Sadly, so far, I have found no identifying information on the quilt top. Wouldn't it be sad if the loved ones of the quilter, or quilters, would want to have it?

Jean C. said...

Love to hear "Happily Ever After" stories! Sighhhhh.
I can imagine how excited this gal was to have it come back to one of the original makers.
See you Thursday night!

Farm Quilter said...

Love a "happily ever after" ending! I have found that even with quilts I make for my kids, I put my full name, city, state, date made, who it was for and if it was a special occasion, that goes on the label as well. I have actually begun embroidering (by machine) the label and incorporating the label into the backing of the quilt and quilting it on there. Makes it much harder to "lose" the label and hopefully easier for the quilt to come home if it takes a walk without proper supervision!!

Pat Pearston said...

Thanks for sharing this great story Bonnie! I'm pretty slack about labeling my quilts. This will change!

Debra Geissler said...

It is unusual to find a label with an unfinished top. I always add the label last. After the top is completely done including binding. I need to rethink that.

thequiltersshed said...

What a great story and LESSON. I'll try harder to get those labels finished.