Monday, November 8, 2010

Now for something completely different

I have a guest blogger for you today! I was contacted not too long ago about hosting a virtual book tour by Nita Beshear who has written a book called "Devoted to Quilting". Since I have long harboured aspirations of being a writer and since she lives in Oklahoma where I used to live (Oklahoma, like Idaho, my current home, a state starting and ending with a vowel) how could I say no? You are right, I couldn't, so here is Nita's guest post:

Protecting Quilts

“When was the last time you refolded your quilt?” This is a question I often ask people when they stop to share their quilt story with me.

The blank look I get in return is also common. “What do you mean?” They ask with a shrug, before continuing, “I don’t know, it’s in a trunk.” These are always special quilts, and the owners want to preserve and keep them, forever, if possible.

I’ve heard stories of quilts embroidered with the state birds, flowers, or other pictures, quilts done by grandmothers, aunts, even mothers. They tell of quilts that were made in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, sometimes stories of quilts made as late as the 1960’s. Other quilts are of patchwork, sometimes made using what is now a traditional pattern, something like a Drunkard’s Path, or Star quilt, or a simple patchwork quilt. Other descriptions are of appliquéd quilts.

Always, though it isn’t the quilt that is memorable it is the quilt’s story. The story of the quilter and how important she was/is to the current quilt owner. They share stories of love. The quilts representing these stories are locked away in trunks, and have been, sometimes, for years. They don’t want to use them, they want to keep and treasure these reminders of people and a time long past.

Because they aren’t quilters, they don’t understand that storing quilts in a plastic bag or box for a long time is not good for the quilt.

There is usually some discussion about where and how they can safely store their quilts. Once that is determined I remind them the quilts need to be refolded, not only when they move it to the safer location, but on a regular basis, like annually.

They are also always surprised to hear the quilt needs to be refolded; this usually leads to another discussion. However, when they walk away, I feel better knowing their treasure will be around, in good condition for future generations.

Sometimes as quilters we forget that last detail, refolding our special quilts. The approach of winter is a good time to add this job to our lives. After all, while we’re saving other people’s quilts, we want to protect our treasures.

Some quilts are meant to be used. However, there are some quilts we just want to save and protect. We need both kinds of quilts in our lives and it’s important to me to help others keep those special quilts safe. So, have your special quilts been refolded? Are they in a safe place? Don’t forget to remind others.

Thanks to Tall House Quilts for allowing me to visit with you today. Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance at two of Darcy Ashton’s Appliqué Pattern Books. You can also visit the other blogs on the tour, as well as my blog, Devoted to Quilting to leave a comment. I’ll be back later to answer any questions or comments you have.

Thanks again. It was a pleasure.

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