Saturday, September 16, 2017

A Vintage Treasure - Quilters Through The Generations

Last week while at the local Farmers Market a returning customer, Kathy, walked up with a well-worn and well-loved, vintage quilt.  She had recently received a stack of 10-12 quilts from her mother.  This one in particular came from her dad's family (the Bell Family) who are long time residents of Trinidad, CO.  We have known her since we first moved to the area... she was among our first choices of baby-sitters for our children when we needed such services.  

She asked if I thought it might be able to be repaired.  I am always up for a good challenge... 

But when she opened the quilt, my breath was taken away... 

It featured blocks exactly like some of the quilts that my Great-Grandmother, Lala Teegarden, would make with the Christian Church Quilting Group!  

Below is a quilt that Lala made... It must have been one of her favorite patterns...

Lala obviously shared the pattern with some of her family members - her daughter - Luna (Teegarden) Weller - and grand-daughter - Maxine (Weller) Ashton made one together...

You can read the entire story about this quilt by following the link on Luna's name above.

Lala's daughter-in-law (Tressie Teegarden) made two...

This blue one that my mom, Carol has and 

this pink one that her brother, Forrie, has.  You can read the entire story on Carol's post.

I've not had the chance to study and examine the fabrics of the two quilts to see if there are any matching fabrics in the quilts, but I certainly plan to do so soon!

As for the repairs required on the quilt, I feel that I can "replace" the white setting squares that are worn and torn.  But there are two of the "hearts and flowers" that are in desperate need of help...

I asked the customer if perhaps there was another quilt with similar blocks so that I could combine two quilts to make one completely repaired quilt.  She is supposed to be getting back to me on this...

Another option is that take one row of blocks off of the quilt, replace the most damaged of the blocks with good blocks removed, making the quilt smaller... I could then add some borders if they want it large enough for a bed.

As my mom searched for a bit of info on the names of some ladies involved in the Ladies Aid Society of the Trinidad Christian Church at the same time as my GGM Lala, there was a Mrs. G.F. Bell that was part of the group... 

I can't help but wonder... what are the chances that my Great-Grandmother had a hand in making this quilt???

What would you do??? 
Would you try to repair the quilt? 
Do you have a suggestion for repair that I haven't thought of?  
I'd love to hear from you...

If you happen to be looking for the story of Sue Harmon's grand-children, I will be publishing their stories soon... I've been waiting to receive some further info and photos to be able to offer my readers the best possible stories... since Sue's schedule and my schedule didn't fully mesh, I thought it was best to wait just a bit longer.

Be sure to check back.

I will soon be offering the first male quilter to be included in the Quilters Through The Generations series and I am proud to say that he is a part of my family tree.  Stay tuned!

Happy Quilting,



  1. I've read to repair a quilt means to place a "patch" over the top of the rip and leave the original in place under it. Removing the original work would be devaluing it. That's a Sue question. Maybe the subject of yet another post.

  2. I think the repair or not question depends on what Kathy wants to do with them. Is she planning on using them? Or just displaying them in a cabinet? Does she care about the monetary value of it? That would be an amazing coincidence if your great grandmother worked on that one! I love reading your stories, Melva.

  3. I've always been told that the answer to repair or not lies with the reason. If the quilt is a family heirloom that you want to keep in reasonable repair over the years, then I think stabilizing rips and tears and replacing destructed blocks makes sense. If the goal is to retain or even improve value, then I think doing little unless absolutely necessary would be the way to go.