Most of you know by now that I'm a quilter. I have always wanted an antique quilt. And an applique quilt, since I don't have the time or talent to make my own, would be my pick. I cut a picture out of a magazine years ago of a family room, with the most wonderful navy and white quilt on the wall. I saved it for years, as the model of the ideal quilt. One I would love to have someday...
Time went on and the little magazine clipping was tucked away and forgotten. Years later, on a very hot summer day, I was going through our little weekly newspaper, The Shopper, scanning the ads: garage sales, pets and household items for sale. Buried in the middle of the last section, was an ad that read:
Old magazines, books,
canning jars, postcards etc.
Wait a minute. Quilts. Hmmmmmmm. Well, it couldn't hurt to call. So I called the number. A man answered. He sounded elderly. I asked about his ad, and wondered if the quilts were still available. "Oh, honey, you don't want those old things!" We talked for quite a while, and I said I'd really like to come and see them. He gave me directions to the house, and I told him I'd be right over.
When I pulled up to his little house, I could not believe my eyes. He'd hung the quilts on the line. There were three of them. One was a Grandmother's Flower Garden. It was from the '20's, made of tiny little hexagons. Another was a Log Cabin. The blocks are made of strips, in a pattern of dark and light. And in the middle of the two very average quilts, hung this...My ideal! The quilt from the magazine.
I remember getting goose bumps on a 90-degree summer day. Unbelievable! It was fluttering in the breeze, in all its glory. I got out of the car to meet my host. He was, indeed, an elderly man. We walked over to the line and I asked him if he knew where the quilts originated. He wasn't sure, but thought maybe Pensylvania. He said the one on the right would be the best for picnics. I told him I was kind of fond of the little one in the middle. He thought I was nuts. Why, with the sun shining through it, you could even see the cotton seeds in the batting! And the old gent was right, the quilt was old. Not a bad thing, for someone looking for an antique.
To make a long story short, I bought all three quilts. I tried to take them to an antique shop for him, to see how much money I could get him for them. He wouldn't hear of it. He never dreamed they were worth anything, he just wanted to get rid of them. He was thrilled that I thought "those old rags" were worth keeping.
And I think I paid $85 for all three. The lovely hand-appliqued and quilted Oak Leaf quilt, from the mid 1800's, periodically graces the wall of my family room. And look closely. The dots on the navy fabric are tiny stars. Love it!
This incredible story is brought to you by Angie and her Wordful Wednesday. You should stop by and see her today!