February 18, 2015

A Quilt Brought Back to Life

I've been drawn to red, green, and white appliqué quilts forever.  Here's one that was recently brought back to life by my friend Ann Fahl.  Here's how the quilt looked when Ann first started thinking about fixing it up.

Ann makes wonderful art quilts and has written several books, plus creating a pattern line and a DVD.  You can read more about her at her website and blog.  Lately, she has been very busy researching her family history and sharing new discoveries with family members.  This actually is a perfect segue to telling you about her red, green, and white quilt.

This is a family heirloom quilt, though there is not much specific known about its story.  The quilt has lived for many decades at the family home in Marion, Indiana.  Ann posits that the quilt may have been a payment from a tenant to her great-grandfather during the Depression when cash was short. It was probably made in the 1880s or so.

In addition to Ann's great-grandfather, Marie Webster also lived in Marion, Indiana.  Marie Webster is credited with writing the first book on quilt history.  She also designed patterns, and created a pioneering woman-run business, selling the patterns via mail order.  Her house is now a national historic landmark, and is the home of The Quilters Hall of Fame.

Here are before and after pictures of the fabric damage and the new work that Ann added to the quilt.

Ann's repair process is detailed in several blog posts:
the quilt's story
making templates and cutting
patching the background

She began work in September, 2013, and completed it all in January, 2015.  She stitched a description of the quilt and the work that she did to the back of the quilt.  That makes this labor of love a part of the entire family story that she is helping to preserve.  I think that's a great idea, and I recommend you take a look and keep it in mind as you care for your own heirlooms.

Here's the completed job - such a beautiful quilt!  Kudos to Ann!

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