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1940s double wedding ring family quilt finds a new home at Born Again Quilts.When Country Living Magazine featured a quilt from Born Again Quilts in last November’s issue and referenced BAQ as a good resource for quilts, tops, vintage fabric, etc., little did I know how big of a ripple it would make. For a month or so there is a tremendous uptick in the number of people liking items and purchasing on the BAQ Etsy site. After Christmas things slow down until mid-January when I receive an email from Sue of Sunnyvale, California. Subject line: Would you like a donation?

Sue writes, “I have a very old quilt which is very frail and actually starting to come apart. Since you use parts of quilts, would you be able to use this quilt? I cannot bear to throw it away as there are still some good sections. If you would like to have it, I will send it to you as a donation and it would certainly make me feel better knowing some of it can still be utilized! I don’t want to just send it if you don’t actually want it, but if you do, just say the word!”

Lois writes back, “Sue, I am the keeper of quilt souls. Yes, send it to me and I will honor it by using whatever I can to bring another more deserving quilt back to life. Thank you for thinking of me.”

As a flurry of emails go back and forth I get around to asking Sue how had she learned about Born Again Quilts and she tells me she read about it in Country Living which led to her initial email.

Soon the box arrives and I unpack a beautiful l940s double wedding ring quilt. The quilt is in much better condition than I had expected. Only one short side has major damage where it is literally shredded-possibly from being tucked in and mangled by bedsprings.

Every quilt has a story so I ask Sue to share her quilt’s story with my readers:

My favorite Aunt Leslie joined our family when she married one of my mother’s brothers. Leslie had been orphaned at an early age and, she was raised by an aunt in Kansas City. Her first marriage was to a trumpet player who played for several well-known bands of the big band era and also played with the Radio City Music Hall where Leslie was a Rockette! When she was widowed, she married my uncle and became part of our family. Leslie had no children and upon her death in 2003 I was named the executrix of her estate. Taking over someone’s belongings is not an easy task but being given this responsibility was an honor. Among her belongings was a quilt that appeared to have been made long ago and on one of the corners on the back fabric it’s stamped “Grant 14”. I don’t know if that is an inspector’s name and number or has some other significance but Ruth Grant was the name of the Kansas City aunt who had raised Leslie. Because of the family history I did not have the heart to have it become part of the estate sale and so I kept it. The quilt has been in my home hanging on the railing at the top of a staircase since Leslie’s passing. I read about Born Again Quilts in a magazine and at this point I am happy to donate this heirloom quilt in order to share its beauty and hand-made craftsmanship.

I wonder whether Ruth Grant made the quilt for her own wedding, another relative or friend or whether someone gifted it to her on her wedding day. We will probably never know. What I do know is Sue is to be commended for reaching out and finding a new home for this precious imperfect quilt rather than relegating it to the trash as sadly too often happens.

Thanks to Sue’s unselfish act, the quilt will continue to be loved and cherished.

Lois Levihn is the owner of Born Again Quilts located at 4005 South Wayne Ave. Winter hours are Wed. 5:30-7 and Sat 9-2. She can be reached at bornagainquilts@frontier.com or 260-515-9446.

Lois Levihn

She is the author of the "Around the Frame" quilting column. She is a graduate of Wayne HS. Quilts have always been important to her, she loves the stories surrounding them, the techniques used in making them, & restoring them. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer