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Thea Posted: Tue, Jun 9 2009 3:57 PM

Hi,

I am in a quandry.  I received a quilt top that my Great Great Great Great Grandmother Milne made in the 1870s.  It is in beautiful condition - It has never been washed nor seen much if any sunlight.  My Great Grandmother Judd received this quilt sometime around the turn of the century and kept it in her cedar chest.  She gave it to my Mother in the 1940s.  Now as the only quilter left in the family, I have received the quilt top.

My Great Grandmother Milne was born in Scotland and came to Canada by ship in 1832.  She married my Grandfather Milne in 1836 and they lived in Toronto.  She stayed in the Toronto area for her entire life.  Her son came to Lockport NY where he married.  The quilt is part of Canadian history.

 

My question and quandry is what to do with the top.  The background fabric is a red print.  The blocks are 6 pointed stars made from many different fabrics.  One fabric has Queen Victoria on it with the date 1870.  It is hand pieced... the stitches are small and beautiful.

 

If you owned this quilt top...

Would you sandwich it and hand quilt it - using a unbleached muslin?

Would you fold it up and put it back into the cedar chest to again sit there for another 70 years?

Would you contact any of the quilt museums to see if they would be interested in the quilt.  Should I contact a museum here in the US or should I try and see if Canada would be interested in the quilt.

I would very much like everyones opinion of what to do.  I am so happy to have the quilt in my possession but after me there is no one in my family that quilts.  I don't want the quilt to be found someday after I am gone and turn into a rag by someone.  It has lived a long time and I would like to see it some place where it would be appreciated.

My Mother when she sent it to me at first wanted me to quilt it but I have heard differing opinions about this.

One that it would lose its historical value as an 1870 quilt and once quilted would become a 2009 quilt.    Others said to make sure to put a label on it that it was quilted in 2009 but the quilt top was made in 1870 and that would preserve it. 

I thank all who have an opinion and are willing to share in advance and any that have any addresses or places that would maybe revere this quilt for all to be able to see.  I would appreciate any contacts of that nature.

God bless and warm quilty hugs,

Althea

 

 

 

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WOW..........

I'm impressed and amazed that you can track your family history so far back and then to have a quilt top to boot.  If it were my quilt, I would want it in the Smithsonian.  I would be afraid that after I died it would end up in a garage sale just because no one else cared. 

Please post a picture of your treasure.  I'm sure I'm not the only one that would enjoy seeing it. 

Kathy Patterson, Fort Worth, Texas

Kathy Patterson - Fort Worth, Texas

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Althea,

What a fantastic gift to receive.  And to know the history of your quilt makes it even more special.  Since you know all the history, I think a museum would love to have it in their collection.  Maybe you should contact the International Quilt Museum and see what they recommend.  And, yes, please post a picture.  I would love to see it.

Sandy

  

Southwest Florida

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Thea replied on Thu, Jun 11 2009 7:02 PM

I have sent a picture of the quilt to show and tell and hope that you can see it well enough - it is 60" x72".  I am attempting now to contact the Milne Association in Canada to see if they would want the quilt to put on display there.  The Milne family was quite a big part of the society there and they donated quite a bit of the land there to different projects.  The Edwards gardens holds the family cemetery.

God bless and warm quilty days,

Althea

 

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Whatever you do, DO NOT PUT IT BACK IN A CEDAR CHEST!  The oils/acidity of the wood damages the fibers and can also cause staining.  Better to gently fold the quilt, with non-acidic tissue placed between the folds/layers and keep it in a plain cotton pillow case.  Be sure to re-fold every few months to avoid permanent creasing and/or weakening of the fabric.  (I am not an archivist - only sharing what I have read.)  I'm sure the International Quilt Museum in Nebraska would be an excellent source of information.

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gini replied on Sun, Jun 14 2009 1:28 PM

althea, could'nt find your quilt on show-and-tell.  gini

gini in north idaho

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Thea replied on Sun, Jun 14 2009 2:21 PM

I sent it in a couple days ago - they may not have posted it yet.  I did send it in though.

 

God bless and many warm quilty days,

Althea

 

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Thea replied on Sun, Jun 14 2009 2:23 PM

I bought a special bag from Nancy's Notions to keep it in for the time being while I decide what i am going to do.

 

God bless,

Althea

 

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I think you should look for a textile museum in Canada..or contact the Smithsonian as to how to donate the top.  DON'T quilt it..It's only as old as the newest thread/fabric...so quilting it will make it a 2009 quilt. 

Print your story, add photos if you have them, and donate to a museum, unless you know it will be safe in your family.

Marge

Margie Campbell
margecam52@valornet.com
TinLizzie18 LS
Littlefield, TX

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Having owned Buckboard Antique Quilts for 33 years and written 3 books full of heart-warming stories about quilts and their family heritage, I personally would hand quilt it, using all cotton batting and backing and thread. Dig for interesting anecdotes and more family history and record the story by printing it on fabric and sewing it to the back of the quilt to preserve the quilt and family history for generations to come in a tangible form that can be displayed and enjoyed. Judy Howard, www.BuckboardQuilts.com and www.HeavenlyPatchwork.com

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Althea :

I sent it in a couple days ago - they may not have posted it yet.  I did send it in though.

 

God bless and many warm quilty days,

Althea

 

Althea,

I know you have sent your quilt pic into Show N Tell, but you can also post it here. You could even edit your original post to add it and then it would stay at the top. I'm so anxious to see it, what a wonderful treasure.

T Lynn - aka /Spudgm

 

Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy & sorrow, stitched with love

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Thea replied on Wed, Jun 17 2009 4:07 PM

 

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Thea replied on Wed, Jun 17 2009 4:08 PM

figured out how to post it here - so here it is - a quilt made in 1870 by my

GGGG Grandmother Jane Weatherstone Milne.

 

 

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My, my what a treasure you have.  And, to know the history, as well.  It is a lovely quilt.  Thanks for sharing.

Kathy Patterson - Fort Worth, Texas

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Thank you for posting Althea, it is beautiful and such a tribute to those who came before you. 

Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy & sorrow, stitched with love

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