Treasure It!

Treasure It!

Post by Judy Cogswell

Recently I was watching one of my favorite sewing and crafting shows when the guest was demonstrating how to make a jacket. I wasn’t interested in making a jacket, but I was startled by what she was using for fabric – a quilt! A beautiful quilt! A fairly new quilt! And in perfect condition. Why? As a quilter, I know the hours that it takes to make a quilt. If it were mine I would have taken the scissors from the unenlightened seamstress and walked away with the quilt. This brought to my mind the quilts tucked away in my closet, out of sight for many years. They had to come out and be admired. 

My two heirloom quilts were made by my great-grandmother, Anna Howe Caster and my Aunt Alice. Great Grandma’s quilt is a Redwork (a quilt composed of outline embroidery stitches in red thread. Redworks were popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s). My sister and I slept under it as we grew up. It kept us safe and warm. It was well loved and well worn. The embroidery consists of a little dutch girl, a bouquet of flowers, Sunbonnet Sue, animals, and flowers. I spent many a night looking at each of the designs. It is very finely hand quilted and embroidered. It was my inspiration to begin quilting. My very first quilt was a smaller version of the Redwork. 

Aunt Alice’s quilt is a Lone Star, also finely quilted with hundreds of tiny pieces hand sewn into place. As a child, I remember visiting her and spending time in her sewing room. She always had a quilt in progress. Only one of her quilts, the Lone Star, survived and I have it. 

I’m in awe of both my treasures. And I have decided they need to be displayed and appreciated. 

There are many ways to display quilts including special quilt racks, ladders, and hangers. My quilts hang on doorways and in cabinets where I can open the doors to display them. They give me inspiration. 

One year I gathered all my family heirlooms and spent the summer mending them. That Christmas I gave each family member a quilt. I kept the Redwork for myself. It is very fragile but my favorite. 

I hope that, whatever your treasure is, you display it. Enjoy it. Who knows what inspiration you may get from it?

 

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