I'm so thankful to be a member of the quilting community. Not only do I learn something every day from all of you, but in my experience, quilters will always go the extra mile to help someone out-especially if they can share their love of quilting in the process.
|L to R: Anita Cook, Rose DeBoer, and Kristine Lundblad
hold the handmade quilt that once had a hole chewed in it.
An example of that happened right in the Quilting Arts offices recently. One of our graphic artists, Anita Cook, brought in an heirloom Sawtooth Star handmade quilt that had been severely damaged.
"The quilt was made by my great-grandmother. It was given to me after my great-aunt passed away because she had never had children of her own. I treasured the quilt and loved the colors in it. It was placed at the foot of my bed.
"I had recently adopted a 6-year old golden retriever. One morning I awoke to the sounds of chewing. There was now a huge hole in the center of my treasured quilt," Anita said.
When she came to work at Interweave a few months ago, she brought the quilt in to Quilting Arts Assistant Editor Kristine Lundblad and Managing Editor Rose DeBoer to see if anything could be done to save it.
The women put their heads together and came up with a plan. Though they couldn't make an archival restoration, they thought they could repair the quilt in a way that would allow Anita to enjoy the quilt on her bed for years to come.
They agreed to remove a corner of the quilt and use it to replace the hole. Kristine took the quilt home and detached the binding from the damaged corner. Rose then took off the corner and made the repairs.
"The scariest part–and I held onto the quilt for weeks working up the gumption–was snipping the threads to remove the new pieces that I was going to use to patch in the chewed-up sections. Once I settled down to do the work, it took on its own pleasant rhythms," said Rose.
"It was humbling–very humbling–to try to replicate the hand quilting on the adjacent quilt squares. And I am so thankful to be a part of this quilt's journey," she added.
|Can you spot where the original
hand quilting meets the repair?
Anita showed us the repaired quilt at our weekly office show-and-tell. The staff members from Stitch and Cloth Paper Scissors–who all sew–peered at the quilt in wonder: most couldn't see where they quilt had been mended.
For Anita, the seamless mending by her colleagues extends beyond the quilt.
"I am actually a very sentimental person. To have a piece that was handmade by my grandmother meant so much and then to see it damaged broke my heart. Having it repaired and usable again means that I have a piece of who I am back," she said.
Anita's quilt now has a deeper and richer story to tell: it is a physical reminder of the kindness and generosity of her coworkers, and will always be treasured for that aspect as well as the sentimental value of its origin. Wouldn't her great-grandmother be proud? That was probably my favorite show-and-tell all year.
P.S. Do you have a sentimental story about a quilt? Tell me about it in the space below.