Saturday, October 15, 2011

New and Old

Today I set up a QR code and put it here on the blog.  A QR code is that black/white square, similar to a bar code, that can be read by smart phone if the have a tag reader.  I hadn't thought to use one on my quilt labels but a member of the GardenWeb Quilt Forum posted about it recently.  What a great idea!  I'll add the code to all future quilt labels.  Any one who scans the code will come directly to the blog where they can connect with me and maybe even find a picture and story about the quilt they've found.  I haven't actually misplaced any quilts, but I do give a lot away.  You never know where they might end up.  I'm not sure the QR would be allowed on donations quilts, like Quilts of Valor, Quilts for Kids, or Linus Project Quilts but maybe it is.  I'm intrigued by the idea of using relatively new technology on a craft as old as quilting.  I'm a bit of a techno-twinkie, loving every new electronic thingie on the market, so this is just one more fun way to combine the old with the new.

And to balance out this new thing, here's something delightfully old.  This quilt was discovered not long ago by one of my husband's cousins.  They could trace it back to a grandmother, but didn't have much more information than that.  No one remembered her as a quilter, so they weren't sure when it might have been made.  The quilt was sent to me, with the hopes that I could repair it and join the two halves.  Yes, it had been cut in two pieces, apparently a long time ago.  Can you imagine?

Sadly, as soon as I looked at it I knew it probably couldn't be repaired.  Lots of little holes and badly worn fabric.  But it's a charming piece and someone (Gramma P?) obviously worked hard to use what she had to make it attractive and warm.  I wanted to know more so I took it to a quilt show to talk it over with an appraiser.

She agreed that it wasn't repairable and in it's worn condition didn't have much value, but she told me much more!  Most significant to the family is that the quilt was most likely made between 1890 and 1905.  That puts it 40-50 years older than they were guessing!  We were hoping someone remembered if grandmother's mother quilted.  Or maybe a great aunt or other, even further back, relative.  Intriguing, right?  We still don't know who made it, but we do know it's a precious remnant of an earlier age.  The quilter wasn't my relative, but she lived a similar agrarian life in the same Upper Midwestern part of the country, so I feel a connection to all of the Prairie Women who came before me when I touch this old beauty.

More details about the quilt in the next post!

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